SilverStone Tundra TD03 – Test and Review

So what is actually the Tundra series?

SilverStone Tundra series is a series added in the company portfolio a few years ago featuring the external AIO water system called TD01. The system has been part of the Legacy section on the manufacturer’s web page for a long time now and back in Summer 2013 the company decided to renew the series with adding two brand new AIO models made of patented screwless water-block constructed of copper base and aluminum body and radiator with patented design that utilizes brazing fins similar to those used in top air coolers for increased heat transfer efficiency by up to 40% over traditional radiators:

  1. SilverStone Tundra TD02 featuring an aluminum radiator with dimension of 278mm (L) x 124mm (W) x 45mm (H), water block with copper base and nickel-plated aluminum unibody with dimensions of 60mm (L) x 55mm (W) x 33.5mm (H) and two fans in push setup with dimensions of 120mm (L) x 120mm (W) x 25mm (D) working at 1500~2500 revolutions per minute with maximum airflow level of 92.5 CFM each and static level pressure of 3.5mm/H2O at noise level of 16~33.5dBA.
  2. SilverStone Tundra TD03 featuring an aluminum radiator with dimension of 159mm (L) x 124mm (W) x 45mm (H), water block with copper base and nickel-plated aluminum unibody with dimensions of 60mm (L) x 55mm (W) x 33.5mm (H) and two fans in push-pull setup with dimensions of 120mm (L) x 120mm (W) x 25mm (D) working at 1500~2500 revolutions per minute with maximum airflow level of 92.5CFM each, static level pressure of 3.5mm/H2O at noise level of 16~33.5dBA.

As the title of the article says, for this test and review I received SilverStone Tundra TD03 and to be honest I am really eager to check out how it performs. But first things first, so let’s check the AIO structure and additional accessories provided in the package.

The front of the box The side of the box
IMG_8821 IMG_8824

SilverStone Tundra TD03 arrived to me in a pretty small but very attractive carton package painted in the typical for the company black/blue/white colours forming a very beautiful and easy to spot on the shelfs colour scheme. On the front side of the box there are two pictures of the Tundra TD03 itself – first is actually a full look at the product and a second one focused on the water block. Apart from that there are some major technical details regarding the product right next to the pictures.

Of course, the full technical specification and additional pictures and details are on all other sides of the box.

It’s a pretty good looking package and I believe it is time to put the box aside and check the AIO itself. So, after I opened the package this is the view which I got.

IMG_8826

SilverStone Tundra TD03 was disassembled and all of the parts packed in nylon bags and carefully placed inside special compartments inside a paper shaped carton bed to protect and deliver the AIO in perfect condition. On top of all parts there was a small black book which is actually the installation manual. Very detailed, as usual.

After I spent some time taking one by one all of the parts from their packages and after I arranged them for taking some pictures this is the view which I got.

IMG_8828

The standard SilverStone Tundra TD03 package offers:

  1. Installation manual
  2. Two brackets, which should be attached to the waterblock so the AIO could work with Intel platforms
  3. Two brackets, which should be attached to the waterblock so the AIO could work with AMD platforms
  4. Combined black metal backplate needed for both Intel and AMD platforms
  5. A lot of screws and nuts for installing the AIO on both Intel and AMD sockets
  6. 8 long bolts needed to attach the two fans to the radiator and to install the radiator to the case fan slot
  7. A thermal compound
  8. Rubber pads for reducing the fan vibrations
  9. 4-pin PWM Y-splitter for powering and regulating the fans
  10. 2 x SST-FQ121 – 120mm fans

After I checked all of the additional accessories, I believe it is time to check the AIO structure in details.

IMG_8832

Before I started writing the article I spent a couple of minutes observing the structure of the AIO with all of the patented technologies integrated in this product and the build quality and I noticed that it offers a pretty interesting structure for an all-in-one water cooling system, featuring a much bigger cooling radiator with very innovative fin structure, a cooling block made entirely of metal featuring screwless copper cooling plate together with the pump attached, and a metal cover with the company logo on top of it, tubes, cooling fans and the mounting kit, which I am going to describe one by one in this article.

So let’s get started…

Cooling radiator

IMG_8835

SilverStone Tundra TD03 is supplied with a completely new type of radiator for a premade AIO water cooling with dimensions of 159mm (L) x 124mm (W) x 45mm (H) made of painted in black matte aluminum fins array soldiered directly and touching all sides of the liquidpipes to increase the cooling efficiency by 40%. I believe you already saw that the aluminum fin stack is made without a side frame, which increases the overall cooling surface and at the same time the radiator can be installed on the back or top of every modern middle or full ATX case with a 120mm case fan slot with up to two 120 x 25 mm fans installed on both sides of the radiator via 8 long bolts with push-pull setup. Apart from that on both sides of the radiator there are white plastic parts made to finish the overall appearance and I am pretty sure you’ve already noticed that they are not with same dimensions. The reason for this  is because the right side is the side holding the two completely painted in white 310mm made of FEP material tubes connecting the cooling radiator and the waterblock. And by saying waterblock, let’s take a look at the metal waterblock doing the magic for this cooler.

Cooling plate together with the pump forming the water block

The waterblock seen from the side The copper contact plate
IMG_8839 IMG_8843

SilverStone Tundra TD03 offers a pretty unique waterblock with dimensions of 60mm (L) x 55mm (W) x 33.5mm (H) made of a square, perfectly milled copper contact plate with the water pump attached to the back side and here is something interesting… completely screwless. Pretty nice to be honest and I can say pretty reliable. Both the contact plate and the pump are covered with a nickel-coated unibody aluminum block with the company logo on top of it. Apart from that when the AIO is working beneath the logo there are some blue LEDs which are not very bright but still add some nice visual effect to the overall system appearance.

IMG_8845

Before I continue with the article I want to explain something which looks pretty interesting too. Both of the Intel and AMD mounting brackets are made to be attached to specially designed channels on both sides of the water block and by default the AIO arrived with the Intel brackets installed. Since I am going to test on AMD platform I had to remove the intel brackets and install those meant for AMD.

The waterblock seen from the side The copper contact plate
IMG_8848 IMG_8849

The installation is a child play, pretty easy and very reliable way to hold the waterblock in place. Unfortunately, it doesn’t allow to rotate the waterblock in all directions for AMD. For Intel it is just fine.

When any of the brackets is installed they fit just purfectly without any edges which can only say good things for the overall build quality. Good job, SilverStone.

I believe you’ve already noticed from the pictures above that the water pump is powered and regulated by a not very long 4 Pin PWM sleeved in black mesh cable and connector, coming out of the water block, which when working at maximum speed of 2500±200 revolutions per minute consumes up to 3.36W. Unfortunately, this cable is made to power only the pump so the fans should be powered from a second fan header on the motherboard. And since I’ve mentioned the fans, let’s check their capabilities…

Cooling fans

IMG_8851

SilverStone Tundra TD03 arrived to me with two SilverStone FQ121 fans with dimensions of 120mm (L) x 120mm (W) x 25mm (D) made of plastic black frames and a painted in white propellers with nine very sharp edged blades meant to provide maximum airflow level of 92.5CFM with static level pressure of 3.5mm/H2O, while rotating at 1500~2500 revolutions per minute range with noise level range of 16~33.5dBA. The fans are powered and regulated by a pretty long sleeved in black mesh 4 pin PWM cable and connector.

And to install the fans to the radiator and the radiator to a 120mm case fan slot I have to use the 8 long blots provided in the package.

And this is what the fans look like installed on the radiator.

One fan installed on the radiator Both of the fans installed on the radiator
IMG_8854 IMG_8857

Since there are two cooling fans, the guys from SilverStone provided a Y-PWM splitter for powering both of the fans directly from a single fan header on the motherboard. And this is what the AIO looks like ready to be installed and tested:

IMG_8861

 

And before I start testing I had to install the cooling with the proper mounting kit:

Mounting kit

According to the official technical details, SilverStone Tundra TD03 is supplied with mounting kits and suitable to be used with:

  1. Intel LGA 775/ 1150/ 1155/ 1156/ 1366/ 2011
  2. AMD Socket FM2 / FM1 / AM3+ / AM3 / AM2

Of course, for doing the tests I will have to use the AMD brackets, which I’ve already installed, the backplate and some bolts and nuts:

IMG_8831

Now let’s start assembling the mounting kit.

Preparing the backplate The backplate ready to be installed
IMG_8862 IMG_8864

First the four long screws should be installed on the backplate and four nylon stickers should be added to the backplate as you can see on the picture above for avoiding short circuit on the back side of the motherboard. Apart from thata, an additional plastic square part has to be installed in the middle of the metal backplate to push it a bit further away from the motherboard.

IMG_8866

 

Next thing to do was to install the waterblock on the processor:

IMG_8868

With the AIO installed on the motherboard I believe I am done with the review and the time for testing has arrived. And to do the tests I have to install the AIO back inside my case, but first I want to describe the system I am going to use.

Test rig:

CPU: AMD Vishera FX-8350

  1. At standard frequency 4.020 MHz (at 1.356V)
  2. At low overclock frequency of 4.220 MHz  at 1.380V)
  3. At medium overclock frequency of 4.420 MHz (at 1.416V)
  4. At high overclock frequency of 4.720 GHz (at 1.452V)

Motherboard: GigaByte 990FXA-UD3

Video card: 2 x Gigabyte GV-R927XOC-2GD

Memory: 2 x 4GB Geil Black Dragon 1866 MHz

Hard drive: Kingston SSD SV100S264G

Case: SilverStone Raven RV-03

Power supply: Antec HCP-750W

Cooler: SilverStone Tundra TD03

Thermal paste: Gelid GC-Supreme

Fan mounted:

  1. 2 x SilverStone AP181 – 180mm fans on the bottom panel putting fresh air in and spinning at about 1200 rpm
  2. 120mm fan behind the motherboard and spinning at about 1000 rpm
  3. Room temperature of about 18 degrees.

Both of the SilverStone AP181 – 180mm fans were connected together to the chassis 2 connector and were rotating at maximum speed.

Testing procedure:

I will install SilverStone Tundra TD03 on the top panel do stress tests at standard frequency of 4.020 GHz (at 1.356V), at low overclock frequency of 4.220 GHz (at 1.380V),  at medium overclock frequency of 4.420 GHz (at 1.416V) and at high overclock frequency of 4.720 GHz (at 1.452V) using just the standard 120mm fans provided with the AIO system rotating at maximum speed.

Mounting procedure:

The AIO inside the case With panel closed
IMG_8870 IMG_8872

A short video of SilverStone Tundra TD03 while working with automatic fan control.


Now let’s check out the test results:

SilverStone Tundra TD03 @4020MHz 1.356V SilverStone Tundra TD03 @4220MHz 1.380V
SilverStone TD03 @4020MHz 1.356V SilverStone TD03 @4220MHz 1.380V
SilverStone Tundra TD03 @4420MHz 1.416V SilverStone Tundra TD03 @4720MHz 1.452V
SilverStone TD03 @4420MHz 1.416V SilverStone TD03 @4720MHz 1.452V

All of the test results have been summed up in the following charts:

Results T

And the fans speed measured during the tests:

Results S

After the review was done, all of the tests were conducted and I’ve stopped looking inside my rig I believe the time for conclusions has arrived:

1. SilverStone Tundra TD03 performance:

After I spent a couple of hours with unpacking, arranging the AIO parts and additional accessories for taking pictures and later doing tests I am really impressed with what I saw and I want to point out my conclusions regarding the product.

– Build quality – the overall build quality of the product is just oustanding. The waterblock is made almost as one piece without any parts gap and the brackets mounting system is just so clean and reliable. Unfortunately, I noticed that the radiator could be assembled with just a little bit better quality because the white plastic parts on both sides were not perfectly assembled and there was some gap between them and the radiator. Nothing scary but it caught my eye…

– Performance – well, what can I say… 54 degrees max (ambient temperature of 18 degrees) with AMD FX-8350 working at full load at overclocked frequency of 4.7 GHz per core is just oustanding performance. After all at this frequency the processor is about 220-250W power consumption and with this result I can say that this AIO can handle every processor working at default, overclocked or extremely overclocked frequency. Now I started to wonder how the bigger brother from the series will perform…

– Noise level – for doing the tests and according to my case orientation I had to install the radiator on top of the case with both fans blowing the air out of the case. Since the fans were working at maximum speed they were noisy. Apart from that there was some strange noise as if the fans were vibrating. I was curious about this and added rubber dumpers to the fans and still the fans were performing the same way. I removed the fans and tried them out of the case attached to my Lamptron FCT controller how they will work in vertical and horizontal positions. While the fans were working at vertical position and in horizontal position with the propeller facing up they were a bit noisy from the air passing through the propeller but the vibrations disappeared. When the fans were working in horizontal position with propellers facing down the vibrations were there. So I can recommend to use this AIO installed on the back 120mm case fan slots of the case.

2. SilverStone Tundra TD03 appearance:

The first moment when I saw the AIO it really attracted me with its huge radiator in silver/black/white colours, white tubes and very stylish looking silver metal waterblock, a colour scheme which is not really suitable to be installed in 90% of the modern cases which are entirely painted in black. After I installed the AIO inside the case it looked kinda strange but actually it was the most visible thing inside the rig and after some hours using this product I kinda got used to it and started to enjoy how it looks inside the black case. Moreover, the gentle blue LED light on the waterblock looked really nice.

According to my review, I’ve decided that SilverStone Tundra TD03 deserves the following reward:

Best-Perf-Visual

Official price (MSRP) for  SilverStone Tundra TD03 : 86 euro excluding VAT

Official warranty: 60 months

I thank Silverstone for the test sample.

400x100_RVZ01

SilverStone Tundra TD03 – Test and Review
8.9 Total Score
Very good performance/ noise level/ visual balance

Performance
9
Noise level
9
Compatibility
10
Additional accessories
10
User Rating: 4.13 (2 votes)

Dobrin Krastev is the owner, reviewer and newsman of www.DVTests.com with more than 15 years' experience in personal computers, server and storage systems, UPS, peripheral devices and software. Passionate about testing and reviewing, AMD overclocking using AM3 990FXA and AMD FM2 A85X test systems and building modding projects.
5 Comments
  1. Reply Nikola Milanov 17.02.2014 at 21:40

    Outstanding review as we’ve expected from Dobri! The cooler has a great color scheme and excellent performance, apart from the noise, although with some aftermarket fans installed there’d be no such issue. Silverstone has showed once again what an innovative and focused company they are.

  2. Reply Dk_vr 17.02.2014 at 13:23

    @Stuen4y
    Indeed the cooler idd very stylish effect inside the case. When I installed the AIO i was like ughhh, that will look not so good but after some time inside I kinda enjoyed it….

    @Dimcho
    I never thought of SS Tundra TD03 + Fractal Design case… it will be a magnificent combo. Full black/white colour scheme – lovely..

    @Boskorp
    Most of the time when I have the AIO installed I use it wil Noctua NF-F12 fans. It is a dead quiet and still very effective.
    Those fans are very load in horizontal position with propeller facing bottom.

  3. Reply Boskorp 17.02.2014 at 11:57

    Had the chance to test it in my own. Perfectly satisfied with the temps in OC’ed computer, looks very stylish in the rig. Little bit noisy in idle compared with the other coolers, but a bit adjustment in PWM values makes me happy again. Next is to play with some other fan combinations as many suggest that, but it’s up to the owner now. It’s perfect for a heavy loaded machine with some long term OC, will make your CPU maintain it’s lifespan.

  4. Reply Dimcho 17.02.2014 at 11:05

    Another great review of a nice closed-loop cooler. Keep up the good work 🙂
    FIY: FD cases like Define R4 (this is mine) or Core 3000 will match perfectly such colors and the cooler will look great in them. Also, cases with entirely black interior will be lighted up with such cooler for these people who don’t like LEDs, but still want some “action” in the box 😉

  5. Reply Stuen4y 17.02.2014 at 9:31

    I think this is the most stylish looking AIO pump ever and maybe the best looking AIO overall with the white hoses and bulky rectangular shaped radiator. This does not add performance but for appearance lookers that want to make a black/white themed build it will be a top pick. Good work Silverstone. And as always, good work Dobri!

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