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SilverStone NT01 Passive/Active CPU Cooler

CPU Cooler
29th October 2004
Manufacured By
Supplied By


Anyone who owns a P4 Prescott CPU is, like me, probably of the opinion that air cooling of any kind is on its way out unless we see the emergence of some new core-cooling technology.

PC cooling has gone through several phases, from the time when people wanted high airflow at any cost and were happy to tolerate the noise to get it, to today when it seems the only good PC is a quiet PC.

The difficulty in building a quiet PC is that you either have to go the way of liquid cooling it, or use low power parts that generate less heat. There are niche technologies like phase change but these tend to be overkill for most systems, and expensive overkill at that. They're not always particularly quiet either!

The cooler I'm looking it comes from high-profile newcomers SilverStone, and claims to offer the benefits of heatpipe powered passive cooling when CPU output and case airflow allows it, and top-notch fan powered active cooling when it doesn't.

It looks unique in its design and comes with three relatively huge 8mm heatpipes to ship heat away from what is a fairly insignificant base to the much more substantial fin matrix, positioned to take full advantage of either your PSU or case fan depending on socket orientation.

Before we take a closer look here's the specs.


Copper base, fins, and heat pipes

Heat Pipe Type Powder
Color Copper
Motherboard ATX, Micro ATX
Application Pentium 4 Socket 478
Cooling System 2 x 60mm (optional with included shroud)
Net Weight

587.67 g

Dimension 130 mm (W) x 108 mm (H) x 95 mm (D)


No doubt you've noticed that several coolers offer heatpipe cooling of late, but not all heatpipes are created equal. Not only are these large, they are also of the more expensive sintered powder variety.


There are several types of wick structures used in heat pipes, there are are grooves, felt, screens and sintered powder. Sintered powder metal wicks are the more costly as a rule and offer several advantages over other wick structure including that a sintered powder wick can work in any orientation, even against gravity.

A liquid, usually come kind of water and alcohol mix, is sealed inside a copper tube. Heat applied to one end evaporates the liquid and the vapor then moves to the cooler end of the tube, cooling as it does. At the cooler end of the tube, usually assisted by fins and/or airflow, the tube is cooled and the vapor condenses back to a liquid, giving up its heat to the tube walls then on to the fins or what ever else has been used to conduct the heat away and dissipate it to the air. The liquid then soaks into the wick structure and is drawn back to the hot end by capillary action, where the whole process starts over.


The sintered powder lining is actually a porous metal lining and is more expensive to manufacture than cheaper felt wick or groove structures.


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