Arctic Cooling Freezer 7 & 64 Pro Coolers Page: 1
Introduction

The name Arctic Cooling is heavily embedded within the realm of PC enthusiasts, and really needs no introduction. This aftermarket cooling company continues to set the bar for many manufacturers with its intelligent and innovative approach to cooling. Not only are Arctic Cooling's products extremely effective at what they do, but, are on the whole visually aesthetic too. Today I have been fortunate enough to receive a box of sample goodies from Arctic Cooling, and it contains the latest additions to the Arctic Freezer series of aftermarket CPU cooling solutions for both Intel and AMD platforms.


Specifications

The technical specifications of the Arctic Freezer 7 Pro were taken directly from Arctic Cooling's website, you can find additional information here

*Heat Sink: 104 x 58 x 126.5 mm
*Fan: 107 x 43.5 x 96 mm
*Overall Dimensions: 107 x 96.5 x 126.5 mm
*Rated Fan Speed: 300 - 2500 RPM (PWM)
*Power Consumption: 0.16 Amp.
*Air Flow: 45 CFM / 77 m3/h
*Weight: 520 g
*Noise Level: 0.9 Sone
*Thermal Resistance: 0.17°C/Watt
*Thermal Interface Material: Pre-applied MX-1 Paste
*Warranty: 6 Years
(Accessed 15th October 2006)


Compatibility

Arctic Cooling specifies that the Arctic Freezer 7 Pro is compatible with the following CPU's:
* Intel Celeron (Socket 775)
* Intel Pentium 4 (Socket 775)
* Intel Pentium D
* Intel Core 2 Duo


Packaging and Contents

Arctic Cooling have taken the liberty of allowing the Arctic Freezer 7 Pro packaging speak for itself. It is simple and unassuming, it is very similar to the packaging of their 'L' series fans I reviewed a couple of months ago. One thing I would like to include about the packaging is that it is very sturdy and the fan inside is housed within an plastic shroud. You could be extremely confident of this fan arriving in one piece if it were being shipped to you.

Freezer 7 Pro front Freezer 7 Pro Spec
Arctic Freezer 7 Pro contents

Included inside the packaging were:

* 1 x Arctic Freezer 7 Pro cooler
* 1 x Installation booklet
* 1 x Arctic Cooling case sticker

Now that we've seen the specifications and contents of the Arctic Freezer 7 Pro, let's have a look at its AMD counterpart - the Arctic Freezer 64 Pro.



Arctic Cooling Freezer 7 & 64 Pro Coolers Page: 2
Specifications

Again, the technical specifications of the Arctic Freezer 64 Pro cooler were taken directly from Arctic Cooling's website, you can find additional information here

*Heat Sink: 104 x 58 x 126.5 mm
*Fan: 107 x 43.5 x 96 mm
*Overall Dimensions: 107 x 96.5 x 126.5 mm
*Rated Fan Speed: 2200 RPM
*Power Consumption: 0.16 Amp.
*Air Flow: 40 CFM / 68 m3/h
*Weight: 528 g
*Noise Level: 0.8 Sone
*Thermal Resistance: 0.18°C/Watt
*Thermal Interface Material: Pre-applied MX-1
*Paste *Warranty: 6 Years
(Accessed 16th October 2006)


Compatibility

Arctic Cooling specifies that the Arctic Freezer 64 Pro is compatible with the following CPU's:

*AMD Sempron, Athlon 64, Athlon 64 X2 and Athlon 64 FX (Socket 754, 939, AM2, and all AMD Opteron processors.


Packaging and Contents

The packaging for the Arctic Freezer 64 Pro is exactly the same as the its Intel brother, so I'll refrain from covering it again.

Arctic Freezer 64 Pro front Arctic Freezer 64 Pro features
Arctic Freezer 64 Pro contents

Included inside the packaging were:

* 1 x Arctic Freezer 64 Pro cooler
* 1 x Installation booklet
* 1 x Arctic Cooling case sticker

Now that we've been formally acquainted with our test subjects, let's have a bit of a closer look.



Arctic Cooling Freezer 7 & 64 Pro Coolers Page: 3
A Closer Look

Arctic Freezer 7 Pro

The first thing that I noticed about the Arctic Freezer coolers is that they are incredibly easy to pull apart to clean and maintain (like most of their product line actually). All that is required for removal, is to flick two clips on the side of the heatsink and the fan assembly comes off.

Arctic Freezer 7 Pro apart

The Arctic Freezer 7 Pro uses the same retention method as the reference Intel socket 775 cooler. It would be nice to see manufacturers of aftermarket cooling solutions move away from Intel's retention system, as there are better methods out there which ensure better contact with the CPU everytime. The size difference between the two is evident.

Freezer 7 Pro vs Intel reference cooler Freezer 7 Pro vs Intel reference cooler

6 Heat Pipes (three used double sided) are able to transfer heat of up to 200 Watts. The heat exchanger is built of 42 fins and consists of a surface area of over 4700 cm2 and allows for resistance free energy transfer to air.

Freezer 7 Pro heatpipes heat exchanger

From the above images you can see the bottom three fins on the heat exchanger are bent, these are provided to allow cool air to pass over voltage converters on the motherboard. Arctic Cooling also provide 'pre-applied' thermal paste to the base of the cooler, the thermal paste is MX-1 Thermal Compound which has a curing time of around 200 hours. The thermal paste application was uniform and kept free of contaminants by the supplied plastic cover.

Freezer 7 Pro base

One final point of interest is the inclusion of rubber mounting grommets on the fan shroud, which have been included to reduce vibration noise. It appears that Arctic Cooling are producing all their fan range now with this feature.

vibration dampeners

Now that we've scrutinised the Freezer 7 Pro, let's take a look at Arctic Cooling's AMD variation - the Freezer 64 Pro.



Arctic Cooling Freezer 7 & 64 Pro Coolers Page: 4
A Closer Look

The Arctic Freezer 64 Pro really isn't that far removed from the Intel variant, but I have included some additional images showing the obvious differences between the two. You'll have to excuse me for not including the AMD reference cooler in the images, as mine was gotten rid of when I first built my AMD PC, in favour for an Thermalright XP-120.

Freezer 64 Pro Freezer 64 Pro side on
Freezer 64 Pro disassembled Freezer 64 fan shroud

You can see from the last two images just how easy the Freezer Pro coolers, are to pull apart. The last image above, in particular clearly illustrates the two clips required for removal of the fan shroud. The image below shows the base of the Arctic Freezer 64 Pro, with pre-applied thermal paste.

Freezer 64 Pro

Both the Arctic Freezer 7 Pro and Freezer 64 Pro coolers come with 4 pin molex plugs to allow for PWM control, and the cable has been sleeved in black...totally classy. Now that we've had a close look at both coolers, let's move onto the test phase where we can see how they really perform.



Arctic Cooling Freezer 7 & 64 Pro Coolers Page: 5
Testing

The testbed PC's chosen for todays performance review are as follows:

* AMD 3400+ CPU
* Gigabyte GA-K8NS Motherboard
* MSI NX 6800GT - TD256
* Geil PC4400 Ultra (DDR500) RAM
* Enermax EG475P-VE PSU

* Intel e6600 CPU
* ASUS P5B Deluxe
* XFX 7900 GT Extreme
* GSKILL PC2-6400
* Siverstone ST60F

I tested the coolers both at stock speed and overclocked (e6600 @ 3.6Ghz - 9 x 401) (AMD 3400+ - 2.37Ghz) to see how the coolers would perform under additional load. CPU load was achieved by running two instances of Stanfords F@H (e6600) and a single instance of F@H for the AMD. The idle temperature measurements were noted after the system was resting at the windows desktop for 30 minutes. To measure the CPU's temperature I used 'The Coolest's Core Temp monitoring program. Ambient temperature was 18 degrees Celsius at the time of the test. To give real world results, all testing was conducted within the confines of each repective PC's case.

Intel e6600

Intel Conroe @ stock

Intel e6600 overclocked

As you can see from the results, the Freezer 7 Pro is a noteworthy adversary, especially considering that it's designed with silence in mind. Although, at the maximum fan speed the fan is quite noticable. The Intel reference cooler is entirely out of its league, let alone being able to compare with the Freezer 7 Pro, which operates noticeably quieter and vastly better. Now, let's have a look at how the Freezer 64 Pro stacks up in the cooling stakes.

AMD 3400+

AMD 3400+ @stock

AMD 3400+ Overclocked

You can see from the above images that both the Freezer 7 Pro and the Freezer 64 Pro can really hold their own when it comes to providing effective cooling performance. Let's move onto my final thoughts and conclusion on these great coolers.



Arctic Cooling Freezer 7 & 64 Pro Coolers Page: 6
Conclusion

Well what more can I say? The Arctic Freezer 7 Pro and Freezer 64 Pro are great coolers. The build quality, attention to detail, compatibility, ease of installation and price are all stand-out features of both coolers in their own right.

Of course both coolers are large in size, but there are larger ones out there which potentially can be an issue when trying to get an aftermarket cooler to fit within the confines of your chosen case. During the course of this review, I never experienced any issues associated with the size of the coolers, and the potential for cramped conditions with other necessary hardware in my case. Although, I have heard of some issues with the Freezer 64 Pro and DFI motherboards, where the rear of the cooler may come into contact with graphics cards (but as I haven't experienced it personally, this is purely speculative). Both of the coolers provided adequate clearance around capacitors and voltage regulators, and they also provided adequate airflow onto the aforementioned electronic components. (I shall be posting some additional images taken during the installation process tomorrow, as the original ones taken I wasn't happy with.)

The ease of installation of both coolers, certainly made the review process a lot more pleasant. Although I will say that the Freezer 64 Pro was the easier of the two to install. I personally dislike the push down peg approach that Intel has adopted for their cooling solution, and perhaps Arctic Cooling and their fine engineering talent could perhaps look at manufacturing an alternative.

Whenever I'm hunting for additional cooling for my PC's, whether it be an aftermarket CPU cooler or simply additional case fans, price doesn't really doesn't come into the equation. Essentially, it's the cooling performance that is paramount to my purchasing decision; but this is what makes the Freezer Pro range from Arctic Cooling so attractive. For a mere US$34 you get a near silent cooling solution, that has killer looks and yet it can compete on a level playing field with a lot of the competitors products out there. Of course, you need to take into consideration, that some of the dearer products out there will have you putting up with fan noise similar to that of the reference coolers. I simply can't recommend these coolers highly enough at this price point, especially if you're building on a budget.

Pros
+
Compatibility
+ Performance
+ Ease of installation
+ Price
+ Near silent operation
+ Build quality
+ 6 year warranty
+ Easy to clean and maintain
+ Pre-applied thermal compound
+ PWM control (if your motherboard supports it )

Cons
-
Fan can become audible at max rpm (it may bother silence connoisseurs)
- Depending on the orientation of your K8 retention module (Freezer 64 Pro only) there may be issues with space.

Today I have chosen to give the Arctic Freezer Pro coolers the OC3D Recommended Award, and the OC3D Value for money award

reccomendedValue for money

OC3D would like to extend their thanks to Arctic Cooling for making this review possible.

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