The SilverStone Permafrost PF120, PF240, and PF360 ARGB AIO Coolers Reviewby E. Fylladitakis on June 17, 2020 10:00 AM EST
SilverStone is a well-known name amongst advanced users and enthusiasts. The company earned its reputation from its first PSUs and original case designs, and soon diversified towards cooling related products. Their products usually are designed to be cost-effective, with a focus on practicality and quality instead of extravagant aesthetics. That tactic served SilverStone very well in the past, some of their CPU tower coolers have become very good values for the price.
Given SilverStone's success with air coolers, today we are switching tracks to liquid coolers and taking a look at SilverStone’s latest all-in-one (AIO) “Permafrost” cooler series. With multiple models covering the most popular cooler sizes, SilverStone is looking to tap into what has continued to be a popular market for alternative high-performance coolers. And with the inclusion of Addressable RGB (ARGB) lighting, SilverStone is perhaps bowing to a bit to market pressures as well by including RGB lighting in their new AIO coolers.
Altogether, SilverStone has released three Permafrost ARGB AIO coolers: the PF120, PF240, and PF360. As their names suggest, they are designed with radiators that use one, two, or three 120 mm cooling fans respectively. And for today's review, we're going to be looking at all three models.
|SilverStone Permafrost Coolers|
|Size||360mm x 120mm||240mm x 120mm||120mm x 120mm|
|Fan Noise (Rated)||7.4 - 35.6 dBA|
As mentioned previously, all three coolers also incorporate RGB lighting. With RGB being the latest industry trend and considering the significant market slice that it currently holds, it seems that SilverStone could not afford to not have RGB-related products available. Thankfully, however, unlike so many vendors, SilverStone isn't treating the inclusion of RGB lighting at a justification for charging high prices. So while these new coolers aren't budget products by any means, their retail price is not forbidding, making them an enticing option for enthusiasts that wish to combine aesthetics and performance while on a budget.
Packaging & Bundle
SilverStone supplies their new Permafrost series coolers in sturdy cardboard boxes that, along with the internal custom inserts, provide excellent shipping protection. The artwork on the packaging is simplistic, focused on pictures of the coolers themselves – still, that is more than enough for catching the eyes of shop shelf browsers.
All three coolers share the exact same bundle, with the sole exception being the number of fans and their wiring. Inside the box, we found the necessary mounting hardware, a small syringe with thermal paste, the necessary power and LED wiring, and an ARGB lighting controller.
Meanwhile the ARGB LEDs of all three coolers are compatible with most motherboards featuring controllable RGB lighting. On compatible systems, the LED wiring of the AIO cooler can be attached directly to the motherboard, which directly controls the RGB lighting of the cooler via the software each motherboard manufacturer provides.
And while SilverStone does include a stand-alone ARGB controller as well, it's really meant to be used as a fallback option – to manually setup lighting effects with systems that do not have a compatible motherboard. It features several pre-programmed RGB lighting effects, as well as speed and brightness options, but it certainly is not convenient to open up the case each time one wants to change any lighting setting. These coolers are definitely meant to be used with compatible motherboards, where the control is performed via software.
Depending on the version of the SilverStone PF ARGB cooler, you will receive one, two, or three 120 mm fans for their radiator. SilverStone supplies their APA1225H12 fans, which are identical to the Air Blazer 120 fan that the company markets as a stand-alone item. These fans feature a Hydro bearing engine for low noise and anti-vibration mounting pads. The nine narrow fins suggest that the fan is designed for high flow and low pressure, which should be fine considering the relatively thin radiators.
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BenSkywalker - Friday, June 19, 2020 - linkI don't look at the names of posters, I look at the message they posted. You chose to post in the comments thread on an article about an add in water cooler to spread misinformation and FUD. People who use water only do so once? I haven't met a single person, ever, who falls into that category.
Water runs cooler and it is quieter while being more expensive. That is a factual statement.
You take exception to the facts and imply some level of emotion to be at play.... bizarre.
Water cooling is a frivolity, as is the process of building a computer in the first place. This article is about a component used in building a computer, a certain level of frivolity should be self evident.
PeachNCream - Saturday, June 20, 2020 - linkWhat misinformation and FUD are you talking about? You're still trying to demonize the person behind a message you dislike by making accusations that aren't supported in the very text you are responding to because you feel threatened over something you bought for your personal enjoyment. That's rather - I guess the best way to express it is to simply say that's young and lacking in life experience.
BenSkywalker - Saturday, June 20, 2020 - linkWould air coolers paint these in a poor light...
Two seconds to prove that implication absolutely wrong.
Most people only go water once
This isn't quite so fast, but any time spent on enthusiast forums will show you that certainly isn't true.
Air cooling is more that enough ...
10900K would line to have a word.
We don't have a large enough sample size to know how common leaks are.....
Again, go to any enthusiast forum and ask around. There is a reason water cooling went from a tiny niche to the norm for the high end enthusiast market.
I haven't attacked *you* at all, I don't know you and have nothing against you. I have an issue with FUD and with people who troll discussions about products they have something against. I don't like SFF PCs, they aren't for me. I do not spend my time trolling articles about products used to make them.
Also, you continue to claim that there is an emotional reason to go water when hard data points say you are flat out wrong. Water is cooler, water is quieter. This is measured data, this isn't some feeling.
PeachNCream - Tuesday, June 23, 2020 - linkI'm not debating that liquid cooling results in lower temps. Noise is a different critter as that varies based on what specific cooler you happen to be using so claiming something is universally quieter is incorrect.
Back to the point of cooler. Sure a CPU will run at a lower temp, but if something is cool enough on some sort non-liquid HSF, then using a liquid setup will give you an on-paper advantage that won't matter. That's a point you're avoiding acknowledging as a result of personal bias.
Your two primary points are moot. Your argument that liquid cooling is the norm is not supported by any statistical data from a credible source. What sample of sales data do you have at your disposal to support an assertion of popularity? Is it purely personal experience or do you have information you can supply that can support that?
You didn't even read the entire post I made about leaks before quoting it as support for a perception of bias. If you had, you wouldn't have included it because you would have figured out I was advising against judging liquid cooling based on leak potential since we don't have good sample data available to cite it as an inherent problem. You're seeing what you want to see and making me into a threat to support an uninformed notion I have something against liquid cooling that warrants your spending so much effort to defend it. That's very emotional of you.
BenSkywalker - Tuesday, June 23, 2020 - linkDo you not follow the high end CPU market? Legit question. Boost clock speeds vary based on voltage and temperature of the die, cooler running chips require less voltage so on both fronts there is a tangible and measurable edge to using water, in most cases it is mild, but in instances like the 10900k it can be a rather sizable margin.
For noise water is quieter than air. American citizens are taller than Chinese citizens, that is both a true statement and obviously not universal.Yao Ming is taller than anyone I know IRL, but that doesn't make the overwhelming data less true.
The leaks issue, we have a rather huge sample size between all of the various forums combined with most of the enthusiast tech outlets. Given that a water cooler leak is likely the second most catastrophic failure behind a PSU 'explosion' it is a rather safe bet it isn't common. I could say ants bring dynamite into a close and blow it up, can you link a study proving that's wrong?
Air is "good enough"- and a ten year old dual core CPU is "good enough" for most things too. It isn't a emotional statement to say an Oct core is better.
MamiyaOtaru - Friday, June 19, 2020 - linkfar more cluttered? wtf? Yeah a tower cooler is larger than an AIO block, but you act like the radiator doesn't exist. It's bigger than most towers, and requires tubes running between the block and the radiator. You're still running fans through the radiator, plus pump noise. You sound like you spent some money on water and need to justify the expense
MamiyaOtaru - Friday, June 19, 2020 - linkPS
tell me how cluttered this is http://chattypics.com/files/new2_vwdn60vl4h.jpg
BenSkywalker - Friday, June 19, 2020 - linkThat looks like an OEM system. If that's what you want, all the power to you.
sonny73n - Friday, June 19, 2020 - linkMamiya, I wouldn’t waste my time replying to that... (how do you call a stupid person stupid without being crucified for it?).
Anyway, his radiator fans don’t make noise but the fans on everyone’s air coolers do. And his water pump is completely silent. Oh, whoever uses air cooler don’t have that cool pump he has.
BenSkywalker - Friday, June 19, 2020 - linkThere is a measurement for noise that people have figured out, they use the term decibels. Using measuring devices they can tell how loud certain things are in relation to one another. All of the things we have discussed have been measured for the amount of noise they generate.
Air cooler fans are the loudest out of the three(factoring for thermal dissipation).
Water cooler fans are the middle tier(mainly due to being capable of operating at lower RPMs)
Water pumps generate the least amount of noise out of these three devices.
These are documented measurements, not feel feels of trolls that are trying to trash a type of technology in the comments of an article about said technology.