Thermalright SilverArrow SB-E CPU Cooler (heatsink) Review

Coming from a brand that stood the test of time when it comes to CPU cooling, the SilverArrow is expected to perform admirably.

Thermalright SilverArrow SB-E CPU Cooler Review

Here’s the view of this giant from a lower angle.

Thermalright SilverArrow SB-E CPU Cooler Review

The SilverArrow SB-E comes neatly packed in a huge box.

Thermalright SilverArrow SB-E CPU Cooler Review

No heatpipes running through the base.

Thermalright SilverArrow SB-E CPU Cooler Review

A view of the heatsink itself.

Thermalright SilverArrow SB-E CPU Cooler Review

The fans are not of equal size. You read that right, it’s not like the other dual-fan heatsinks.

Thermalright SilverArrow SB-E CPU Cooler Review

The above is a comparison of both the fans used on the SilverArrow SB-E against a typical 120mm fan.

On the left side is the TY-141 FAN
– Dimension: L152 mm x H140 mm x W26.5 mm
– Weight: 175g
– Rated Speed: 900~1300RPM
– Noise Level: 17~21dBA
– Air Flow: 28.3~73.6CFM

On the right side is the TY-150 FAN
– Dimension: L170 mm x H153 mm x W25.5 mm
– Weight: 190g
– Rated Speed: 500 – 1100 RPM
– Noise Level: 22~34dBA
– Air Flow: 38.2 – 84.2 CFM

On power up, the fan runs at such a slow speed that Asus’ Z87-Deluxe thought that there’s something wrong with the cooling system. I had to set the UEFI to ignore fan RPM just to care to the fan units. On the UEFI, the speeds were reported to be running at less than 600 RPM.

Thermalright SilverArrow SB-E CPU Cooler Review

For a detailed unboxing experience – please visit Tech unboxings & Reviews.

User Experience

Installing a huge heatsink is no easy task. It’s not as simple as pressing the push-pin into the mounting holes.

As if studying the manual isn’t time consuming enough, I (as always) attempted to install the heatsink without laying my casing flat on the ground. This is how I gauge the installation difficulty.

In the picture below, you see the mounting brackets installed. Took some 10 minutes or so to get the right components out of the package and mounting it all together.

Thermalright SilverArrow SB-E CPU Cooler Review

The heatsink is really tall, so you’ll need a long screw driver just to get the screws properly mounted. I’m surprised that the screws provided were of such small size, it’s the same as the ones used to mount the mounting bracket.

Thermalright SilverArrow SB-E CPU Cooler Review

In my attempt to install the clamp, even before the heatsink was placed, I dropped the clamp no less than 3 times and having lost one of the screws in the casing. 😛

See the photo above? There’s this plate that spreads across the heatsink base, that’s the clamp (no better word to call it). It’s secured by 2 tiny screws on either side.

Some RAM modules aren’t great with the installation of the SilverArrow SB-E, such as the Avexir Core, due to height issues. The fan for the SilverArrow caters to standard height RAM modules it seems.

Thermalright SilverArrow SB-E CPU Cooler Review

So here’s how it looks like with the fan mounted to the back instead of the front, which is not as effective.

Thermalright SilverArrow SB-E CPU Cooler Review

Don’t worry, for this test I mounted the fans to the front, above the DIMM. On the downside, I didn’t get to close the casing perfectly.

The fan clips are horrible, I spent more time getting the clip to hold the fan more than any other fan I’ve encountered because the clip keeps slipping out of position. If only they bent the part that holds the fan a bit more.

It took me some 20 minutes (including documenting the process with my camera and such) from installation of the backplate, to finally getting the fans into place. It’s not possible to mount the center fan before installation of the heatsink as you need that access path to secure the clamp.

More details of the product at theofficial product page.

Test Setup / Benchmarks

The computer setup used for this review.

Processor Intel Core i5-4670K @ 4.3Ghz, 1.25 vcore
RAM Avexir Core Series 8GB DDR3 1600
Motherboard Asus Z87-Deluxe
Power Supply Xigmatek NRP-PC602 600w
Operating System Windows 8 Pro 64bit

Below is the CPU-Z for the processor, on overlock.

Thermalright SilverArrow SB-E CPU Cooler (heatsink) Review

Temperature was monitored using HW Monitor. Room temperature is around 25°C.

CPU load was done by converting 10bit MKV video to 8bit using x264, set to -veryslow mode.

Below is the comparison against the DeepCool Ice Blade Pro v2.0 and the Cooler Master Seidon 120M

  Idle (°C) Load (°C)
SilverArrow SB-E 31 62
SilverArrow SB-E (fanless) 36 71
DeepCool Ice Blade Pro 30 61
DeepCool Ice Blade Pro (fanless) 40 79
Cooler Master Seidon 120M 35 61
Stock 40 87

1°C difference between the DeepCool unit, which is suffice to say they’re on par in that area. The SilverArrow has the advantage of even lower fan RPM. What I noted was how fast the SilverArrow drops the temperature after the benchmark is completed, dramatically faster than the Ice Blade Pro v2.0.

As always, I love running fanless setup and I think going fanless is good to test out the heatsink’s heat dissipation too, and as you can see from the benchmark above – it is clear which one is the better performer.

Without any fan, the SilverArrow SB-E still runs as good as other heatsinks with fan!

The Verdict

Thermalright’s Silver Arrow SB-E is certainly a lovely cooler. For the same price, it cools as well as an AIO water cooler BUT it’s silent.

It’s double the price of the DeepCool Ice Blade Pro v2.0 but it has overall better heat dissipation and performs very similarly in noise levels.

For those looking to run a silent PC, it’s a no brainer here. There’s a good 8 degree gap between the SilverArrow SB-E and the Ice Blade Pro v2.0, and mind you the tests were done in cooling temperatures so the SilverArrow SB-E is still the better bet for fanless setup.

goldfries recommended

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