SilverStone IceGem 280 Review (Page 2 of 4)

Page 2 - Physical Look - Hardware; Installation

The overall design of the SilverStone IceGem 280 is quite standard when it comes to the general shape of an all-in-one cooler –- not that there are many other ways to design one. What is unique is the water block, which, as its name suggest, it looks like an ice gem and glows when it is plugged in. The radiator is rectangular likewise to all other radiators. The corners of the radiator are rounded out, leaving the edges safe for children such as myself. The cooler is completely black with no noticeable branding. Aside from the basic rectangular design of the radiator, we also have the standard wave fin pattern in the middle of the radiator. This design allows the heat to be dissipated more effectively. Coming out from the top of the radiator are two sleeved tubes. Sleeved tubing adds to the quality of the build. The tubes also connect to the pump with some hinges, allowing the tubes to have better mobility for installation.

When talking about size, the SilverStone IceGem 280 radiator comes in at 140 mm by 28 mm by 314 mm. This is a standard size for two 140mm fans to be attached to. Aluminum is a good choice of material for the radiator, as it does not add too much weight while providing relatively good heat transfer. The two fans can be mounted on either side of the radiator for either a push or pull configuration.

The SilverStone IceGem 280 water block is quite unique. The shape is mostly square, but with the edges rounded off. Inside, the pump motor features a three phase, six pole design rather than single phase, four pole design found in most coolers. The company promises increased energy efficiency and smooth, quiet operation, which we will take a look at on the next page. The mounting points for the water block are interchangeable, given this cooler is compatible with a wider variety of processors compared to most other coolers. SilverStone provides different mounting clips to be swapped in and out of depending on the processor it is being used on. The water block is made out of copper, which is better for heat transfer compared to aluminum, making it an excellent choice for the base. After deeply inspecting the milling job, the entire surface was generally pretty smooth with a small. mostly unnoticeable, scratch. Although imperfect, this should not affect the overall performance. Something SilverStone could have done to further improve the quality would be to electroplate the base with nickel to protect against oxidization. Nickel is highly resistant to corrosion, making it perfect for sustaining copper surfaces. The SilverStone IceGem 280 comes with its own tube of thermal paste rather than having pre-applied thermal paste. I personally prefer this method as I can apply the amount of thermal paste necessary for my processor. It also makes sense for this cooler as processors like Intel and Ryzen Threadripper differ drastically when comparing their physical size.

The two included fans are SilverStone’s APA1425M12 fans, which we do not have much information about, but SilverStone offers us specifications of the fans themselves. SilverStone calls them “pressure optimized fans with brighter ARGB effects”. These fans use SilverStone’s modified sleeve bearing according to my research. Unfortunately, I could not find definite information about the lifespan of these fans, but good sleeve bearing fans last up to 30,000 hours. As for the specifications, the RPM ranges from 600 to 1600 RPM, maximum airflow of 99.2 CFM, and maximum static pressure of 3.1 mmH2O. The RPM on these fans may seem a little lower than usual, but remember these are 140mm units and they still have quite a high rated airflow. The noise levels were rated relatively low at 9.8 to 23.4 dBA.

The installation process of the SilverStone IceGem 280 was easier than I initially anticipated. I simply had to swap the mounting clip and use the provided mounting bracket. After this, it was as easy as applying thermal paste, setting up the bracket, placing in some spacers, and screwing the spring screws into place. The instruction manual provides steps for the installation of all supported CPU sockets. These include LGA115x, LGA1366, LGA2011, LGA2066, AM4, AM3, sTRX4, and TR4. Looking at the image above, you can see parts of the clip and where the screws line up for an AM4 installation. Based on which type of processor you are using will differentiate which side of the mounting bracket you use, or if the mounting bracket is required at all.

After installing the pump, I installed the radiator. Just like any other radiator, I started by installing the fans with the provided screws. After, I proceeded to prop the radiator up to the front of my case and proceeded to screw it into the front of my case. Due to my case, I was limited to a pull configuration. It is important to mention I will be able to upgrade from an AM4 CPU to Threadripper while still using this AIO cooler because the water block size of and included mounting hardware. As expected from the name, the IceGem 280 does look like a glowing ice gem. This cooler looks beautiful in my opinion, but of course, your opinion may differ.

As previously stated, the SilverStone IceGem 280 comes with an RGB controller. If your motherboard does not support ARGB, SilverStone provides an RGB controller to cycle through ten fixed effects. The lighting on this water block looks incredible with its crystal design.

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