SilverStone has decided to release a very interesting air cooler, the Hydrogon D120 ARGB. This is a dual heatsink model with an offset design that promises a lot of cooling potential and great eye candy, for an attractive price.

There aren’t many dual tower 120 mm CPU air coolers out there that promise zero interference with RAM slots so this D120 becomes even more compelling.

 

SilverStone Technology Co., Ltd is a company based in Taiwan, founded in 2003 that makes computer cases, power supplies, and other peripheral for personal computers. Their goal was to provide products that create inspirations and customers a wide selection of choices.

With distribution centres in different areas of the globe, SilverStone products can be seen all over the world, not just for computer users but also for home entertainment use. Thus providing leisure with integration of advanced technologies that is functional and making them enjoyable to use.

 

Prices and Availability

 

Considering what you get with the Hydrogon D120 ARGB, especially that offset design which is rare on dual tower coolers, this looks like a really good deal for just $49.99.

 
*25.05.21 – Don’t forget to check the video review as well!*

 

Presentation and Specifications

 

* Courtesy of their website.

■ Dual tower CPU cooler with dual fans and 6 copper heat-pipes ensuring the best thermal conducting efficiency
■ Fin offset design eliminates interference between memory modules and CPU cooler on LGA1200 motherboards
■ 9 bladed high performance 120mm PWM controlled fans, with fan speed range of 0~1850 RPM
■ Each fan includes 8 ARGB LEDs which can be controlled by ARGB controllers or capable motherboards
■ Anti-vibrational rubber pads included for additional noise dampening
■ Spring screws mounting design with long screw driver included for firm and straight forward installation for both Intel and AMD platforms

Specification:

■ Model No.: SST-HYD120-ARGB
■ Application: Intel LGA 2066/2011/1200/115x/1366/775 – AMD Socket AM4/AM3/AM2/FM2/FM1*
■ Material: Copper heat pipes with aluminum fins
■ Fan dimension: 120mm (W) x 25mm (H) x 120mm (D)
■ Speed (R.P.M.): 0 ~ 1850 RPM**
■ Air Flow (CFM): 56.23 CFM
■ Air pressure: 1.98 mmH2O
■ Noise: 0~30.5 dBA
■ Rated Voltage: 12V
■ Rated Current: 0.21A
■ Bearing: Hydraulic bearing
■ Life Expectance (hrs): 35,000 hours
■ Connectors: 4 Pin PWM & 4-1 Pin ARGB (5V LED)
■ Net weight: 885g
■ Dimension: 125mm (W) x 153mm (H) x 112mm (D)

 

Visual Inspection

 

We have the same overall theme regarding the packaging as seen in the IceGem 360 AIO, with a mixture of dark blue and white for the background. On the front we have the D120 Hydrogon depicted in use and with the emphasis on the RGB support.

The back covers the full list of specs and some of the main highlights.

Here we have some of the main attractions and features of the D120.

The last side is filed with serials numbers and a Q-code to download the instruction manual for quick access.

Opening it up, here is the hard copy of the instruction manual.

The D120 air cooler is protected in this black two part foam shell while all of the accessories are in a separate box.

As for the mounting hardware and accessories, here is everything:

1x Instruction manual
1x Thermal paste tube
1x Phillips L-screwdriver
1x Intel back plate
2x Intel metal brackets
4x Intel metal standoffs
4x Intel backplate screws
4x Black plastic spacers
4x Black plastic bolt securing brackets
2x AMD metal brackets
4x AMD white spacers
4x AMD metal standoffs
4x Universal metal locking screws

The SilverStone Hydrogon D120 ARGB is a dual-tower heatsink with a clever offset design. The overall dimension of the cooler is 125 x 153 x 112mm (W x H x D) with a total weight including the fan, of 885g.

This is the offset design which will allow the Hydrogon cooler to never interfere with the RAM slots.

The 39 thin aluminium fins from the first tower and 44 respectively for the second tower are held into place via 6 nickel-plated heat-pipes.

Here is a closer look to the asymmetrical design of the heatpies as well.

Another great design features is the ability to install the heatsink without removing the fans. This is possible because of these deep cut-outs.

The mounting bracket is preinstalled and if you wish to remove it, just take out the middle securing bolt. The plate has two spring-loaded screws on both ends.

The SilverStone logo is present on the top plate, as well as on the lower one.

Lastly the contact plate is also nickel plated which measures 38 x 44mm and has a circular pattern non-mirror finish to it.

The included 120mm fans are rated up to 1850 RPM and feature a 0% RPM stop if there is no load on the CPU and your motherboard accepts this function. They will push up to 56 CFM of airflow with a static pressure of 1.98 mmH2O while not going over 30.5 dBA.

They use hydraulic bearings and are rated up to 35,000 hours of continuous operation.

Zooming in we notice that the 9 blades have a subtle ‘frosted’ perturbance.

Regarding connectivity, the fans can be installed individually on your motherboard or in-line due to their male/female plugs. The same scenario is present for the ARGB 5v plugs.

 

Installation and RGB

 

The installation process on the AM4 socket will prove to be an effortless one. The first step is to retain the AMD stock motherboard backplate while removing the front brackets.

Then attach the white spacers and install the metal standoffs.

Install the metal brackets and secure them with the thumbscrews.

Apply the thermal paste via your desired method and then attach the D120 heatsink. Thanks to the access cut-outs you can lock it down without taking the fans off the heatsink.

Last step is to attach the 4-pin PWM and the 5v RGB plugs of the fans to the motherboard. Now let’s check for any clearance issues. The RAM area is the main curiosity and as you can see, there is no issue at all.

Regarding the GPU area, no problem whatsoever. You can fit the Empire State building in that gap.

Lastly, let’s enjoy the RGB lightshow. Just make sure your motherboard has a 5v port available or you have on hand a 5v adapter since the D120 doesn’t include one for manual control.

The colours are vivid and a joy to look at. Playing with the shutter speed of the camera, this is closer to how it will look in real life regarding that wonderful colour glow and diffusion.

 

Testing methodology

 

  • The AMD Ryzen 7 1700 CPU will be tested at stock settings and then overclocked at 3.70 GHz for 1.325v
  • As the main torture test, we will employ a 2 minute run in AIDA64
  • Room temperature was recorded at ~ 18°C
  • For the noise testing, we used our Pyle PSPL01 placed 30 cm away from the setup – all other fans will will be off or set at minimum RPM
  • Thermal paste used – Noctua NH-H2
  • We will compare the results to other CPU air coolers close to its price/performance bracket
  • All CPU fans will be left on the ‘standard’ auto % rpm curve to simulate real life usage patterns and the case fans are set at the lowest RPM setting via the case’s control switch
  • Any results over 90° C in any condition are considered a fail

Competition CPU Coolers:

Noctua NH-U14S140 mm
Noctua NH-D15 chromax.blackDual 140 mm
Noctua NH-U12ADual 120 mm
Noctua NH-D15S chromax.black140 mm
bequiet! Pure Loop 280 mm AIO Dual 140 mm
Alpenföhn Glacier Water 280 mm AIODual 140 mm
SilverStone IceGem 360 mm AIO Tripple 120 mm

Hardware used:

CPU: AMD Ryzen 7 1700 AM4 – 8c/16t @ 65W TDP
RAM 16GB DDR4 T-Force Night Hawk RGB 3000 MHz CL16
Motherboard: ASUS ROG STRIX X370-F Gaming ATX @ BIOS 5220
Boot SSD: ADATA XPG SX6000 128GB M.2 NVMe TLC
Video card(s): KF2 GTX 480 Anarchy Accelero Xtreme Plus
PSU: bequiet! 550W Pure Power 11 FM Gold
Case: bequiet! Silent Base 802 Black
Case fans: 3x bequiet! Pure Wings 2 140 mm

Software:

OS: Windows 10 Pro x64 20H2
GPU Drivers: NVIDIA GeForce WHQL 391.35
Core Temp v1.16 – To see the temperatures in real time
CPU-Z v1.95 – To verify the CPU’s statistics
AIDA64 Extreme v6.23 – A popular total system stability test suite
Cinebench R15 – Popular CPU benchmark
Cinebench R20 – The new revised version optimised for the newer multi-core CPUs
MSI Afterburner v4.62 – To record the FPS and load/temperatures

Resolution for our test game Rise Of the Tomb Raider, is set at 1920×1080 with everything at Medium quality settings and no AA.

 

Testing, Results and Analysis

 

Let’s start in order of CPU load difficulty. First up is the Cinebench R15 test. On the left we have the CPU in stock form while on the right we have it overclocked. The D120 has some fierce competition and the charts show this but again let’s not forget that all of these CPU coolers are way more expensive than the Hydrogon, from to 40 to 100% increase in price.

The Cinebench R20 is a more modern up to date multi core benchmark suite. So naturally we will see a bigger load and thus a larger temperature figure than the R15. The same story is told here as well as in R15, but the differences in both stock and OC scenarios when compared to the D15S are highly respectable.

In AIDA64 we isolated the stress test just for the CPU therefore we should get the highest stress scenario for the CPU but sometimes here we get a higher temperature for the stock settings vs R20 and lower values for the OC scenario. This time it wasn’t the case and we see exactly one degree lower in temperature for the D120 in both scenarios. Also the overall hierarchy isn’t changed.

Rise Of the Tomb Raider is a fantastic game and also a good testing title for both GPUs and CPUs. Still not as stressful as a synthetic torture test but a great indicator of real life usage. Since the game isn’t pushing the CPU as much as a synthetic benchmark, we get really good results.

Lastly let’s have a look at the noise levels tests. We will not measure the 0 stop RPM feature since that’s just for idle scenarios. Overall the Hydrogon D120 does a good job at maintain a relative low noise output even in load and the fans will become audible above 60 to 70% RPM which is expected.

 

Conclusion

 

Given the overall results, we can agree that SilverStone has archived it goal here which is to offer a budget friendly RGB dual tower CPU cooling solution for first time builders or for anybody looking to upgrade without breaking the bank. Besides the asking price, some of the strong points for the D120 come from the offset design (which will let you install any RAM you desire) and the ease of installation. To keep costs down some cutback had to be implemented and you can notice these like the absence of any manual RGB control (basically if you are on an older system, you can’t enjoy the RGB) and the way too thin not soldered fins. But again, we mustn’t forget about the price because in our tests it had a lower delta of just 2-3 degrees C when compared to the D15S and that one is 60% more expensive. Finally, the RGB is wonderful and to conclude, rest assured that the D120 will do the job when it comes to cooling.

The good:

+ Amazing performance/price ratio
+ 6 heatpipes
+ Clever offset design
+ Zero RAM interface
+ No need to remove the fans to install the heatsink
+ The fans’ RGB is eye-grabbing

The bad:

– The fins are a bit too flimsy and can get easily damaged
– No soldering for the aluminium fins.
– No way to connect the ARGB if you don’t have a 5v port on the motherboard or an RGB ready adapter

Glob3trotters “Recommend” Award – 4 out of 5

GG

Many thanks to Silverstone for supplying us with great cooler !

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