SilverStone AR01 CPU Cooler
WHAT WE LIKED:Great price to performance ratio, super quiet operation, PWM-enabled fan, great deal of clearance to the first PCI slot.
WHAT WE DISLIKED:Blue fan frame may not suit all builds, lack of RAM clearance on our particular test setup.
SilverStone nailed it with the AR01 cooler. It doesn’t have crazy looks or a strange layout, it’s just a simple, yet effective unit. The blue fan may not fit all builds if you’re going for a particular theme.
The included 120mm fan is PWM-enabled for automatic speed control and is nearly silent at all but the highest loads.
PCI slot clearance was exceptional but the RAM clearance suffered on our particular board. This may not be the case for all boards and sockets, but it is something to note.
The SilverStone AR01 CPU cooler is a great cooler for the price. It hangs with the Noctua units (with their LNA’s installed) in terms of noise level and performance yet comes in at around half the price at only $34.95 from Performance-PCs.com at the time of this writing.
Overall the SilverStone AR01 CPU cooler is a great buy. The price to performance ratio is exceptional and the fan is dead silent at idle and very much tolerable at full speed. The installation is pretty simple for the most part, minus the slight hang-up when threading the standoffs into the backplate. The fan mounting blocks are a unique yet utterly simplistic way of holding a fan to the heatsink. They were also kind enough to include an extra set of four should you decide to do a push/pull setup. The AR01 comes with a 3-year warranty from SilverStone as well ensuring the cooler will be trouble-free for some time to come. Taking into account everything I’ve gone over with the AR01 it easily earns the PureOC Great Hardware award for its outstanding price to performance ratio.