SilverStone TD03-E Liquid CPU Cooler Review

The test rig consists of the following parts:

Processor: Intel Core i7 3770K
Motherboard: Gigabyte Z77X-UD4H
Video Card: Zotac 560 Ti
Memory: Samsung Green MV-3V4G3D/US – 16GB
Power Supply: Enermax Maxrevo 1350W
Storage: OCZ Vertex 3 240 GB raid 0 Running Windows 7 64bit
Cooling: SilverStone TD03-E
Case: Phanteks Enthoo Luxe

As always testing was done using Intel Burn Test (IBT) with the AVX instruction set. The reason to use this instead of Prime95 with this setup is that it pushes our i7 3770K a whole lot harder. This gives us a better sense of extreme load temps. Most of the testing was done at the max memory setting for a single pass. While admittedly this in no way would qualify the chip as stable while overclocked, it gives us a realistic idea of what temperatures the CPU will be hitting. Additionally we are going to run 3DMARK Fire Strike Extreme to give you a realistic idea of performance while gaming.

Our baseline was established using a bequiet! Dark Rock Pro 2 with the 3770K on stock settings:

Ambient temps: 22.22C/72F
Idle temps: 38.75C/101.75F core average
IBT temps one pass max memory: 63.5C/146.3F core average

The first thing we did was to test the cooler with stock motherboard/CPU settings:

Ambient temps: 22.22°C/72°F
Idle temps: 42.5°C/108.5°F core average
IBT temps one pass max memory: 66.75°C/152.15°F core average

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Unfortunately at this point the TD03-E is underperforming our baseline cooler. At idle we are 3.75°C warmer and under load we are 3.25°C warmer in spite of the fact that we are at the same ambient temperature. Let’s keep testing to see what this cooler can do with an overclock applied.

As opposed to simply going for a max overclock, we are simply going to shoot to hit 4.5ghz pass or fail. If the cooler will allow our 3770K to hit 4.5 ghz we note the temperatures and move on to test it on 3DMARK Firestrike. If not then back down to a more acceptable and stable overclock. Not as extreme as our previous testing, but slightly more consistent and far more analogous to normal use such as gaming.

Here are our results for our i7 3770K @ 4.5ghz with 1.248V vCore:

Ambient temps: 22.22°C/72°F
IBT temps: 81.75°C/179.15°F with one core hitting 86°C



The unfortunate reality is that this is the absolute max that I would ever overclock our test chip to using this cooler. We are definitely at the limit for the kind of heat the TD03-E can dissipate. Since these are stress test temps we should be able to run some games at much cooler temperatures. Let’s go ahead and fire off a run of 3DMARK while overclocked to 4.5ghz and see how it goes.

Ambient temps: 22.22°C/72°F
3DMARK: 65°C/149°F with one core hitting 67°C

We find that we are in the mid to upper 60s with an average of 65°C that puts us in the safe zone for gaming. Again I would have to say that our overclock is definitely maxed at this point. In fact for 24/7 use I would feel more comfortable dropping down to 4.4ghz.

As for noise the TD03-E operates at the same volume as the TD02-E as it has the same exact type and number of fans. Essentially if you are running with the fans plugged into the motherboard you won’t hear them. At full speed plugged into the the molex adapter they are noisy with a little bit of higher pitch to them. Not the worst we have tested but you will know for certain if they are at full speed.

SilverStone TD03-E Liquid CPU Cooler

With the correct lighting these units start to look even better, especially with the blue backlit logo providing an accent color.