SilverStone Tundra TD03 Liquid CPU Cooler

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SilverStone Tundra TD03 Liquid CPU Cooler

September 3, 2013 by Lawrence Lee

SilverStone Tundra TD03
Liquid CPU Cooler
Street Price

Silverstone, known mainly for their cases, recently impressed us with the Argon AR01 and AR03 heatsinks, which utilized direct-touch heatpipe technology. The AR03 was particularly noteworthy given its performance relative to price and size. The Argon line can be most succinctly described as "efficient". SilverStone's latest push into CPU cooling takes an entirely different approach. The Tundra series is comprised of a pair of premium all-in-one liquid coolers, the dual radiator TD02, and the more modest single radiator TD03 which we're looking at today.

The products of this genre offer an easy introduction to water cooling for those unwilling to put the time, energy, and money, into setting up a "proper" cooling loop, typically a mix of compatible components similar to how a custom PC is assembled. A structure containing a water block and a pump is mounted to the CPU. Heat is transferred to the coolant inside and pumped through one tube to a radiator installed on a 120 mm fan placement. The heat is then spread through the radiator via a series of pipes and coils/fins, and the heated transferred into the air, which is then exhausted out of the case by a fan. The now cooled liquid flows through the second hose back to the water block, completing the cycle. It's similar to the way a heatsink with heatpipes works, but spread out over a larger area with a pump actively creating flow rather than relying on conduction.

While it sounds great in theory, the self-contained water CPU cooler units we've tested have been disappointing. Compared to a typical air-cooled heatsink, they are louder because the pump is as an additional noise source, and the included fans are usually high speed models. Performance is usually average at best, installation is often more difficult or tedious, and the cost ranges from high to extravagant. Most models are based on designs by or manufactured directly by the same company, Asetek. These Asetek coolers/clones have an almost uniform style/appearance. The Tundra breaks the mold, having several distinct design aspects that might give it an edge over the masses.

The box.

The Tundra TD03.

Rather than using thin, tightly spaced coils, the bulk of the radiator's cooling surface is composed of heatsink-like fins. While this makes the heat dissipation area smaller, the impedance to airflow appears reduced, making it easier for a fan to blow through. The base is thicker and better built with a full metal body encapsulating the pump. Mounting arms are incorporated into the structure, sitting above the water block so a tighter, more secure mounting system can be employed.

Package contents.

Package contents.

Opening the box reveals a tray similar to a paper egg carton, with compartments for the various components. Included in the package is the cooler itself, a pair of 120 mm fans, a dual fan cable, the necessary mounting hardware, and a brief installation guide.

SilverStone Tundra TD03: Specifications
(from the product web page)
Model No. SST-TD03
Water block Dimension 60mm (L) x 55mm (W) x 33.5mm (H)
Material Copper base with nickel-plated aluminum unibody
Pump Motor speed 2500±200RPM
Rated Voltage 12V
Rated Current 0.28A
Fan Dimension 120mm (L) x 120mm (W) x 25mm (D)
Speed 1500~2500RPM
Noise level 16~33.5dBA
Rated Voltage 12V
Rated Current 0.3A
Max airflow 92.5CFM
Pressure 3.5mm/H2O
Connector 4 Pin PWM
Radiator Dimension 159mm (L) x 124mm (W) x 45mm (H)
Material Aluminum
Tube Length 310mm
Material FEP
Application Intel Socket LGA775/115X/1366/2011
AMD Socket AM2/AM3/FM1/FM2
Net Weight 1063g

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