Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Arctic Cooling Freezer 7 Pro Review

Today we are going to look at a CPU cooler from Arctic Cooling, the Freezer 7 Pro. It should cost around USD30 in the market. I believe this is a good price for its superior performance compare to other high end CPU coolers and it comes with 6 years warranty. Its competitors, the Cooler Master Hyper TX and Hyper TX-2 which are slightly cheaper fall short in term of performance to this cooler. (Cooler Master products actually suck! More reviews on that in my blog)

The Freezer 7 Pro is what we'd call a "medium size cooler", the overall dimensions are 126.5H * 107W * 96.5D (mm). It sports 42 aluminium fins, 6 copper heatpipes and a copper base. This type of "configuration", so to speak, has literally become the defacto standard building blocks for all high performance coolers out there today - it offers the best possible cooling with respects to both price and weight. Speaking of weight, the Freezer 7 Pro comes in at 520g.

As you would expect, the fan is an Arctic Cooling design, not third party. The dimensions are 96H * 107W * 43.5D (mm), which makes it a pseudo 96~107-ish (mm) fan. The fan uses a patented anti-vibration system to decouple the fan from it's casing. In the picture you can see that between the fan and its casing there is a rubber connector which acts as a vibration damper. This helps absorb the vibration of the running fan and prevent its transfer to the heatsink and case. Does it work? It does indeed. There is much vibration when touching the area where the fan motor is, but on touching the decoupled fan casing there is a substantial decrease in vibration. I've come across these fans from Arctic Cooling before and they never fail to impress from the perspective of noise.

The copper base of the Freezer 7 Pro is pre-applied with Arctic Cooling MX-1 thermal paste. Hence, this cooler is ready to be installed. The cooler is quite bulky and when installed one of the RAM slot is taken by the cooler fan. Hence, you are only able to install a RAM to the motherboard if you are to using this cooler. The cooler fan grill also found to be very close (almost touching) my ASUS P5VD2-X motherboard heat sink.

The cooler also assist in the air flow and maintain the airflow from front to back of the casing (assuming you have front intake fan and back exhaust fan) due to the position of the fan and fins. The fin is exactly in front of the back exhaust fan. This helps to get rid of the hot air from the casing more efficiently. Compare to the Intel stock cooler, the hot air is dispersed around the fan due to its fan location. The installation of this cooler is exactly the same as the Intel stock cooler. First, remove the fan from the fin. Just push the retaining clip into the motherboard hole and fit back the fans you are done.

I always pay attention to computer maintenance. After few months, dust will start to accumulate at the fan and the front fin. The dust must be clean from the fin as it will block the air flow. This can be easily done by removing the fan from the aluminium fins. Clean the fan blades with alcohol swab. The aluminium fins can be cleaned by using the air compressor to blow the dust out and clear the aluminium fins gap. This configuration ensures the cooler is able to be cleaned compare to other cooler where it is almost impossible to clean it. To clean the stock cooler, u might even have to dismantle the cooler from the motherboard.

Arctic Cooling Freezer 7 Pro performed exceptionally well and quiet. It keeps my CPU (Intel 4, 2666MHz) well below 50 degree Celsius (in a tropical weather). The fan speed is around 1200-1300rpm (Max 2500rpm) and is essentially quiet due to the rubber vibration damper.

This is a good product if price and performance are taken into consideration. I highly recommended this product.


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