Today we look at the tandem tower Silverstone Heligon HE01. Although this heatsink has been available for a while, it is our first chance to put it to the test. We will first look at the cooling performance of the stock single-fan configuration and then see if this heatsink performs any better with two fans instead of one.
Features of the Heligon HE01
This heatsink has two towers, stacks of fins that are not symmetric: the front fin stack is thinner than the back one.
There are six soldered heat pipes.
It has a copper base and aluminum fins, two of the most heat-conducting metals.
Silverstone says the heatsink is “For use with CPUs up to 300W.”
They also advertise compatibility with Intel Socket LGA775/1150/1151/1155/1156/1366/2011/2066 and AMD Socket AM2/AM3/FM1/FM2. A second version is compatible with AMD Sockets AM4/FM1/FM2.
The heatsink comes with a single fan, a 140 x 38 mm monster. It is an FHP141, a PWM fan, having two maximum speeds. This is a unique fan in its dimensions, PWM control, and twin speed ranges. BTW – this fan has two ball bearings.
The Heligon HE01 was designed for standard chassis at 164mm tall.
The features are available on Silverstone’s product page.
Specifications of the Heligon HE01 and its fan
SST-HE01-V2 (adds AM4 supports)
|Material||Nickel-coated copper base, heat pipes with aluminum fins|
|Application||Intel Socket LGA775/1150/1151/1155/1156/1366/2011/2066
AMD Socket AM2/AM3/*AM4/FM1/FM2
|Heat Pipe Type||Ø6mm-6pcs heat-pipe|
|Cooling System||140 x 140 x 38mm fan|
|Bearing||Dual Ball Bearing|
|Voltage Rating (V)||12V|
|Start Voltage (V)||9V|
|Air Flow (CFM)||42.8~171CFM|
|Speed (R.P.M.)||Low: 500~1200RPM with PWM
High: 500~2000RPM with PWM
|Life Expectancy (hrs)||80,000 hrs|
|Net weight||926g(w/o Fan)|
|Dimension||140 (W) x 122(D) x 161(H) mm (w/o Fan)
5.51″ (W) x 4.8″ (D) x 6.34″ (H) (w/o Fan)
|Remark||* V2 only|
|Bearing||Dual ball bearing|
|Rated Voltage||12V DC|
|Start Voltage||≦9V DC|
|Operating Range||6.5V~13.8V DC|
|Rated Current||0.35A (Max.)|
|Static Pressure||0.23~3.7 mm-H2O|
|Noise Level||13.4~43.5 dBA(Max)|
|Life Time||150,000 hours|
|Dimension||140 x 140 x 38mm (overall)
120 x 120 x 38mm (mounting frame)
5.51″ x 5.51″ x 1.5″ (overall)
4.72″ x 4.72″ x 1.5″ (mounting frame)
Unboxing the Heatsink
The Heligon HE01 comes in a chaste box with no pictures on the outside – only text but with plenty of information.
There is a partial diagram on the side of the box that lifts to reveal a copy of itself along with the heatsink well-padded against any accidents in transit. The manual is available online here under “Downloads.” Inside the box, at the bottom, is the box of small parts and accessories.
Take the heatsink out of its box and out of its bag. The fan is clipped in between the stacks. Remove it. The picture shows the bare heatsink, with a small box inserted between the towers to show off the asymmetry of the fin stacks.
The right picture shows you a bottom view, with the tape protecting the contact surface. Here there is a clear view of the six heat pipes running through the contact plate. You can read the words on the tape, but the stamped name of the OEM is backward in this view.
|Thick and Thin||Bottom View|
Here we see another bottom view, this time with the tape removed. The contact surface is marked with tight grooves. These do not seem to be machine tool marks but purposeful grooves on the bottom surface.
In the top view, you can see that the heat pipes come up all the way through the fin stacks and the stamped name can now be read. Looking at the protuberances where the fan clips will go, one can see that both towers can hold fans facing forward and back. Given Silverstone’s design choices, this makes sense. More on this later. If you look beyond the towers to the base you will see it is blank. This represents a lost opportunity. The OEM could have put a fastener for its crossbar here, greatly simplifying the installation process.
|Groovy Contact Surface||Top View|
Here we have an oblique view of the Heligon HE01. The second picture shows the small parts for Intel installations on top of their box. On the upper left, we have cushions for three fans. Below that are two brackets. The Manual will show you that the wide ends of the brackets will be at the corners surrounding the CPU.
Next, we have the first of six fan clips. At the top, we have four “Stand-offs” that will go between the motherboard and the brackets. Then we have the screws that will attach the backplate to the brackets. The backplate is compatible with Intel and AMD sockets. Inside that are four finger nuts for holding the brackets. At the bottom is a tube of Silverstone’s TIM. Then three more fan clips and a crossbar. We will revisit that crossbar.
|Oblique View||Small Parts|
Unboxing and Examining the FHP141
Unlike the HE01 the FHP141 comes in a box with its picture on the front. Further, it has features on the front and specifications on the back. Who could ask for anything more?
The fan comes sheltered in a plastic suspension case, with accessories crammed in at the bottom.
|FHP141 Boxes||Out of the Box|
The FHP141 comes with its own accessories: at the upper left, we see the screws for the 140 mm adapters. Next are the adapters themselves; they allow the fans to go from screw-holes for 120 mm fans to screw-holes for 140 mm fans. Finally, we have standard fan screws, double ended rubber “vibration isolators” and a 4-pin Molex-to-PWM adapter. Whew! This fan comes loaded!
Here is a closeup of one of the corner adapters.
Next comes a picture of the fans themselves. Note that the blades are close together. That is usually a sign that static pressure was a design consideration. There is a two-position switch on this fan for limiting the speed of the fan. You can choose between the upper and the lower speed range. The four wires coming in from the right show you that this is a PWM fan. Finally, the corner adapters allow this fan to be used in cases.
First, we look at the screw that goes into the backplate. We can see that at the head end it has a flat edge.
At the corner of the backplate, we can see that the holes share a flat edge. This allows the backplate to accommodate screw positions nearer and farther from the center of the CPU.
|Through-Bolt. Note Flat Side||Corner of Backplate|
The screws push through the backplate to stand above it. A nice aspect to all of this is that the rubber corners of the backplate grip and hold onto the screws, in effect making it all one firm assembly. This makes the mounting process go smoother.
Here is the backplate in position. Note the three holes that correspond to screw-heads in Intel’s socket. Note also the lower left corner of the backplate, where you can see a line on the back of the screw’s head. This line is aligned with the edge of the backplate, showing you that the screw is turned properly to push all the way through. There are similar lines at all four corners. Make sure you have all of those lined up.
|Backplate-Screw Assembly||Back of Motherboard|
On our practice motherboard, you can see the screws emerging. On these screws go the stand-offs. The nice thing about these is that they too grip the screws, holding the backplate assembly in place. Then you can put on the brackets and use the finger nuts to fasten down the brackets. Following the manual, the brackets are installed with the wide parts on the outside.
|Up Through the Motherboard||Mount in Various Stages|
Next, we will look at the flatness of this heatsink. The left image shows us that the HE01 is flat in the direction of airflow. The right shows us there is a little convexity across the airflow. You have to look carefully, but the bulge is there. It was not so great that it kept this heatsink from the testing system.
|Aligned With Airflow||Aligned Across Airflow|
The crossbar has screws that can be moved. The two images show the crossbar in the same position, with the screw in the “in” and “out” positions. I guess you could be kind and call it “adjustable.” One positive takeaway: look at the bottom of the screw: it has a positive stop. That means you cannot over-torque the hold-down screws.
|“In” Position||“Out” Position|
The next picture shows you the crossbar holding the heatsink down. You can clearly see the hold-down spring here and the positive screw-stop. Both of these are essential in the highest of high-end heatsinks. Working with the screw-stops, the heatsink applies pressure to the CPU with springs, making sure that the clamping pressure is what the OEM specified; no more, no less.
The next picture shows you that the HE01 can accommodate even tall RAM. It also shows you that you can piggyback another PWM fan on this system.
|Springs Hold the Heatsink Down||Lots of Room for Tall RAM|
The first image shows you the standard configuration, with one fan. Here you can see that any piggyback PWM fan will not be sharing its RPM, confusing your motherboard system. The next image shows you a push-middle combination. You can see that the height of the complete heatsink will be determined by the height of your RAM. If ultra-low profile RAM was available when this system was put together the front fan would not ride so high.
|Stock Single-Fan Configuration||Push-Middle Configuration|
Here we see a fan sitting in the aft position to give the heatsink a middle-pull configuration. Key to this is in the second image that shows you how the clips interfere with each other. In this case, one of the clips could be lifted with a flat screwdriver and the other slid under it. Silverstone could have followed another manufacturer here and turned the clip handles backward. Instead, the OEM made a different design choice. Clipping the middle fan to the front stack would have accomplished the same goal.
|Middle-Pull Configuration||Fan Clips Interfere This Way|
With the current review, we are returning to our 5 GHz system.
|CPU||Intel i7 8700K (6 cores) at 5.0 GHz|
|Motherboard||Gigabyte Aorus Gaming 7|
|RAM||16 GB Corsair LPX 3200 MHz|
|Vcore||Set to 1.37 volts, static|
|Cache||Set to 4.5 GHz|
|Operating System||Windows 10, 64-bit|
|SSD||Samsung 840 EVO 500 GB|
|PSU||Seasonic SS-460FL 460W Fanless|
|Heat Stress Software||Linpack with AVX2 – LinX 0.6.5 user interface|
|Power & Core Temp Log||Intel® Power Gadget|
|Ambient Temperature||Digital TEMPer USB Thermometer, with logging software|
|Sound Pressure Meter||Tenma 72-942 with SPL measured at one meter
Ambient Noise was 31 dBA
The overclock chosen for this series was 5 GHz, which equates to the CPU using 146 – 151 watts. This is at the upper end of what heatsinks can cool but this particular range was chosen so that AIO’s will be tested fairly in later reviews. The Vcore was set manually to a static mode (not adaptive mode) for testing consistency.
After each heatsink was mounted, the temps were not measured for a day to give the TIM time to spread and thin out.
Linpack operates in bursts. When the temps are rendered graphically, the traces look like a series of plateaus separated by valleys. Since you are interested in how well a heatsink cools, I measured the temperature plateaus. The Intel Power Gadget can keep track of the power used in watts and the temperature of the cores in °C. The gadget’s log was set to make a measurement every second. Each heatsink ran three times, 30 minutes per run. The runs were averaged.
As you can see, the program occasionally spikes. These spikes generally go into the 90’s. When they hit 100 °C the Vcore must be reduced. That did not happen here.
The temperature of the air entering the heatsink was logged every five seconds; the runs were averaged. The temps you see in the Results section represent average core temps minus average ambient temps.
The sound pressure level was recorded a meter away at a position “above” each heatsink in decibels with an A-weighting (dBA). While SPL is at best an approximate measure of what we hear, it is all we have. The SPL ratings you will see are SPL minus 31 dB, which sounds like a silent basement.
The Heligon HE01 did well, placing only behind the Noctua NH-D15 and an augmented NH-U14S.
Kind of shocking was the way it achieved its results. This tells you something about Silverstone engineers. The top performer was the stock single fan configuration. When the fan was limited to the 1300-RPM position it was only 0.5 °C behind the leader and a lot quieter.
Putting the second fan in a pull position was a slight bit warmer than the single-fan configuration! It was also noisier. Putting the second fan up front in the Push position was even worse: compared to the single fan configuration the push-middle configuration was 2.7 °C warmer.
But really, having this thick fan running at 2000 RPM was unpleasantly loud. A single fan set to 1300 RPM was perfect in terms of noise and performance.
Something else was odd, at least for an English speaker. To someone who speaks English a “P” position a fan’s switch might refer to “performance” while Q would refer to “quiet.” Not so with these fans: the Q position made the fan faster than the P position. In any case at 2000 RPM, the fan was pretty loud. Under 1000 it was quiet, as you would expect.
Having the central fan controlled by PWM allows this heatsink to run quietly in the background during most of your computer’s life. When more cooling is needed, however, the HE01 has plenty of headroom, even at 1300 RPM. You can set it to run at 2000 RPM, but that gets you only half a degree better cooling.
Putting two fans on the HE01 caused it to perform less well than having a single fan. Why that should be so is a mystery, but it is a consistent finding across multiple mounts. Bottom line: don’t waste your money on a second fan. Go with the Silverstone engineers.
The mounting process was made more complicated by the loose crossbar. The reviewer really wished the crossbar could be fastened down. However, the heatsink was held down with springs, and the hold-down screws had fixed stops. What this means is that clamping pressure was limited. It won’t break your system.
The reviewer also appreciated the grips at the corners of the backplate and the grips in the stand-offs. They made the mounting process much easier than it could have been. Overall, with some practice, the mounting process became quick and easy.
Availability and Price
Heligon HE01 Pros
- Cooling Prowess Ranks with the Top Coolers
- Mounting Process Was Easy
- Mount Used Fixed Screws and Springs to Hold the Heatsink Down
Heligon HE01 Cons
- Noisier than Comparable Heatsinks
- Crossbar Should Have a Fastener