Conclusion

When we started our adventure, we wanted to push air coolers to their limits and our test bench for AIO coolers with Intel 10980XE (18 cores clocked to 4.7GHz) was just too much for our air coolers. So, when testing the SilverStone AR01-V3 we went back to the drawing board and instead set up a new air cooler test platform that sports an AMD Ryzen 7 2700X instead. Now, with this more appropriate platform, we can push our air coolers to their limits without burning down the house. Let’s recap the performance below and see how the AR01-V3 stood up!

Summary of Temperatures

The SilverStone AR01-V3 was able to operate at its quietest configuration and maintain a temperature of 83.5 degrees Celsius with our test bench running at stock clocks. As we increased the overclock, we had to increase fan speed to prevent the PC from crashing. Ultimately, we were only marginally able to keep our AMD Ryzen 7 2700X in check at 4.1GHz at the Max fan setting. Beyond that, the AR01-V3 could not keep the system stable.

Summary of Sound Levels

At its slowest and quietest settings, the SilverStone AR01-V3 easily blended in with the ambient room sound levels and we could not hear a thing. This was true even at 1000 RPM. Moving up to 1500 RPM it became a bit more audible, but not obnoxious. At its maximum fan speed, it made a defined contribution to our testing environment while doing its job.

Final Points

We first adjusted our cooling testing methodology to test the claim of the Enermax LIQTECH II 360 since it said it could dissipate 500W+ of heat; a bold claim for sure. Afterward, we thought for a moment and realized why not make this our threshold for testing all of our cooling solutions?

Then, we tried it on an air cooler and it became obvious it was back to the drawing board. So, today, we have developed a specific testbed for air coolers based on an AMD Ryzen 7 2700X at base clocks and overclocked. With this chip, we have a good standard that is going to let us have as close to an apples to apples comparison as we were going to be able to get. Keep in mind that our testbed, at its stock clocks, generates about an average amount of heat compared to other today’s desktop-class processors as this chip has a claimed 105W TDP. So, your experience with each of these coolers will be fairly close to ours you see here.

So, here we are today with our first entrant; the SilverStone AR01-V3. This is not the beefiest cooler on the market so our expectations are equally on the diet side of things. That said, after putting it through our gauntlet, we see that it compared well against the Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO and did so while producing less noise.

Where this unit does shine is in its pleasant noise profile throughout testing. This unit is best thought of as a quiet option rather than a performance option. If you approach it from that regard, you may well find a place for the SilverStone AR01-V3 in your system.

As a bonus, it is available for $43.38 in e-tail. So, if you are in the market for a 120mm cooled HSF that will quietly handle stock clocks along with some mild overclocking, and sound still matters to you, the SilverStone AR01-V3 is a decent option.

Discussion

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David Schroth

David is a computer hardware enthusiast that has been tinkering with computer hardware for the past 25 years.

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10 Comments

  1. *edit* I’m glad you have the 212 reference point in there- super helpful~!

    I had originally posted not having seen Page 3. Will be nice as more coolers get filled in on that chart. Should get a Wraith and a few other pretty standard coolers in there (even if you don’t do full review writeups)

    Installation notes are nice, as that varies a lot between coolers. Some are a total PITA, others are pretty easy, this one looked on the easier side!

  2. [QUOTE=”Brian_B, post: 21448, member: 96″]
    Installation notes are nice, as that varies a lot between coolers. Some are a total PITA, others are pretty easy, this one looked on the easier side!
    [/QUOTE]

    I agree. Looks to be a fairly easy install.

  3. [QUOTE=”Brian_B, post: 21448, member: 96″]
    *edit* I’m glad you have the 212 reference point in there- super helpful~!

    I had originally posted not having seen Page 3. Will be nice as more coolers get filled in on that chart. Should get a Wraith and a few other pretty standard coolers in there (even if you don’t do full review writeups)

    Installation notes are nice, as that varies a lot between coolers. Some are a total PITA, others are pretty easy, this one looked on the easier side!
    [/QUOTE]

    I spent so much time getting the test platform figured out for holding clock and power levels steady that I was ready to get it out the door. Just like with the aios, the chart will grow with each successive review.

  4. Thanks [USER=1]@David_Schroth[/USER] for the review.

    As someone still on air, and relatively new 3700x(almost 1 year now) owner, I’m always keen on what’s out there. This may not be great for max OC but at around $43 it’s a good deal for someone more interested in a budget design along with silence.

  5. [QUOTE=”THUMPer, post: 21503, member: 111″]
    Cute little guy. But I think the price is too high.
    [/QUOTE]

    Yeah, it should be around the $30 mark. Kind of like the original Hyper 212 was.

  6. Nice cooler. But these days… I think AIO’s are finally gaining market segment share among enthusiasts. BUT… young tech nerds with tighter budget need options too and that is exactly what this gives! I approve!!

  7. [QUOTE=”stinger608, post: 21504, member: 1259″]
    Yeah, it should be around the $30 mark. Kind of like the original Hyper 212 was.
    [/QUOTE]

    I paid $50 for a Hyper 212 Plus back in 2012 and $35 for the Hyper 212 EVO (seems to be the going price today) earlier this year for the comparison to the AR01. To me, the AR01 is on the same level of performance to the EVO, but you pay extra for that performance at a lower noise level. I didn’t need the decibel meter to tell me that the AR01 was quieter when the fans were running at full speed – the choice becomes whether that’s worth the extra $8 when picking between the two.

  8. [QUOTE=”David_Schroth, post: 21559, member: 1″]
    I didn’t need the decibel meter to tell me that the AR01 was quieter when the fans were running at full speed – the choice becomes whether that’s worth the extra $8 when picking between the two.
    [/QUOTE]
    The Hyper 212 was the ‘done’ choice back when a four core CPU was top-end; now that we can shove high-clocked, high core-count CPUs in the same form factor, a bit of refinement is definitely appreciated!

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