Categories
hardware

SilverStone Hydrogon H90 ARGB Review: Low Profile for Mid-Range CPUs


SilverStone has been churning out coolers, power supplies, expansion cards, and other PC equipment since its founding in 2003. The company is perhaps best known for its computer cases, like the SFF Sugo 14, but it also often offers up niche products, like the SFF-focused Hydrogon H90 ARGB cooler we’re looking at here.

I haven’t tested many now-profile, ultra-slim coolers before. In fact, the only truly compact air coolers I’ve used previously came from pre-built PCs – and they weren’t suitable for loads more than about 65W. So when SilverStone sent the Hydrogon H90 for testing, I was a bit skeptical of its ability to deliver serious CPU-chilling abilities. The heatsink is about as thick and long as my index finger with 95m length and 48mm width. 

Can the Hydrogon H90 change my mind about smaller coolers like this, or possibly even earn a spot on our Best CPU Coolers list? We’ll have to test it to find out, but first let’s take a look at the Hydrogon H90 ARGB’s specifications, direct from SilverStone.

(Image credit: Tom’s Hardware)

Specifications for the SilverStone Hydrogon H90 ARGB

CoolerSilverStone Hydrogon H90 ARGB
MSRP$60 USD
Heatsink Dimensions95 x 48 x 95mm
Heatpipes4x 6mm
Socket CompatibilityAM4; LGA 2066/2022/1700/1200/115x
Rated Noise LevelUp to 34.6 dBA
FinsAluminum

Packing and Included Contents

The Hydrogon H90 comes in a small box, reflective of the cooler’s size, with molded plastic for protection during shipment.

Included with the package are the following:

  • SFF heatsink
  • One 92mm fan
  • Mounts for modern Intel and AMD platforms
  • Thermal paste
  • Information Leaflet

(Image credit: Tom’s Hardware)

Cooler Installation

(Image credit: Tom’s Hardware)

The installation of SilverStone’s Hydrogon H90 ARGB wasn’t hard; the main steps are shown in the images from the user manual below. Much like many AIOs, you have to secure the backplate against the motherboard, then attach standoffs. Once the standoffs have been placed, place the cooler mounting bars and secure them with the screws. Finally, secure the heatsink by screwing it to the mounting bars.

(Image credit: Silverstone)

New Testing Configuration

CoolerSilverStone Hydrogon H90 ARGB
Comparison Coolers TestedDeepCool AK400
 SilverStone Hydrogon H90ARGB
 Cooler Master i70c
CPUIntel Core i5-12600K
MotherboardASUS Z690 Plus Wifi DDR5
RAMCrucial DDR5 4800
CaseCoolerMaster HAF 700 Berserker
PSUCoolerMaster XG PLUS 850 Platinum

Cooler Features

  • Slim form factor

The Hydrogon H90 features a compact heatsink that’s under 1.9 inches tall (or 2.48 inches with the included fan), comprised of aluminum fins. This cooler should fit inside pretty much any case. It will do perfectly in SFF cases and as a replacement for aging compact office PCs with bad coolers.

  • Four 6mm copper heat pipes help transfer heat from the CPU

(Image credit: Tom’s Hardware)
  • 1x Slim 15mm fan

There’s more to an air cooler than just the heatsink. The included fan (or fans) have a significant impact on cooling, noise levels, and performance. This cooler includes a slim 92 x 15 x 92mm fan, allowing it to keep a low profile.

Model92mm fan
Fan Dimensions92 x 15 x 92mm
SpeedUp to 2600 RPM
Bearings2.99mm H2O
Rated NoiseUp to 34.6 dBA
Rated Lifespan30,000 hours

(Image credit: Tom’s Hardware)

Testing Methodology

Most of the coolers featured in this review wouldn’t be up to the task of cooling Intel’s Core i9-12900K without restrictive power limits enforced, so I’ve paired them with a more appropriate CPU: Intel’s i5-12600K. Since many of the coolers I’m testing below might be considered for use in SFF builds and for those wanting silent performance, I’ve tested Cinebench with three power configurations

1. No Power Limits Enforced: This uses up to 130W of  CPU power consumption

2. 95W

3. 65W

Values shown are for the average CPU package temperature over the course of running the Cinebench benchmark. Peak temperatures will be a few degrees higher than the results shown below.

Core i5-12600K Cinebench Thermal Results (130W, 95W, and 65W)

(Image credit: Tom’s Hardware)

The SilverStone Hydrogon H90 performed roughly on par with Cooler Master’s i70c, another low-profile cooler. It was slightly cooler in the higher TDP scenarios, but it also ran louder. Note that both the DeepCool and Be Quiet coolers are more traditional, though mid-sized, tower coolers. They have more cooling potential, but won’t fit in nearly as many compact PC cases.

Noise Levels and Acoustics

To test noise levels, I used the SLM25TK Sound Level Meter positioned 18 inches behind the rear of the Cooler Master HAF 700 Berserker, and recorded early in the morning to achieve the lowest noise floor possible. To prevent the system fans from vastly overpowering the sound of the cooler, I limited all of the case fans to 50% speeds. Noise measurements were taken while running Cinebench with no power limits enforced on the CPU.

(Image credit: Tom’s Hardware)

During this test, the Hydrogon H90 was a bit loud. Ideally, you’d want to limit the power consumption of the CPU you’re pairing this cooler with if noise levels are a concern. With low 65W power limits enforced, this cooler is whisper quiet. But when maxing out its cooling abilities, it’s the loudest of this bunch.

Conclusion

The SilverStone H90 ARGB is a good-quality low-profile cooler that can handle workloads of up to roughly 125W, but its primary problem is price. Unless you have a case where only this cooler will fit, the Hydrogon is a poor value at $60 when competing products like Cooler Master’s i70c are available for around $20.