KitGuru has looked at a number of Arctic Cooling’s products over the past weeks and they’ve all been impressive, winning some of our most sought after awards. One of these products was the Arctic Cooling Freezer 7 Pro (Rev.2) which proved to be a great upgrade from the Intel Stock Cooler and provided great performance for the price.
Today we’re going to look at Arctic Cooling’s top of the range cooler, the Freezer Xtreme (Rev.2) which is designed for more performance minded users who don’t want to break the bank. It improves on the Freezer 7 Pro in a number of ways to justify the increased price. But we shall see how their performance compares in our tests.
|Heatsink (LxWxH)||130 x 100 x 131 mm|
|Fan Speed||800-1500rpm (PWM)|
|Airflow||35.7CFM / 60.7m3/h|
|Max Cooling Capacity||160W|
Like the Freezer 7 Pro, the Freezer Xtreme is supplied within a clear plastic carton that gives us an idea of the size and shape of the cooler within. On the front there is a list of all the compatible sockets.
Turning the packet over reveals some further details about the product inside and some performance comparisons. The packaging isn’t as robust as examples we’ve seen from manufacturers such as Noctua and isn’t likely to provide the same level of protection but there is a significant difference in price so this is to be expected.
The Freezer Xtreme also uses an identical mounting system to the Freezer 7 Pro, consisting of a plastic bracket and four push pins. Aside from these, we only find an installation guide and an Arctic Cooling sticker in the packet. The Arctic Cooling MX-2 thermal paste is pre-applied to the copper block.
Arctic Cooling have used a twin-tower design for the Freezer Xtreme. Each tower consists of a stack of 102 aluminium fins. These sit on top of four 6mm U-shaped copper heatpipes which meet at the copper block. The mounting plate is preattached to the block to facilitate a speedy installation.
Between the two cooling towers we find the 120mm PWM controlled fan. This has a competely unique housing and mounting design which would make it extremely difficult to swap it out with another. Additionally, there isn’t any provision for a second fan for a push-pull configuration for those who want to make the most out of the cooler. This is sure to put off some more performance-minded users.
The push-pin mounting mechanism that Arctic Cooling have used makes the installation process very simple indeed. But we do feel that a cooler of this size should probably have a more substantial mechanism which includes a backplate to prevent too much strain on the motherboard.
The first step requires us to remove the fan from between the towers by squeezing the clips on either side. Next we fixed the mounting bracket to the motherboard using the four push-pins. The push-pins are supplied separately from the mounting bracket so they can be used for socket 775, 1156 or 1366.
Then it is a simple matter of screwing the tower down to the mounting bracket using the two provided screws on each side. The final step of the process is to reinstall the fan and plug it into the motherboard header. Overall the installation process takes no more than a few minutes.
As the cooler doesn’t require a backplate, it is perfect for use with cases which don’t have cutouts in the motherboard. It also saves us from removing the right side panel during installation, saving precious time. Despite having two towers and a fan sandwiched inbetween, we experienced no compatibility issues with tall ram heat spreaders like we did with the Freezer 7 Pro.
The system we used for testing comprised of an Intel Core i7 920 CPU on an Asus P6T motherboard. For our tests we replaced the preapplied Arctic Cooling MX-2 thermal paste with MX-3.
Coolers: Arctic Cooling Freezer Xtreme (Rev.2), Arctic Cooling Freezer 7 Pro (Rev.2) (Review)
Chassis: Thermaltake Level 10
Processor: Intel Core i7 920 (D0)
Motherboard: Asus P6T
Memory: 6GB (3x 2GB) Corsair Dominator DDR3-1600 RAM
Storage: Samsung SpinPoint F3 1TB 7200rpm (HD103SJ)
Power Supply: Corsair HX850W
Windows 7 Home Premium (64-bit)
We noted a 6c improvement in performance over the Freezer Xtreme’s little brother, the Arctic Cooling Freezer 7 Pro, under load. Despite this, the Freezer 7 Pro was able to achieve a 2c lower idle temperature. We managed to achieve a decent overclock of 3.8GHz within tolerable temperatures with the Xtreme which is reasonably impressive for cooler of this price.
Arctic Cooling have impressed us again, producing a product that performs well. Thanks to the use of push-pins and pre-applied thermal paste, the installation process couldn’t be simpler so the Freezer Xtreme is perfect for less advanced users. This mechanism is a little flimsy for a cooler of this size, though, and we would have preferred to have seen a proper backplate for support.
Additionally we’re a little disappointed that there is no provision for adding further fans or even replacing the original fan with a different model. This is redeemed to some extent by the fan which Arctic Cooling include which runs quietly and shifts a reasonable amount of air.
At a price of £28 at Ebuyer, the Arctic Cooling Freezer Xtreme is around £12 more expensive than the Freezer 7 Pro. We don’t feel that the performance difference is worth quite so much extra but for those looking for a little more performance, the Freezer Xtreme is still a good option.
KitGuru says: A decent cooler which is perfect for users who want to achieve a modest overclock without paying over the odds.