SilverStone HE02 CPU Air Cooler Heatsink Review

SilverStone is back with its latest air cooled heatsink unit for today's desktop processors. As far as size goes, the HE02 heatsink is mammoth. Along with the huge heatsinks we often find installation and compatibility issues. SiliverStone speaks to designing the HE02 in order to ease those pains. How well does it work though?

Introduction

Imagine my surprise when a package appeared on my door from SilverStone and it was the HE02. I had just finished reviewing the HE01 and had plenty of positive things to say about it. Why was SilverStone updating the line so fast? Could this new cooler perform that much better that SilverStone needed to push it out to market so fast?

These were some of the questions I was asking myself but there was one that would be answered as soon as I opened the box.

This was not a refresh of the HE01. It is a complete redesign, a large towering cooler of aluminum. Here at [H]ardOCP we have reviewed our fair share of large coolers such as the HR-02 Macho, the HR-02 passive and my personal favorite, the Silver Arrow. Needles to say, we are familiar with the issues that arise when dealing with such mammoth sized coolers but we are also well aware of the benefits that accompany having such a large cooling area.

So without further adieu, I present the next in the line of Heligon coolers, the HE02 from SilverStone.

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Test Methods

CPU

The biggest change you will notice is the removal of hardware testing. In recent years, Intel has shifted its methods of testing to software based and so we find it acceptable to do the same.

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GPU

For the first time, we have an integrated GPU in our processor which alleviates the need for a discrete one. With the removal of a discrete GPU comes the advantage of not having an additional variable to account for.

The iGPU will not create any anomalies in our testing as long as we practice consistent testing methods.

Case

Corsair was kind enough to provide us with its Carbide series chassis. It provides excellent airflow and interior space and is a good reflection on current case design.

Thermal Paste

Noctua's NT-H1 thermal paste was selected as the paste of choice for a few key reasons. The thermal paste has been shown to provide excellent thermal conductivity allowing the heat sinks to better do its job. There is no observed curing time. That is, performance does not get any better over time. Any curing time could have introduced variables into the equation causing at best dubious results and at worst unreliable ones.

Temperatures

Ambient temperature will be kept at 25C for the duration of the tests and measured with a MicroTemp EXP non-contact infrared thermometer and cross referenced with the Sperry Digital 4 Point thermometer. Any variance greater then 0.2C will halt the testing until temperatures return within spec for fifteen minutes.

If we are dealing with water cooling we will allow extra time for each test to give the water in the loop enough time to reach equilibrium.

Idle

Idle temperatures will be recorded after a twenty-five minute period of inactivity. Any fluctuation during the last sixty seconds will reset the timer for an additional five minutes.

Load

Load temperatures will be recorded after a twenty-five minute period of 100% load. To obtain this load we will be using Prime95 v27.7 set to in-place large FFTs mode. In this way we can place a 100% load on CPU. Any fluctuation during the last sixty seconds will reset the timer for an additional five minutes.

Sound

Sound levels will be measured with a Reliability Direct AR824 sound meter from a distance of four feet. With everything turned off and the room completely silent the meter registered a sound level of 38dB(A). This is a very quiet room where a simple pin drop could be heard. All sound measurements are recorded in the very late evening to further reduce any ambient noise.