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Thread: Thermalright Silver Arrow ITX-R

  1. #1
    Xtreme Reviewer
    Join Date
    Apr 2011

    Thermalright Silver Arrow ITX-R


    Large CPU cooler usually overshadows an ITX motherboard, causing clearance issues not only at the DIMM section, but also at the GPU section as well. That's where the ITX-R from Thermalright comes in.The Silver Arrow ITX-R is an upgrade to the Silver Arrow ITX model, featuring a more compact design than its predecessor measuring only 108 x 121 x 65mm with the fan installed.In the revised version of the Silver Arrow, the ITX-R is also compatible with the latest models of the ASUS M8I Mainboard series.

    The Silver Arrow ITX-R supports all current processors. Users of an Intel LGA 775/1366/1156/1155/20100/1150/1151/2011-3 CPU can mount the cooler as well as owners of an AMD AM2/AM2+/AM3/AM3+/FM1/FM2/FM2+. The new Intel LGA 2066 is also compatible with the cooler. In addition, the cooler has factory-installed AMD AM4 processor modules.

    Packaging,Contents & Fan

    Packaging has never been anything that I'd call exciting on a Thermalright box.The front of the box is bare except for a Thermalright logo in the centre.

    Turning the box around reveals little else, apart from some basic branding.

    Within the brown box sits a lot of hard foam which is protecting your cooler from any damage. It comes in two parts which break away from each other which makes it easier to gain access to the cooler.

    There are a number of items bundled alongside the cooler, most of which relate to the mounting mechanism.The equipment is completed by the excellent Thermalright Chill Factor 3 thermal paste (blister) and a pair of white cotton gloves.

    There is also a detailed installation guide included to facilitate installation.

    The included TY 129 fan is temperature controlled (PWM).The fan speed varies (depending on the CPU temperature) between 300 and 1,300 rpm. The air flow of the for silent operation optimized fan varies between 21.9 and 94.8 m3/h.This means, the fan will hardly be noticeable during standard operation.

    The fan features the mounting points of a conventional 120 mm fan and has a larger inner diameter than conventional 120 mm fans. The silent running fan is fitted securely to the heatsink with the included, revised fan brackets - adhesive anti-vibration pads allow for decoupled mounting.

    A Closer Look

    The Silver Arrow ITX-R from Thermalright is a classical twin-tower cooler. This type of cooler comes with the advantage that manufacturers can build blocks that offer a large surface area.

    Compared to the normal Silver Arrow ITX, the size has been significantly reduced and thus even further adapted to compact housings / systems.

    The Silver Arrow ITX-R features 41 aluminum fins in both fin stacks, and these stacks have been nickel-plated black, which creates a nice-looking heatsink that is also a fingerprint magnet. Thankfully, Thermalright provides some cotton gloves, which is great for those that want a clean build without any awful fingerprints showing up everywhere.

    A fair amount of jiggling sees us get the fan in place, although there were a few moments when we could easily have scratched that stunning Nickel finish.

    There are six black Nickel coated copper heat pipes, with each passing up both of the stacks. The pipes are biased towards the centre, with the other most fins stack plinth left clear. If you're familiar with the Original Silver Arrow, you'll remember that this is where the seventh and eighth heat pipes would reside.

    The six 6mm heat pipes leave the contact plate and curve cleanly upwards to pass through the various plinths of the fin stack. It's all very clean and clinical down here, just as we like it, with no evidence of solder splatter or missed areas of Nickel plating.

    Heat pipes are sandwiched between upper and lower portions of the contact plate and are evenly distributed across it.

    The fins near the bottom have been shortened to offer better compatibility with mini ITX motherboards. It also allows for better memory compatibility depending on how you mount the cooler.

    Finally, the nickel-plated copper base features a near mirror finish, which is a nice touch. With solid build quality, good looks, and some fantastic design choices, the Silver Arrow ITX-R certainly looks like a winner.

    Installation Process

    Installing Thermalright Silver Arrow ITX-R is easy and this is an area which it has a significant advantage over other offerings.The installation procedure for the Thermalright Silver Arrow ITX-R is fairly straight forward, though it will require motherboard removal for cases that do not feature a hole in the CPU tray. Although the process is fairly simple, the instructions guide is something that some may reference to in order to double check the correct method is carried out.First, i installed the provided back plate and secured it in place to my motherboard.

    There are four double sided bolts bundled with Silver Arrow ITX-R, these are screwed into the mounting holes on the socket. Soon after this is done the brackets need to be placed on top of these bolts to have the cooler in the traditional orientation so that the heatsink/fans are facing the rear exhaust fan inside a computer chassis the brackets should be placed in a horizontal fashion with the brackets bending outwards, not inwards. Next simply apply the thumbscrews to secure these brackets down, using a screwdriver to completely tighten. After this, all that needs to be done is apply thermal paste, place the cooler on the CPU and screw down.

    Place the Heatsink Body on top of the CPU.Make the Mounting Plate go through the Heatsink Body.Then use the a Screw Driver to fasten the two Screws to Secure the Mounting Plate.After placing the pads mounting the fan is extremely easy. It really is as simple as that.

    This design guarantees that the PCIe slot on Mini ITX motherboards will not be blocked by the cooler(it depends on your motherboard).

    Installed - Memory Clearance

    Even with large heatshink rams installed there's still plenty of clearance between the rams and the fan.Mission accomplished.

    Test System & Methology

    Test System:

    Cpu:Intel Core i7-4770K
    Motherboard:ASUS Maximus VI Gene Z87
    Memory: 16GB Mushkin
    Graphics Card: Sapphire HD 6970
    Power Supply: Antec HCG 750W
    Boot Drive: Ocz Vector
    Storage Drive: 3TB Seagate Barracuda
    Boot Drive: Ocz Vector
    Chassis: Dimastech Bench Table Easy V2.5


    CPUID HW Monitor 1.23
    CPUID CPU-Z 1.65

    I am testing the performance as follows:

    AIDA64 is run for 10 minutes and then the average maximum temperatures as recorded by CPUID HWMonitor are noted.The average temperature across the four cores is taken on our quad core processor.FPU-only load average is used to simulate worst case scenario load levels similar to Intel Burn Test or OCCT. Please keep in mind that this test is brutal and not even close to real-world load (especially not that constant for that amount of time), so not many CPU coolers are expected to pass this test but the ones that do are exceptional. Delta temperatures are always used (Observed temperature minus ambient temperature) and i keep the ambient at 22 (+/- 1) degrees for all testing.Delta temperatures should correct for any marginal ambient differences between 21-23 degrees.Acoustic measurements are taken 10cm horizontally away from the CPU cooler with the VGA fan disabled,hard drive in idle and power supply isolated. These are taken at desktop idle and AIDA64 load.The cooling performance tests are run at overclocked 4.2GHz (1.2v) settings.Voltages are fixed to prevent inaccuracy between comparisons.All other coolers in the graphs have been tested under identical settings so are fully comparable.Each test is repeated 3 times with 3 remounts for consistency of results


    Pushing a workload with AIDA64's CPU stability test has the Silver Arrow ITX-R do well.

    Even with the CPU overclocked, the Thermalright performs well, only falling behind the Noctua NH-D15S.

    Noise Level

    The Thermalright Silver Arrow ITX-R has a wonderfully low noise profile, being one of the quietest coolers I have tested to date. With readings of 33 dBA at low rpm and 39 dBA at 100%, the only competition in terms of low noise levels comes from Noctua's and be quiets!


    The Silver Arrow ITX-R impresses with its stylish "Black Nickel Design" and thus visually stands out from the “grey” average of CPU-coolers.In use the Silver Arrow ITX-R is near silent, even at the full 12 volts we test at. Stopping the fan down a few hundred RPM via the 4 pin PWM connection proves to make it practically inaudible even with the side panel off and your ear right up close.When it comes to performance, the Silver Arrow ITX-R from Thermalright does quiet well, maintaining performance similar to many high-end coolers.Add to that its decent clearance around the socket, partly due to its design, and you have an acceptable option for some Mini-ITX systems. In fact, it was designed specifically to be compatible with ASUS and their MAXIMUS and ROG line of Mini-ITX motherboards.It's not only the performance with this cooler that is on a very high level, also the build quality of the Silver Arrow ITX-R is excellent. We do appreciate it when manufacturers have an eye for details.

    In the end, we are left with a very successful design from Thermalright. Thermalright didn't just take an old cooler, color a top fin, and plate this and that. Instead, they really went over this design with more compact dimensions, and in our opinion, made a great step forward from the Silver Arrow ITX.With a price of 74.99 Euro these days, also the price is on a reasonable level.

    Last edited by testman78; 09-08-2017 at 02:19 AM.



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