Before beginning with the actual review of TD02, let me remind you how TD03 performed in our previous article – Silverstone TD03 – Test and Review. Now that you’ve discovered more about the technology and engineering involved in these coolers, I think we’re to proceed with the unboxing and deeper look inside the Silverstone Tundra TD02 AIO Liquid CPU cooler.
|The front of the box||The side/bottom of the box|
Silverstone decided to present the Tundra series in black and blue coloring of the carton box, which is medium in size, accompanied by some high quality pictures of the product inside. On the front there’s a picture of the cooling water block installed on a motherboard to get some representation of what it looks like in a real world scenario, along with a whole picture of the radiator with the installed dual fans, which looks pretty attractive I have to say. One side of the box is full of technical specifications, measurements and special features of TD02 written in a variety of languages. While examining the box from the outside, I became very eager to check the internals and see what was hidden inside, and this is what I revealed after opening the carton housing.
Actually this is the view after removing the foam, covering the Tundra TD02 and the included parts. The first thing I saw was the user manual, which I would be using later in the review, before installing the cooler on the motherboard. Every part of the package was carefully wrapped in transparent nylon and placed neatly and securely in a pre-cut carton layout, so that no damage could be done to the fragile parts. The box probably did its job by successfully keeping the parts safe, due to the fact that everything was in flawless condition. I began to partially remove the parts and nylon covers:
|Fans and box with accessories||Included parts|
I took out the included fans and a small, white box, containing all of the important parts that you’ll need in order to install and use Tundra TD02.
- Two brackets, which should be attached to the waterblock so the AIO could work with AMD platforms (Intel brackets are preinstalled on the water block out of the box)
- Combined black metal backplate needed for both Intel and AMD platforms
- A lot of screws and nuts for installing the AIO on both Intel and AMD sockets
- 8 long bolts needed to attach the two fans to the radiator and to install the radiator to the case fan slot
- A thermal compound syringe
- Rubber pads for reducing the fan vibrations
- 4-pin PWM Y-splitter for powering and regulating the fans
That pretty much wraps things up, regarding the included packaging and I think it is time we saw the TD02 in all of its glory.
My first impressions were…silence, followed by pure amazement. This is by far the best build quality I have ever witnessed, only comparable to the build quality of a high-end smartphone. The water block looks and feels shockingly robust and rigid, with a very distinctive Silverstone logo, that lights in a gentle blue LED light once the pump assembly is plugged in. Water block is square in form, with dimensions of 60mm (L) x 55mm (W) x 33.5mm (H) of full aluminum nickel-plated block, housing the water pump and the copper contact plate on the bottom, which is not screwed in, but designed to be part of the whole aluminum water block with patented Silverstone technology. On both sides of the water block there are the extruded aluminum mounting brackets (Intel or AMD), which help with the overall rigidity when installing the pump on top of the CPU.
The waterblock itself is a piece of engineering masterpiece, at least exterior wise. While the only thing I consider not attractive is the power cable for the pump, the overall design is beautiful and the attention that Silverstone involved in the production is clearly visible and highly appreciated. Under the waterblock is the copper contact plate, which in fact is again different than, probably any other contact plates, because it is part of the waterblock, but not by being screwed in, which is quite impressive solution and execution. A transparent cover is applied over the plate to protect it during transportation and beneath it is the almost mirror flat milled copper plate. Outstanding work from Silverstone!
|Protective cover||Copper contact plate|
While remaining with a smile on my face, examining the water block and contact plate I went through the radiator design as well. Much like TD03, the radiator features as much as 40% more cooling surface area, because of the design Silverstone implemented in the Tundra series, and judging from the performance of TD03 I can only imagine what performance levels, a cooler with twice the size is capable of presenting.
The black aluminum fins are so close together that it is barely possible to see through the radiator, it is really that dense. On both ends of the radiator there are white plastic stripes, contrasting with the all black paint finish, making it very eye-candy and would be perfect in aesthetic system builds, if clean build is pursued. Radiator dimensions are 278mm (L) x 124mm (W) x 45mm (H), with support for 120mm fans, also compatible with push/pull configuration (although there are not enough bolts supplied for a push/pull configuration, so you’d have to buy these separately).
|Tundra TD02 assembly||Tundra TD02 assembly|
Let me say a few words about the included tubing in TD02, which is made from FEP material (Fluorinated ethylene propylene). Both tubes are 310mm long, white in color and feel solid, although I personally am a bigger fan of the soft rubber tubing, mainly due to the (probably) bigger flexing the rubber tubes are able to bear. Nevertheless, tubing is not a big, if any, factor of performance, so don’t think that the hard FEP tubing is inferior in any way. Of course, the radiator and waterblock are worthless if not being cooled by some airflow, and some pretty serious airflow level is needed to flow through the dense radiator fins. Silverstone went with their high performance 120mm fans – FQ121, which generate airflow level of 92.5CFM and static pressure of 3.5mm/H2O, along with RPM range of 1500~2500. The fans have black, sturdy frame with white propeller, featuring nine curved blades with improved design for maximum airflow levels. Noise generated by the fans is from 16 dBA to 33.5dBA. However, these figures might increase, due to the radiator design. Both fans are PWM controlled via a not very long sleeved in black cable, that could be connected to the included Y-splitter cable, also sleeved in black and with PWM connectors. Installation of the fans to the radiator is a piece of cake, only tighten the eight included screws and you’re done. I really wanted to see how the installation of the waterblock to the CPU socket would be done, so I began to read the user manual, which contains a very good explanation of everything you need to do in order to install TD02, combined with drawings and important information. I believe the time has come to say that Tundra TD02 has dedicated rails on the waterblock piece for the installation of different brackets, for Intel and AMD, respectively. They differ in design, but not in quality specifications – all of the brackets are perfectly cut and milled aluminum pieces, with no sharp edges or imperfections.
|Test motherboard||Intel socket 1150|
We’d be installing Tundra TD02 water cooler on Intel socket 1150, which brackets the waterblock had already attached to it. If you need to see the installation of AMD brackets, please feel free to check this in the review of Silverstone Tundra TD03, the process is very easy and takes only a screwdriver to perform. Since the brackets we need are already installed, we only have to assemble the backplate and screws to the motherboard. Tundra TD02 is compatible with sockets:
- Intel: LGA775/1150/1155/1156/1366/2011
- AMD: AM2/AM3/FM1/FM2
The supplied backplate is a piece of solid, black metal with written information on both sides, depending on what socket you’d be installing it on. On each edge of the backplate there’s a plastic clip with printed socket information and corresponding holes for the necessary bolts that should be installed.
|Backplate, bolts and nuts||Backplate ready for installation|
So, I figured where the bolts should go via the printed socket numbers on the backplate which are rather small, but perfectly readable and distinctive. Each side of the backplate is dedicated either to Intel or AMD sockets, so there’s no chance of messing things up, given the fact that bolts go and make a small click when placed correctly in the backplate openings. Other parts that are necessary for the waterblock installation are four plastic spacers and four nuts with springs, so that you know when the nut is fully tightened – a nice touch indeed.
|Installed backplate with spacers||Behind the Intel socket|
After installing the backplate, our next step is to apply some thermal compound over the CPU in order to get the best possible heat transfer and Silvertone was kind enough to include their thermal paste in the package contents.
The supplied syringe would get you through at least three times of application, if you do it with the right amount of material.
Next step was to install the fans on the radiator via the eight included screws, before proceeding with the waterblock installation, although it doesn’t matter what you do first or second. Keep in mind that Tundra TD02 is 1500g, and I recommend either using more than two hands, or placing your case on a flat surface and installing the waterblock on an already installed motherboard in the case. Dropping the radiator would result in extensive damage to the cooler itself and your other hardware, if you don’t take your time.
|Installed waterblock||Side shot of the waterblock|
The actual placement and attachment was child’s play, the bolts go through the respective holes in the Intel brackets and the waterblock assembly is screwed in securely with a screwdriver to the point where the nuts make a complete stop. I was amazed how securely the block stayed on top of the CPU, along with the easy installation it provided. Another point I would like to make is that it looks absolutely stunning – Silverstone has really made an effort and it is in the right path.
|Tundra TD02 mounted||View through the side panel|
Next up was to install the motherboard in the case, which was no easy task for two hands, let me tell you, but I managed to pull it off without breaking or damaging anything. Due to the thickness of the radiator, keep in mind that in some smaller sized cases, you might run into clearance issues. Now that I’ve finished with the installation of this massive cooler in Fractal Design ARC XL case, I believe the moment for testing has arrived. The actual tests would be performed in real world scenario, also several different overclocking results would be tested to see what performance levels are offered by TD02.
CPU: Intel i5-4670K, socket 1150
- At standard frequency 3.397 MHz (at 1.029V, set to Auto when not OC-ing)
- At low overclock frequency of 3.997 MHz (at 1.249V)
- At medium overclock frequency of 4.397 MHz (at 1.254V)
- At high overclock frequency of 4.497 GHz (at 1.298V)
Motherboard: AsRock Fatal1ty Killer Z87
Video card: MSI AMD R9 270X HAWK 2G
Memory: A-Data XPG 8 GB Dual channel, running at 1600 MHz, 9-9-9-24
Hard drive: Western Digital 640 GB Black Series Case: Fractal Design ARC XL
Power supply: Corsair RM750 W, Fully Modular
Cooler: SilverStone Tundra TD02
Thermal paste: Silverstone, included in the package contents.
The case is cooled by several fans, all set to Silent mode in BIOS. Two 140mm front intake fans Thermalright TY-140 spinning at about 600 RPM, one Noctua 140mm NF-P14 rotating at about 900 RPM, acting as exhaust and the two 120mm fans, mounted on Silverstone TD02, also acting as exhausts, controlled via PWM (Silent profile) at all times, even when OC-ing. Room temperature was about 21 degrees Celsius. You may check out the short video of Tundra TD02 and examine the noise levels it produces.
And here are the test results at your disposal:
|Silverstone Tundra TD02 @3397 MHz 1.024V||Silverstone Tundra TD02 @3997 MHz 1.249V|
|Silverstone Tundra TD02 @4397 MHz 1.254V||Silverstone Tundra TD02 @4497 MHz 1.298V|
All of the results have been summed up in the following charts:
And the fan speed during the performed tests:
After prolonged testing with several crashes, during the overclocking process of Intel’s Haswell architecture I believe the time has come to share my final words and initial impressions of this AIO CPU cooler.
1. SilverStone Tundra TD02 performance:
Build quality – As I said in the beginning of the review, during the unboxing process, the build quality of this product that Silverstone presented to us is astonishing. The waterblock and radiator are beautifully engineered pieces of metal, which actually look different from most of the other watercooling solutions out there on the market. Comparable only to a high end smartphone, I have to say that I am impressed with the build quality of Silverstone TD02 and my particular test sample. Something that we mentioned in the previous review of the smaller cooler, that drew our attention – the white stripes on both ends of the radiator stick out a millimeter or two, but that’s no big deal by any means.
Performance – Probably after checking out the graphs you would have some mixed thoughts about the cooler. I went a little optimistic with the overclocking and the Silent profiles of all fans, but this is the situation you would be facing, I believe, most of the time. 66 degrees Celsius was the maximum measured temperature of the CPU, with ambient room temperature of about 21-22 degrees, combined with the slow rotational speed of all other fans I really do think that 66 degrees Celsius on Haswell based CPU, at 4.5 GHz is outstanding achievement. I didn’t have any doubt what this cooler might offer, but I actually also didn’t expect it to perform so flawlessly. Considering the fact that you probably won’t keep your CPU at high overclocked state most of the time, there’s nothing negative that could be said as my idle temperature levels of the CPU (@ stock speed of 3.4 GHz) were somewhere at the 25 degree mark. Great, outstanding job from Silverstone.
Noise level – Performance almost always comes at a cost and this is the price you have to pay if you go with TD02 for your CPU cooler, even at 1400 RPM the fans do produce some humming noises, along with some strange, periodic vibrations or clicking sounds coming from the rotors, when mounted horizontally. I guess this is more of a fan issue and should not be placed alongside the cooler itself, as you can instantly attach some other high pressure fans as a replacement. What should be noted is that due to the density of the radiator fins, it is absolutely mandatory to install pressure optimized fans, or else there’d be performance drops. FQ121 fans didn’t rotate at more than 1600 RPM, so the noise is quite bearable for everyday usage.
2. SilverStone Tundra TD02 appearance: From the design of the carton box, right to the screws, the attention put in Silverstone TD02 looks amazing in every way. White/gray/black color scheme might not be appealing to everyone, but in my particular case – Fractal design Arc XL (also white/black) TD02 just stays stunningly beautiful. When the white/black fans are added to the equation things seem pretty much like the case and cooler are produced and sold as one. Blue LED light that is slightly visible adds even more contrast when you look through the window of the side panel (that is if you have any), but nonetheless, it’s appealing to the eye.
I think that Silverstone Tundra TD02 deserves the following reward:
Official price of Silverstone Tundra TD02 (MSRP): 109,00 Euro (ex VAT), retail price
Warranty: 60 months
Special thanks to SilverStone for providing us with a test sample.