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NoiseControl Silverado Heatsink Review
Tomshardware brought a lot of attention to the Noisecontrol Silverado when they originally reviewed it. It has been quite some time since this heatsink was conceived to cool processors and field has change a lot to say the least. Chillblast.com sell this once infamous heatsink with its special silver base heatspreader for about 40 pounds sterling, or about $85CDN. The claim to fame is of course that little 50gram silver disk and what it does for the rest of the heatsink.
You see, the idea behind the Noisecontrol Silverado is that the silver base spreads the heat more evenly over the aluminum extrusion which is cooled by twin squirrel cage fans. The two fans come with an assortment of different connectors which lower the voltage to the motor, and thus limit their speed.
This was essentially the first kind of fan rheostat. Now a days we have little fan busses which can do the same thing with less fuss and muss, but this system is just as easy to use. For full-tilt performance the adaptor cables can be set aside and the Silverado simply plugged into free motherboard fan headers. If your board only has one free for the processor heatsink you will need to look into getting a Y-splitter.
The Silverado is a large cooler and it comes with an equally large assortment of gear and a full set of instructions. The instructions clearly indicate the steps the user needs to follow to install the Silverado for the best possible results. Namely this involves putting a small cork backer behind the socket for added support, and to prevent vibration. This is an optional step, but a good one to follow if you are setting up a computer from scratch.
Several small rubber O rings come with the package and their place is around the small feet AMD adhere to every Athlon processor. These spacers help support the large heatsink, and prevent crushed cores. Noisecontrol even include a small syringe of thermal compound so everything you need is right in front of you!
One really important note is about the orientation of the cooler when you go to mount it on the processor. If you are not careful there is a 50% chance that you will mount it backwards and potentially fry your chip. The instructions clearly show the right and wrong way, but to emphasize this the manufacturer has placed a small black dot on the side which faces the socket cam arm. It may not be much, but at least it is an indication of the right way to connect the Silverado up.
The 50gram silver disk is attached to the machined aluminum base of the heatsink with four machine screws and some silicon thermal material. The surface of the aluminum is polished as bright and shiny as mirror and you can literally see yourself in it. The silver is soft so take care when mounting the heatsink not to hit a silicon corner which may scratch it.
Overall, the package which comes with the heatsink is pretty impressive, very comprehensive and a little bit unwieldy to be honest. It would be great to see NoiseControl offer an updated version of the heatsink with more advanced fan controls and possibly even a different style aluminum heatsink.... but we'll just have to wait for that, and in the mean time lets look at the Silverado some more!
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