The SilverStone Permafrost Series AIO Coolers

Aside from the obvious difference of a larger radiator, all three versions of the Permafrost cooler are practically identical. The core design of the coolers is the typical AIO configuration of a single radiator, two hoses, and a block that combines the CPU contact plate and a miniature liquid pump. The designer went with standard rubber tubes with external nylon sleeve braiding for additional protection, which are fixed on the radiator and partially adjustable (just a couple dozen degrees sideways) on the CPU block.

SilverStone focused their design efforts on the main block assembly. The company installed a three-phase engine pump and an AEC-Q100 sine wave generator, increasing the efficiency and lowering the noise output of the pump itself. The AEC-Q100 is certified by the Automotive Electronics Council, thus SilverStone is marketing it as an “automotive grade” generator. We can only agree that it is a high-quality part. The designer also installed a micro-channel copper block and made sure to thermally separate the input and output in order to prevent heat creeping.

The top part of the main block assembly is a real acrylic mirror that hides RGB LEDs. Once lit, the LEDs form SilverStone’s logo on the mirror. The user can adjust the lighting effects, colors, speed, etc., but cannot change the illuminated shape in any way.

SilverStone also claims that their radiators are “automotive grade”. That may be accurate regarding the corrosion protection and/or the material of the radiator. In terms of size, however, even the largest 360 radiator cannot be used as a cooling radiator in any kind of car – it hardly has the mass to be used as a heater core in a very small car. Though this is of no real concern to us, as the Permafrost is going to be used to cool PC processors, not a combustion engine.

On topic, the radiators are typical dual pass cross-flow designs, with tiny fins soldered on thin oblong tubes. This is by far the most dominant radiator design for AIO systems and rightfully so, as it offers the best efficiency within limited proportions and for the temperature differences that AIO coolers have to deal with. The radiators are just 26 mm thick, meaning that the entire assembly with the fans requires only 51 mm of clearance, maximizing compatibility.

The bottom of the main block assembly reveals a sizable, square cooper block. It is neither nickel-plated or polished down to a mirror finish, yet the finish is very smooth and free of imperfections. Do note, however, that these coolers are meant for mainstream desktop processors rather than large HEDT processors; so the contact plate is not large enough to cover Ryzen Threadripper processors and SilverStone does not provide hardware to install any Permafrost cooler onto a TR4 socket.

SilverStone’s application of RGB lighting on the cooling fans is exceptional. The designer placed the LEDs into the fan’s engine, creating a fantastic diffusion visual effect on the fan’s semi-transparent blades. If connected to a compatible motherboard, both the fans and the main block will copy the programmed lighting theme of the system. For those who do not own a compatible motherboard or just do not want to have lighting synergy between different parts, the lighting effects can be programmed from the wired controller, meaning that the user will have to open the case in order to access it.

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  • BenSkywalker - Friday, June 19, 2020 - link

    I don't look at the names of posters, I look at the message they posted. You chose to post in the comments thread on an article about an add in water cooler to spread misinformation and FUD. People who use water only do so once? I haven't met a single person, ever, who falls into that category.

    Water runs cooler and it is quieter while being more expensive. That is a factual statement.

    You take exception to the facts and imply some level of emotion to be at play.... bizarre.

    Water cooling is a frivolity, as is the process of building a computer in the first place. This article is about a component used in building a computer, a certain level of frivolity should be self evident.
  • PeachNCream - Saturday, June 20, 2020 - link

    What misinformation and FUD are you talking about? You're still trying to demonize the person behind a message you dislike by making accusations that aren't supported in the very text you are responding to because you feel threatened over something you bought for your personal enjoyment. That's rather - I guess the best way to express it is to simply say that's young and lacking in life experience.
  • BenSkywalker - Saturday, June 20, 2020 - link

    Would air coolers paint these in a poor light...

    Two seconds to prove that implication absolutely wrong.

    Most people only go water once

    This isn't quite so fast, but any time spent on enthusiast forums will show you that certainly isn't true.

    Air cooling is more that enough ...

    10900K would line to have a word.

    We don't have a large enough sample size to know how common leaks are.....

    Again, go to any enthusiast forum and ask around. There is a reason water cooling went from a tiny niche to the norm for the high end enthusiast market.

    I haven't attacked *you* at all, I don't know you and have nothing against you. I have an issue with FUD and with people who troll discussions about products they have something against. I don't like SFF PCs, they aren't for me. I do not spend my time trolling articles about products used to make them.

    Also, you continue to claim that there is an emotional reason to go water when hard data points say you are flat out wrong. Water is cooler, water is quieter. This is measured data, this isn't some feeling.
  • PeachNCream - Tuesday, June 23, 2020 - link

    I'm not debating that liquid cooling results in lower temps. Noise is a different critter as that varies based on what specific cooler you happen to be using so claiming something is universally quieter is incorrect.

    Back to the point of cooler. Sure a CPU will run at a lower temp, but if something is cool enough on some sort non-liquid HSF, then using a liquid setup will give you an on-paper advantage that won't matter. That's a point you're avoiding acknowledging as a result of personal bias.

    Your two primary points are moot. Your argument that liquid cooling is the norm is not supported by any statistical data from a credible source. What sample of sales data do you have at your disposal to support an assertion of popularity? Is it purely personal experience or do you have information you can supply that can support that?

    You didn't even read the entire post I made about leaks before quoting it as support for a perception of bias. If you had, you wouldn't have included it because you would have figured out I was advising against judging liquid cooling based on leak potential since we don't have good sample data available to cite it as an inherent problem. You're seeing what you want to see and making me into a threat to support an uninformed notion I have something against liquid cooling that warrants your spending so much effort to defend it. That's very emotional of you.
  • BenSkywalker - Tuesday, June 23, 2020 - link

    Do you not follow the high end CPU market? Legit question. Boost clock speeds vary based on voltage and temperature of the die, cooler running chips require less voltage so on both fronts there is a tangible and measurable edge to using water, in most cases it is mild, but in instances like the 10900k it can be a rather sizable margin.

    For noise water is quieter than air. American citizens are taller than Chinese citizens, that is both a true statement and obviously not universal.Yao Ming is taller than anyone I know IRL, but that doesn't make the overwhelming data less true.

    The leaks issue, we have a rather huge sample size between all of the various forums combined with most of the enthusiast tech outlets. Given that a water cooler leak is likely the second most catastrophic failure behind a PSU 'explosion' it is a rather safe bet it isn't common. I could say ants bring dynamite into a close and blow it up, can you link a study proving that's wrong?

    Air is "good enough"- and a ten year old dual core CPU is "good enough" for most things too. It isn't a emotional statement to say an Oct core is better.
  • MamiyaOtaru - Friday, June 19, 2020 - link

    far more cluttered? wtf? Yeah a tower cooler is larger than an AIO block, but you act like the radiator doesn't exist. It's bigger than most towers, and requires tubes running between the block and the radiator. You're still running fans through the radiator, plus pump noise. You sound like you spent some money on water and need to justify the expense
  • MamiyaOtaru - Friday, June 19, 2020 - link

    tell me how cluttered this is
  • BenSkywalker - Friday, June 19, 2020 - link

    That looks like an OEM system. If that's what you want, all the power to you.
  • sonny73n - Friday, June 19, 2020 - link

    Mamiya, I wouldn’t waste my time replying to that... (how do you call a stupid person stupid without being crucified for it?).

    Anyway, his radiator fans don’t make noise but the fans on everyone’s air coolers do. And his water pump is completely silent. Oh, whoever uses air cooler don’t have that cool pump he has.
  • BenSkywalker - Friday, June 19, 2020 - link

    There is a measurement for noise that people have figured out, they use the term decibels. Using measuring devices they can tell how loud certain things are in relation to one another. All of the things we have discussed have been measured for the amount of noise they generate.

    Air cooler fans are the loudest out of the three(factoring for thermal dissipation).
    Water cooler fans are the middle tier(mainly due to being capable of operating at lower RPMs)
    Water pumps generate the least amount of noise out of these three devices.

    These are documented measurements, not feel feels of trolls that are trying to trash a type of technology in the comments of an article about said technology.

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