Silverstone Cooler: Nitrogen NT03



Installation of the NT03 was a bit tougher than a lot of coolers that I have had in the past. Certainly the stock AMD cooler was a doddle to put on compared. The instructions provided are pretty good but the actual logistics of putting on the cooler are not as easy. This is certainly a job easier with two people.

First job is to prep the CPU with thermal paste. I used Arctic Silver 5 for both of the test coolers. Instructions for AS5 can be found here

You have to take out your motherboard and mount the included backplate with the longer screws provided.


Then you turn the board back up the other way and put on the included standoffs. These are not amazingly designed as they actually fitted through the holes in the Abit board that I had for the testing. You have to use the included rubber washers just before you add the standoffs, otherwise the standoffs slip through the board. Silverstone could do with making the standoffs a little bigger to avoid this.

You then install the heatsink and screw it down onto the standoffs. This bit is relatively easy but you need to have made sure that the standoffs were installed snugly beforehand to ensure good contact.

The fans are then screwed onto the heatsink. As mentioned previously - the fans go on in a push-pull configuration.

NT03 installed

Above you can see the standoffs. The fans need to be off of the heatsink prior to installation as they impede you screwing up the cooler to affix it to the board.

nt03 installed

And finally the cooler is installed. I did not find any clearance issues with this board but there is a possibility that badly designed motherboards with PWM's or caps too close to the CPU area may impede this cooler's installation.

As you can see the cooler is certainly a small size. Remember that the fans are individually optional and one or both can be removed for quieter running or even to take up less space.

I was not very happy with the amount of wires that come along with this cooler. Not only do you have one cable for each fan but the extension cable that plugs both fans into one header gives you extra wiring. Some careful planning would be needed to get this tidy in a case with a window.

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