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SilverStone Argon AR03 CPU Cooler review

Our Rating :
Price when reviewed : £38
inc VAT

Kept our system significantly cooler than a stock cooler, making it great if you want to dabble in overclocking

The SilverStone Argon AR03 is a universal cooling kit designed for Intel LGA775, 1156, 1155, 1366 and 2011 motherboards and AMD Socket AM2, AM3, FM1 and FM2 motherboards. The ARO3’s comprised of a large heatsink and a single 120mm fan.

SilverStone Argon AR03 CPU Cooler

The heatsink is 159mm tall and uses six copper pipes to transfer heat to aluminium fins. As it’s a universal kit, it can be a little confusing to install initially, and it’d be helpful if the paper instructions had larger diagrams. Thankfully a PDF version of the instructions is available online, so you can zoom into the diagrams. However, once you’ve worked out which parts relate to your processor type the kit’s easy to install.

To test the AR03, we fitted it to an LGA1155 Z77-based motherboard with a Core i5-3570K processor, 4GBs of memory and a Radeon HD 5770 graphics. The processor was running at its stock clock speeds. We ran the CPU Stress Test tool included in Intel’s Extreme Tuning Utility and monitored the processor’s temperature. We then compared the results to those obtained when using the same setup with the stock Intel cooler.

SilverStone Argon AR03 CPU Cooler

When using the AR03, the processor’s temperature peaked at 50 degrees, but spent much of the time fluctuating between 45-48 degrees. When using the stock cooler, the processor’s temperature peaked at 63 degrees but mostly fluctuated between 56-60 degrees. This is a significant difference in processor temperature, making the Argon AR03 ideal if you want to replace your stock cooler to experiment with overclocking or want to keep your existing setup much cooler.

To test its overclocking performance we overclocked our to 4.4GHz and ran the Intel CPU Stress Test tool again. This time, the processor’s temperature peaked at 57 degrees and mostly fluctuated between 50 and 56 degrees. We conducted this test on an open system that had no cooling other than the Argon AR03. If it had been installed in a proper PC case with extra fans and efficient airflow we think it would’ve kept the system even cooler.

As an extra test, and just out of curiosity, we removed the fan, set the processor to run at its stock clock speeds and re-ran the Intel CPU Stress Test. The processor’s temperature peaked at 74 degrees. With the CPU idling it hovered around the 54 degree mark.

Whether you’re a gamer, an overclocking enthusiast or you simply need more adequate cooling, the Argon AR03 is a good choice. It’s easy to install, dismantle and re-use. If you’re in the market for a new cooler, the SilverStone Argon AR03 is a good buy.



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