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Mini-ITX CPU Air Cooler Round-Up

Today we're reviewing the SilverStone Argon AR06, Reeven's RC 1001 Brontes, ID-Cooling's IS-VC45 and the Shadow Rock LP from be quiet!.

SilverStone Argon AR06

First up on the testing block is one of SilverStone's newer low profile coolers, the Argon AR06. The AR06 is part of SilverStone's Argon series of CPU coolers, which is intended to provide not only excellent value but also high performance as well.

The AR06 is simply a scaled up version of its smaller counterpart, the AR05, featuring two additional 6mm diameter heat pipes and a taller heat sink to handle CPUs with TDPs up to 95W. Both coolers utilize the same 92 x 15mm fan and feature a standard format, downdraft style design. On the Intel side of things, the AR06 drops support for most of Intel's legacy sockets, and only includes hardware for CPUs that drop into the 115X series of sockets. When it comes to support for AMD processors, the AR06 includes hardware for any of the four bolt, rectangular sockets such as AM2/3 and FM1/2. Finally, the AR06 comes with mounting hardware, a standard instruction manual, thermal paste, and a set of rubber spacers to protect the back of the motherboard from the screws used to mount the cooler.

The AR06 is the only cooler in today's round-up with a design featuring direct contact heat pipes on the base of the cooler. The cooler's mounting kit is quick and easy to assemble and simply involves securing the screws to the proper set of mounting arms, attaching the arms to the base of the cooler, applying thermal paste to the CPU, placing the cooler onto the CPU, applying the rubber pads to the female hex bolts, and then securing the cooler to the motherboard using the bolts. Once the cooler is installed on the board, the installation is completed by connecting the cooler's fan to the CPU fan header on the motherboard.

Finally, one of the attractive features of the AR06 is that due it its extremely compact nature, users do not need to worry about having RAM clearance issues, which is common in other, larger coolers.