Thermalright Silver Arrow Dual 14cm Fan Cooler

Cooling
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MP3 SOUND RECORDINGS

These recordings were made with a high resolution, lab quality, digital recording system inside SPCR's own 11 dBA ambient anechoic chamber, then converted to LAME 128kbps encoded MP3s. We've listened long and hard to ensure there is no audible degradation from the original WAV files to these MP3s. They represent a quick snapshot of what we heard during the review.

These recordings are intended to give you an idea of how the product sounds in actual use — one meter is a reasonable typical distance between a computer or computer component and your ear. The recording contains stretches of ambient noise that you can use to judge the relative loudness of the subject. Be aware that very quiet subjects may not be audible — if we couldn't hear it from one meter, chances are we couldn't record it either!

The recording starts with 5~10 second segments of room ambiance, then the fan at various levels. For the most realistic results, set the volume so that the starting ambient level is just barely audible, then don't change the volume setting again.

FINAL THOUGHTS

The Silver Arrow is another in a long line of successful heatsinks from Thermalright. Taking a slightly different approach than the Noctua NH-D14 by using narrower, more densely packed fins and thicker but fewer heatpipes, the end result is more or less comparable. Both the D14 and Silver Arrow provide only a slight improvement over single-fan heatsinks, at least with a Core i7 at stock settings. But if you're looking to cool a heavily overclocked processor, undoubtedly the extra surface area provided by these titans will come in handy. The recent change in Thermalright's Intel mounting hardware also brings it up to par in ease and security with Noctua's installation system.

The TY-140 fans that ship with the Silver Arrow perform well compared to the NH-P14's that ship with Noctua's various heatsinks. At similar measured noise levels, the Thermalright fans consistently delivered better temperatures, especially when we tested the Silver Arrow with just a single undervolted fan. The bad news is that they don't sound as good, generating a low frequency hum that is absent in the NH-P14's. The good news is at lower fan speeds, you probably won't be able to hear the difference, especially if it's mounted in a case. Also, NH-P14's have a high starting voltage (6.4V vs. 4.9V) and lack PWM, so running them at low speeds requires a dynamic fan control system to ensure they actually start spinning when the PC is turned on. This can be problematic as some motherboards don't offer more than one fan header with voltage control.

With a street price of US$70, the Silver Arrow is on par with the NH-D14 in cost. For many, the choice may simply come down to availability and price, but if you're looking for a top-notch CPU heatsink and money is not a concern, you can't go wrong with either.

Recommended by SPCR
The Thermalright Silver Arrow is Recommended by SPCR.

Our thanks to Thermalright for the Silver Arrow heatsink sample.

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Articles of Related Interest

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Thermalright Shaman 140mm Fan GPU Cooler
Thermalright Ultra-120 eXtreme Rev.C & AC Freezer Xtreme Rev.2
Scythe Ninja 3 & Scythe Yasya CPU Heatsinks
Gelid Slim Silence & Prolimatech Samuel 17 Low Profile CPU Coolers
SPCR's 2010 CPU Heatsink Test Platform [Updates: 10 April & 31 May]

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