SilverStone Tundra TD02 AIO Liquid Cooler
Author: Zahn Funk
Editor: Shawn Knight
Date: 10-21-2013
Provided by: SilverStone
Pages:
Conclusion


The Tundra TD02 and its smaller sibling, the TD03, mark SilverStone's foray into AIO liquid cooling. This is certainly not a new or barren marketplace. Looking back, it was five years ago when Asetek-based coolers first began appearing and I tested the NorthQ 3850 and Corsair H50. Since then, AIO have increased in popularity and diversity with other big names like Zalman, Thermaltake and Cooler Master joining the fray. So it is somewhat surprising that SilverStone, normally known for their chassis and power supplies, decides to throw its entry into the ring this late in the game. However they bring a few things to the table that differentiate their product from the rest.

What I consider the most appealing of their unique design particulars is the all-metal pump housing. Every other manufacturer I've seen incorporates some form of plastic, which has a greater likelihood of cracking or warping, whether from overaggressive/improper installation, overtensioning or overheating. After Swiftech's Apogee Drive pump failed on me, albeit after two years of faithful 24/7 service, I was lucky not to lose any other components when it sprung a leak. Having a combination pump and block and mounting bracketry made entirely of metal helps one sleep more soundly, particularly with a system that runs all day and night. Unfortunately SilverStone had to then go and use plastic elbows for the tubing connections right at the stress point where they swivel/bend at the block.

Another uncommon design feature, which may be both a blessing and a curse, is the non-typical 45mm thick radiator housing. Although this allows SilverStone to incorporate a full contact tubing/fin arrangement and yields more surface area for cooling, the extra intrusion of radiator and fan into the boundry area between other components has the potential for fitment issues in small to mid-sized cases. Even in SilverStone's own Temjin TJ04-E mid-tower case, where the top fan openings have been offset specifically to give additional clearance, the Tundra TD02 overhangs the motherboard DIMM slots enough to prevent any module taller than standard height from being used. Couple this with having to remove the rear exhaust fan and drop the optical drive down one bay only complicates the installation. However most full tower cases of course should pose no problem.

I found the Tundra TD02 available online for right around $120, and even one with a $10 rebate. This puts it in the same ballpark, if slightly higher priced than some other well established AIOs like the Corsair H100i. Performance seems to be in line with expected temperatures for a dual-120mm unit judging by our overclocked voltage comparisons and certainly better than most air-cooled solutions. Potential buyers are cautioned to be cognizant of dimensions when planning your install around other components.

OCIA.net awards the SilverStone Tundra TD02 our Gold Seal of Approval.




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