SilverStone Tundra TD02 Liquid CPU Cooler Review


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Detailed Features: SilverStone TD02

We’re almost to the results, there’s just a few more things to look at first!


The water block itself is all aluminum, except for the integrated copper contact plate. You’ll probably notice there aren’t any screws that mount the copper to the rest of the water block/pump assembly, as it is soldered directly to the rest of the block. The finish is sufficiently smooth, although it isn’t a mirror polish.

Some of you that are familiar with properties of different metals might be wondering how good of an idea it is too attach a copper plate to an aluminum block. Since each metal has a different electrical potential, if they come in contact either physically or through an electrolyte ions from one will “migrate” to the other, resulting in eventual corrosion of the metal acting as the anode. I asked SilverStone how they mitigated this problem, and they were more than willing to explain how.

To prevent corrosion, SilverStone didn’t just coat the exterior of the block in nickel, but the inside as well which has the effect of “neutralizing” the charge between the metals and therefore inhibiting the process of galvanic corrosion (it brings the anodic difference from .40V down to .05V). The copper base has been coated with an anti-oxidation coating, and to further minimize the contact the nickel-plated aluminum has with the copper base the water block uses a plastic shroud and rubber bushings to direct the water through the fine copper fins in the base-plate. Since the TD02 is sealed from the factory, they were able to pH balance the liquid and add the right amount of corrosion inhibitor to the fluid used in the system – so don’t try to open it! SilverStone backs the TD02 and TD03 AIO liquid coolers with a five-year warranty, which should tell you they understand this issue and are confident enough to stand behind their product. Of course, any time you put a metal in water, you’ll experience some corrosion eventually, but you shouldn’t run into any problems with the TD02/03 for as long as most people use a CPU.


Installation is pretty straightforward, although you may still want a helping hand if you’ve never installed anything similar before. The universal back-plate is easy to assemble – make sure to read the manual though, so you know if you need to use the loading block! The four posts press into the back-plate, but a way to secure these even tighter would be nice as they have a tendency to fall out when trying to mount the water block. Since the screws to tighten them are spring-loaded, you’ll find yourself needing to press on the back-plate a bit as well to get the first bit of the screw threaded. This was the only part of the installation I felt could use a little improvement.


The back-plate and through-motherboard mounting screws are actually held in place by plastic spacers (on the AMD and LGA1155/50 sockets) that serve to retain the plate in position, but in practice the spacers didn’t quite grip hard enough to hold the screws in place trying to get the threads to bite.


Here’s where the installation for the TD02 parted ways with the TD03. I’ve added a 200mm top exhaust fan to the NZXT H630 I use for testing these coolers. Normally, the 240mm coolers I install in the “floor” of the case, with fans intaking cool air from the bottom/front. Of course, the only 240mm cooler I’ve tested so far has been the Swiftech H220, which comes with pretty long hoses as standard (since they can be adjusted to size on that model). It quickly became apparent that most AIO coolers are designed to be mounted in the top/rear of cases, as the hoses on the TD02 didn’t reach to the bottom of the H630. I still tested it in that orientation to keep the test-bed as similar as possible, and those are the results in the chart on the results page. If you’d like to see a comparison between the H220 and TD02 in their “normal” locations (above the CPU), stay tuned for a SilverStone KL04 case review!

While this picture displays the unique fin layout of the TD02’s radiator, it also displays the fit of the 8-pin AUX CPU header – that cable (look for the yellow) doesn’t have much room.


With the TD02 installed in the top location, the center-aligned fan mounts on the NZXT H630 came pretty close to blocking that 8-pin CPU header on the Asus M5A99FX PRO 2.0. You’ll definitely want to make sure you plug this cable in before installing the TD02 in the top of your case – it measures about 70mm with the thickness of the radiator plus fans, so measure your case to make sure it’ll fit.


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