Silverstone Tundra Series TD03 CPU Water Cooler Review
Peter Donnell / 7 years ago
The Silverstone Tundra is one of the more expensive all-in-one water coolers on the market, especially given that it only has a 120mm radiator. You can pick one up here in the UK for around £85 shipped at Scan.co.uk and $98 in the US from Amazon.com, it is expensive, but you’ve seen in our overclocking test that it is worth every single penny.
I am really surprised by the Tundra, I was expecting it to be high quality and high performance, much like every other Silverstone product I’ve seen roll through the eTeknix office, or from my own personal experiences with the brand, but I wasn’t expecting it to be as great as this. Sure it’s not perfect, but it really does shake up this sector of the market by doing things a little differently to the competition.
Silverstone could have done what most brands do, stick their own fans and badge on an Asetek product and most users would have been happy with that, but they’ve taken the risk of creating a unique pump / block design from solid aluminium, which not only looks stunning, but it’s also a heck of a lot more durable that the thousands of plastic construction ones that are on the market these days. The radiator design is very nice, it’s a little thicker than most other 120mm designs, but that extra surface area is what gives the TD03 such great performance when overclocking. The nickel-plated aluminium finish is a welcome break from all the typically black coolers on the market and will look great in virtually any chassis, especially those who have an aluminium enclosure. Add to that the fact the TD03 has some of the slimmest pipes on a water cooler, which means the pump is very manoeuvrable once installed, that flexibility will benefit those who need to mount at tighter angles, something common in HTPC / Mini-ITX system builds.
Having this level of performance from a 120mm radiator is incredible and I see no reason to invest in a 240mm or larger radiator that offers the same performance, especially when you can get a much more manageable 120mm radiator that does the same job. The only downside of course is that the TD03 was a little noisy, or at least the fans were. This is something you could control by changing the fan profile, but slow the fans and you’ll see an increase in temperatures, so it’s really about finding a balance that works for you. You could add aftermarket fans to improve acoustics, but I wouldn’t do so in a hurry given the cooling performance is really great with the included fans.
This cooler should prove very popular with those building a small form factor gaming system; there are many mini-ITX gaming chassis on the market and finding a suitable water cooler can be tricky, leaving you to make compromises on other components to ensure compatibility on 240mm radiators. Aside from being a little deeper, the TD03 is very easy to work with and compatibility shouldn’t be an issue for most builds given that only need a single 120mm fan mount space. So long as you can cope with the investment, this is easily one of the best all-in-one water coolers on the market today.
- Unique design
- Aluminium construction
- Virtually silent pump
- Durable build quality
- Incredibly cooling performance
- Easy to install
- Fans are a little noisy
- High price may put some people off
eTeknix says: “There is a lot to love about the Silverstone Tundra TD03, it’s refreshing to see a unique looking product in a market full of Asetek hardware and it’s even better that it out performs almost everything else in its class. It looks great, performs even better and it comes from a brand name that has a sock solid reputation for quality. Simply one of the best 120mm water coolers you could ever hope for.”
Thank you Silverstone for providing us with this sample.