A Conto Noisecontrol "Silverado"

 

With the Silverado, A Conto Noisecontrol shows that it is possible to make one of the most highly regarded heatsinks from standardized parts: An extruded aluminum heatsink (EKL), a round silver plate of the kind that is normally used for embossing medals or memorial coins, and two Nidec "squirrel cage" blowers.

The silver plate is screwed on the heatsink on the side that is in contact with the CPU; the two blowers are fixed to the heatsink with metal bars and glued to each other with hot glue.


The Silverado is rather hard to get, especially for those outside Europe. Even our request for a sample was ignored, and emails to the manufacturer remained unanswererd. But thanks to Chillblast , we got our hands on a sample.

The Silverado
 

The Silverado - an interesting construction

View from below

View from below - thanks to the silver coin screwed onto the heatsink, the contact area to the CPU is very smooth.

The NMB blower

A Conto uses two Nidec blowers - these have been popular among overclockers for years.

Installation and clip  

The weak point of the Silverado is the mounting. The Silverado's clip uses only two of the six cleats on the socket. The cooler is rather high, and therefore the center of gravity is far away from the socket. So, when moving the PC around, the heatsink could break off and damage the CPU socket. The manufacturer is apparently aware of this problem,  and includes a note that the Silverado should be uninstalled before moving the PC. Definately not practical, especially for people who regularly visit LAN parties. Also, the Silverado is a little tricky to install. On the good side, the Silverado ships with thermal compound and material for preventing motherboard vibrations.

Performance and noise, conclusion

The Silverado ships with various adapters that provide different voltages for the fans (6V, 8V, 10V, or - without adapter - 12V), to  minimize noise by allowing users to select the cooling performance that is just sufficient for their needs. Even with these adapters, rpm monitoring is possible. In 12V mode, the Silverado cools well enough to allow moderate overclocking, while being quieter than the coolers equiped with a Delta 7000rpm fan. In 6V mode (the quietest), it will provide enough cooling for AMD CPUs with up to 1.2GHz. Still, even in this mode, the Silverado is louder than the Alpha PAL8045 with Papst 8412NGL fan - even though the Alpha/Papst combination cools better.

Being able to adjust the fan RPM with various adapters is better than nothing, but from a company specialized in low-noise products, we would have expected an automatic, temperature-controlled fan speed adjustment. Especially considering the price of the Silverado.

Conclusion: The Silverado is a good cooler - but its performance doesn't justify the high price. For the same price, you can also get the Alpha PAL8045 with a high-quality fan. And, with the right fan, the Alpha will always provide a better noise/cooling performance ratio than the Silverado. Users who want a lower noise cooler, but can't use the Alpha because of the lack of mounting holes in the motherboard, should consider the Silverado - but only if they don't move their PC around.

 
A Conto "Silvearado"
Fan: Two Nidec Gamma28 blowers
Price: around $70
Advantages
  • Reasonable compromise between noise and cooling performance
Disadvantages
  • Poor mounting mechanism
  • Too expensive
Swiftech MCX370 Glacial Tech Igloo 2300

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