Thermalright Silver Arrow Sb-E

9/8/2012 9:31:29 AM

Close, but no solver bullet

The Thermalright Silver Arrow SB-E doesn't lack for heat pipes: Eight of them rise from the heat exchanger up into the two sets of cooling fins. The entire thing, from aluminum fins to copper pipes and heat exchanger, is plated in a shiny nickel coat. The two sets of cooling fins are shiny and jagged, and much more stylized than the Noctua DH-14 (reviewed April 2012) or the Phanteks PH-TC14PE (reviewed June 2012), its most obvious competitors of the coolers we've tested. The whole as­semblage weighs two pounds, 7.6 ounces with both fans. Those fans – a 15cm TY-150 and 14cm TY-141-are both low-RPM 12V fans with 4-pin PWM connectors.

Description: Thermalright Silver Arrow Sb-E

Thermalright Silver Arrow Sb-E

The Silver Arrow includes mount­ing hardware for Intel LGA775, 1366, 1156, 1155, and 2011, as well as AMD FM1, AM2, AM2+, AM3, and AM3+. Un­fortunately, all the mounting brackets are finicky and complicated. The anchor plate attaches to mounting posts – either mounted through to the backplate or (on LGA2011) mounted directly to the inte­grated backplate – with the use of tiny Philips-head screws. Then the mounting plate goes over the back of the heat ex­changer and attaches to the anchor plate with two more tiny screws. The mount­ing plate doesn't secure to the heatsink, so it slides around while you try to line up the screws. The fin stacks are close enough together that all but the longest, skinniest screwdrivers are too wide to fit between them. The fans attach to the cooler with wire clips, which are flimsy and difficult to secure compared to the much better clips found in the Phanteks and Noctua coolers. Like most dual-stack coolers we've tested, the Silver Arrow in­terferes with tall RAM heat spreaders, so you'll need to use low-profile RAM.

Once installed onto our overclocked i7-3930K test bed, the Silver Arrow SB-E performed slightly behind the Noctua and a good 3 C behind the Phanteks. It was even slightly outperformed by the direct-contact Cooler Master Hyper 212 Evo. For the price of the Silver Arrow you can get the Noctua, which has an easier install and slightly better temperatures, or for $5 more you can get the Phanteks, which performs even better, has a better install than the Thermalright, and comes in a variety of colors, but lacks PWM fans.

Description: There’s something incongruous about mustard-and-olive fans with those edgy nickel-plated cooling fins

There’s something incongruous about mustard-and-olive fans with those edgy nickel-plated cooling fins



Thermalright Silver Arrow SB-E

Noctua NH-D14 SE2011

Phanteks PH-TC14PE

Ambient Air




Idle Temperature




Burn Temperature




ΔT (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.

There's something incongruous about mustard-and-olive fans with those edgy nickel-plated cooling fins.





Pros and cons


Green arrow: Good, but not best-in-class cooling, quiet; PWM fans.


Green hornet : Frustrating install; requires low-profile RAM.



H x D x W (inches, with fans): 6.6 x 5.1 x 6.8


2lbs, 7.6 oz

Heat pipes


Stock fans

1x 15cm, 1x 14cm, PWM

Add Fan Support





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