SilverStone Argon AR01 & AR03 CPU Coolers

Cooling
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STOCK FAN MEASUREMENTS

Specifications: SilverStone Argon AR01/AR03 Stock Fan
Manufacturer SilverStone Power Rating 2.76 W
Model Number AS1225H12 Airflow Rating 37.2 ~ 81.4 CFM
Bearing Type Sleeve Speed Rating 1000 ~ 2200 RPM
Frame Size 120 x 120 x 25 mm Noise Rating 16.4 ~ 33.5 dBA
Hub Size 42 mm Header Type 4-pin PWM
Blade Diameter 111 mm Starting Voltage 4.5 ~ 5.0 V
Cable Length 29 cm Weight 140 g
Corner Type Open Retail Availability No
Additional notes:

The AR01/AR03 is paired with a unique sleeve bearing PWM fan with odd teeth and ridges on the blades on the exhaust side. The high number of heavily curved blades somewhat resemble the Scythe Gentle Typhoon. Coupled with the high nominal speed, the design seems to place an emphasis on generating static pressure.

Stock Fan Measurements
Voltage
Speed
SPL@1m
12V
2140 RPM
35 dBA
9V
1730 RPM
29 dBA
7V
1380 RPM
22 dBA
6V
1190 RPM
17~18 dBA
5V
700 RPM
11 dBA
Measuring mic positioned 1m at diagonal angle from the center of the heatsink.
Ambient noise level: 10~11 dBA.

The stock fan generates an extremely loud 35 dBA@1m at full speed but on voltage control, comes down to a silent 11 dBA@1m at 5V, which is convenient, as the starting voltage is somewhere in the 4.5 ~ 5.0V range. It becomes what we consider quiet between 1300 and 1200 RPM. The fan speed and noise level drops heavily under 6V so finely tuned control in this range is difficult.


This is the screen capture of Fan Xpert 2's auto-analysis of the AR01/AR03 stock fan.

For ultra quiet operation, PWM control is really the way to go. According to ASUS' Fan Xpert 2 utility, the stock fan be run at as little as 333 RPM, which is lower than most users require.

Like most sleeve bearing models, the AR01/AR03 stock fan is whiny and turbulent at high speeds. At 7V/1380 RPM, it has a buzzy character and emits a noticeable tone at approximately 700 Hz. The tone dissipates entirely at 6V/1190 RPM but the buzzing remains. At 5V/700 RPM, it is practically inaudible at one meter; up close, the fan hums but it's fairly gentle and not unpleasant.

TEST RESULTS

Test Results: SilverStone Argon AR01/AR03
Fan Voltage
Fan Speed
SPL@1m
Thermal Rise
AR01
AR03
Stock Fan
12V
2140 RPM
35 dBA
38°C
37°C
9V
1730 RPM
29 dBA
40°C
39°C
7V
1380 RPM
22 dBA
42°C
41°C
6V
1190 RPM
17~18 dBA
44°C
43°C
5V
700 RPM
11 dBA
50°C
48°C
Reference Nexus 120 mm Fan
12V
1080 RPM
16~17 dBA
41°C
38°C
9V
890 RPM
12~13 dBA
43°C
41°C
7V
720 RPM
11 dBA
46°C
45°C
Measuring mic positioned 1m at diagonal angle from the center of the heatsink.
Ambient noise level: 10~11 dBA.

The Argon AR01 and AR03 turned out to be excellent performers, generating thermal rises above ambient in the area of 40°C between 6V and 12V. Despite the size disparity, at most of the test points, the AR03 only had a 1°C advantage. The difference was greater with our reference Nexus 120 mm fan but the gap narrowed as the fan speed was reduced. The Nexus fan was definitely superior, beating the stock fan by 4°C on the AR01 and by 3°C on the AR03 at the ultra low 11 dBA@1m level.



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