SilverStone Argon AR06 CPU Cooler Review
SilverStone are a company generally associated with quality cases like the Temjin, Raven and Fortress series, which all have innovative design, high build quality and stylish design in common. What is often overlooked is that they also produce a quality range of power supplies, some very good fans and both AIO (All In One) and air coolers. The latter of which is what I’m looking at today. We suddenly found ourselves in need of something that would fit in the incredibly compact SilverStone Raven RVZ01 (we’ll have a review up soon for this awesome little case 😉 ), luckily for us SilverStone also sent out an SFX SX600-G 600W PSU and a SilverStone Argon AR06 CPU Cooler (cheers guys!).
What is the Argon AR06 though and what makes it so special? We best take a closer look!
|‘The Argon series coolers are designed to provide the best cooling solutions for your CPU. The Argon AR06, at 58mm high including fan, features four 6mm thick copper heat pipes connect to the base using heat-pipe direct contact (HDC) technology. A highly efficient 92mm PWM fan tuned for optimal balance of airflow and noise is included to provide up to 95W of cooling power (or more in case with efficient airflow). For users requiring enhanced performance in space constrained applications, the high quality and affordable AR06 is a great choice. ‘|
On the front of a rather cool looking and predominately bright blue cardboard box is picture of the AR06 Cooler itself, above which we have the SilverStone logo, the model name with the description ‘Advanced low-profile heatsink with Heat-pipe direct (HDC) technology’, the SilverStone web address, then a list of the key features:
- Designed for low profile system at 58mm tall
- Four Ø6mm heat-pipes and aluminum fins for excellent heat conducting efficiency
- Heat-pipe direct contact (HDC) technology
- Includes compact 92mm PWM fan for excellent cooling and low noise
- For use with CPUs up to 95W or more*
- Intel Socket LGA1155/1156/1150 and AMD Socket AM2/AM3/FM1/FM2 compatible
On the back of the box we find the same key features but in nine other languages, the SilverStone support email address and the Argon AR06 part number.
Lifting the lid of the box shows us the Argon AR06 is very well protected inside, using a cardboard bumper and two pieces of soft foam. The box is rather on the small side, which is apt given the tiny low-profile cooler inside, but SilverStone have managed to utilize the space well and compartmentalized all of its contents.
- SilverStone Argon AR06 CPU Cooler
- SilverStone 92mm PWM Low Profile Low Noise Fan
- Fittings Kit (for both Intel and AMD processors)
- Thermal Grease
- Installation Wrench
courtesy of SilverStone
|Copper heat pipes with aluminum fins|
|Intel Socket LGA1155/1156/1150
AMD Socket AM2/AM3/FM1/FM2
Heat Pipe Type
|Ø6mm heat-pipe x 4|
|92mm x 92mm x 15mm fan|
|105mm (W) x 92mm (D) x 58mm (H) (with fan)|
|20 ~ 28.3dBA|
|263g (without fan)|
Voltage Rating (V)
Start Voltage (V)
Air Flow (CFM)
|1200 ~ 2500RPM PWM|
Life Expectance (hrs)
Upon removing the SilverStone Argon AR06 from its box and you’d immediately think the first thing I’d notice is its minuscule size, but it was in fact how blue the 92mm PWM fan is (wow, its really bright, but looks good though). Of course I also noticed the size, at 105mm(W) x 92mm(D) x 58mm(H) (including fan) the AR06 is a low profile/top down CPU cooler, but also the smallest CPU cooler I’ve seen.
The front view of the AR06 shows the ends of all four beautifully finished copper Ø6mm heat-pipes, the product item number and the SilverStone logo and name. The two screw heads you can see are part of the mounting bracket for the 92mm fan attached to the top.
On the back end we can see the heat-pipes curving from inside the aluminium fin stack and to the base plate below. Although there is no SilverStone logo this side, we still have the company name on the fan mounting bracket. We can also see how narrow the AR06 is at only 92mm.
From both the left and right, the Argon AR06 is identical. We can clearly see all of the 52 aluminium fins within the stack. With a total length of 105mm and a height of just 58mm, the AR06 has an incredibly small footprint and certainly lives up to its low profile description.
Directly above the AR06 and all you can see is the 92mm PWM that covers the coolers entire fin stack. The brilliant white and bright blue fan looks very striking and clean, with no logos or branding to be seen. In fact I rather like it, with the only two things that I’d have liked to have seen being white screw heads and a fan cable that is either all of the same colour or entirely braided, which is a shame as the braiding is of a very high quality. Of course that’s just me being picky. 😉
The Argon AR06 features HDC (Heat-pipe direct contact) technology, which as the name implies means once the cooler is installed, the copper heat-pipes will be in direct contact with the CPU it will be cooling (apart from the thermal paste of course).
So now we’ve given the SilverStone Argon AR06 a quick going over, we find it to be an incredibly small low profile CPU cooler, with a high build quality and aesthetically clean, whilst rather striking courtesy of the colourful 92mm fan attached. Given its tiny stature I’m certainly curious as to how it’ll perform. We best get it in the Test Rig!
|Case||Cooler Master HAF XB||Power Supply||Corsair AX760i|
|Motherboard||ASRock Fatal1ty Z97X Killer||CPU||Intel Core i5-4690K CPU|
|CPU Cooler||SilverStone Argon AR06||RAM||Kingston HyperX Savage 8GB 2400MHz|
|Graphics Card||XFX AMD Radeon R9 290X DD Black Edition||SSD||HyperX FURY 120GB SSD|
Installation of the Argon AR06 was a a nice and simple task, but due to the way it’s mounted, it is very important that you have access to the back of your motherboard either via a CPU cut-out in your case motherboard tray or by installing the CPU cooler prior to motherboard installation. The reason behind this? Well I’ll start from the beginning…
To start off the cooler assembly you must first select the appropriate mounting brackets. The Intel brackets that we used are compatible with sockets LGA775, LGA1366, LGA1150 and LGA1155, given our Intel i5-4690K and ASRock Fatal1ty Z97X Killer set up, we of course needed to use the the LGA1150 fitting which is the central hole in each mounting fitting. Once the brackets are selected we thread through the uprights and hold them in place with the four knurled nuts supplied, remove the protective film from the CPU cooler base plate and then attach the brackets to the cooler itself. Within the fittings, SilverStone supply four self adhesive rubber spacers to help protect the motherboard, each of which I then adhered to each of the four retention hex nuts. Thermal paste is then applied to the CPU, the Argon AR06 lined up to the motherboard and the uprights threaded through with each of the four retention nuts slowly screwed onto each. Care should always be taken when fitting a CPU cooler and in order to help give you a level and near 100% contact, each upright assembly should be screwed down in diagonal opposites and in small increments at a time to help prevent any tilting. Once the AR06 heatsink assembly is fitted the 92mm PWM fan is then plugged into the motherboard CPU_FAN1 header and your good to go.
So an incredibly simple installation, with the Argon AR06 being 95% pre-assembled. Not being a big or weighty cooler by any means, is the reason for the lack of need for a backplate, but also means you’ll need the access to the back of your motherboard. Due to it’s tiny footprint the Argon AR06 will also not cause any compatibility issues with any other hardware either.
Now the SilverStone Argon AR06 is installed, we best get some benchmarks in to see what this stylish little cooler can do!
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 help with fan speed accuracy we use SpeedFan whilst using the ASRock motherboard UEFI to adjust the fan speed. 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 BIOS, “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 BIOS with the option of “Full Speed” being available for all system fans (bar the Power Supply 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 fans set at 100% and the SilverStone Argon AR06 fan also set at 100%.
- Intel Core i5-4690K – 3.5GHz (stock)
|CPU Cooler||Fan Speed||Ambient Temperature||Max CPU Temperature (core average)||Delta Temperature||Noise Level|
|Scythe Mugen Max||100%||22.00||47.00||25.00||36db|
|SilverStone Argon AR06||100%||23.50||79.50||56.00||28db|
As we can see from the above table, the Argon AR06 provides reasonable cooling with the i5-4690K set at its 3.5GHz stock speed. With a maximum average core temperature of 78.00C (54.50C Delta) it doesn’t compare well to either of our previously tested CPU coolers within our newly revised test rig, but given its tiny stature and the fact it is a low profile cooler it should still be good for any case demanding a cooler with a small footprint without any huge overclocks. Where the AR06 really stands out is the sound produced. With the 92mm PWM at its highest setting, the cooler creates just 28dB of noise.
- Intel Core i5-4690K – 4.0GHz (OC Tweaker)
|CPU Cooler||Fan Speed||Ambient Temperature||Max CPU Temperature (core average)||Delta Temperature||Noise Level|
|Scythe Mugen Max||100%||22.00||55.75||33.75||36db|
|SilverStone Argon AR06||100%||23.50||92.50||69.00||28db|
With a relatively minor overclock courtesy of the ASROCK OC Tweaker in the UEFI and the i5-4690K set to 4.0Ghz, the AR06 is pushed really hard and certainly not within a temperature range that I’d want to be in. With a maximum average core temperature of 91.00C (67.00C Delta) it is far too toasty for regular use.
The SilverStone Argon AR06 CPU Cooler arrived at pcG in a rather good looking but tiny looking blue box, giving us an idea of the size of the CPU cooler inside. Once the lid is opened we get to see that the AR06 is very well protected by foam blocks, whilst the rest of the box contents are nicely presented and well organised within the rest of the available box space.
Once out of the box we got to see the AR06 for the first time and with measurements of 105mm(W) x 92mm(D) x 58mm(H) it is easily the smallest after market CPU cooler I’ve ever seen! Looking at it more closely showed that despite its minuscule size, the AR06 was very well built, whilst aesthetically looking both very clean and striking. This of course was helped by the brilliant white and bright blue of the low profile 92mm PWM fan fixed above it.
The Argon AR06 is 95% pre-built within the box making the installation a piece of cake, the only possible issue being the need to access the back of the motherboard, which means you’ll either require a case with a motherboard tray featuring a CPU cut-out or to pre-fit the CPU cooler to your motherboard prior to assembling your rig.
Acoustically the SilverStone cooler performs brilliantly. With the 92mm PWM fan set at 100% (2500RPM ±10%) produces just 28dB of noise, but when reduced to its lowest (1200RPM ±10%) a miserly 22dB, making the AR06 the quietest cooler tested here at pcG.
In the area of performance is the only real concern of the Argon AR06. With our i5-4670K at its 3.5GHz stock speed, the heat produced was 79.50C (56.00C Delta), which isn’t really an issue, but throw in a small overclock of 4.0GHz with a slightly higher voltage and the AR06 really struggles with a maximum average core temperature of 92.50C (69.00C Delta). This is of course down to the coolers top-down fan design and tiny low profile nature. Even though the pcG Test Case (HAF XB) features plenty of air flow, the AR06 would be better suited in a case with airflow aimed squarely at its fan.
At approximately £30.00 and considering the SilverStone Argon AR06 is possibly the smallest CPU cooler available, is practically silent and looks great. Makes it ideal for any MITX based Gaming rig where space is a little lacking. However for anyone wanting to push their CPU to 4.0GHz or more, you may want to start looking elsewhere.
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Many thanks to SilverStone for providing this sample for review