SilverStone Tundra TD02-E Review (Page 2 of 4)

Page 2 - Physical Look - Hardware; Installation

Aesthetics seems to be one of those things that always catches my attention first. Around the water block, we see a chrome-like design that serves as eye candy. The SilverStone logo glows blue when powered on, and there is clear plastic on the sides of the radiator, adding a classy appeal to the overall design. Besides the chrome finish, the rest of the unit itself is painted black for a subtle look. You cannot turn off the LED, so if you do not like it, then that is too bad.

Upon closer inspection, there is a dense array of aluminum fins. SilverStone claims the fins are soldered to give them better contact, and thus, better heat dissipation. This also means the radiator will retain its performance in the long run. They feel much stronger than other aluminum fins I have seen in the past, as they are thicker, so it cannot be easily bent. In addition, it is also important to point out the fin design seems to be optimized for airflow and good aerodynamics, so there should be no problems for the fans to cool the radiator. The two tubes are factory assembled and sealed in a closed loop configuration, which leads to and from the radiator to the water block. These tubes are long and flexible enough for most configurations, so there should be next to no problems during the installation process. Since it is a closed loop design, there should be minimal or no maintenance required, as there is negligible coolant evaporation.

When it comes down to size, the SilverStone Tundra TD02-E radiator measures 278mm in length, 124mm in width, and 27mm in thickness. These dimensions are pretty standard for most 240mm radiators of this caliber. The only question is how it performs in comparison to other products in the same category. You will find out the results on the next page as we push the TD02-E in our CPU load tests.

As with the pump, it is rated at 12V, which is equivalent to 2.9W, following the formula P=IV and is powered by your motherboard's 3-pin header. The water block uses copper as the contact material on the base. For your reference, its thermal conductivity is 401 W/mK, and since we do not need to worry about weight due to its limited size, it is probably the best type of material to use for transferring heat without blowing your budget out of the water -- no pun intended. However, it would have been best if it was nickel plated. Nickel has a much lower thermal conductivity at 90.9 W/mK, but a thin electroplated layer is still desirable, as nickel-base alloys generally have properties that can withstand corrosive environments and high temperatures. For the most part, the SilverStone Tundra TD02-E is solidly built, so if anyone has a question about its quality, you are in good hands.

Installing the fans on the radiator is relatively straightforward. Simply make sure the fans are pointing the right direction for a push configuration as shown above, align the holes, and take the long screws to mount them on. It is probably best to install the water block first before installing the radiator. If you are a cabling enthusiast like the staff here at APH Networks, then the fans will come in last. However, for demonstration purposes, the photo above shows both fans installed for the push configuration of air through the radiator. As for the backplate, simply align the screws with respect to the holes on your motherboard, and hold it in place. The problem here is that you will need some coordination as you install your water block, all while holding your backplate in place. It would have been nice if SilverStone could implement a system where the backplate can be held in place, without asking your friend to lend you a hand.

Before installing anything, make sure you have enough thermal paste applied. Next, with the four plastic standoffs handy and the backplate in place, place a standoff for each screw, and carefully align the holes in brackets on the water block with the screws. At this point, it will be wise to have the mounting nuts handy. It will also be helpful to have an extra pair of hands to help you screw down the water block, as it requires some pressure to hold both the water block and backplate in place before it is able to be installed properly. As mentioned earlier, it would have been more convenient if SilverStone had implemented a system to hold the backplate in place to ease the installation process. To install the radiator, find a location on your chassis that supports the 240mm radiator. For our setup, it was on the top, which you will see on the following page. Simply align the holes, and complete the attachment process.

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