Silverstone Nitrogon NT02

Silverstone Nitrogon NT02

silvercool.jpgNobody can question Silverstone’s expertise when it comes to building PC enclosures, but what in the hey-diddle-diddle does the company know about CPU cooling? As it turns out, quite a bit: The NT02 is a fantastic all-around CPU cooler, though not the best we’ve tested.
The NT02 adheres to traditional heatsink/fan design—it features a copper base, aluminum fins, and five copper heat pipes with sintered metal wicks to transfer heat from the base to the fins. An adjustable 9.2cm fan blasts cool air through a plastic shroud and over the fins, which also directs quite a bit of air onto the components surrounding the CPU socket. During testing, our videocard ran noticeably cooler with the NT02 than it did with the stock cooler.

Installation on the AMD platform was delightful: We simply tightened two screws and were done. The LGA775 platform, on the other hand, required that we remove the motherboard and install a backplate and standoffs. Silverstone bundles the cooler with a fan-speed controller knob, which you can mount in a 3.5-inch bay.

With the NT02’s fan turned all the way down it was absolutely quiet, and with the fan turned to full-blast it ran extremely loud. The unit produced respectable benchmark scores, but only with the fan cranked to max speed was it able to achieve numbers on par with CPU coolers that are much quieter, such as the Cooler Master Hyper 6 + and the Thermalright XP-90 that we reviewed in September. The NT02 has a lot going for it, but its semi-noisy nature keeps it from achieving true excellence.

+ ROBBER: Great performance, classy styling, and adjustable fan.

- COPPER: Performance is only super when fan is turned way up.

Month Reviewed: October 2005

Verdict: 8


BENCHMARKS Golden Orb II Nitrogon NT02 Stock Cooler
AMD FX-55 @ IDLE      
Fan @ Low N/A 36 C N/A
Fan @ High 37 C 32 C 40 C
AMD FX-55 @ 100% LOAD      
Fan @ Low N/A 52 C N/A
Fan @ High 52 C 44 C 54 C
Intel LGA775 3.6GHz @ IDLE      
Fan @ Low N/A 42 C N/A
Fan @ High 44 C 38 C 44 C
Intel LGA775 3.6GHz @ 100% LOAD      
Fan @ Low N/A 65 C N/A
Fan @ High 66 C 55 C 63 C

Best scores are bolded. All temperatures were measured via the onboard sensors, using the utilities provided by the motherboard manufacturer. Idle temperatures were measured after 30 minutes of inactivity and full-load temps were achieved running CPU Burn-in for one hour.



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