SilverStone NT02Jun 25th, 2005 | By Archive
: 06/26/05 – 01:27:50 AM
Page 1 : Introduction
It's been a little while since SilverStone made an appearance at Overclockers Online. In the past, we've looked at their cases and our most recent featuring was with the NT01 rev 1 in Tony's cooler shootout. While the NT01 was not perfect, it had a lot of potential. SilverStone capitalized on these flaws and released the NT01 2.0 and the NT02.
The NT01 2.0 is very similar to its older brother and its performance, so I've been told, and is maximized when used with the SST-TJ06, also reviewed here. Today, we're going to take a look at the other HSF that SilverStone has manufactured – NT02. SilverStone is not the most well known company to create heatsinks as they primarily specialize in developing chassis and power supplies.
Armed with our test bed, let's see how the NT02 stacks up.
Page 2 : Package
The NT02 arrived with its retail packaging protected inside a cardboard UPS shipping box. On display at your local retailer will be the heatsink and fan both clearly visible thanks to the cellophane covering.
The back of the box shows the complete NT02, as well as the individual parts and the specifications.
The top of the box has the same specifications but it also has a very useful handle to carry the NT02 home.
On one side of the box is some information listed in various different languages.
The other side is a little more interesting….it shows the special features of the NT02.
The last side is the bottom of the box, and it's exactly like the top, minus the carrying handle.
We'll flip to the listed specifications before opening up the package.
Page 3 : Specifications
This information was taken from SilverStone's website.
Copper base w/ bonded aluminum lower fins
Copper heat pipes w/ soldered copper upper fins
Heat Pipe Type:
Black fan shroud, copper colored cooler
P4 Socket 478, LGA775, AMD Socket 754, 939, 940
Advanced two way cooling design
88 mm (W) x 114 mm (H) x 71 mm (D)
FM82 cooling fan
1800 ~ 3800rpm
17.0dBA ~ 40.4dBA
80 x 80 x 25mm
Fan blade size:
3.5" aluminum bay fan controller
Hybrid aluminum & copper construction
Superior powder heat pipe design
P4 Socket 478, LGA775, and Athlon 64 compatible
For use with P4 Prescott 3.6GHz / AMD64 4000+ & above
High quality SilverStone FM82 cooling fan included
Page 4 : NT02 Contents
This is probably the moment we've all been waiting for: what exactly will you get after spending your hard earned money at your favourite retailer….
Clearly noticeable is the thick foam padding that SilverStone applies to ensure a safe package. Protection is very important as the base needs to remain perfectly flat for proper contact with the CPU.
By lifting the fan out of the padding, we can take out all the accessories and put it to the side.
Included in this package, from top to bottom, left to right: 3.5" drive bay fan controller, 80mm fan with 92mm blades, a bag of screws, two bags of supports to mount the HSF on various platforms and a 1.5g tube of thermal paste (located in the last bag).
If you're wondering where the manual is located, you can find it tucked away between the edge of the box and the foam padding. Not the most convenient place.
This guide gives you the basic instructions on how to install the NT02 on different platforms.
Now that we've looked at all the additional goodies, we can focus on the heatsink; the prized feature of the NT02.
From this angle, we see that the NT02 is a hybrid cooler comprised of an aluminum frame paired with copper fins to cool the copper heatpipes. The four heatsink mounting holes are also present on the other side, thus enabling a push-pull system for maximum cooling.
To thermally transfer all the heat from your CPU to the cooler, SilverStone has opted to use a copper base. It comes preinstalled with the K8 mount.
The base is cut flat and polished smooth. The reflection of one of the mounting bolts can be seen on the copper base. Although it's not perfectly visible, it is very clean and undamaged.
Just above the aluminum heatsink is a large number of fins to cool the heatpipe.
The black fan shroud can be removed by unscrewing four screws, two on either side.
The top of the shroud has the series name, Nitrogon, and company name, SilverStone, etched in.
With the shroud removed, we can count the number of heatpipes. There are three located on one side and two on the opposite side, which makes for five total.
Now that we've covered the basics of the cooler, it's time to install her into my system and see how she performs.
Page 5 : Installation
The key to any installation is care and patience. Rushing any installation procedure is the first step to destroying a few thousand dollars worth of parts! The leaflet tucked in the side of the box covers all the basic procedures for installing the NT02 on newer platforms. You should definitely read it over before proceeding.
For our tests, we'll install the NT02 on my K8 rig. The NT02 requires you to remove the motherboard from the frame, and as a matter of fact, you need to install the NT02 with the motherboard outside your case before mounting it back onto the frame.
The first step is to remove the stock retention frame by unscrewing the two screws. This will cause the back plate to fall out, so you'll need to reposition it so the two nuts line up with the holes in the motherboard.
Place the NT02 on top of the CPU and using the step bolts and the springs, screw these in to secure the NT02 on top of the CPU.
A Philips screw driver will be needed to tighten down the NT02. Carefully tighten the two bolts, alternating between the two, until you can't tighten it any further. The springs will stop you from over tightening the HSF.
There are two places where you can mount the fan; I choose the side you see in the above picture. SilverStone packages
different screws for you to use. This gives you the ability to switch fans to different makes, models and thicknesses.
For actual testing purposes, I switched the fan to the other side. I opted for this as the location in the above photo makes things really cramped with my Bravo X700 and the chipset cooler.
Page 6 : Performance
Before we begin, here is a run down of the system specifications and the conditions during testing.
nForce4 SLI Chipset @ 1.8V
AMD Venice 3000+ @ 300*9 1.65V
PDP Patriot 2*512MB XBLK 250Mhz 3-4-4-8 3.0V
PowerColor Bravo X700
Antec TrueBlue 2.0 480 Watt
40 GB Maxtor ATA 100 7200 RPM
Components are spread out over my desk and no case is used.
AMD 3000+ Venice Stock Cooler
Cooler Master Hyper 6+ Review to follow
Ultra Products Ultra Fire Review to follow
With the exception of the stock cooler, all of the coolers tested involve heatpipes in one form or another.
Acoustically, the NT02 offers a range of noise levels, depending on how much performance you're willing to sacrifice. At the lowest setting, you can hear the air being pushed and just slightly feel it past through the entire heatsink. On the maximum RPM, the fan pushes a phenomenal amount of air but it sounds like an aircraft! The air not only pushes through the heatsink with ease, but it can be felt going over the X700! Depending on what you need, you won't have any problem finding a setting suitable to your needs.
Page 7 : Conclusion
The NT02 is one of the better heatpipe coolers that I've tested. This isn't merely judged by the temperature of the CPU, as we all know the Venice cores run at a much lower temperature than many other CPUs around. We noticed that the NT02 has the best system temperature due to the large amount of air the fans can push. This is a benefit when it comes to overclocking as everything gets hotte; even the capacitors are hot to the touch and feel like they could fall off the board! At low RPMs, the NT02 performs better at system cooling because of its overall low profile. The higher up the fan is located, the less air you can blow over the motherboard.
If you're looking for a quality cooler that you can use over several platforms, it's easy to recommend the SilverStone NT02. If coupled with some real thermal paste (Arctic Silver 5) we could probably even expect another degree or two drop in temperature. Considering that this is only the
cooler SilverStone has made, they've made a very good impression over at Overclockers Online. It offers ample performance perfect for any overclocker.
Lots and lots of copper
Easy installation procedure
Loud at full speed
Hovers over chipset cooler reducing airflow to it
Overclockers Online would like to thank SilverStone for providing with us this evaluation unit.