Mini-ITX CPU Air Cooler Round-Up

SilverStone Argon AR06

First up on the testing block is one of SilverStone's newer low profile coolers, the Argon AR06. The AR06 is part of SilverStone's Argon series of CPU coolers, which is intended to provide not only excellent value but also high performance as well.

The AR06 is simply a scaled up version of its smaller counterpart, the AR05, featuring two additional 6mm diameter heat pipes and a taller heat sink to handle CPUs with TDPs up to 95W. Both coolers utilize the same 92 x 15mm fan and feature a standard format, downdraft style design. On the Intel side of things, the AR06 drops support for most of Intel's legacy sockets, and only includes hardware for CPUs that drop into the 115X series of sockets. When it comes to support for AMD processors, the AR06 includes hardware for any of the four bolt, rectangular sockets such as AM2/3 and FM1/2. Finally, the AR06 comes with mounting hardware, a standard instruction manual, thermal paste, and a set of rubber spacers to protect the back of the motherboard from the screws used to mount the cooler.



The AR06 is the only cooler in today's round-up with a design featuring direct contact heat pipes on the base of the cooler. The cooler's mounting kit is quick and easy to assemble and simply involves securing the screws to the proper set of mounting arms, attaching the arms to the base of the cooler, applying thermal paste to the CPU, placing the cooler onto the CPU, applying the rubber pads to the female hex bolts, and then securing the cooler to the motherboard using the bolts. Once the cooler is installed on the board, the installation is completed by connecting the cooler's fan to the CPU fan header on the motherboard.

Finally, one of the attractive features of the AR06 is that due it its extremely compact nature, users do not need to worry about having RAM clearance issues, which is common in other, larger coolers.

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  • megamanxtreme
    I was hoping for one that can be mounted like the stock AMD cooler, without having to rely on pulling-out the motherboard to install the back plate.
  • why_wolf
    For these kinds of small form factor coolers I would greatly appreciated seeing the stock Intel cooler in there. No point in buying 3rd party if it can't beat stock.
  • farlandprince
    What kind of a roundup is this?

    you missed like 10 available coolers ...
  • Onus
    The Reeven appears to be available at Newegg, but all their products also tack on a $20 shipping charge.
  • SuperBox
    The Shadow Rock LP does not require the use of low profile memory, standard memory without a tall heat spreader can fit.
  • Calculatron
    I love cooler round-ups!

    Please tell me that more are coming!
  • DonkeyOatie
    Shame some of the older coolers you have reviewed, like the RAIJINTEK Pallas or Xigmatek Januscould not have been included, so the earlier reviews could be 'normalized' with this hardware kit
  • Dark Lord of Tech
    Cryorig?
  • NMOGV2
    How about the inclusion of the scythe big suriken 2 rev. b? For 40$ it's an amazing little cooler.
  • Yuka
    No GeminII M4? :(

    I wish you guys can include them, as well as include (when available) the new boxed cooler from AMD, plus Intel boxed coolers.

    Cheers!
  • 10tacle
    I'm curious what the requisites were for just these four coolers being tested. Was a notification sent out to all the mITX cooler makers to ask for a sample product to test and these are the only four that were sent? Or was it a case of not all mITX cooler makers were reached out to? It's not real clear in the intro.

    Tom's tested eight of them back in Nov. 2013:

    http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/low-profile-heat-sink-mini-itx,3639.html
  • Crashman
    202972 said:
    I'm curious what the requisites were for just these four coolers being tested. Was a notification sent out to all the mITX cooler makers to ask for a sample product to test and these are the only four that were sent? Or was it a case of not all mITX cooler makers were reached out to? It's not real clear in the intro. Tom's tested eight of them back in Nov. 2013: http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/low-profile-heat-sink-mini-itx,3639.html
    You'd probably be upset if you found out that these were leftover samples sent with things like the big coolers that I test and the small cases that he tests, so let me be nice and say that he has the full license to pick up on small cooling reviews where I left off. So this is just the intro to a series of reviews.
  • 10tacle
    8708 said:
    So this is just the intro to a series of reviews.


    Ah....I had to read the intro again to fully understand after your response. Thanks Crashman! Fully understood.
  • cmiconi
    As Crash mentioned earlier (and as I mentioned in the article), most of these coolers came with the mITX cases I received. We also had a couple requests from manufactures to test their products. I've still got a couple of coolers on hand that need to be tested at some point, but I've shifted my focus back to cases for the time being, so it's going to be a bit.

    That does leave me some time though to start sending out requests for samples and I'm open to suggestions on what to request. Also, if there's enough demand for a particular theme (i.e. budget coolers) I can also put together another round-up.
  • Janemba
    What about AMD Wraith ? Its Mini-ITX cooler
  • gadgety
    I'd like to see tests based on cooler height: This is the best performer up to 40 mm, 45 mm, 50 mm, 55 mm, 60mm, 65mm etc. At least when I go searching for a cooler one of the first questions I ask is "will it fit." In addition it makes the comparison more relevant. A 75mm cooler will likely be better than a 45, or 58mm. The second question is "how does it perform" and the third "how much is it". Q2 and Q3 I might switch but the first one is not negotiable. I also think that the stock cooler should be in all comparisons.
  • bit_user
    Thanks for the article.

    879769 said:
    I'm open to suggestions on what to request. Also, if there's enough demand for a particular theme (i.e. budget coolers) I can also put together another round-up.
    I'd love to see how Scythe Big Shuriken II Rev. B compares. I have one paired with a Noctua 140 mm fan on my Sandybridge-E. I don't know if it's compatible with Skylake, though.

    Something I've seen on at least one other site is to take another set of cooling measurements using a common reference fan. This is helpful for those of us who would swap fans anyway, and it's a more direct apples-to-apples measurement of cooling efficiency.
  • Daniel Ladishew
    Thank you for testing a product in the environment it was meant to be used in! This is a great start to a (hopefully) comprehensive series of reviews and a truly useful roundup. Thanks guys!
  • RedJaron
    Do you per chance have an ITX FM2+ board to check RAM clearance when you review these?
  • Crashman
    570460 said:
    Do you per chance have an ITX FM2+ board to check RAM clearance when you review these?
    First of all, I'd like to appologize to everyone for the missing information.
    The NH-L12 for example has 0.5" of offset. That's important to know if you're wondering "can I turn this thing to fit the other way". I later started listing which directions the offset pointed (front/rear left/right). When you have both the dimensions AND the offset, you can figure out what the biggest cooler to fit your board will be.

    http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/low-profile-heat-sink-mini-itx,3639.html

    Second of all, one reason the NH-L12 was included in both articles is so that a reader could compare the differences of various coolers (such as "this one is cooler than the NH-L12, what does the previous article say about the other one). So the NH-L12 is the "conversion factor" cooler.
  • GeoDash
    Quote:
    Cryorig?



    Not always the best. They're still beat by other companies.