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Roundup: 10 high-end CPU coolers
by Marc Prieur
Published on September 28, 2011

Thermalright Silver Arrow

The Silver Arrow has two blocks of fins sandwiching a 140 mm fan. There are only four heatpipes but each is 8 mm in diametre compared to the 6 mm ones used on the Archon! It weighs 1090g with one fan and 1190g with two. The bundle includes a tube of thermal paste as well as very well illustrated AMD and Intel user guides.


Installation
The same mounting system is used as with the Archon. With access to the back of the motherboard, it is therefore fairly easy to install on an Intel platform but less so on AMD as you then have to screw the back plate directly onto the heatsink's retention system. On Intel platforms, first you mount the back plate and a bracket on the motherboard, then you screw everything to the cooler retention plate.

With its two fans, the Silver Arrow extends over all four DIMMs leaving just 30 mm of available space, which limits your choice when it comes to memory bars. With a single fan, just two DIMMs are obstructed.

Results

With a single fan the Silver Arrow does better than the Archon but not by much, varying by between 3.3°C (at 5V) and an amount we couldn’t measure (on the non-overclocked CPU with the fan at 12V). Overall the difference is 1.3°C. Note however that at 9V and 12V, the Silver Arrow is a good deal noisier than the Archon because of the fact that the fan is sandwiched between two groups of fins.

With two fans, the gains are variable, 3.5 to 2.3°C with the 2600K without overclocking, 5.3 to 2.3°C at 4.5 GHz and 6 to 3°C at 4.8 GHz. The lower the rotation speed, the more the second fan helps matters and in this mode the Archon gives the best overall performance of any solution in this report! Above all it stands out at the highest overclocking setting, which it is alone in being able to cool without going above a noise reading of 25 dBA at the same time as being the only solution that gives a temperature reading as low as 66.5°C at 12V. The NH-D14 manages 69°C but is then louder.
Assessment
With the best level of performance in this roundup, the only drawback with the Silver Arrow is its size. Firstly, it extends over either two or four DIMMs and secondly, it leaves only 30 mm of space for the memory bars, which is the minimum and prevents you from using bars with averagely sized radiators such as the G.Skill Ripjaws.

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