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[nextpage title=”Introduction”]

The HE02 is a CPU cooler from SilverStone that has a tower heatsink, six heatpipes, and can be used in passive mode, i.e., without any fan. Let’s test it and see if it really works well without a fan.

According to the manufacturer, the HE02 can dissipate up to 95 W with no fan at all, 130 W with a case fan near the cooler, and more than 150 W with a 120 mm fan attached to the heatsink.

The HE02 comes in a brown cardboard box, as seen in Figure 1.

SilverStone HE02Figure 1: Package

Figure 2 shows the contents of the box: heatsink, a small tube of thermal compound, manual, fan holders, and installation hardware. The HE02 comes with no fan.

SilverStone HE02Figure 2: Accessories

Figure 3 displays the SilverStone HE02.

SilverStone HE02Figure 3: The SilverStone HE02

This cooler is discussed in detail in the following pages.

[nextpage title=”The SilverStone HE02″]

Figure 4 illustrates the front of the heatsink. The heatsink is asymmetrical, being shifted to the right in order to not interfere with a tall chipset heatsink.

SilverStone HE02Figure 4: Front view

Figures 5 and 6 reveal the sides of the cooler. Again, the heatsink is shifted to the rear, avoiding the space over memory modules.

SilverStone HE02Figure 5: Side view

SilverStone HE02Figure 6: Side view

[nextpage title=”The SilverStone HE02 (Cont’d)”]

In Figure 7, you can see the top of the cooler. The fins (and thus the entire heatsink) have a unique shape in order to fit 120 mm coolers on both the front and rear sides, as well as allowing access to the mounting screws.

SilverStone HE02Figure 7: Top view

Figure 8 illustrates the crossed nickel-plated heatpipes that connect the base of the cooler to the heatsink. This design is interesting because it spreads the heat from the center of the CPU to both sides of the heatsink.

SilverStone HE02Figure 8: Heatpipes

Figure 9 shows the base of the cooler, which is not exactly mirrored.

SilverStone HE02Figure 9: Base

[nextpage title=”Installation”]

The first step of the installation of the HE02 is to prepare the backplate. You must install the four screws in the holes that match your CPU socket. Figure 10 shows the backplate with the screws installed in the socket LGA1155 position.

SilverStone HE02Figure 10: Backplate with screws

Locate the backplate in the solder side of the motherboard, install four plastic spacers, and then the metal bars shown in Figure 11, securing them with four thumbnuts.

SilverStone HE02Figure 11: Metal bars installed

Put the cooler in, holding it with a transversal bar. Initially, we tested the cooler as it appears in Figure 12, with no fan attached to the heatsink, but with the fan at the rear of the case. However, this setup proved to be insufficient to cool our system, since the CPU reached temperatures near 100° C and throttled down when under full load.

SilverStone HE02Figure 12: Heatsink installed

Then we installed a SilverStone FM123 fan (120 mm, set to 2,000 rpm) on the cooler in order to run our benchmarking.

SilverStone HE02Figure 13: With a fan installed

[nextpage title=”How We Tested”]

We tested the cooler with a Core i5-2500K CPU (quad-core, 3.3 GHz), which is a socket LGA1155 processor with a 95 W TDP (Thermal Design Power). In order to get higher thermal dissipation, we overclocked it to 4.0 GHz (100 MHz base clock and x40 multiplier), with 1.3 V core voltage (Vcore). This CPU was able to reach 4.8 GHz with its default core voltage, but at this setting, the processor enters thermal throttling when using mainstream coolers, reducing the clock and thus the thermal dissipation. This could interfere with the temperature readings, so we chose to maintain a moderate overclocking.

We measured noise and temperature with the CPU under full load. In order to get 100% CPU usage in all cores, we ran Prime 95 25.11 with the “In-place Large FFTs” option. (In this version, the software uses all available threads.)

We compared the tested cooler to other coolers we already tested, and to the stock cooler that comes with the Core i5-2500K CPU. Note that the results cannot be compared to measures taken on a different hardware configuration, so we retested some “old” coolers with this new methodology. This means you can find different values in older reviews than the values you will read on the next page. Every cooler was tested with the thermal compound that comes with it.

Room temperature measurements were taken with a digital thermometer. The core temperature was read with the SpeedFan progr
am (available from the CPU thermal sensors), using an arithmetic average of the core temperature readings.

During the tests, the panels of the computer case were closed. The front and rear case fans were spinning at minimum speed in order to simulate the “normal” cooler use on a well-ventilated case. We assume that is the common setup used by a cooling enthusiast or overclocker.

The sound pressure level (SPL) was measured with a digital noise meter, with its sensor placed near the top opening of the case. This measurement is only for comparison purposes, because a precise SPL measurement needs to be made inside an acoustically insulated room with no other noise sources, which is not the case here.

Hardware Configuration

Operating System Configuration

  • Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit SP1

Software Used

Error Margin

We adopted a 2°C error margin, meaning temperature differences below 2°C are considered irrelevant.

[nextpage title=”Our Tests”]

The table below presents the results of our measurements. We repeated the same test on all coolers listed below. Each measurement was taken with the CPU at full load. In the models with a fan supporting PWM, the motherboard controlled the fan speed according to core load and temperature. On coolers with an integrated fan controller, the fan was set at the full speed.

Cooler Room Temp. Noise Speed Core Temp. Temp. Diff.
Cooler Master Hyper TX3 18 °C 50 dBA 2850 rpm 69 °C 51 °C
Corsair A70 23 °C 51 dBA 2000 rpm 66 °C 43 °C
Corsair H100 26 °C 62 dBA 2000 rpm 64 °C 38 °C
EVGA Superclock 26 °C 57 dBA 2550 rpm 67 °C 41 °C
NZXT HAVIK 140 20 °C 46 dBA 1250 rpm 65 °C 45 °C
Thermalright True Spirit 120 26 °C 42 dBA 1500 rpm 82 °C 56 °C
Zalman CNPS12X 26 °C 43 dBA 1200 rpm 71 °C 45 °C
Zalman CNPS9900 Max 20 °C 51 dBA 1700 rpm 62 °C 42 °C
Titan Fenrir Siberia Edition 22 °C 50 dBA 2400 rpm 65 °C 43 °C
SilenX EFZ-120HA5 18 °C 44 dBA 1500 rpm 70 °C 52 °C
Noctua NH-L12 20 °C 44 dBA 1450 rpm 70 °C 50 °C
Zalman CNPS8900 Extreme 21 °C 53 dBA 2550 rpm 71 °C 50 °C
Gamer Storm Assassin 15 °C 48 dBA 1450 rpm 58 °C 43 °C
Deepcool Gammaxx 400 15 °C 44 dBA 1500 rpm 60 °C 45 °C
Cooler Master TPC 812 23 °C 51 dBA 2350 rpm 66 °C 43 °C
Deepcool Gammaxx 300 18 °C 43 dBA 1650 rpm 74 °C 56 °C
Intel stock cooler 18 °C 41 dBA 2000 rpm 97 °C 79 °C
Xigmatek Praeton 19 °C 52 dBA 2900 rpm 83 °C 64 °C
Noctua NH-U12P SE2 18 °C 42 dBA 1300 rpm 69 °C 51 °C
Deepcool Frostwin 24 °C 46 dBA 1650 rpm 78 °C 54 °C
Thermaltake Frio Advanced 13 °C 56 dBA 2000 rpm 62 °C 49 °C
Xigmatek Dark Knight Night Hawk Edition 9 °C 48 dBA 2100 rpm 53 °C 44 °C
Thermaltake Frio Extreme 21 °C 53 dBA 1750 rpm 59 °C 38 °C
Noctua NH-U9B SE2 12 °C 44 dBA 1700 rpm 64 °C 52 °C
Thermaltake WATER2.0 Pro 15 °C 54 dBA 2000 rpm 52 °C 37 °C
Deepcool Fiend Shark 18 °C 45 dBA 1500 rpm 74 °C 56 °C
Arctic Freezer i30 13 °C 42 dBA 1350 rpm 63 °C 50 °C
Spire TME III 8 °C 46 dBA 1700 rpm 70 °C 62 °C
Thermaltake WATER2.0 Performer 11 °C 54 dBA 2000 rpm 49 °C 38 °C
Arctic Alpine 11 PLUS 11 °C 45 dBA 2000 rpm 82 °C 71 °C
be quiet! Dark Rock 2 10 °C 41 dBA 1300 rpm 58 °C 48 °C
Phanteks PH-TC14CS 16 °C 47 dBA 1300 rpm 58 °C 42 °C
Phanteks PH-TC14PE 16 °C 48 dBA 1300 rpm 57 °C 41 °C
SilverStone HE01 (Q) 19 °C 44 dBA 1150 rpm 63 °C 44 °C
SilverStone HE01 (P) 20 °C 57 dBA 2050 rpm 62 °C 42 °C
Thermaltake WATER2.0 Extreme (S) 17 °C 44 dBA 1250 rpm 52 °C 35 °C
Thermaltake WATER2.0 Extreme (E) 17 °C 53 dBA 1900 rpm 50 °C 33 °C
Deepcool Neptwin 11 °C 46 dBA 1500 rpm 56 °C 45 °C
SilverStone HE02 19 °C 49 dBA 2000 rpm 64 °C 45 °C

In the graph below, you can see how many degrees Celsius hotter the CPU core is than the air outside the case. The lower this difference, the better is the performance of the cooler.

SilverStone HE02

In the graph below, you can see how many decibels of noise each cooler makes.

SilverStone HE02

[nextpage title=”Main Specifications”]

The main specifications for the SilverStone HE02 CPU cooler include:

  • Application: Sockets LGA775, LGA1155, LGA1156, LGA1366, LGA2011, AM2, AM2+, AM3, AM3+, FM1, and FM2
  • Dimensions: 6.7 x 5.1 x 6.3 inches (170 x 130 x 160 mm) (W x L x H)
  • Fins: Aluminum
  • Base: Nickel-plated copper
  • Heat-pipes: Six 6-mm copper heatpipes
  • Fan: Up to two, 120 mm (not included)
  • Nominal fan speed: NA
  • Fan air flow: NA
  • Power consumption: NA
  • Nominal noise level: NA
  • Weight: 2.18 Lbs (990 g)
  • More information: https://www.silverstonetek.com
  • MSRP in the U.S
    .: USD 70.00

[nextpage title=”Conclusions”]

The SilverStone HE02 is a huge, very well-made CPU cooler, with a clever design that shifts the center of the heatsink from the base, offering better compatibility with motherboards and memory modules with tall heatsinks.

However, we were disappointed with its performance. This disappointment comes mainly from the promise that the HE02 could passively cool a CPU of up to 130 W. Our CPU has a TDP of 95 W at the stock clock, but it is overclocked, and we cannot determine how many watts it is actually dissipating. With no fan attached to the heatsink, but with a 120 mm fan installed on the rear panel of our case, the SilverStone H02 was no able to cool our CPU, as it reached temperatures near 100° C and throttled down when under full load. Therefore, we can say that the HE02 must not be used to passively cool an overclocked CPU. Installing a 120 mm fan to the heatsink, it reaches a good cooling performance, but we were expecting more from such a huge cooler.

The SilverStone HE02 CPU cooler is an impressive cooler, but it didn’t deliver as much cooling performance as promised. It receives our Bronze Award.