Arctic Freezer 7 X Blows Away Stock Cooling For Under $20
Arctic Freezer 7X
The Arctic Freezer 7 X CPU cooler is a successor that not only builds upon the success that the Arctic Freezer 7 PRO CPU cooler, but the successor also outshines the Arctic Freezer 7 PRO CPU cooler. The Arctic Freezer 7 X CPU cooler benefits of an improved heatsink design along with a reworked heat pipe layout, with the fan, which is optimized for high static pressure, the Arctic Freezer 7 X hopes to set a new standard in CPU cooling.
Coming in at a suggested price point of $19.99 it makes the Freezer 7 X a very attractive cooler option for those shopping the more budget line of CPUs. For that purpose, we paired it up with the Ryzen 5 3600 for our tests later on. But, before we take a look at how it compares to the AMD Wraith Stealth stock solution let us take a look at the cooler itself.
The Freezer 7 X
The Arctic Freezer 7 X comes packaged nicely in a small box with just what you need and nothing you don't. In the box, you'll find the cooler, the Intel mounting mechanism along with the 4 pins to secure it, a warranty information card and a QR code that will take you to the online installation manual. I want to take a moment to mention how useful Arctic's installation guides are since they're online they're able to keep them updated AND add in animations for some of the more tricky parts. Compatibility is listed for AMD FM1/2(+), AM3(+), and AM4 along with Intel socket 775, 115x, and upcoming LGA 1200.
The cooler itself comes with Artic's new 92mm P-fan (PWM 300-2000RPM) already attached with a nice shroud to ensure airflow is directed straight through the cooler as opposed to their previous Freezer 7 Pro design that wasn't quite so guided. While the fan and shroud can be removed for cleaning purposes it is using a proprietary mount that makes it to where you can't just grab a different fan and toss on in case of an issue, but the 6-year warranty should alleviate those concerns.
The well spaced but dense aluminum fin stack comes in at 44 fins and is attached to two direct touch heatpipes. While this is one less heat pipe than the Freezer 7 Pro it is replacing the compound benefits of the overall new design should make it even better as a total solution. At the bottom, you'll find the Arctic MX2 thermal paste pre-applied. While I would have liked to see the cooler come with a little extra thermal compound in case of a bad mount, for under $20 I can understand the cost saving measure.
Installation was beyond simple. It was only slightly more complex than installing something like a Wraith Max since you do need a screwdriver to tighten down the AMD retention clips that come pre-applied. In fact, the time and effort saved by using this cooler of the stock AMD Wraith Stealth that came with my Ryzen 5 3600 make the price of admission more than worth it. Remember, with using either the Wraith Stealth or Wraith Spire you'll have to remove the stock cooler retention clips and hold the backplate in place while you screw down the 4 retention screws on the cooler to the backplate.
If you're going to put this cooler on an Intel CPU you're going to find a few more steps involved, but not many. You'll need to align the push pins with your socket arrangement. Push the retention to mount into those motherboard mounting holes. Toss the securing pins into the mount. Then pick up where you would with an AMD mount and tighten down the premounted clips on the cooler. It really couldn't get any easier than that unless they made two models, one for AMD and one for Intel.
Testing the cooling performance of the Arctic Freezer 7 X led us to compare it directly to a stock cooling solution on one of the better selling CPUs lately, and that being the Ryzen 5 3600's stock Wraith Stealth cooler. Yes, the Wraith Stealth cooler is a smaller cooler that is designed to keep the Ryzen 5 3600 in check, but it's also not exactly the most fun to install and quite frankly not the greatest in terms of noise and cooling performance. We did run all these tests in an open testbed environment.
|CPU||AMD Ryzen 5 3600|
|Memory||32GB Mushkin Redline DDR4 3600 CL18|
|Motherboard||MSI B450 Tomahawk|
|Storage||WD Blue SN500|
|Windows Version||1903 with latest security patches|
The first couple tests I ran used Cinebench r20 to crank the heat under a rendering workload and I followed that up with a 30 minute run of Prime 95 with Small FFTs. I did document the clock speeds under both as well as the performance results for Cinebench r20 and found the scores and clock speeds to stay within the margin of error so don't expect any additional boosting to happen without manual tweaking. The office space stayed at an ambient 22 Celcius throughout testing.
Taking control of the all core boost and voltages on Ryzen CPUs can usually bring out some pretty solid results for thermals and increase your overall multicore performance, so we wanted to see how that fared. Using Ryzen Master we set the all core boost 4.1GHz and the voltage to 1.25v. That 4.1GHz all core clock speed was roughly a 300-400MHz boost over the stock curve and when paired with reduced voltage did result in much better thermals on the Wraith Stealth cooler, but it made the Freezer 7 X even more chilly.
So at $19.99 for an aftermarket cooler does the Arctic Freezer 7 X get a recommendation? Yeah, yeah it does. There are often arguments for CPUs like the Ryzen 5 3600X because of its better cooler than what you get out of the Ryzen 5 3600, but in the end, the performance is so close you are kinda stuck with not wanting the X model but also not wanting the cooler of the base model. The Freezer 7 X is a good gap fix on that one as well as for other more cost effective CPUs that roll in under the $200 range. Sure there are bigger coolers out there for not a whole lot more, but even a cooler coming in at $35-$40 is pushing nearly 2x for the price of what you get here.
What you get here is good. A solid cooler, with pleasing aesthetics, quiet operation (not documented due to no proper sound measuring equipment at this time), and an easy to install cooler. At the $20 price mark, this needs to be considered if you're just wanting something better and quieter than stock but aren't the type to want to try to overclock to the moon. Although you'll likely max out what the midrange Ryzen chips are capable of in clock speeds before you run into thermal issues.
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- Easy Installation
- Quiet Operation
- Significantly Better Than Stock Solutions
- Neutral Colors
- Compact Design
- Pre-applied Thermal Paste
- Proprietary Fan Mount
- No Additional Thermal Paste