It has been quite a while since I have looked at cooling products from SilverStone. In that time it seems they have been hard at work because a trip to their site and searching out their coolers will show you that they have now released a new line of coolers. There are only two new coolers in this lineup, and they are designated the Heligon Series of CPU coolers. While there is a huge variation in the Heligon Series that is built for passive cooling, we are going to be sticking with an actively cooled solution.
Active cooling usually refers to a fan cooling the device, but unlike most dual fan, dual tower designs, SilverStone has chose to use one fan in this design that can offer the best of both worlds. With the flick of a switch you can have silence of operation, or flipping that same switch over to the other position will give you plenty of air flow for those that want to take their CPU to the bleeding edge of its capabilities.
I know I am jumping ahead with the details on the fan, but this is no ordinary fan. That isn't all it takes to make for an efficient design though. The shapes, sizes, and thickness of the fins come into play, as well as the layout as they pass over the heat pipes. Most coolers have a copper base these days, and so does this cooler, but where some manufacturers use thermal paste to make contact with the base of the cooler, SilverStone decided to solder them into place for more efficient heat transfer. Along with that, there is a serious amount of surface area on this design, even if at first it looks to be a bit odd. Once you get to see the cooler installed the design completely makes sense, and I personally grinned a bit once I saw the design in action. It was so simple to offer what SilverStone brings to the table, just no one ever addressed it this way.
The twin tower design from SilverStone is labeled as the Heligon Series SST-HE01 and is the cooler we are about to get a really close look at over the next few pages. While not the typical design, or even the typical cooling solution, SilverStone give this cooler a tag line of "twin tower heat sink with unbelievable cooling power". Since this cooler has a rating of a 300 Watt TDP and with what I have already seen of the fan, I can tell you that the HE01 is now my favorite solution in twin tower CPU cooler designs.
I think it is well worth your time to stick it out through the review and see why I think SilverStone waiting for others to make mistakes and paying close attention to the markets complaints should pay off for them in spades.
Specifications, Availability and Pricing
Going by what the chart shows, the SST-HE01 is constructed from copper for the base and heat pipes, then both are nickel plated for anti-corrosion and aesthetic reasons, and then the aluminum fins are pressed over the six pipes with 6mm diameter. The fan chosen to cool this design is a 140mm diameter fan that is 38mm thick. The fan itself is specified to run between 18 and 41 dBA while producing 42.8 to a whopping 171 CFM of airflow. Since the fan is in the middle of this twin tower design the overall size is quite small for this category of coolers. The cooler stands 160mm tall, is 140mm side to side, and is only 119mm front to back. This will leave lots of room for memory and getting to the 8-pin EPS power plug connection.
Off the record so to speak, as it isn't covered in the specs, the HE01 isn't the typical design. The way the cooler is supposed to be installed, it has a thinner tower nearest the memory slots as not to encroach on that space at all. Then after the fan, there is a larger section of the twin tower design that is a size that I am used to seeing on this type of design. Added benefits to this are that the fan in between the fin arrays has less air to pull or slow the fan down in its performance levels. Essentially with half the thickness of a standard design, you would think that you would lose efficiency. To combat the loss of surface area, this is why the fan has a switch on it to allow you to take what could be a silent fan and switch it over to performance mode and be more than capable of cooling any processor that isn't going to deliver more than 300 watts to the cooler. One would almost assume this cooler could be run passively, but I tried it and I don't suggest it, this is why they offer the HE02.
With the newness of the Heligon Series, and more specifically the SST-HE01, there are only four current listings for this cooler at the time of writing. Newegg and some random eBay listing have the HE01 delivered to your door for the price of $78.98. The next listing climbs to $84 before shipping and well over $100 for the next. As for the fourth listing, it is in state for me and I have to add more money for state taxes on that listing making it almost $120. While the price may vary, the lowest on the list is one of the most reputable and is where I would put my purchase in at.
As with anything lately, pay attention to the listed pricing, it may save you near $40, and at less than $80 to get the SST-HE01 twin tower cooler to your door, I really think you are going to find as I did that this is a cooler you aren't going to want to pass up.
The Heligon Series HE01 comes in a plain brown box with black screening done over it to show bits of the cooler around the six features listed under the cooler naming. It states the HE01 has unbelievable cooling power, and with a 300W TDP and a 171 CFM fan, I bet that is an honest claim.
On the right side, you have to lay the packaging sideways to read it, but it states in nine languages that if you need information or support to visit the addresses listed.
The back of the packaging offers the same header we saw on the front, but this time there is a look head long into the cooler with the fan showing through from the middle of the cooler.
The last side of the packaging offers the same specifications chart we went over on the last page. This gives buyers the chance to be sure that the cooler works with most boards and should cover all the aspects one needs to see if the cooler is a fit on their chassis.
Opening the box you will immediately find the manual sitting atop the dense foam surrounding the cooler with a slim hardware box packed in the end closest to you to take up the extra room and offers the base of the cooler something to rest on in transit.
Removing the unit from the box and also removing all of the foam, you find the HE01 is wrapped in plastic and has a thick cardboard box between the towers to keep the cooler aligned and reduce the size of the packaging. Inside of this box you will find the 140mm fan that is shipped with the HE01.
SilverStone SST-HE01 Twin Tower CPU Cooler
What you are looking at here is the face of the HE01 and the stack of 47 fins pressed over the pipes that make some unconventional crossing of the pipes as they enter the base of the cooler. The fins are very wide across this side of the cooler and are supported in the middle to keep the spacing correct across this entire length.
From the side you can see that the front or the stack on the left is much thinner than the back section of this design. While both stacks contain 47 fins, the "front" section allows you to still have access to vital components on the motherboard, where other dual tower designs don't seem to care.
Looking down at the top of the cooler you can see the jagged edges of the fins to help with the proper spacing of the fan to be able to build its pressure, as well as being slightly curved. The notches and tabs on the sides is where you can connect the equipped fan as well as an additional two with the provided fan clips.
Between the towers, at the top of the base, there are four keys protruding that will allow for the cross bar to be installed later. These tabs are what will keep the bar centered, but also will keep the cooler from twisting once it is installed.
The pipes do run in an odd configuration into the base, but as you can see here, with this configuration they were left making very gentle bends to the pipes and not kinking them or making them oblong in the process keeping the integrity of each pipe intact.
The base is slightly convex, or it is slightly high in the middle, and bears the marks of the milling process. You can also see at the edge of the base that each of the pipes has been soldered into place after the plating has been done.
Skipping ahead and digging into the boxes to get the rubber isolation pads, the fan, and the wire fan clips, you can now see the HE01 in its fully assembled configuration, this time with the front of the cooler facing the right.
Spinning the HE01 around so that we can see just how much of the fins this 39mm thick monster of a fan covers, and I must say it covers the better part of 80% of both fin stacks, and should have no issues cooling them with the 171 CFM that this fan is capable of pushing.
Accessories and Documentation
The fan used to cool the HE01 is this rounded frame 140mm fan. With seven thick fan blades and the frame all being black, the natural aluminum and flat black fan is a nice contrast. As for the connectivity, it comes with a 4-pin PWM connector for the motherboard, but also has another male fan connector piggy backed inline so you can also connect another fan from the same header.
Now we get a glimpse at the model number for this 38mm thick fan. It is the SST-FHP141-H that requires 9V to run 1110 RPM and with 12V can spin at speeds of 1945 RPM from what I gathered during testing. You may also notice that there is an extra set of wiring besides the four wires to power and control it.
Those wires will lead you to a switch cut into the frame of the fan. It is currently set on P or Performance mode. This is where the fan is at its loudest and strongest. You then have the option to select Q or Quiet mode, to give you silence at the expense of a few degrees.
Even though there is only one fan shipped with the HE01, SilverStone offers even more room for improvement by supplying to total of six wire fan clips so that you may run up to three fans on this cooler if you should choose to do so.
Getting to the hardware, you can see you get quite a bit, and this isn't all of it. Here you have the thermal grease, mounting screws, AMD plastic spacer stickers, four black plastic spacers, eight black rubber fan pads, the LGA775 insert, LGA2011 mounting screws, leg mounting screws and four thumbscrews.
The rest of the hardware provided includes the Intel top brackets on the left, the universal back plate that has rubber spacers for Intel, and the AMD top brackets at the right. Once all of the hardware is on the board and the cooler is in place, you then secure it with the cross-bar at the bottom with the spring loaded Phillip's screws in it.
Installation and Finished Product
Installing the HE01 on my Z68 motherboard, you have to slide in the bolts through the back of the universal back plate, and slide it all in through the holes of the motherboard. Also be sure to align it right with the socket screws as seen here.
The orientation is wrong for the top brackets, I realized later when I tried to install the cooler, but you get the idea. All you do to secure the top hardware to the back plate is add the spacers over the screws, then the top brackets, and use the nuts to lock it all in place.
After I had my "facepalm" moment trying a dry fit to the motherboard, I promptly swapped the brackets around and added a bit of TIM to see how the spread pattern is.
It was at this point I noticed alignment arrows on the brackets. With most coolers you are left going back to the manual for the orientation of these brackets, the handy little arrows on them makes it simple to figure out how to install them.
With the cooler fully mounted and taking a big step back, you can see how monstrous this cooler is, when designed correctly, can still leave you quite a bit of access around it to the components and connections on the motherboard.
There definitely aren't any issues with the HE01 hanging down too far and causing issues with the card in the top slot of my motherboard.
Like I mentioned earlier, the HE01 in its stock configuration with only the single 140mm fan leaves me free to populate all four of my memory slots with as tall of spreaders as I want to install, the HE01 is well out of the way for that.
In this last image I wanted to get a better angle of the whole cooler in the image, but I can also show off the room between the heat sinks around the socket and the cooler, as well as it not covering over the 8-pin EPS connection at the right of the motherboard.
Test System and Thermal Results
Testing for the CPU coolers is done with the use of RealTemp to ascertain temperatures, Intel Burn Test to deliver the load to the CPU and CPU-Z to verify the CPU speed and the voltage being used in Windows. All of the testing is done with an ambient temperature of 24.5-25C and humidity is maintained to 35% sometimes less.
For the "stock" runs, it's more of a plug and play setup where the PWM of the motherboard is in control of the fans speeds for both the idle and load results. Speed Step is active and the processor idles at 1600MHz and loads at 3500MHz for the stock settings. I also set the memory to run at 1600MHz for stock. As for the overclocked runs, I load the CPU at 4.5GHz and idle results are obtained with 7.5V to the fans while the load run is set to deliver 12V to the fans. This allows me to gauge the lowest and highest fan ratings for my charts.
As you can see I tested both the Quiet mode, designated as QM in the chart and the Performance mode designated as PM. For a cooler of this size, there is nothing really shocking or depressing about the idle results, it is on par with the average to better than average results across both modes.
When we load the processor at both stock and overclocked settings, the HE01 does falter a bit in quiet mode with the OC applied, but that is fine. With the flip of a switch and definitely more noise, I was able to take that 76 degree reading and drop it to 71 degrees. Even at the stock clocks, I was able to get that same five degree improvement.
Keep in mind, if you have a couple of high performance fans, or order a couple of these 140mm fans that comes with the HE01, you can have 513 total CFM blasting through this cooler and I guarantee you would drop the temperatures considerably more for sure.
Noise Level Results
To obtain the 26 dB rating of the included fan, of course I was in Quiet mode, and the fans were spinning at near 1100 RPM for this result. The claim of being a silent cooling solution is spot on. Even at the expense of a few degrees, even with a mild overclock, the HE01 is more than capable of handling its business with little to no additional noise to your chassis.
Once the switch was set on Performance mode, you definitely are given better performance, to the tune of five degrees of improvement. The issue is, that once the switch is set, and 12V were surging through this fan, it skyrockets the noise levels to a maximum result of 62 dB.
Keep this in mind if you do plan to add more of these fans, it's only going to get louder.
I hand out credit when it is due, and SilverStone gets a huge thanks from me with its proof that a twin tower design can be both efficient and somewhat space saving. We have seen already that anyone can build this style of cooler, but it seems up until now nobody paid attention to what the users were asking for, they just followed the same mold everyone else was using. SilverStone didn't take huge leaps and bounds to make this ingeniously innovative; they just took everything into consideration when designing the HE01, and truly left me wanting nothing more out of the cooler, its hardware, or the performance I was able to obtain. This is why I feel SilverStone deserves a pat on the back. The cooler performs admirably and I can still get to everything on my motherboard without having to remove the cooler or the motherboard to make something as simple as a memory swap possible.
The choice of fan is another thing that really sets the HE01 apart from any other solution I have seen. As I say many times, you get silent coolers or you get great performing ones at the expense of your ears. The HE01 truly delivers both with something as simple as a built in fan switch. In quiet mode it doesn't perform the best, but will keep temperatures well within spec, with almost no noise added to the user's environment. I just really like that with the flip of a switch I can knock off another five degrees.
If you are going for the bleeding edge of the chip, you likely aren't going to keep it there all the time, and for those runs, who cares if it sounds like a vacuum; in reality, with 171 CFM of air flow it practically is a vacuum. I really would have liked to have an extra pair of the SST-FHP141-H fans just to see what sort of results I could achieve with over 500 CFM of air, but I guess that is something you will have to try for yourselves.
All things considered, aesthetics, compatibility with sockets and their surrounding areas, the design, the choice of fan to accompany it, the hardware and its ease of use, and all the results I obtained, you aren't going to find another cooler with this feature set. On top of that with the fact that the HE01 as you saw it here, it is only going to set you back $78.98. SilverStone really did plan this design very well, and I think the images and results speak for themselves.
That being said, I ready don't see how anyone could pass up on the HE01 as the twin tower design of choice. It just takes monstrous coolers to a new level and leaves most of the lesser thought out designs out in the pasture as they prove the young buck is the strongest and smartest solution for any processor with less the 300 watts of power delivered through it.
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