Many of the tier-1 motherboard makers produce a large line of computer related parts and peripherals. This is not always well known to buyers around the world since these companies often produce some computer parts for the Asian market only. ASUS is one of the largest motherboard makers in the world, and they also produce cases and CPU coolers that are finally making their way to the US market.

The cooler line ranges from entry-level CPU coolers to heatpipe towers, like the ASUS Silent Square Pro being reviewed today. If you are not familiar with the ASUS cooler line you might be interested in checking out the cooler offerings at ASUS Thermal Solutions. Like the small Asian cars that began appearing in the US in the 1970's, the Silent Square claims it can do the same job as a bigger cooler in a much more compact and well-designed package.


The ASUS Silent Square Pro is a very interesting design in the top-of-the-line Silent Square series. It resembles the Tuniq Tower 120 in concept, in that the cooling fan is embedded in the center of the cooler with cooling fin arrays on both sides. However, the Silent Square uses a smaller 90mm fan compared to the standard 120mm fan used in the Tuniq. As you can see from the comparison photo this makes for a much smaller cooler than the Tuniq. The Tuniq Tower 120 is one of the best performing coolers tested at AnandTech, so the same idea in the smaller ASUS Silent Square Pro definitely generated some interest in our labs.


Silent Square is actually a series of two coolers at ASUS. The core of the Silent Square and the Silent Square Pro are basically the same. The Pro model adds a 2500 RPM fan instead of the 1800 RPM fan used in the Silent Square. Additionally, there is cladding that directs airflow and helps create a distinct appearance for the Pro version. The SS Pro also includes a fan controller that mounts in a 3.5" bay with a blue digital readout of the fan speed. It's a nice touch and a welcome way to vary fan speed.

S.Q.U.A.R.E.

Some readers are probably wondering why ASUS named this cooler the Silent Square since it is most certainly not square in shape. Square is actually an acronym and not a description in ASUS speak. The website defines the meaning and features of SQUARE:

Superior Performance for Overclockers
The Silent Square Pro incorporated a "wave-shaped" double side fin design on both sides of the cooler for larger heat exchange area.

Quick
Five copper heatpipes efficiently transfer heat to the fins, maintaining temperature for high-performance computing.

Universal Application
The Silent Square Pro supports the Intel Core 2 Extreme/Duo and other LGA775 CPUs as well as socket 478 processors; it also supports AMD socket 754/939/940/AM2 CPUs.

Aesthetics
Stylish wave-shaped fins for effective heat dissipation.

Reliable
The fan positioned inside the frame and VRM shield guide cool air to critical components around the CPU for stable operation.

Easy Installation
The patented retention module enables easy installation in three simple steps even without removing the motherboard from the system or memory modules from the board and regardless of the processor platform.

These features set a high bar for the ASUS Silent Square Pro. We have reviewed a number of air coolers that excel in performance for the overclocking enthusiast. Will the more compact ASUS Silent Square join the top ranks of Enthusiast coolers?

ASUS Silent Square Pro
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  • JarredWalton - Monday, April 16, 2007 - link

    I wouldn't call this a "top 20" yet - more like "20 good/great coolers" - but I can do something about the graphs. Large (very large) versions now linked in. There's still a ton of data, so I figured a lot of people would just look at the tables below the graphs. Either way, I hope this works for you. Not sure what I'll do with the graphs when there's 30 coolers in the list! ;) Reply
  • yacoub - Monday, April 16, 2007 - link

    The click-thru for hi-res is a great interim solution! Thanks! Reply
  • yacoub - Monday, April 16, 2007 - link

    so few 650i motherboard roundups. :D

    Getting a bit anxious to see a nice 650i roundup before the 6320/6420/4400 launch... and perhaps an AMD motherboard roundup so folks who are looking to take advantage of the Intel price drop next week can be better informed about what good stable, overclocking-featured s775 boards exist or are coming soon, and compare that to what the current competition in the AMD arena looks like with their new CPU pricing and whatever AM2 motherboards are decent and how they overclock (which I have no clue about since I haven't seen any reviews/overviews/roundups for AMD boards in several months.)

    What a great time for a nice Gary Key overview and analysis of the motherboard/overclocking scene!

    Lots of talk on forums about DS3 v3.3 or whatever the Gigabyte P965 board is called. A bit about the MSi 650i board that seems to be well built and not as buggy as most boards but not as strong an overclocker. Please let's get a nice roundup.
    Reply
  • rjm55 - Monday, April 16, 2007 - link

    AT probably has the largest database of top coolers tested on the C2D right now, sonce most other sites are still testing with older P4's and AMD. Thanks for providing the info I was looking for.

    One question though. I have personally tested the Zalman 9500 on the AMD and C2D platforms. The 9500 is a brilliant performer on the AMD processor, but I agree it is a dog on the Core 2 Duo. Do you or any readers have a notion why some coolers do well on the AMD and are misrable performers on the Core 2 Duo?
    Reply
  • Wesley Fink - Monday, April 16, 2007 - link

    I believe the major reason coolers like the 9500 do well on AMD, but not so well on Core 2 Duo is because the AMD processors at present do not overclock nearly as well as Core 2 Duo processors. The 9500 does not run out of steam in the overclock range of the AMD, but the C2D overclocks much further and wxceeds the effective design limits.

    If you look at temps closely the Zalman 9500 and 9700 cool exceptionally well at stock 2.93GHz and up to 800 MHz higher, which is well within the top speed you can achieve with air cooling of an AMD. When you go further on a C2D the 950/9700 reach their effective limit while some other heatpipe towers like the top Thermalright and Tuniq Tower 120 are still performing very well.
    Reply
  • Deusfaux - Monday, April 16, 2007 - link

    I remember you said a while back... which ones are left?

    Apack Zerotherm BT95? (the butterfly cooler!)

    Thermalright's other new cooler? I4-FX?

    anything else?
    Reply
  • DrMrLordX - Monday, April 16, 2007 - link

    Scythe Andy Samurai Master? Enzotech Ultra-X? Reply
  • Wesley Fink - Monday, April 16, 2007 - link

    The Cooler Master Gemini II and Scythe Andy Samurai are in the labs for testing. The Enzotech Ultra X is on its way. We have also requested a Thermalright IFX-14. Reply
  • DrMrLordX - Tuesday, April 17, 2007 - link

    Sweet. You gonna do the Big Typhoon VX as well? Reply
  • Pirks - Tuesday, April 17, 2007 - link

    Big Typhoon beat the $rap out of almost all its competitors in overclockers.ru benches and seems to be number 1 (or at least 2) OC cooler in Russia :) too bad AT ignored it, but they will catch up, I'm sure ;) Reply

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