Silverstone AR07 & AR08 CPU Cooler Review

by - 6 years ago

«»

Introduction


Silverstone AR07 & AR08 CPU Cooler Review

SilverStone is back on eTeknix again today, with their new AR07 and AR08 CPU coolers. Both coolers are designed to be affordable, quiet, stylish and pack great value for money performance. We’re going to be putting both of them on our test bench today, and while we’re expecting the bigger AR07 to offer up better performance, we’re still eager to see what the smaller and more affordable AR08 is capable of.

“The Argon series coolers are designed to provide the best cooling solution for your CPU. To improve performance even further, unique and exclusive heatsink fin designs such as interweaving diamond edge and arrow guides are included. For users looking for a no-nonsense top performing cooler without the premium price, the Argon AR07 is the perfect choice.” – SilverStone

Both coolers come equipped with a triple heat pipe design and a high-quality fan tuned for silence. The AR07 has three 8mm thick pipes, a 140mm PWM fan and the AR08 uses 6mm pipes with a 92mm PWM fan.

Argon Series AR07

  • Great balance of silence and performance
  • Unique interweaving diamond edged fins for improved performance
  • Exclusive arrow guides distribute airflow evenly among heat pipes
  • Three Ø8mm heat-pipes and aluminum fins for excellent heat conducting efficiency
  • Heat-pipe direct contact (HDC) technology
  • Includes compact 140mm PWM fan for excellent cooling and low noise
  • Anti-vibration rubber pads included for additional noise dampening

Screenshot_64

Argon Series AR08

  • Great balance of silence and performance
  • Unique interweaving diamond edged fins for improved performance
  • Exclusive arrow guides distribute airflow evenly among heat pipes
  • Three Ø6mm heat-pipes and aluminum fins for excellent heat conducting efficiency
  • Heat-pipe direct contact (HDC) technology
  • Includes compact 92mm PWM fan for excellent cooling and low noise
  • Anti-vibration rubber pads included for additional noise dampening
  • Intel Socket LGA775/115X/1366/2011 and AMD Socket AM2/AM3/FM1/FM2 compatible

Screenshot_65

Both coolers come nicely packaged with all the main specifications detailed around the box, as well as lots of images showing the fan, fin stack, block, heat pipes design and more.

DSC_6970

In the box, you’ll find fan clips, a universal backplate for Intel and an AMD bracket, mounting arms, 3M pads, as well as all the required screws and some thermal paste. Both coolers come with a very similar mounting kit, the only exception being that the AR07 comes with larger fan retention clips.

DSC_6973

–~~~~~~~~~~~~–

A Closer Look – AR08


The fan is very nicely designed, with a blue housing and white blades that are sure to look great in your system; matches up nice with the eTeknix colours too.

DSC_6974

If I have one gripe, it’s the multicoloured fan cable, which would have been better in all one colour, but it’s hardly a deal breaker.

DSC_6975

The cooling tower is fairly straight forward in terms of design, with three U-shaped heat pipes that pass through each side.

DSC_6976

The edges of each fin in the cooler tower are shaped to help better direct the airflow and also reduce air turbulence and noise.

DSC_6977

Each fin is cut to allow better direction of the airflow and, of course, help cool the CPU better.

DSC_6978

The three heat pipes are cut flat to allow direct contact with the CPU and there’s a good size block to ensure complete coverage of the CPU.

DSC_6979

The slim design of the tower should ensure that there’s zero conflict with memory modules or any other motherboard components.

DSC_6980

–~~~~~~~~~~~~–

A Closer Look – AR07


The larger fan of the AR07 looks fairly similar to the smaller AR08 fan, with the blue and white detailing and shaped fan blades.

DSC_6981

The two big differences here being that it clocks in at a 140mm wide and features a much more attractive black braiding on the PWM cable.

DSC_6982

The cooling tower still features that funky custom shape, which will again help with directing the airflow while also helping to reduce noise. The cooling tower is obviously a lot larger here and with the larger fan, it will operate at lower, and much quieter, RPM.

DSC_6983

One thing that is clearly different is the size of the heat pipes; they’re 2mm thicker and are going to provide better coverage of the CPU block and be able to handle a higher TDP overall.

DSC_6984

Just like we saw with the AR08, the build quality is rock solid and while simple in terms of general layout, it’s aesthetically pleasing overall.

DSC_6985

More cut outs in the fins allow for better airflow and cooling.

DSC_6986

The direct contact heat pipes are fit nicely into the block and should provide good coverage over your CPU of choice.

DSC_6987

–~~~~~~~~~~~~–

Installation


Both coolers use the same backplate design, which can be place on the back of the motherboard easily enough.

DSC_6991

Four screws then have to be placed through the other side to hold the backplate in place. I found this to be quite troublesome and would advise you have the motherboard removed from a chassis to complete it, as I found the alignment tricky to match up for the screws.

DSC_6993

You then screw on the mounting arms to the base of the cooler and it can be fitted in place using four thumb screws. One bonus is that the whole thing is done tool-free, so that does help speed things up nicely.

DSC_6995

The fans clip into place with the metal brackets included in the box, and it only takes a few seconds to do so. The cooler certainly looks great and there’s not going to be any conflict with memory modules.

DSC_6996

The slim radiator design of the AR07 means that the fan is set just slightly back from your RAM, so you’ll have no conflicts here either, even with larger memory heat sinks.

DSC_6999

–~~~~~~~~~~~~–

Test System and Methodology


We always use the same test system and tests with CPU coolers that we compare against each other. The full specifications of our test system are as follows:

Test system:

  • ASUS P8Z77-V, LGA 1155 socket, Z77 chipset
  • Intel Core i5 3570K with Gelid GC-Extreme under the IHS
  • 16GB Kingston 1866Mhz DDR3
  • 128GB Kingston HyperX SSD
  • Antec High Current Gamer 620W
  • Cooler Master Test Bench v1.0

We’d like to say a big thank you to ASUSAntecKingstonCooler Master and Intel for providing components that make this testing possible.

Testing Methodology:

  • We always use Gelid GC-Extreme thermal paste to make sure testing reveals the efficiency of the tested coolers not the efficiency of the bundled thermal paste.
  • Prime 95 is run for 10 minutes and then the average maximum temperatures as recorded by CPUID HWMonitor are noted
  • The average temperature across the four cores is taken on our quad-core processor
  • Fans are mostly left to operate at default PWM profile speeds and with maximum fan speed for reference.If PWM functions are not supported then fixed fan speeds are used and sometimes a low noise adapter if appropriate/provided. If fixed fan speeds or low noise adapters are used it will be clearly pointed out either on the graphs or in the write-up.
  • All default result entries on graphs are for PWM performance unless otherwise specified. A variety of fan speed results are done for a particular product review and then removed from the graphs in future reviews of other products to avoid clutter. If you would like to see more fan speed results for a particular product please check its individual review.
  • For water cooling tests, all pumps have been operated at 12 volts directly from the power supply
  • Delta temperatures are always used (Observed temperature minus ambient temperature) and we keep the ambient at 22 (+/- 1) degrees for all testing. Delta temperatures should correct for any marginal ambient differences between 21-23 degrees.
  • Acoustic measurements are taken 10cm horizontally away from the CPU cooler with the VGA fan disabled, the hard drive in idle and power supply isolated. These are taken at desktop idle and Prime95 load.
  • The cooling performance tests are run at stock 3.4GHz (with Intel Turbo up to 3.8GHz) and overclocked 4.5GHz (1.35v) settings. Voltages are fixed to prevent inaccuracy between comparisons.
  • All other coolers in the graphs have been tested under identical settings so are fully comparable.
  • Each test is repeated 3 times with 3 remounts for consistency of results
  • There is approximately a 1-degree celsius margin of error in our temperature recording software CPUID HW Monitor
  • There is approximately a 1.5dBA margin of error with our Benetech GM1351 decibel meter

Software Used

In all these graphs we may have a few “reference” results of particular products that do not fit into that category for comparative purposes.

–~~~~~~~~~~~~–

Performance


The AR08 is the much smaller of the two, so it’s understandable that it didn’t perform as well as the AR07, however, it performed well enough and since the CPU is hardly a trouble at stock clocks, it’s more than up to the job. The AR07 did exceptionally well, though, beating out many more expensive coolers and even a fair few AIO water coolers.

silverstone argon stock temps

Putting on the heat with heavy overclocks, The AR08 didn’t move around our charts much at all; it’s clearly not well suited to overclocking but will manage just fine with mild overclocks. The AR07 did a lot better, beating out the premium solutions from be quiet! and being on par with some much more expensive water coolers, such as the Arctic Freezer 240.

silverstone argon oc temps

While the smaller fan on the AR08 is a little louder, it’s hardly a nuisance, but it’s the AR07 that stands out here, giving some of the quietest results possible and we couldn’t hear more than a light whisper from it at close range.

silverstone argon stock acoustics

The AR08 didn’t get too much louder while overclocked, so perhaps the fan can be pushed harder if you don’t mind sacrificing the acoustics to help with overclocking, but it’s certainly better suited to non-overclocked hardware. The AR07 did exceptionally well, still as quiet as a mouse, even when overclocking and the 140mm fan is giving Noctua’s legendary fans a run for their money too!

silverstone argon oc acoustics

 

–~~~~~~~~~~~~–

Final Thoughts


Price

If you’re looking for great value for money, then the SilverStone Argon series is exactly where you’re going to find it. and the SST-AR08 just £24.99, both at Overclockers UK, and both offer exceptional value for money.

Overview

The AR07 and AR08 are clearly two very different products, with very different applications and performance to be found. First up, let’s look at the smaller AR08, it’s not the most powerful cooler in the world, but when it comes to running a CPU that isn’t overclocked, it does a great job at keeping things cool and manages to stay reasonably quiet. What most important about it is the form factor, as its compact size means that it’s going to be compatible with a huge range of chassis, especially so for small form factor builds. When you’re limited to a small cooler, you have to expect a hit in cooling performance, but at this price, the AR08 is a competitive solution for this market and it’ll beat out any stock cooler with ease.

If you’re looking for something bigger and more powerful, then the AR07 is certainly the way to go. Of course, compared to the AR08, you’re going to need more space to support it as it’s 159mm tall and comes with a 140mm x 25mm fan. Despite the bigger size, however, its design doesn’t conflict with memory modules, motherboard components or expansion cards, meaning you’re not limited in your other hardware choices and that’s a welcome bonus overall.

When overclocking, the AR07 did a fantastic job of keeping our CPU at a reasonable temperature, giving many high-end air coolers that are at least double the price a run for their money. Even better, it managed to stay as quiet as some of the high-end air coolers from Noctua. For a slim air cooler, this is very impressive and it may be that the AR07 is the best price vs performance air cooler we’ve tested in a very long time.

Pros

  • Excellent build quality
  • Quiet fan (AR08) for a 92mm design
  • One of the quiest 140mm fans we’ve ever tested (AR07)
  • Stylish design
  • Braided fan cable (AR07)
  • Excellent cooling performance (AR07)
  • Great system compatability (AR08)
  • Very competitive prices
  • Perfect for overclocking (AR07)
  • Perfect for non-overclocked CPU (AR08)

Cons

  • Not ideal for overclocking (AR08)
  • Tricky screw/backplate installation
  • No braided cable (AR08)

“The AR07 and the AR08 are two very different coolers, but both offer very competitive performance for their respective applications. If you’re in need of a good quality SFF CPU cooler, or a powerful and quiet tower cooler for overclocking, you’ll be very happy with the quality and value on offer with the SilverStone Argon Series.”

Silverstone AR08

Silverstone AR08

SilverStone AR07

SilverStone AR07

Thank you SilverStone for providing us with these sample.

Article Index

  1. Introduction
  2. A Closer Look - AR08
  3. A Closer Look - AR07
  4. Installation
  5. Test System and Methodology
  6. Performance
  7. Final Thoughts
  8. View All

Author Bio

Related Posts

0 SHARES

0 SHARES

0 SHARES

0 SHARES

0 SHARES

0 SHARES