Zero-Infinity Free-Flow+ Review

Up Close: The cooler body

Zero-Infinity Free-Flow+

 

Up Close:  The cooler

The Free Flow+ is of the twin tower type, with each of the stacks having 47 Nickel coated Aluminium fins.  The cross sectional area of each of the fins is 140x40mm.

 Zero-Infinity Free-Flow+     Zero-Infinity Free-Flow+  

 

Each of the 5x8mm heat pipes passes vertically through both stacks.  The heat pipes are arranged in a straight line closer to the centre of the fin stacks than the outer edges.  The fin stacks are predominantly open at the sides apart from a small vertical closed off smooth section.

Zero-Infinity Free-Flow+     Zero-Infinity Free-Flow+  

 

Each of the fins has 4 small and 1 large "scoop" cut into it.  Each of these scoops faces out from the centre of the cooler.  I can understand these acting to duct air when the air is traveling into the ducts, but i'm not entirely convinced they're serving much of a purpose when they're facing away from the direction of airflow.

 Zero-Infinity Free-Flow+     Zero-Infinity Free-Flow+ 

 

Closer examination of the fins reveals that each of them is surfaced with 1000s of very small raised dimples.  These are presumably to aid thermal transfer between the fins and the air passing over them.  The torture test will show us if this is an approach that pays dividends.

 Zero-Infinity Free-Flow+     Zero-Infinity Free-Flow+  

 

Turning our attention now to the heat pipes we can see that they too are finished in a deep Nickel coating.  Quality of finish here is good, if not superior, with a few imperfections seen in the nickel finish.

Zero-Infinity Free-Flow+     Zero-Infinity Free-Flow+  

 

We now look to the base of the cooler.  In the attempt to extract maximum heat exchange from the Free Flow+ Zero Infinity have actually attached what looks very much like an old school heat sink to the upper most surface of the contact plate.  Whist this might look a little odd in the photographs, it won't be seen when the cooler is fitted, and can only serve to increase performance.

Looking at the business end of the heatsink, namely the contact plate we can see that Zero Infinity have gone with a direct contact approach, with the flattened heatpipes being placed in direct contact with the heat spreader of your chosen chip.  On removal of the protective film it was noticed that the copper was discoloured in several places leaving a mottled effect.  The surface however was perfectly flat and the mottled effect could not be felt with the surface of a finger.

 Zero-Infinity Free-Flow+     Zero-Infinity Free-Flow+

    

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Most Recent Comments

16-05-2012, 06:46:02

tinytomlogan


If Jimi Hendrix were to buy a CPU cooler he'd probably be drawn to this psychedelic offering from Zero Infinity. Will it be a Foxy Lady or disappear in a Purple Haze

Continue Reading

16-05-2012, 07:01:06

Jadarite
oh yes it's a Foxy Lady

16-05-2012, 07:04:13

SieB
I'm liking the purple fans, shame about the performance and price though.

16-05-2012, 07:05:48

Josh Weston
Good review, just a shame about the lacking performance at a ridiculous price.

16-05-2012, 07:44:10

RzrTrek
Lovely review.. indeed, we would be better of getting ourselves an Noctua NH-D14!

16-05-2012, 09:05:50

Lisa
Nice review, thanks. Purple is my fave colour and I wouldn't buy this. It looks garish and cheap. Aesthetics aside, you'd expect a twin-tower triple-fan to perform well or are they using the third fan just for marketing or to make up for some shortcomings? Either way, going by your results, they've failed.

16-05-2012, 10:10:05

dugdiamond
fugly fans (each to their own!)

16-05-2012, 10:13:24

Azurite
Very pimpish :-)

16-05-2012, 10:29:18

SEBAR
This was a great read, I love the way you do your reviews. Hey Tom Gary, did you read the directions before trying to install this thing? Just kidding, you probably should have thrown this out the window. This thing is all show and no go.

16-05-2012, 10:32:25

Josh Weston
Quote:
Originally Posted by SEBAR View Post

This was a great read, I love the way you do your reviews. Hey Tom, did you read the directions before trying to install this thing? Just kidding, you probably should have thrown this out the window. This thing is all show and no go.
If by Tom, you mean Gary?

16-05-2012, 10:35:59

nothingspecial
Those fans are just.... SEX.ON.A.STICK.

Seriously, they need to start selling those fans on their own. Shame about the cooler itself, but oh my those fans! Do want!!!

16-05-2012, 10:36:56

SEBAR
Quote:
Originally Posted by Josh Weston View Post

If by Tom, you mean Gary?
My bad, I just assumed it was Tom, Anyway good job on the review Gary.

16-05-2012, 13:14:40

badtaylorx
eeeewwww.....what a piece of junk......toss it in the trash.....(would have made a good final pic!!!)

16-05-2012, 19:05:24

unwaxed
Nice review. Not a very useful product, it seems.

Anyway, on the 2nd graph (overvolted CPU), shouldn't the delta T for the Free-Flow+ be 64.75 if the CPU temp was 83.75 and ambiant was 19?

17-05-2012, 03:19:57

G-Dubs
You're correct, the Delta T temp in the second graph is wrong.

Just our way of checking who reads the full review and who just skips to the end

17-05-2012, 07:15:10

arnzzz
Ever since I got my Noctua NH-D14 I have been a huge fan(no pun intended) of the twin tower design, and I see no reason why when a manufacturer releases a twin tower product it would not perform to or at least close to the noctua or silver arrow!!!!

I mean come on, there really is no excuse. Smaller coolers have the limitation of size and usually aesthetics. These twin tower coolers have no such restrictions. I see their only purpose is to perform to a high level!! (though I personally love twin tower designs ) which is why I am always excited by the thought of a new twin tower offering. But again we, the twin tower brigade have been let down so I and many others will be sticking with the trusted if a little long in the tooth Noctua

Have the NH-D14 and the Silver Arrow really hit the limit of what an air cooler is capable of doing?

I would love a better looking alternative to the NH-D14, and will be one of the first to buy such a product if it ever materialises.

17-05-2012, 07:26:15

Josh Weston
Well, the Havik 140 performs close to the 'D14 etc. and that's only a single (albeit huge) tower. I wonder what kind of performance it would yield if it was doubled.

17-05-2012, 07:35:34

arnzzz
if I could weld I would stick two Havik's together and give it a go, that would be interesting

I really like the look of the Havik, though when I think about it maybe its the blade design on

the fans that I cant see past, I think those fans look bloody awesome I may order some of

them to see what they are like, Oh no, wait, I cant, I'M POOR!!!!

17-05-2012, 13:52:49

Solar
Good review Gary, we can but hope the manufacturers take notice and make improvements for their next model. Certainly seems they have plenty of scope to improve lol.

24-05-2012, 18:40:43

Hippie Tech
If it were me, I would have sent it back because of the uneven, thus defective, heatsink towers. I seriously doubt that the contact area would have stayed perfect after being manhandled like that during assembly.

Another sign that this sample was a dud, is how the screws supporting the base seem uneven in the photo(s).

I am not a fan of the 'direct contact' heatsink design because the spacers between the heat pipes will never be as efficient as a thick and solid copper base. Still, it would be nice to see this one redone with a proper sample.

At least this isn't as bad as TTL's Zalman 9900(MAX?) review. That fan was wobbling soo bad, I'm surprised the rig didn't shimmy off the table ! lolz..And yes, its STILL giving me nightmares, Tom.

pEACe

HT
Reply
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