Conclusion

SilverStone introduced the IceGem AIO coolers as a family that is fully compatible with the large IHS of Ryzen Threadripper processors. This is also why there aren't any smaller (sub-240mm) models in this series, as they would be unable to handle the thermal stress of such powerful (and power-hungry) CPUs. Other than that, the IceGem coolers are very similar to SilverStone’s existing – and less expensive – Permafrost series.

The thermal performance of the IceGem coolers is overall very good. The IceGem 280 ($197) and IceGem 360 ($162) performed thermally just as well as we expected them to, with no real surprises. On the other hand, the IceGem 240P ($147) proved to be the underdog of this review, outclassing even SilverStone’s larger coolers. Its thicker size may warrant some compatibility checks, but it performed unexpectedly well with regards to thermals. The performance-to-noise ratio graph revealed that the IceGem 240P is on equal footing with the wider IceGem 280, with only the significantly larger IceGem 360 having a slight performance advantage. Acoustically, all three IceGem coolers are excellent, surpassing several other competitive products, especially those based on older designs.

The RGB lighting of the IceGem coolers is well applied and very bright, creating a strong crystal-like effect on the main block and having the fans glowing brilliantly, generating a fantastic visual effect, especially in dark cases. It is compatible with nearly all current ARGB motherboards and can be controlled via the motherboard’s software. For users that do not have a compatible motherboard, the RGB lighting can be effectively programmed via the included controller that includes several fancy and static lighting effects, but the user will have to access the inside of the system for each program/brightness change. The only downside here is the number of cables, which will be difficult to hide.

Quality-wise, the IceGem coolers are very well made and we have no concerns regarding their long-term reliability. However, users should be careful of the warranty terms that apply to their region, as the IceGem coolers are currently being sold with warranties that cover anywhere between one and five years, depending on their distributor.

The IceGem coolers are designed primarily for users who own, or plan to own, a processor with a large IHS, without sacrificing compatibility with nowadays mainstream CPUs. They are definitely a great choice for users who have or are considering an upgrade to a Ryzen Threadripper CPU, as the IceGem coolers will be compatible with both their current CPU and a possible future CPU that may have a significantly different IHS. Otherwise, for users that do not plan on ever getting a CPU with a large IHS, the IceGem coolers may not be the most sensible choice from an economic point of view – the equivalent SilverStone Permafrost cooler can typically be had for $50 less – but their performance will certainly not disappoint.

 
Testing Results
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  • Threska - Saturday, July 24, 2021 - link

    I think the larger point is that there isn't always an available choice. Sometimes the part we want is RGB or nothing. Not to mention the price could be larger for the RGB part. Reply
  • DominionSeraph - Sunday, July 25, 2021 - link

    The issue is that there *is* no style or fashion with RGB. It's simply bad taste. No girl is going to walk into a room with an RGB setup and drop her panties because the fans light up and the keyboard is cycling through the rainbow. RGB is in the exact same vein as a racecar bed or Batman pajamas. If you're beyond the age of 10 and your taste hasn't matured into something with just a *little* more sophistication, it's a sign that something went wrong with your development. Reply
  • Oxford Guy - Sunday, July 25, 2021 - link

    You’re paying for a feature you don’t want and other corners tend to be cut in terms of features you actually want.

    RGB stuff isn’t free.
    Reply
  • DougMcC - Thursday, July 22, 2021 - link

    I've never done a liquid cooled system. Could someone explain why the radiator on these coolers is designed to be mounted inside the case? Wouldn't it be drastically more effective if case makers designed for an external mount? Or am I just misunderstanding how you attach these to the case? Reply
  • meacupla - Thursday, July 22, 2021 - link

    Yes, the best results can be had when you mount the radiator outside the case.
    But the results aren't drastically better when compared to mounting the radiator to the case's air intake.

    Case makers tend to dislike external mounting of radiators, because buyers tend to want everything to be enclosed and look pretty. You would not only have the radiator dangling outside of the case, but you would also have the fan wires dangling out there too. It'll look like a cheap hack job.

    swiftech and koolance used to make an external mount bracket for radiators, but now that most modern cases, especially the really large ones, are designed to accept 2 or more internally mounted radiators, why would AIO CLC makers bother to make an external one?

    koolance still makes external radiators, but the cost on them is very high when compared to these internal AIO CLCs.
    Reply
  • DougMcC - Thursday, July 22, 2021 - link

    I see, thanks. I would think the dangling issues would be solved by having power delivered to the external radiator sleeved with one of the coolant tubes. Then you'd just have the pair of tubes into the case, and presumably the radiator top-mounted. Sounds like the cooling advantage isn't sufficient to drive adoption/standardization. Reply
  • Samus - Thursday, July 22, 2021 - link

    This cooler is a weird size at 280mm, so it's likely only going to fit certain cases that use 140mm fans.

    Silverstone has moved to 140mm fans after trying 180mm fans as far back as the FT-01 Fortress. The 180mm fans were garbage and seemingly an exclusive Silverstone thing. I've had multiple fail over the years where the bearing shaft detaches. Other failures people have noted on the interwebs have shown the entire fan shroud detaches from the motor or the motor support beams on the back of the fan housing crack at the motor mount, both causing the fan to 'knock' as it spins off-center and makes contact with the case, filter, etc. Very unfortunate.

    Anyway, basically the radiator attaches to the fan mounts of a case, with the fans mounted to the rear of the radiator. Some people do it the other way around, attaching the radiator to the fans. It depends what you desire for your cooling design (pusher fan vs puller fan) and some people do BOTH one in front and behind the radiator. The type of fan is an important consideration as well as most fans don't have high "static" pressure even if they are high RPM and rated at a high CFM. Static pressure traditionally isn't important unless you are trying to blow air through dense radiator fins, so sometimes the fan is more important than anything else, otherwise you won't remove much heat.
    Reply
  • Awful - Thursday, July 22, 2021 - link

    huh? 280mm using 2x140mm fans is absolutely one of the (3) standard sizes. Just about every AIO line comes in 240, 280, and 360mm... Reply
  • Threska - Thursday, July 22, 2021 - link

    Have a Silverstone going on ten years plus. All fans top and bottom still going strong. Naturally regardless of fan one needs to keep them clean. Reply
  • tonyou - Thursday, July 22, 2021 - link

    We haven't moved away from 180mm fans, in fact, we are still developing new models now. Engineering a fan with much heavier fan blade than typical 120mm x 25mm sizes was quite difficult as the rotational forces are exponentially higher. So material and bearing both have to be much stronger than typical 120mm/140mm fans. However, any external forces (such as debris or touching fan blade by accident) or slight tilt/angle enacted on our spinning 180mm also had significantly high risk of damage, so yeah, much less forgiving than smaller fans and that's why they may seem to be more fragile when in fact they are built better. With that said, we have been improving these 180mm fans over the years so the newer models and production batches should stand up better than their predecessors. Reply

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