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

Page 3 - Test Results

Our test configurations are 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-LITE
- Cooler Master Nepton 240M
- Noctua NH-L9x65 (Single/LNA)
- Noctua NH-L9x65 (Single)
- Noctua NH-C14 (Dual Fan)
- Noctua NH-C14 (Single Fan Bottom)
- Noctua NH-C14S (Top)
- Noctua NH-C14S (Bottom)
- Noctua NH-D15S
- Noctua NH-D15S (LNA)
- SilverStone Tundra TD02-E
- SilverStone Tundra TD02-LITE
- SilverStone Tundra TD03-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 temperature in the room was around 21c. The thermal paste applied to each cooler was stock respective to their manufacturer's to rate its performance; all pastes had sufficient time for them to settle. The fans on all heatsinks were connected to the same motherboard 4-pin connector, and the tests performed on the Noctua fans were done with low-nose 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-LITE with three of the other Tundra series coolers. Aside from this, we also compared the TD03-LITE with two other CPU coolers from Noctua for perspective's sakes. 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-LITE through first, we waited for a full hour before checking its temperature. From the graph above, the Tundra TD03-LITE produced a result of 24 degrees Celsius. Comparing with the Intel stock cooler, which produced a temperature of 30c, the liquid cooler seemed to be doing its job just fine. When compared the results of the TD03-LITE to other CPU coolers, it did not match up with the idle temperature of its older brother, the TD03-E. In fact, the TD03-LITE had a higher idle temperature compared to other Tundra series coolers we have tested. This may be partially related to the TD03-LITE having only one fan compared to other ones with two; also the TD03-E had the smallest radiator size. In terms of the idle part of the testing, we did not get any surprises. But to give it a proper test, we stepped it up, and pushed the TD03-LITE to 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. This was not acceptable, and I am glad for once no one here at APH Networks still runs their computer using the Intel cooler. The TD03-LITE achieved a temperature of 57c; this was more than 20 degrees Celsius better than the Intel stock cooler, but four degrees higher than the TD03-E.

At APH Networks, we are all very picky with sound, as it directly affect the computing experience. For the SilverStone TD03-LITE, on a scale of 0 to 10, where 0 is absolute silence, and 10 is the definition of loud, I would rate the TD03-LITE at 3.0/10 during idle, and 4.5/10 under full load. Since the TD02-LITE and TD03-LITE utilizes the same fans, it resulted in similar noise levels in both idle and loaded situations, although the TD03-LITE has only one fan. There will be a noticeable difference in the noise level produced by the fan when the system is loaded. However, this is not a make it or break it deal in most cases, unless you have extremely sensitive ears. When comparing the TD03-LITE with the TD03-E, there is difference in the sound it makes. This due to the extra noise generated by the pump on the LITE version. Personally, I do believe SilverStone could make improvements in this area for users who have an ear for quieter cooling systems.

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