SilverStone Tundra TD03-E Review (Page 3 of 4)

Page 3 - Test Results

Our test configuration is as follows:

CPU: Intel Core i5-4690K (Stock settings)
Motherboard: Gigabyte G1.Sniper Z87
RAM: Patriot Viper 3 Series Black Mamba DDR3 16GB (2x8GB)
Graphics: Gigabyte Radeon HD 7870 2GB
Chassis: SilverStone Kublai KL05B-W
Power: SilverStone Strider Gold S ST85F-GS 850W
Storage: SanDisk Ultra II 240GB; Western Digital Blue WD5000AAKS 500GB
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Professional x64

Compared hardware:
- SilverStone Tundra TD03-E
- Cooler Master Nepton 240M
- Noctua NH-L9x65 (Single/LNA)
- Noctua NH-L9x65 (Single)
- Noctua NH-C14 (Dual Fan)
- Noctua NH-C14 (Single Fan Bottom)
- SilverStone Tundra TD02-E
- Intel Stock

All tests were run in our custom built computer to best reflect real life performance. The computer remained in the same place and room throughout all tests. The ambient room temperature in the room was around 21c. The thermal paste applied to each cooler was stock respective to their manufacturers to rate its performance; all pastes had sufficient time for them to fully settle. The fan on all heatsinks were connected to the same motherboard 4-pin connector, and the some tests performed on the Noctua fans were done with the low-noise adapters, where specified. The test computer was turned on and idling for at least one hour for the idling tests. High CPU load results were obtained using the Prime95 in place large FFTs test with four worker threads for a minimum of ten minutes, and recorded when the temperature was deemed stable.

Using the Intel stock cooler we have become familiar with here at APH Networks, we were able to find the delta to standardize performance against other coolers. In addition, we compared the SilverStone Tundra TD03-E with two other liquid coolers, including the Tundra TD02-E and Cooler Master Nepton 240M. The other two CPU coolers we chose from Noctua were structurally different, but were present for perspective's sake. The temperature results for each cooler was measured with CoreTemp, which reports the CPU's integrated digital thermal sensor for maximum accuracy. Each temperature result was calculated by taking the maximum value of the cores inside the CPU.

For the idle test we put the TD03-E through first, we waited for a full hour before checking its temperature. From the graph above, the Tundra TD03-E produced a result of 23 degrees Celsius. Comparing with the Intel stock cooler, which produced a temperature of 30c, the liquid cooler seemed to be doing its job in this part just fine. However, when we compared the TD03-E against its older brother, the TD02-E with the larger radiator, results show the younger brother is slightly warmer by about two degrees Celsius, as expected. As idle temperature results do not show what the Tundra TD03-E is capable of doing, we attempted to push its limits using Prime95.

Prime95 is not a new program to us, as we have put many products through it in previous reviews. Using Prime95, we were able to fully load the cores on the computer, and push it to its absolute limits. This was exactly what we got with the Intel stock cooler; it produced temperatures of nearly 80 degrees Celsius under full load. Surely this was unacceptable, and I am glad to say none of the staff here at APH Networks still run their systems using the Intel stock cooler. The results from the TD03-E had a much better average temperature at 53c, which made a difference of almost 30 degrees in comparison to the Intel stock cooler. However, if it was a contest between the two Tundra brothers, the TD02-E would win with an average temperature of 45c. I am still very pleased with the performance of the SilverStone Tundra TD03-E, as it still provides a high level of cooling with respect to its size. I mean, no one really expected the TD03-E to perform as well as the TD02-E, haha.

At APH Networks, we are all very picky with sound, as it directly affect the computing experience. For the SilverStone Tundra TD03-E, on a scale of 0 to 10, where 0 is absolute silence, and 10 is the definition of loud, I would rate the TD03-E at 3.0/10 during idle, and 4.5/10 under full load. Since the TD02-E and TD03-E utilizes the same fans, it resulted in similar noise levels in both idle and loaded situations. During load situations when your computer is pushed to its limits, you will notice a difference in how much noise produced by the two fans. However, this would not be a make-it-or-break-it deal, as the noise is otherwise unnoticeable in normal use. SilverStone has done a good job of creating a smaller version of the TD02-E with good performance, while keeping the noise level reasonable.

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