SilverStone Hydrogon D120 ARGB Review (Page 2 of 4)

Page 2 - Physical Look - Hardware, Installation

The SilverStone Hydrogon D120 ARGB is very clean in appearance, sporting a polished silver look on both towers. It is fair to note this silver finish is common with older coolers and budget models like the Noctua NH-U12S redux. Newer all-black finishes are sleeker, nonetheless I enjoy the way it looks. The top aluminum plate has the SilverStone branding engraved on both towers, which looks nice. Like many CPU coolers, it is designed with a stack of fins with multiple heatpipes going through the heatsink on each tower. The fins are mostly rectangular in shape. The entire heatsink unit is made out of aluminum along with a copper base. Two SilverStone ARGB fans are included out of the box and are pre-installed on the cooler.

The SilverStone Hydrogon D120 ARGB is a dual tower cooler like the Noctua NH-D15 series, so naturally, it is fairly large. As we will see in the next photo, the two towers on the Hydrogon D120 are not the same size, with one being larger than the other. Looking at the top, we can get a better look at the design of the leading edges of the heatsink fins. The design is fairly standard with the fins taking on a mostly rectangular shape. Semi-circular cutouts are located on the smaller heatsink for users to reach the installation screw. The top fin is the same width as the rest of the fins. We can see the heatpipes are also exposed on top of the heatsink.

Manufacturers will typically use a thicker top fin for creating a sturdier build, although this is not the case for this cooler. The fins themselves are completely exposed with only the fans covering their respective mounting sides. There are a total of forty-one fins on the larger tower and thirty-eight fins on the smaller tower. The spacing between the fins is about 3mm with each fin being evenly spaced out from each other. With some quick measurements and calculations, the total surface area of both fins come out to around 0.57 square meters. At a total weight of 885g, the SilverStone Hydrogon D120 ARGB is standard for cooler weight. It should be noted the weight of the cooler will be heavily dependent on the material it is made out of.

Both SilverStone fans can be mounted using two wire clips each. These fans come mounted on the Hydrogon D120 ARGB and luckily, do not need to be removed during installation due to the cutouts in the heatsink that an included Allen wrench can fit through. Rubber dampeners can be seen on the fans to reduce noise and vibration when in operation. Raised edges on the fins are what keep the clips in place when mounting the fans. This also makes it so the fans can be removed with ease just by attaching or detaching the clips from the fins.

According to the manufacturer, the included fans are hydraulic bearing 4-pin PWM fans. They have a maximum RPM speed of 1850 with 56.23 CFM, 1.98 mmH2O static air pressure, and a maximum noise level of 30.5 dBA. The MTTF is rated at 35,000 hours, which equates to around 4 years of continuous operation. The fans use a black color scheme with white fan blades to disperse the RGB lighting. These fans should be able to work well for this cooler, so I personally feel there is no need to swap them out. The attachment wires hook on via the outer side of the fan and secure onto the radiator by a two-stage clipping ledge for an easy and secure installation.

When it comes to dimensions, the SilverStone Hydrogon D120 ARGB has a height of 153mm, width at 125mm, and 112mm depth. This is shorter than the NH-D15's 160mm specification, which allows the Hydrogon to fit in compatible small form factor cases. If you remove the front fan, the total depth and height are reduced to 85mm and 145mm, respectively. Removing the second fan does not change the dimensions any further as it is fitted between the two heatsink towers. Six continuous U-shaped heatpipes can be seen from the base leading up for heat dissipation. The purpose of the heatpipes is to efficiently lead the heat away from its source due to the low heat of vaporization, or phase change energy, of alcohol. The heatpipes are aligned in an alternating manner to spread out the heat in the single array of radiating fins for their respective tower. With a total surface area of 0.57 square meters and the fan configuration, the Hydrogon D120 ARGB should be able to deliver good heat dissipation theoretically, which I will test on the next page.

This CPU cooler is aligned such that no parts of the cooler will be hanging over the PCI Express slot underneath or your RAM slots next to it, even with both fans attached. This cooler has full compatibility with the modern Intel LGA115x and LGA1200 sockets and AMD AM4 without any interference with memory. However, this design decision does come at the cost of airflow in the area between the contact base and the first cooling fin since it will not extend into this area.

The photo above shows the bottom of the SilverStone Hydrogon D120 ARGB. Here, we can see the configuration of the heatpipes with respect to the base. The base is very flat, meaning there should be no problems resting the entire base on top of the processor. Other than some marks left by the sticker that came attached to the base, the surface is clean with no abnormalities. No thermal paste has been pre-installed on the Hydrogon D120 ARGB, although SilverStone did provide their own thermal paste for application, which is common for CPU coolers. The heatsink is made out of copper and aluminum. The base and heatpipes are made out of copper, which is always a solid choice for heat transfer with thermal conductivity of 401 W/mK. The heatsink fins utilize aluminum for its build, which is lighter than copper. This is nice for a dual tower cooler as the aluminum fins will reduce the weight and thus, reduce the stress on the motherboard. Aluminum does have its trade-offs at a thermal conductivity of 237W/mK, which is significantly less than copper.

All joints are soldered at the base while the heatpipes are fed through the fins, protruding through at the top. Overall, the SilverStone Hydrogon D120 ARGB is solidly built. Being light for a dual tower cooler is important for keeping stress off the motherboard, which the Hydrogon D120 ARGB reasonably achieves. The fins are uniformly spread, and there is a good amount of heatpipes. We will see how this cooler holds up in the upcoming tests.

The installation process was very simple. SilverStone recommends using your stock motherboard backplate if using an AMD processor, which saves some time and effort, even if just a little. The standoffs were easy to install with four screws and some large plastic washers to help hold them in place. Please note that an included backplate will be required for Intel users, although I imagine this is not any more trouble.

Like with most coolers, two mounting bars are included for installing the cooler onto the motherboard. Plastic spacers can be installed once the backplate is mounted for the mounting bar to rest on. Both the Intel and AMD mounting bars can be mounted in any orientation. The screws are tightened into the backplate with plastic spacers in between. Once this is finished, you can jump into installing the heatsink after applying some thermal paste to your CPU.

After applying the thermal paste provided by SilverStone, it is time to install the cooler itself. SilverStone provided thermal paste that users can apply before placing the cooler on top of the CPU. It is advised to place a small dot in the middle followed by a four-dot square pattern when applying thermal paste to AMD CPUs. As mentioned earlier, the fans do not need to be removed when installing the cooler, which is convenient. A long Allen wrench is included in the packaging, which can fit through the fin cutaway in the smaller tower. From here, the screws can be tightened in an alternating fashion. The Allen wrench is a great decision, as the L-shaped bar allows for a good amount of torque when screwing in the cooler. I would recommend using the included Allen wrench for this installation as accessibility to the screw can be limited for many different screwdrivers. The only thing left to do afterward is to daisy chain the fan connections, attach the 4-pin PWM header into the CPU pin on your motherboard, and fit the addressable RGB header in the 3-pin ARGB controller header.

Page Index
1. Introduction, Packaging, Specifications
2. Physical Look - Hardware, Installation
3. Test Results
4. Conclusion