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For the most part, everything we like about the SilverStone
Argon AR01 and AR03 applies to the smaller AR02. For its height, its
cooling capabilities are impressive, top notch for a 92 mm fan heatsink. Once
again, the Argon mounting system is incredibly secure, applying a great deal
of pressure on the CPU heatspreader, something most direct-touch models lack,
to their detriment. The only fault is its fan, which has a harsher sound than
its 120 mm contemporary, and the heatpipes, which would probably work better
if positioned more tightly together in the base.
However, if size isn't a concern, the AR02 is outclassed by a number of larger
120 mm fan models. One of its big brothers, the AR01, is a substantially better
performer, but it is bigger and sells for $7 (25%) more. At the other end of
the spectrum, the AR02 is at a disadvantage to the Noctua
NH-L12, the Scythe
Shuriken 2, and the like, as they offer better compatibility with smaller
The AR02 is not a monster high-end heatsink nor is it a tiny low profile stock
cooler replacement it falls somewhere in the middle. It's a compromise
cooling solution, an in-betweener built to work within a certain set of limitations
that apply to smaller cases on the market. It is well-suited for its purpose
and well priced.
Our thanks to SilverStone for the Argon AR02 CPU cooler sample.
SilverStone Argon AR02 is Recommended by SPCR
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SPCR Articles of Related Interest:
NoFan CR-95C Copper Fanless CPU Cooler
SilverStone Argon AR01 & AR03 CPU Coolers
Noctua NH-U12S Slim Tower Heatsink
Cooler Master Seidon 240M: Dual Fan Liquid CPU Cooler
Phanteks PH-TC12DX CPU Cooler
Phanteks PH-TC90LS Mini Cooler
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this article in the SPCR forums.
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