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Silverstone AR03 CPU Air Cooler Review

Silverstone AR03 CPU Air Cooler Review

Silverstone AR03 CPU Air Cooler Review

Performance and Conclusion

The Raijintek Ereboss installed

Intel Core i7-3960X
ASRock X79 Extreme9
4x2GB Geil DDR3-2133
Radeon 7970 GHz
Corsair AX1200 PSU
Corsair Force GT SSD (OS)
Razer BlackWidow Ultimate Keyboard
Roccat Kone[+] Mouse
SteelSeries 7H Headset

For our tests we record the temperatures produced by the coolers when our system is idle and fully loaded. The load was applied by Prime 95 and temperatures are measured using Realtemp and AIDA64 to access the CPU’s various Digital Thermal Sensors.

Fan control was disabled in the motherboard BIOS and the Intel CPU is running at its stock speed/voltage to start with. Room temperature was 23°C. The test is then repeated with the CPU at 1.45v and overclocked to 5GHz.



As normal we are comparing this new cooler with the stock Intel model and a couple of competing models, in this case the new Ereboss, a larger Shadow Rock 2 as well as the more expensive Noctua U12S.

At idle we see that the readings from our coolers are all pretty much identical. The AR03 doesn’t quite drop to 28°C but that really wouldn’t offer any benefit. Where we see it start to excel is the load test and despite the smaller size of this cooler compared to the Ereboss and Shadow Rock 2. This continues when we overclock which is great to see, given the compact size, however we need to note that this Silverstone fan is a high RPM model and does generate a little more noise than the other models used in this test (at 90% RPM it has a similar noise profile with minimal thermal difference).

Looking first to the build quality of the AR03 we have a unit which uses high quality aluminium with a nice solid construction around the CPU block. We like direct contact heatpipes and the blue/white fan styling helps it stand out. Also worthy of note are the rubber fan mounts used here. They offer the easiest install of any fan we have seen recently.

Speaking of install, the AR03 is one of the easier coolers to add to our system. The process took around 10 minutes and thanks to the reasonably compact heatsink we had no issues with space around the CPU.

Performance was excellent for this class of cooler, outperforming larger units although part of this is down to the high RPM fan which can become louder than some competitors. So with an RRP of £40 the AR03 seems very well priced and it is a nice touch to see extra fan mounts added so we can enhance the cooler in the future if needed.

Recommended Award

Where to buy…
UK Store – £37.52

About Author

Stuart Davidson

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