Tom's Hardware Verdict
The Silverstone PF360 aRGB provides system builders with solid thermal performance, aRGB (5v, 3-pin) synchronized lighting and an appealing price of $130, making it an excellent choice for those seeking upper echelon cooling capability while saving money to spend on other components.
Budget-friendly 360 AIO
Performs on-par as more expensive alternatives
Lacks software control for aRGB lighting and speed control for pump and fans
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The Silverstone PF aRGB line of liquid coolers includes the PF120 (120mm) and PF240 (240mm) models, as well as the flagship cooler we’re looking at here, the PF360. The company also sells a broad swathe of products in the PC space, from system chassis, fans and power supplies, to as performance workstation and small server solutions. Offering a line of AIO liquid cooling solutions with a focus on performance, aesthetics and affordability makes perfect sense based on the company’s existing product lines.
|Thickness||1.0" / 27mm (2.125" / 54mm w/fans)|
|Width||4.75" / 120mm|
|Depth||15.5" / 393.7mm|
|Pump Height||2.0" / 50.8mm|
|Cooling Fans||(3) 120 x 25mm|
|Connectors||(3) 4-Pin PWM, (3) 3-Pin aRGB (w/splitters)|
|Weight||48.75 oz. / 1382g|
|Intel Sockets||775,115X, 1200, 1366, 2011x, 2066|
|AMD Sockets||AM2, AM3, AM4, FM1, FM2|
In the cooler’s box, an assortment of mounting standoffs, spacers, washers and spring-tension machine bolts accompany interchangeable motherboard brackets and a universal backplate. That means the Silverstone PF360 ships with mounting hardware and accessories for most mainstream AMD and Intel processors. Cabling and aRGB control is provided in the form of a 3-way PWM fan splitter, an aRGB in-line control module and adapters to link with 3-pin, 5v aRGB motherboard headers. In the event you might be shorthanded on thermal compound, a small tube of paste is provided as well. There’s a lot here, especially considering the price.
Silverstone covers the PF360 with a 2 year warranty in North America, though check details if your live elsewhere, as warranty coverage varies by region.
Silverstone does not include an installation manual in the retail packaging, though it’s available to download via a QR code on the side of the PF360 box. If you don’t have a QR read app handy, the same documentation is available on Silverstone’s site here.
At the heart of the Silverstone PF360 lies a black, faceted pump housing with a reflective mirror face with aRGB lighting effects that illuminate a backlit Silverstone snowflake log when operational. The pump itself is powered via 3-pin header while lighting makes use of standard 3-pin/5v aRGB header. The lights are controlled by either the included module or via a supported motherboard using a 2-way aRGB sync cable. Lighting on the fans and pump of the PF360 can be daisy-chained between one another using male/female aRGB connectors on each component (rather than a requiring an aRGB splitter) allowing for better cable management.
The base of the PF360 features a copper plate milled to a smooth, satin finish. Mounting brackets are interchangeable and interlock with a retention groove around the base of the pump housing. You’ll know they’re secure when you hear/feel a firm click.
The PF360 utilizes a generous 400 mm (nearly 16 inches) of sleeved coolant tubing that enters and exists the pump housing via pair of 90-degree swivel fittings, allowing for multiple mounting options. Lighting and pump wiring is tucked around the coolant lines for clean lines around the remaining three sides of the pump housing.
The base of the PF360 is slightly convex, with slivers of light visible between the steel straightedge and the copper base. This should create an area of greater central pressure as the mounting hardware is tightened. This could possibly assist with the initial spreading of thermal paste during installation, but this is just speculation.
The spread pattern from the thermal compound indicates a very thin layer in the center of the block while coverage is thicker towards the edge of the CPU IHS, showing the effect of the contact patch from the copper, convex base.
A trio of 120mm Silverstone fans rated up to 2000 RPM move air through the 360mm aluminum radiator on the PF360. Each fan is managed via 4-pin PWM and can controlled via 3-way PWM splitter from a single motherboard or fan controller header, allowing for synchronized speed control. The aRGB lighting cable features both male and female connections, allowing them to be daisy-chained and simplifying cable management.
Assuming your case supports a 360mm radiator, installation of the PF360 is relatively simple. The lack of USB connectivity for software management means fewer cables to route and no applications to download, although it also means fan and pump control need to be handled by motherboard BIOS or a fan controller, making cooler performance management a more complicated process for some. Whether you like this kind of control depending on whether you favor manual BIOS setup and control or a desktop software user interface. But either way works well enough.
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Garrett Carver is a contributor for Tom’s Hardware, primarily covering thermal compound comparisons and CPU cooling reviews; both air and liquid, including multiple variations of each.
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is it me or does the $20 Gammax 400 outperform this? From Thomas' own review:Reply
also seems to outperform coolers on the best list. am I nuts?
there are several 360 AIO's for about $100. Id love to see a comparison. That $90 ID cooling system has the potential to be a world class bang for the buck. Im sure its not as efficient as the NZXT but its 95 including shipping.
I would have liked to see the Corsair H150i in it as well. The last time it was reviewed was over two years ago, and at $150, it would have filled the gap nicely between the Silverstone and the Cougar.Reply
Be interesting to see the 360mm Arctic Liquid Freezer II as well.Reply
Thats interesting. I wonder if thats true!niceguy1 said:is it me or does the $20 Gammax 400 outperform this? From Thomas' own review:
also seems to outperform coolers on the best list. am I nuts?