SilverStone HE01 CPU Cooler Review
By Rafael Coelho on August 30, 2012
Let’s test the SilverStone HE01 CPU cooler, which has two tower heatsinks, six heatpipes, and one 140 mm fan. Check it out!
The HE01 comes in a brown cardboard box, as shown in Figure 1.
Figure 2 shows the contents of the box: the cooler heatsink, fan, a small syringe of thermal compound, manual, and installation hardware. The cooler comes with only one fan, but there are wire holders for up to three 140 mm fans.
Figure 3 displays the heatsink of the SilverStone HE01.
This cooler is discussed in detail in the following pages.
Figure 4 illustrates the front of the cooler. The six heatpipes are distributed side-by-side in the heatsink.
Figure 5 reveals the side of the cooler, which makes clear that there are two independent heatsinks. The heatsinks aren’t identical, however.
Figure 6 shows the rear side of the heatsink.
In Figure 7, you can see the top of the cooler. Here you can see the shape of the fins on each tower as well as the tips of the heatpipes.
The bottom of the cooler is visible in Figure 8. You can also see that the six 6 mm heatpipes pass through the base of the cooler with no gap between them.
Figure 9 illustrates the base of the cooler. It is a nickel-plated copper plate with no mirror-like finishing.
Figure 10 shows the 140 mm PWM fan that comes with the cooler. There are three remarkable details about this fan. First, it is 1.5 inches (38 mm) thick, while almost all 120 mm and 140 mm fans found on CPU coolers are 1.0 inches (25 mm) thick. Second, it has a dongle where you can connect a second fan without using a motherboard connector. The third detail is the presence of a small switch, where you can select between quiet (Q) or performance (P) mode, where the maximum speed is 1,200 rpm or 2,000 rpm, respectively. We did our performance tests on both settings.
Figure 11 reveals the HE01 with the fan installed.
Figure 12 shows the backplate with the installation screws for installing the HE01 on Intel sockets 775, 1155, 1156, and 1366 CPUs. AMD and socket LGA2011 systems use the stock backplate.
Figure 13 shows the pair of holders for sockets 775, 1155, 1156, and 1366 installed on our motherboard.
The next step is to put the cooler in place and hold it there using the two screws on the transversal bar over the base of the cooler.
The last step is to install the fan. As you can see in Figure 15, the big deal about this cooler is that it doesn’t go over the memory sockets, so you can use memory modules with any kind of heatsink. This is a great plus for such a big cooler, since most of its competitors interfere with tall memory modules.
We tested the cooler with a Core i5-2500K CPU (quad-core, 3.3 GHz), which is a socket LGA1155 processor with a 95 W TDP (Thermal Design Power). In order to get higher thermal dissipation, we overclocked it to 4.0 GHz (100 MHz base clock and x40 multiplier), with 1.3 V core voltage (Vcore). This CPU was able to reach 4.8 GHz with its default core voltage, but at this setting, the processor enters thermal throttling when using mainstream coolers, reducing the clock and thus the thermal dissipation. This could interfere with the temperature readings, so we chose to maintain a moderate overclocking.
We measured noise and temperature with the CPU under full load. In order to get 100% CPU usage in all cores, we ran Prime 95 25.11 with the “In-place Large FFTs” option. (In this version, the software uses all available threads.)
We compared the tested cooler to other coolers we already tested, and to the stock cooler that comes with the Core i5-2500K CPU. Note that the results cannot be compared to measures taken on a different hardware configuration, so we retested some “old” coolers with this new methodology. This means you can find different values in older reviews than the values you will read on the next page. Every cooler was tested with the thermal compound that comes with it.
Room temperature measurements were taken with a digital thermometer. The core temperature was read with the SpeedFan program (available from the CPU thermal sensors), using an arithmetic average of the core temperature readings.
During the tests, the panels of the computer case were closed. The front and rear case fans were spinning at minimum speed in order to simulate the “normal” cooler use on a well-ventilated case. We assume that is the common setup used by a cooling enthusiast or overclocker.
The sound pressure level (SPL) was measured with a digital noise meter, with its sensor placed near the top opening of the case. This measurement is only for comparison purposes, because a precise SPL measurement needs to be made inside an acoustically insulated room with no other noise sources, which is not the case here.
Operating System Configuration
We adopted a 2°C error margin, meaning temperature differences below 2°C are considered irrelevant.
The table below presents the results of our measurements. We repeated the same test on all coolers listed below. Each measurement was taken with the CPU at full load. In the models with a fan supporting PWM, the motherboard controlled the fan speed according to core load and temperature. On coolers with an integrated fan controller, the fan was set at the full speed.
|Cooler||Room Temp.||Noise||Speed||Core Temp.||Temp. Diff.|
|Cooler Master Hyper TX3||18 °C||50 dBA||2850 rpm||69 °C||51 °C|
|Corsair A70||23 °C||51 dBA||2000 rpm||66 °C||43 °C|
|Corsair H100||26 °C||62 dBA||2000 rpm||64 °C||38 °C|
|EVGA Superclock||26 °C||57 dBA||2550 rpm||67 °C||41 °C|
|NZXT HAVIK 140||20 °C||46 dBA||1250 rpm||65 °C||45 °C|
|Thermalright True Spirit 120||26 °C||42 dBA||1500 rpm||82 °C||56 °C|
|Zalman CNPS12X||26 °C||43 dBA||1200 rpm||71 °C||45 °C|
|Zalman CNPS9900 Max||20 °C||51 dBA||1700 rpm||62 °C||42 °C|
|Titan Fenrir Siberia Edition||22 °C||50 dBA||2400 rpm||65 °C||43 °C|
|SilenX EFZ-120HA5||18 °C||44 dBA||1500 rpm||70 °C||52 °C|
|Noctua NH-L12||20 °C||44 dBA||1450 rpm||70 °C||50 °C|
|Zalman CNPS8900 Extreme||21 °C||53 dBA||2550 rpm||71 °C||50 °C|
|Gamer Storm Assassin||15 °C||48 dBA||1450 rpm||58 °C||43 °C|
|Deepcool Gammaxx 400||15 °C||44 dBA||1500 rpm||60 °C||45 °C|
|Cooler Master TPC 812||23 °C||51 dBA||2350 rpm||66 °C||43 °C|
|Deepcool Gammaxx 300||18 °C||43 dBA||1650 rpm||74 °C||56 °C|
|Intel stock cooler||18 °C||41 dBA||2000 rpm||97 °C||79 °C|
|Xigmatek Praeton||19 °C||52 dBA||2900 rpm||83 °C||64 °C|
|Noctua NH-U12P SE2||18 °C||42 dBA||1300 rpm||69 °C||51 °C|
|Deepcool Frostwin||24 °C||46 dBA||1650 rpm||78 °C||54 °C|
|Thermaltake Frio Advanced||13 °C||56 dBA||2000 rpm||62 °C||49 °C|
|Xigmatek Dark Knight Night Hawk Edition||9 °C||48 dBA||2100 rpm||53 °C||44 °C|
|Thermaltake Frio Extreme||21 °C||53 dBA||1750 rpm||59 °C||38 °C|
|Noctua NH-U9B SE2||12 °C||44 dBA||1700 rpm||64 °C||52 °C|
|Thermaltake WATER2.0 Pro||15 °C||54 dBA||2000 rpm||52 °C||37 °C|
|Deepcool Fiend Shark||18 °C||45 dBA||1500 rpm||74 °C||56 °C|
|Arctic Freezer i30||13 °C||42 dBA||1350 rpm||63 °C||50 °C|
|Spire TME III||8 °C||46 dBA||1700 rpm||70 °C||62 °C|
|Thermaltake WATER2.0 Performer||11 °C||54 dBA||2000 rpm||49 °C||38 °C|
|Arctic Alpine 11 PLUS||11 °C||45 dBA||2000 rpm||82 °C||71 °C|
|be quiet! Dark Rock 2||10 °C||41 dBA||1300 rpm||58 °C||48 °C|
|Phanteks PH-TC14CS||16 °C||47 dBA||1300 rpm||58 °C||42 °C|
|Phanteks PH-TC14PE||16 °C||48 dBA||1300 rpm||57 °C||41 °C|
|SilverStone HE01 (Q)||19 °C||44 dBA||1150 rpm||63 °C||44 °C|
|SilverStone HE01 (P)||20 °C||57 dBA||2050 rpm||62 °C||42 °C|
In the graph below, you can see how many degrees Celsius hotter the CPU core is than the air outside the case. The lower this difference, the better is the performance of the cooler.
In the graph below, you can see how many decibels of noise each cooler makes.
The main specifications for the SilverStone HE01 CPU cooler include:
* Researched at Newegg.com on the day we published this review.
The SilverStone HE01 CPU cooler is not a common “big cooler,” having a great performance and some pluses over its competitors.
First, its heatsink design, added to the fact that it comes with only one fan, frees the “airspace” over the memory sockets, which makes it compatible with virtually any memory module.
It is also versatile with its switchable fan. You can use it on the quiet mode, with great cooling performance and low noise, or you can sacrifice the silence to squeeze a couple of degrees. You can also use it with one, two, or three fans, which is a lot of flexibility.
Being a well-made, easy-to-install, flexible, and powerful CPU cooler, the SilverStone HE01 receives the Hardware Secrets Golden Award.