SilverStone Tundra TD02 & TD03 Review
Remember back when pundits were saying that Intel’s new Tri-Gate transistor technology would result in cooler running processors? Well, that never happened and with the introduction of 22nm CPUs, suddenly enthusiasts found that instead of lower temperatures, heat is now concentrated into one small area. As a result, heatsinks that were once adequate were rendered ineffective overnight with overclocked Ivy Bridge, Haswell and Ivy Bridge-E processors routinely outstripping capabilities. This has led to a renaissance for All In One water cooling units and Silverstone’s Tundra TD02 and Tundra TD03 are the latest looking to capitalize.
The TD02 and TD03 represent Silverstone’s first foray into the water cooling market and they’ve been in development for over a year. More importantly, their designs were completely done in-house, unlike the countless CoolIT or Asetek-based models already on the market.
Even an untrained eye can spot the differences Silverston’s radical outside the box thinking makes. Instead of the typical 25mm radiator with black tubing attached to a typical plastic and copper water block, both the TD02 and TD03s use thicker 45mm radiators with brushed silver accents, shockingly white FEP tubing and an all-aluminum water block. Simply put, both models look like a million bucks and instead of having to work around them in a custom build’s overall color scheme, consumers can work with their aesthetics to create a unique system build.
In the performance department the Tundra’s thicker radiators promise to be more efficient. Of course the thicker design means more water flowing through each channel, but even excluding this from the equation, both coolers utilize a more effective soldered fin approach which significantly increases the water’s surface contact and efficiency. To ensure as much air as possible comes into contact with these improved radiator fins, Silverstone has opted to include two 2500 RPM fans with each model. Unfortunately there isn’t any fan control abilities built into the Tundra design and you will have to resort to the motherboard’s built in fan abilities.
These are the areas where both the TD02 and TD03 obviously share points of commonality but they do differ somewhat. Firstly the slightly older TD02 uses a dual 120mm bay design and is meant for handling more serious workloads while the smaller TD03 makes use of a single height 120mm bay radiator and intended for scenarios where ease of installation is paramount. While both come with two fans, the larger TD02 can be upgraded to a four fan design.
From a pricing perspective, Silverstone has kept things quite competitive. The TD02 can be found online for $119 which is very reasonable and is comparable to Corsair’s H100i and H110 models. The TD03 is also slightly more budget friendly at about $99 and aligns with Corsair’s ultra-thick single 120mm bay H80i or Antec’s Kuhler 920.
Raw price is a rather poor way to choose a CPU cooling solution, but Silverstone hopes that their unique blend of performance, aesthetics and price will allow these two new devices to thrive in a marketplace dominated with Asetek and CoolIT based designs.
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