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CPU cooler is one of popular and frequent components for upgrading due to its affordable price and plenty of choices. Today we will have a look on Arctic Cooling Freezer Xtreme rev. 2 which was launched about 22 months ago and let us examine whether it is still able to compete with those newly launched CPU coolers.
ARCTIC COOLING is a privately owned company founded in 2001 with headquarters in Switzerland, offices in Hong Kong and the USA and production facilities in Asia. The ARCTIC COOLING team consists o f international highly educated people with business, technical and communicational skills. The attitude to work is based o n Swiss principles of innovative spirit and high standards of workmanship for which it is recognized internationally. This striving for excellence is integrated in all processes as a matter of course.
ARCTIC COOLING´s core competencies are multifarious including systematic noise reduction,copper and aluminum heatsink development, customization of thermal solutions, as well as designing quiet fans. More recently quiet and cool PC Cases and Power Supplies have been developed.
• Efficient cooling
The unique heatsink design, consisting of 102 fins and 4 double-sided heatpipes offers a cooling performance far beyond the stock cooler. It can cool down CPUs with a heat dissipation of up to 160 Watts.
• Minimum Noise
The central-mounted 120mm fan with low noise impeller and a patented fan holder ensures quiet operation. Controlled by PWM, the fan runs between 800 and 1,500 RPM. It remains silent even at full speed.
• Easy installation
The unique mounting system via push pins offers excellent stability and is applicable within a few seconds. The pre-applied ARCTIC MX-2 thermal compound makes the installation a quick and clean process.
• Wide compatibility
With the flexible mounting design, Freezer Xtreme Rev. 2 is compatible with Intel Socket 1366, 1156, 1155 and 775 as well as AMD Socket AM3, AM2+, AM2, 939 and 754.
Package & Contents
Just like other Arctic Cooling products, Freezer Xtreme rev. 2 comes with a simple and compact packaging but it is solid enough to handle those minor mishandling. Full features and specifications of Arctic Cooling Freezer Xtreme rev. 2 are well written at the back of the container.
Arctic Cooling Freezer Xtreme rev. 2 comes with CPU retention module, Intel Pushpins, AMD hooks, screws, AC logo sticker and user's manual. Arctic Cooling Freezer Xtreme rev. 2 comes with 6-year warranty which is awesome but we believe it is only applicable for the fan since that is the only functional component.
A Closer Look on Arctic Cooling Freezer Xtreme rev. 2
Currently there are not many high end CPU coolers from Arctic Cooling but Freeze 13, Freezer Xtreme rev. 2 and Freezer 7 Pro rev. 2 are the top three performers. All these three CPU coolers are in tower form and it made us recall that Arctic Cooling was one of the earliest vendors that were producing and promoting tower CPU coolers.
Arctic Cooling Freezer Xtreme rev. 2 is a universal CPU coolers and it even supports older types of sockets like AMD socket 754 and 939. Dimension and weight are the common concerns when considering such tower CPU cooler; Arctic Cooling Freezer Xtreme rev. 2 comes with 113 x 134 x 155 mm (L x W x H) dimension and weighs about 790 grams.
Arctic Cooling Freezer Xtreme rev. 2 is a sandwiched type of CPU cooler where the fan is designed to be slotted in between its aluminum blocks. By doing so it helps to dissipate the heat in a much efficient way without the need of dual fans. The black acrylic fan shoulder allows user to install and remove the fan easily.
Aluminum is one of the most cost effective heat dissipater and it is always good to maximize the heat dissipating surface or area just like Arctic Cooling Freezer Xtreme rev. 2 where additional shorter aluminum fins are added at the bottom of the cooler without having any compatible issue with the motherboard components.
Two silver mounting brackets are pre-mounted on the copper base which can be used for both of the Intel and AMD sockets; pretty flexible and well-designed. Copper heat pipe is the best teammate when working together with aluminum fins and Arctic Cooling Freezer Xtreme rev. 2 are equipped with four 6mm copper heat pipes.
These six copper heat pipes are in U-shaped form which transfers the heat from the copper base to the aluminum blocks in bidirectional ways. Arctic Cooling Freezer Xtreme rev. 2's base is also made by copper material for better heat conduction and a layer of thermal paste is pre-applied on the cooler's base but we prefer a tube of thermal paste is bundled.
For better noise and performance control on Arctic Cooling Freezer Xtreme rev. 2, the bundled 120mm cooling fan is a PWM fan which comes with 800 - 1500 RPM fan speed and 35.7 - 60.7 m3/h airflow. Basically the noise and performance are controlled accordingly to the motherboard CPU temperature reading; PWM fan has been widely used for most of the performance CPU coolers nowadays.
Installation, Testing & Performance
Compare with other universal CPU coolers, Arctic Cooling Freezer Xtreme rev. 2 has much simpler installation method; pushpin method. The first step is to align the retention module on the motherboard and secure it with the provided pushpins. Make sure a "tick" sound is heard for each of the pushpin installation to ensure the retention module is fully secured by the pushpin on the motherboard.
Next step will be installing the Arctic Cooling Freezer Xtreme rev. 2 on the retention module. Before that the cooling fan has to be removed out as two screws are needed to fasten the cooler on the retention module through the center of the cooler. Such installation method is one of the ways to minimize the compatible issue especially such giant CPU cooler. Last but no least the final step will be installing back the cooling fan into the cooler and connect it to the motherboard's PWM fan connector if it is available.
In term of ease of installation, Arctic Cooling Freezer Xtreme rev. 2 is definitely easier than other tower CPU coolers as no back plate is required which is pretty troublesome if the chassis does not come with any pre-cut opening on the motherboard plate. The only concern about the installation method of Arctic Cooling Freezer Xtreme rev. 2 is the safety as using such pushpin to secure a 790 grams CPU cooler might look fragile.
Processor: Intel Core 2 Duo E8300 @ 2.83GHz
Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-EP45-DS3/Gigabyte G31M-ES2L
Heatsink: Arctic Cooling Freezer Xtreme rev. 2
Memory: Kingston HyperX 4GB DDR2 8500
Hard Drive: 250GB 7200RPM 8MB Seagate
Graphic Card: Galaxy GeForce GTX260+
Casing: In Win Maelstorm
PSU: Aerocool V12XT-800
Optical Drive: HLDS DVD RW +/-
Controller: Aerocool Touch 2000
Monitor: Dell 22" Wide Screen LCD
Speaker: Edifier R501
Mouse: SteelSeries Ikari Laser
Mouse Pad: SteelSeries QcK+
HeadSet: SteelSeries 3H
Router: TRENDnet TEW-639GR
Operating System: Window XP Pro SP2/Win 7 HP
Ambient Temperature: 27 Degree Celsius
Here is the cooling performance of Arctic Cooling Freezer Xtreme rev. 2. Based on our obtained result, Arctic Cooling Freezer Xtreme rev. 2 has no problem to catch up with other high performance CPU coolers despite of its low noise cooling fan. Its performance is upgradable by replacing a much stronger CFM airflow fan but silent has to be given up. Arctic Cooling Freezer Xtreme rev. 2 is designed to support up to 160watts cooling factor but in term of value per performance, Arctic Cooling Freezer Xtreme rev. 2 is still slightly lagging behind than its competitors.
Arctic Cooling was gaining very good reputation when they launched their first batch of CPU cooler due to their creativity and design but it is obvious that they have split their focus and resources on other new line of business; audio, sound and other accessories. Couples of the reasons for doing so are to enlarge their product offering but also facing low profitability and high competition in CPU cooler sector. Hopefully everything will be back on track once their brand revolution is done. Anyway Arctic Cooling Freezer Xtreme rev. 2 is not a bad choice at all if you are able to get it for less than 50USD or if you are looking for a silent cooler with simple installation method.
+ Universal CPU cooler
+ Supporting older type of sockets
+ 8 copper heat pipes
+ PWM low noise fan
+ Simple installation method
+ 6-year warranty
- Slightly expensive than other performance coolers
- prefer a tube of thermal paste is bundled together
Thanks to Arctic Cooling for providing this sample for us to review.
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