Though not usually mentioned in the same league as Thermalright and Noctua, Arctic cooling has been selling after market processor coolers for a very long time. The freezer 7 (and freezer 64) series is most well known of their products. In the hay days of AMD Athlon64 their coolers provided the best performance for price at amazingly low noise levels. While other companies worked on the principal that bigger is better, Arctic Cooling has pretty much retained the design of the original Freezer cooler. The advantage is the relatively low cost of the cooler (about 2500 Rupees). Are Arctic cooling living the past? Or is their design still able to compete today? Read on to find out.
ABOUT ARCTIC COOLING
Arctic cooling is a Swiss company with offices in USA and Hong Kong. Apart from processor coolers they make one of the best known thermal pastes -the MX series. They also make the very popular “Accelero” series of video card coolers. They also sell case fans, computer cases, power supplies and other computer accessories.
INTRODUCING FREEZER 7 PRO Rev 2.0
As the name suggests the Freezer 7 pro is a revised version of the Freezer 7 processor cooler. A single cooling tower paired to a 92mm and 6 heat pipes (arranged in as a pair of 3) makes up the cooler. Noise dampening system adds a cherry to the cake.
The cooler comes in an all plastic cover. This is something that has been seen before (e.g. Xigmatek’s Achilles’ cooler). There is little or no protection provided to the cooler or the fan in the plastic shell. Perhaps 99% of the time the end product will reach its user unharmed. But there is always that 1% that might receive a damaged article. This is what happened to the review unit. The fan’s grill had two of its supports broken. Many readers would simply ignore or even get annoyed with description of packaging of a product in a review. The mention of a good and “safe” packaging in a review is only of significance to those who have been “stung” by a case of poor packing and the subsequent damage it causes to the product. Addition of some protective foam shroud around the fan might have prevented it from getting damaged.
The plastic case has a paper inlay that lists the features (cooling performance and noise generated) and the specs of the cooler at the back of the packing.
The base lists the features in languages other than English.
As I have already mentioned, the packing is mostly to prevent the contents from falling out. It serves little or no protective function. Even though this is cooler is not exactly a bank breaker, a little protection will probably result in fewer RMAs.
THE COOLER IN PERSPECTIVE
The Freezer 7 pro rev 2 is a single tower design cooler that is compatible with almost all Intel and AMD processor that currently exist. This includes all Intel LGA 775, 1156 and 1366 and AMD S754, S939, AM2, AM2+ and AM3 socket based processor. This means that this cooler can be used with processors as old as the original Athlon64 and the Intel Pentium 4 (beyond Northwood). That is certainly an exhaustive list. An even greater achievement is that the cooler supports all these processors this with a single mounting frame (for Intel processors; for AMD processors it uses the default mounting mechanism already installed on the motherboard) which can be installed on the motherboard without removing it from the case. This is due to the cooler being extremely light weight (520 grams with the fan) and hence does not require installation of a back plate to support its weight.
The single tower is pierced by 6 heat pipes (arranged in pairs of 3). The fan is mounted on the front of the cooler using a patented noise dampening system. The heat sink base, made of pure copper comes pre-applied with Arctic Cooling’s own MX-2 thermal paste.
The cooler is petite and measures 104x 58x126.5mm (LxWxH). It should fit in almost all mid tower enclosures.
THE COOLING TOWER
The cooling tower comprises of 42 Aluminum plates which have a “D” shaped design.
The flat side of the “D” is the front of the cooler onto which the fan is mounted. There are no surface modifications to the heat plates to improve air flow or reduce noise. The latter is not needed as the fan and its mount takes care of virtually all the noise generated. The cooler unlike its elder does not cater to main-board components (around the processor socket) cooling. Each heat plate measures about 60.3mm2 in area and thus provides a heat dissipation area of about 5065mm2
THE HEAT PIPES
The unit has 6 heat pipes arranged in pair of 3s. Strictly speaking there are thus only 3 heat pipes. Each heat pipe has a diameter of 4mm. They are made of Copper and are not Nickel plated. They are soldered to the heat sink base and run in line through the heat sink. They are not staggered as they pass through the heat plates, which might have improved heat dissipation.
HEAT SINK BASE
The base is comes pre-applied with Arctic Cooling’s MX-2 thermal compound. The base is made of pure copper and again is not Nickel plated.
Removing the compound reveals a super flat, “sanded” base. Though it doesn’t have a mirror finish it is relatively shiny. At the top of the base the clips for mounting are the cooler to the motherboard are screwed on.