Zero-Infinity Free-Flow+ Review

Conclusion

Zero-Infinity Free-Flow+

 

Conclusion

Well all the right ingredients are there, two large fin stacks, each with 47 Aluminium fins, ducts and dimples to aid in heat transfer, 3x 1200rpm 140mm fans, additional heat sink on the contact plate, 5x8mm direct contact heat pipes, and with Purple bladed fans the Free Flow+ also has what could be called "Individual" styling.  So how have Zero Infinity put these top class ingredients together

Quality wise things aren't great, not actually bad, although the "bent" towers were a bit of a concern, it's more that I wasn't left with the feeling that I had a quality product in my hands, more like I was holding something with every item sourced from the lowest OEM bidder.

Sadly my feeling for the cooler were not improved by the build process.  I'm not going to rant here, if you want to get the full flavour go back and have a look at section 5 of the review.  I'll summarise by saying this was the worst cooler install i've yet done (and that inclused the beQuiets).

So with all the above said I rather had my hopes pinned on the Free Flow+ putting in a truly stellar performance.  I think I would be willing to forgive the above points if it had it where it mattered.  Sadly however, it didn't.  Not by a long chalk.  The list of smaller, and at a smidgen under £60, cheaper coolers that better it at both 4.0GHz and 4.2GHz is long and distinguished.  In use it's also on the noisy side (suspiciously dB(A) figures for the fans are hard to come by), but if I were to say it was clearly audible over the noise of my open Antec Skeleton system sitting closer to me than it was then you'll get the idea.  Throw in that the size of the cooler may cause clearance issues with RAM and case sides as well as the rear fan and things are far from Rosy.

I never like to give a bad review, but on this occasion I really am struggling to find much to say about the Free Flow+ that would encourage you to select it for your system.  Perhaps if you're looking for something that little bit different, with the colour Purple certainly being one that you don't come across very often then it may hold something of an appeal, but really I'm finding it hard to think of anything else.  There are great coolers out there, at great prices.  This isn't one of them.

 

You can discuss you thoughts on this review in the OC3D forums.

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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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