SilverStone Tundra TD02-E AIO Review
Published: 16th April 2015 | Source: SilverStone | Price: 75.80 |
The SilverStone Tundra TD02-E is for the greater part exactly like any other AIO on the market. We say for the greater part because as already alluded to there are variations. The main one of these is the decision by SilverStone to move away from the traditional zig-zag Aluminium fin design and towards what they refer to as brazing fins. These brazing fins are much thicker and heavy duty and unlike some radiators which will suffer fin deformation if you simply pick the radiator up incorrectly, these resist all efforts to bend them even when you give them a good prod with a screw driver handle. SilverStone claim that the brazing fin method results in greater contact with the water channels which will translate into better heat exchange and dissipation. They have also added Acrylic panels to the sides of the radiator, which in certain lights appear to be covering a carbon fibre effect surface below. We're not sure if this is intended or not, but if it is then they do need to make it a tad more obvious as we didn't even see it until it showed up on one of the images we took. The other main difference is their use of a Nickel coated all Aluminium unibonded cold plate pump housing, finished off with a screwless Copper contact surface. We have to say, the two combined are a thing of beauty. It's also nice that with many of the competition having cold plates with so many wires coming from them that they look like snakes escaping from a box, the TD02-E is refreshingly snake light. Basically, if we had an award for sexiest Cold plate on an AIO this would win it hands down.
So do all these variations pay off? Does the TD02-E knock the opposition on its arse? Does the TD02-E have substance as well as style? Well no actually. It talks the talk but it doesn't really walk the walk. If we look at the Holy Trinity as a reference point here, remembering that to score well a cooler must Have decent performance, look good and go about its business quietly. Granted it scores extremely well in the looks department, but it's not good enough to score well in only one out of the three categories. We suspect it's the radiator and in particular the different fin design that's letting the side down, as the fans have very similar performance to those fitted on the Recently reviewed H100i GTX and it totally blitzed the charts at full rpm. This might just be one of those cases where innovative design and "being different" doesn't necessarily result in better results.
We'd like to be able to end on a positive by saying that at least the FD02-E is cheap, thing is, although it might be cheaper than the likes of the Corsair H100i GTX and the Fractal S24 it's still more expensive than the Raijintek and the 240M. If you really likes the looks of the TD02-E, want a SilverStone themed build and are willing to trade a bit of performance for either of the aforementioned then the TD02-E isn't a bad proposition, but take these factors out of the equation and it starts to look less so.