Performance cooling can be separated into two segments, air and water. On the air side we have some very impressive heatsinks dominated by dual cooling towers and fan sizes around 140mm. The reason for this is to both increase performance and lower the noise footprint. On the water side the same principles apply however we are using water to store the heat energy and can then direct it anywhere we want. This can give us flexibility in radiator location and size so we can dial in our performance requirements.
In this review we will be looking at the Silverstone Tundra TD02-E. This is a dual fan AIO watercooling unit that has taken the Silverstone design principles and applied them to every aspect of this product from the pump and block design to even the unique radiator. Their idea was to create a more efficient watercooling experience that not only looks good but performs well under pressure.
The waterblock is one of the most important parts of any watercooling system and Silverstone has created an aluminum unibody to hold the block and pump combo. Mounting brackets are constructed from an extruded piece of aluminum for extra strength and will attach to the nickel plated housing.
The heatsink base is machined flat and comes with a brushed finish. You will see that the copper base extends to the edges of the unibody and features their patented screwless design for a super clean look with less surface imperfections.
TD02-E features large diameter rubber hoses which are pressure fit to both the radiator and pump block. The hoses measure in at 300mm and while they are a little stiff they bend into position with little effort and without kinking.
Most watercooling radiators have been adapted for use in computers. The first were repurposed automotive heater cores that later became the popular “Black Ice” design that has been adopted as the defacto standard for computer cooling. While the “Black Ice” style radiator design is efficient it works on the principle of air resistance.
Silverstone has designed their own radiator for the Tundra Series that closely resembles a traditional heatpipe cooling tower. Each cooling fin in the array is solder bonded to a cooling pipe for better heat transfer. The wider fin spacing lowers back pressure at the fan and offers little resistance. While we have always said that air needs to loiter in a cooling tower to be most efficient it will be interesting to see how well this radiator design works.
Of course fan performance is a deciding factor when choosing a cooling solution and the Tundra TD02-E comes with two 120mm Silverstone fans. Each fan moves about 92 CFM @ 2500 RPM with a noise level of 35dBA. The PWM controller will spin the fans down to 1500rpm @ 18dBA which is a good range for a performance fan.