SilverStone Tundra TD02-E CPU Cooler Review
Over the last few months, we’ve taken a look at several All-In-One (AIO) liquid CPU coolers here at pcG. Ranging from the monster NZXT Kraken X61 with its 280mm radiator, to the very capable and expandable 240mm radiator based Raijintek Triton and Fractal Design Kelvin T12. We’ve even had a look at the smaller and more universally compatible SilverStone TD03-E with its 120mm radiator, which proved to have possibly the highest build quality of them all, good value and looked fantastic too. Sadly when it came down to that all important area of thermal performance, it certainly didn’t perform quite as well as we’d hoped and currently sits at the bottom of our Liquid CPU Coolers within the thermal charts (this isn’t to say it is bad at all, just the competition in the AIO market is pretty stiff these days). So perhaps the order of the day is to build upon what SilverStone have already produced and increase its thermal performance by adding a larger 240mm radiator? In-step the SilverStone Tundra TD02-E is essentially an identical AIO liquid CPU cooler, which is certainly no bad thing as the all metal construction of the Tundra pump housing with its patented screw-less copper base design, single piece nickel-coated unibody made from a single aluminium block, its piano black plastic cap and blue LED illuminated SilverStone logo certainly looked the part. Whilst its premium soldered heatsink fin array with its carbon fibre (like) side shrouds and black rubber tubing looked great too. In fact if I’m being entirely honest, the SilverStone Tundra’s are probably the best looking of all the AIO CPU Coolers on the market.
Can the bigger 240mm make all the difference then? Let’s find out…
The SilverStone Tundra TD02-E arrived at pcG within a slightly larger box than that of the TD03-E, but following the same refreshing white and blue styling. Just like the box of its smaller sibling, in the top left we have the SilverStone brand and logo, underneath which we find the company moto; ‘Designing Inspiration’. In the top right we are told that this AIO is part of the ‘Tundra Series’, given the model name and given the description; ‘Durable high performance all-in-one Liquid Cooler’. We are then treated to a rather nice looking image of the Tundra TD02-E itself placed centrally, then within a blue band at the foot of the box the product QR code and the following key features:
- Easy installation with aluminium clips and steel back-plate
- Maintenance free. No refill required
- Dual auto adjustable 120mm PWM fans included
- Durable alloy water-block for improved reliability
- Patented radiator design increase cooling efficiency by 40%
Turning over the box we are presented with the very same and almost calming blue wave effect background image. Atop of which we have the same key features in an additional nine languages and regional QR codes, above which is displayed the SilverStone web and support site address.
On the very top of the box we are given a full specifications list for the Tundra TD02-E (see Specifications/Features below), alongside the very same image as featured on the front of the box, just a whole lot smaller.
Both the left and the right of the box are identical, we don’t find any new or interesting information that we haven’t already seen on any of the other box fascias, but it makes for quite a pleasant image all the same.
Beneath the box we are given three ‘Feature Photos’ showing off the three unique features of the SilverStone Tundra Liquid CPU Cooler series. These are as follows:
- Fans – Aerodynamic design for quieter operation
- Radiator – Patented brazing fins radiator
- Pump – Durable alloy water-block
Just like the majority of other AIO CPU Coolers we’ve seen of late at pcG, the SilverStone Tundra TD02-E features a flips style box. Within which we find the ever so familiar site of a brown egg-box styled cardboard tray. Safely wedged within this and individually bagged we find the all of the components that comprise the Tundra TD02-E.
With the AIO removed from the safe confines of its box, we find the Tundra TD02-E to follow the same fantastic aesthetics as its sibling the Tundra TD03-E, only bigger.
courtesy of SilverStone
|Water block||Dimension||60mm (L) x 55mm (W) x 33.5mm (H)|
|Material||Copper base with nickel-plated aluminium unibody|
|Fan||Dimension||120mm (L) x 120mm (W) x 25mm (D)|
|Noise level||18~35 dBA|
|Connector||4 Pin PWM|
|Radiator||Dimension||278mm (L) x 124mm (W) x 27mm (H)|
|Application||Intel Socket LGA775/1150/1155/1156/1366/2011/2011-v3
AMD Socket AM2/AM3/FM1/FM2
Admittedly when it comes down to PC hardware I can be a little on the shallow side and aesthetics are usually at the top of my list when looking at new components. An area where the SilverStone TD02-E certainly doesn’t disappoint. As we can see from above, the TD02-E features the very same soldered radiator fin array as that on the Tundra TD03-E, something that is entirely exclusive to the SilverStone line-up. Why is this such a good thing? Well not only does it look good with a very even coating of paint, but the fin array itself is so damn solid that it’ll take a lot to damage, something anyone with an aluminium ribbon styled radiator will surely appreciate, especially if they tend to pull their Gaming Rig apart on a semi-regular basis.
Looking at the radiator ends we find very little to get excited about (why would we?!). The tubing end features one input and one output as we’d expect, what is nice though is the quality of the rubber tubing used on the TD02-E. They are both a little stiff, but this of course helps to prevent potential kinks when installing the closed loop CPU Cooler. The all black 310mm (L) tubing certainly feels durable and built to last though and just like the radiator fin array, seems like it’ll take a lot of work to damage.
Looking at the slightly angled side image and by breaking the tape measure out, shows us the 240mm radiator measures 278mm(L) x 124mm(W) x 27mm(H). Which is also a little odd. Why? Well this also means the 27mm radiator thickness is also the same as the smaller 120mm radiator as featured on the Tundra TD03-E, where as many 120mm and 140mm radiators I’ve looked at over the years, tend to be thicker than their bigger siblings. Not that this is any kind of issue at all. We also find the TD02-E shares the same plastic shroud as its smaller sibling, which is something I really liked, sadly this is now broken up into four pieces (two either side) and despite looking good, I personally think it does detract from the aesthetics somewhat.
The SilverStone Tundra TD02-E rather unsurprisingly shares the same pump assembly as that of the Tundra TD03-E, which is certainly a good thing. We have the same housing made from a single block of aluminium with its highly polished nickel plating and the same piano black plastic top with the blue LED illuminated SilverStone logo in the centre. Seeing it the second time round certainly hasn’t changed my opinion of the SilverStone Tundra series offering what I personally believe to be the best looking AIO pump by some margin. Yep, it really looks that good and even features an incredibly solid and high build quality to match.
Just like many other AIO cooler pump assemblies, the Tundra TD02-E typically features two fittings to allow connection for the input and output tubing. These are both rotatable right angled fittings that are fixed to the pump and tubing as unlike the recently reviewed Raijintek Triton or Fractal Design Kelvin T12 and S24, the Tundra TD02-E is a fully closed loop and Not expandable.
Beneath the Tundra TD02-E pump assembly we find another exclusive feature to that of the SilverStone Tundra series. A fully soldered copper coldplate. This may have the throw away feature of being more pleasing on the eye, but more importantly it also means the coldplate is more durable than that of the competition and a lot less likely to leak in the long term. Having a single piece of copper without any screw heads also poses another benefit, being a larger surface area to help transfer heat from your chosen CPU. Anyone with a larger CPU such as the Intel LGA 2011/3 series might even gain a bigger benefit from this.
Again I feel the need to draw your attention to the Tundra E radiator shrouds. These tough clear plastic shrouds not only give the TD02-E and its 240mm radiator a much needed aesthetic lift with the brick-bond styled carbon fibre-alike looks, but combined with the rubber anti-vibration fan mounts, should help to keep noise down. Not only that, but unlike the more traditional metal shrouds we find on most radiators, the plastic should be a little more forgiving when it comes down to repeat installations and less likely to cross-thread, then if the unmentionable should happen it can easily be replaced. Of course being removable, this also means that for potential hardware modders out there, the job of painting them to match your Gaming Rig will be even easier.
The SilverStone Tundra TD02-E is one impressive piece of kit overall. It offers an incredibly high build quality and stunning aesthetics that I personally believe to be unmatched by any other AIO liquid CPU Cooler on the market today. Yet as we all know, it isn’t all about the looks, so let’s get it installed in the pcG Test Rig to find out more!
|Case||Cooler Master HAF XB||Power Supply||Corsair Professional Series AX 760i|
|Motherboard||ASRock Fatal1ty Z97X Killer||CPU||Intel Core i5-4690K|
|CPU Cooler||SilverStone Tundra TD02-E||RAM||HyperX Savage 2400MHz 8GB Kit|
|Graphics Card||XFX AMD Radeon R9 290X DD Black Edition||SSD||HyperX FURY 120GB|
Just like with the TD03-E, the SilverStone Tundra TD02-E is a breeze to install. Whilst not quite as easy as those AIOs based around the Asetek CPU Coolers, you could easily install the Tundra TD02-E within ten minutes. So we start by picking out the separately bagged LGA 1150 fittings, then thread through each of the four upright bolts through the conveniently marked backplate. These are then held in place by the rubber mounts. The backplate assembly is the lined up with the ASRock Fatal1ty Z97X Killer CPU Cooler mounts and threaded through, which is then held in place by the four black plastic spacing collars.
Now the backplate is securely placed, we move on to the Tundra TD02-E pump. We first remove the protective sticker from the coldplate, add a pea sized amount of Arctic Cooling MX-4 atop of the i5-4690K, then place the pump assembly over the upright bolts and screw down each of the sprung loaded retaining nuts in opposites to help even the CPU coverage.
Just like any other AIO, there is a number of configurations we can use when installing the 240mm radiator and its fans into our Cooler Master HAF XB test case , but for this installation I chose a push configuration to allow for a little extra space on the inside of the case. both of the SilverStone 120mm PWM Fans are lined up with the front fan mounts, to which we then thread the screws through and screw them directly into the 240mm radiator to hold them in place.
Leaving just the cabling to sort. The Tundra TD02-E pump is plugged into the motherboard PWR_FAN header, then both fans into the PWM fan splitter cable, which is in turn plugged into an available motherboard header. It’s really is a nice and simple job which is aided further by the very flexible rubber tubing.
There’s no doubt about it, with the Test Rig powered on, the SilverStone Tundra TD02-E with its neon blue LED illumination certainly looks good and I still personally think this line-up of AIO from SilverStone are easily the best looking on the market.
Yet how will the Tundra TD02-E perform? Will the bigger 240mm radiator make up for what the TD03-E and its 120mm radiator was sadly lacking? Let’s find out!
|For CPU Cooler testing, we here at pcGameware run Prime95 for a 15 minute period. During this period the temperature is monitored with CoreTemp and the cooling performance recorded (the max recorded is the average for all cores). Between each stress test we allow a 15 minute cool-down to allow for more accurate results. To adjust the fan speed we simply use the UEFI. A close eye is also kept on the ambient temperature, with the maximum being recorded for each run, this allows us to calculate the Delta temperature (Core – Ambient = Delta). Each run was performed with the Intel Core i5-4690K CPU at the following frequencies: 3.5GHz (Stock) and 4.0GHz (using the ASROCK OC Tweaker, shown in the picture below), all results have been recorded with CPU-Z.|
* Please note: To ascertain the maximum and minimum noise levels produced by our CPU test coolers. The dB is recorded at a distance of 1 metre from the cooler, with all case fans unplugged to isolate the sound in question.
Processor speed is set using the OC Tweaker tab of the UEFI, “Disabled” for stock speeds (3.5GHz) and “Turbo 4.0GHz” for the minor overclock tests. It should be noted that changing the OC settings resets the Fan Speeds, so these are checked on the next reboot and reset to “Full Speed” (see below).
All the fans installed in the system are set to 100% speed using the displayed settings, this is simple with the ASROCK UEFI with the option of “Full Speed” being available for all system fans (bar the Power Fan header).
As stated above, to make our performance tests easier to follow and to get the most accurate recordings, all of the following tests have been carried out with case fan set at 100% via the UEFI, then both of the SilverStone Tundra TD02-E fans were also set at 100%.
- Intel Core i5-4690K – 3.5GHz (stock)
|CPU Cooler||Air/Liquid||Fan Speed||Ambient Temperature||Max CPU Temperature (core average)||Delta Temperature||Noise Level|
|NZXT Kraken X61||Liquid||100%||24.50||40.75||16.25||51dB|
|Fractal Design Kelvin S24||Liquid||100%||22.50||41.50||19.25||41dB|
|Deepcool Gamer Storm Maelstrom 240||Liquid||100%||24.00||43.50||19.50||50dB|
|Fractal Design Kelvin T12||Liquid||100%||25.00||46.00||21.00||40dB|
|SilverStone Tundra TD02-E||Liquid||100%||21.00||43.50||22.50||48dB|
|SilverStone Tundra TD03-E||Liquid||100%||25.50||49.25||23.75||51dB|
|Raijintek Themis Evo||Air||100%||21.50||47.50||26.00||37dB|
|Scythe Mugen Max||Air||100%||22.00||48.50||26.50||36dB|
|Prolimatech Basic 81||Air||100%||22.00||50.75||28.75||43dB|
|SilverStone Argon AR06||Air||100%||23.50||79.50||56.00||28dB|
Well that is a little disappointing. With the i5-4690K set at its stock speed of 3.5GHz, the SilverStone Tundra TD02-E performs marginally better than its little brother the Tundra TD03-E and the Corsair H105, with a maximum average CPU core temperature of 43.50C and a Delta of 22.50C. This doesn’t mean its bad of course, just a little well, average…
- Intel Core i5-4690K – 4.0GHz (OC Tweaker)
|CPU Cooler||Air/Liquid||Fan Speed||Ambient Temperature||Max CPU Temperature (core average)||Delta Temperature||Noise Level|
|NZXT Kraken X61||Liquid||100%||24.00||48.00||24.00||51dB|
|Fractal Design Kelvin S24||Liquid||100%||23.00||47.75||24.75||41dB|
|Fractal Design Kelvin T12||Liquid||100%||26.50||53.75||27.25||40dB|
|Deepcool Gamer Storm Maelstrom 240||Liquid||100%||24.00||51.25||28.00||46dB|
|SilverStone Tundra TD02-E||Liquid||100%||22.00||50.50||28.50||48dB|
|Scythe Mugen Max||Air||100%||22.00||54.75||32.75||36dB|
|SilverStone Tundra TD03-E||Liquid||100%||26.00||58.75||32.75||51dB|
|Raijintek Themis Evo||Air||100%||21.50||58.00||36.50||37dB|
|Prolimatech Basic 81||Air||100%||22.00||59.50||37.50||43dB|
|SilverStone Argon AR06||Air||100%||23.50||92.50||69.00||28dB|
With the CPU drawing a higher voltage and a small overclock of 4.0GHz, we also gain a little extra heat. The maximum average core temperature goes up to 50.50C (28.50C Delta) which is good, but sadly the its still quite some distance from the top of the table.
Compared to the smaller 120mm radiator based TD03-E, the SilverStone Tundra TD02-E is slightly quieter even though it uses the very same two 2500RPM 120mm fans. This is simply a case of the larger 240mm radiator having the two fans side by side on one side of the radiator instead of having a 120mm radiator sandwiched between them both, thus causing a little less air turbulence and noise. I have to admit though, considering both fans feature a rather high 2500RPM, they are surprisingly quiet producing 48dB of sound when set at 100%. Even still, I personally would find this a little too loud for general day-to-day use, so by reducing the fan speeds to their lowest using the UEFI, we suddenly find the SilverStone Tundra TD02-E to be near silent with just 24dB of noise produced.
When we previously looked at the SilverStone Tundra TD03-E I was very impressed by its incredibly high build quality and fantastic aesthetics, but let down by its performance. Can the bigger SilverStone Tundra TD02-E help to rectify this?
The SilverStone Tundra TD02-E arrived at pcG within a predominately white box with a calming blue wave across the middle and a large image of the AIO CPU Cooler itself. Once inside we find the TD02-E to be very well protected inside within a familiar egg-box styled cardboard tray, whilst all of the components were also individually bagged. Once removed from its packaging, the SilverStone Tundra TD02-E was revealed to have an incredibly high build quality with looks to match. The soldered fin array of the 240mm radiator and its carbon fibre (like) side shrouds looks great, then the highly polished and nickel plated all aluminium unibody of the pump housing and its glossy black plastic cap looks stunning when off, but once the power is on and the SilverStone logo lights up in neon blue it really gives the Tundra TD02-E an aesthetic edge and that certain desirability that’ll make you want one. SilverStone have done a fantastic job in making the Tundra TD02-E the best looking AIO CPU cooler on the market.
Installing the Tundra TD02-E is also very simple and a task that can easily be carried out within ten minutes. The instructions are very clear, all of the components are individually bagged and organised, while the backplate features very clear markings for each corresponding CPU socket just to make the task at hand all the more easier.
So far everything looks good for the SilverStone AIO CPU cooler. Where it all comes a little unstuck is in the area of thermal performance. With the i5-4690K set at its stock speed of 3.5GHz we recorded a maximum average CPU core temperature of 43.50C (22.50C Delta), just marginally better than the smaller TD03-E. However, with a slightly higher voltage and a small overclock of 4.0GHz we found a more respectable 50.50C (28.50C Delta) maximum average CPU core temperature. All whilst producing a non too shabby 48dB of noise.
Overall I have to admit I really like the SilverStone Tundra TD02-E. It looks stunning and has a phenomenal build quality to match, but sadly its thermal performance doesn’t quite match up. Despite this whilst priced at approximately £80.00 you are still getting a fair bit of kit for your money and I’d certainly be happy having the Tundra TD02-E inside my own Gaming Rig.
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Many thanks to SilverStone for providing this sample for review