The movie Die Hard was so awesome it spawned a wave of imitators that all had just one distinguishing difference—Die Hard on a plane, Die Hard on a boat, Die Hard in a nursing home, etc. And so it is in the world of air coolers: We have dozens of skyscraper aluminum coolers with just one standout feature, and on the Silverstone Heligon HE01 the standout feature is its super-thick 14cm fan. It’s so big that Silverstone had to shave off a sliver of the cooler’s right appendage to make room for it, giving the cooler an asymmetrical look that resembles a tennis player’s arms.
The XXL fan sports a 4-pin plug for PWM functionality, as well as an easily accessible switch labeled “Q-P” for Quiet and Performance modes, but it should be Q-L for Quiet and Loud. The fan blows air through aluminum fins attached to six copper heat pipes that snake into a copper base, with the whole shebang plated in snazzy-looking nickel. The heat pipes are not the direct-contact variety like the ones in our favorite cooler, the Cooler Master Hyper 212. It’s a massive cooler at almost 6 inches to a side, and though it does require RAM without tall heatspreaders, it’s not any larger than the best coolers in its class, including the Phanteks PH-TC14PE and the Noctua NH-D14, both of which will also interfere with tall RAM.
Installation was easy on our LGA2011 test bed and required tightening just two screws with a Phillips-head screwdriver after we hand-tightened the mounting brackets. Installing the Heligon’s giant fan was hella hard, though, since the retention clips don’t permanently attach to the fan and kept falling out of their holes.
In testing, the Heligon in quiet mode was just 2 C warmer than its natural competitor, the Phanteks PH-TC14PE, and neck-and-neck with the Cooler Master, and in performance mode its benchmark results are top-of-the-charts if you can handle the noise (we couldn’t). For fun we added a second fan to the mix, although we found it to have a negligible benefit. We also ran it in PWM mode but considered the fan to be too loud under stress.
All in all, the Heligon is a solid package but nothing too groundbreaking, especially for its semi-high price. If the performance mode was quieter, it’d be a must-buy.
Note: This review was taken from the November issue of the magazine.
Update - Silverstone clarified to us that the asymetrical design is not due to the fan's width, but rather for the design to allow extra-tall RAM on the right-side of the CPU socket. However, our Asus Sabertooth X79 test bench has RAM on both sides of the socket, which prevented us from using extra-tall RAM.
Silverstone Heligon HE01
Excellent performance; quiet (in quiet mode); semi-easy install.
Finicky retention arms; loud in performance mode; requires low-profile RAM.
Dimensions H x D x W (inches, with fan)
6.2 x 4.6 x 5.5
1x 14cm PWM
Add’l Fan Support
2 (clips included)
Burn - ambient
All temperatures in degrees Celsius. Best scores bolded. All tests performed using an Intel Core i7-3960X at 4.2GHz, on an Asus Sabertooth X79 motherboard with 16GB DDR3/1600, in a Thermaltake Level 10 GT with stock fans set to Low.