Although I've come to know and love many Silverstone computer cases, I've never tested one of the company's CPU coolers -- surprising considering how many models it offers. That's about to change as Silverstone sent us three of its best air coolers to test: the Heligon HE02, Argon AR01 and AR03.
Silverstone Heligon HE02
The Heligon HE02 is without question the largest heatsink in our shootout and quite possibly the biggest heatsink we've ever seen. It's so massive that it can safely cool high-end CPUs such as the Core i7-4960X without a fan directly attached. Using only chassis fans, it can handle chips with a TDP of up to 130W, though you can also mount a pair of 120mm fans if additional cooling power is desired over silence.
If you happen to attach a fan or two, the setup should still be relatively quiet thanks to extra wide gaps between the aluminum fins, which lets air through easier and results in less noise. Meanwhile, the double cross (++) shape increases the heatsink's surface area and even helps with installation.
The indented corners of the heatsink provide access to the motherboard's screw holes and the middle indentations expose the bracket holding the cooler to the board. The entire cooler is asymmetrically designed so it can be installed optimally on many different motherboards and chassis.
The HE02 doesn't deviate too greatly from the other designs we've seen, utilizing a similar copper base, half a dozen 6mm heatpipes and a bunch of fins to draw heat away from the CPU. On its own, the heatsink measures 160H x 170W x 130D mm and weighs 990g, which isn't overly heavy given its size. Along with expecting it to weigh more, we thought the HE02 would be pricier than $75, but it's worth noting that this price doesn't include a fan, which is presumably how Silverstone kept costs down.
Silverstone Argon AR01
In stark contrast to the mammoth HE02, Silverstone's Argon AR01 is relatively small and is best suited for use with LGA115x processors, which have less surface area than LGA2011 chips.
The heatsink measures 159H x 120W x 50D mm and weighs 420g, making it a lightweight when compared to almost every cooler we have seen so far, though its trio of extra thick 8mm copper heatpipes look plenty competent.
The package comes with a 120mm PWM sleeve bearing fan that spins at 1000 to 2200 RPM and pushes 37.2 to 81.4 CFM of air while producing 16.4 to 33.5dBA of noise.
The AR01's compact body makes it ideal for MicroATX systems, while its universal design means that it can be used with both AMD and Intel hardware. Better yet, priced at only $35 for a complete HSF assembly, the AR01 is the most affordable cooler in this article.
Silverstone Argon AR03
As its name somewhat suggests, the AR03 is essentially a bigger version of the AR01 with six 6mm heatpipes and a wider base, making it more suitable for LGA2011 users. The heatsink itself is much larger at 159H x 140W x 50D mm and weighs over 30% more at 560g.
The extra width could have let Silverstone use 140mm fan but for some reason the company stuck with a 120mm model. We were a little bummed about this, but for whatever it's worth, the 120mm fan's specs are pretty impressive so maybe there was simply no need to increase the size.
With their size and price difference (the AR03 being nearly 40% more expensive at $50), it'll be interesting to see how the larger unit stacks up against the AR01 when tasked with cooling the Core i7-4960X.