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Appeared on: Tuesday, June 14, 2005
Arctic Cooling - Freezer 64


1. Introduction

Founded in 2001, Arctic Cooling is a well known manufacturer of cooling solutions for personal computer systems that focus on CPU, GPU and PC-Case cooling. Among its latest products is the Freezer 64 (as it is labeled due to its AMD 64 compatibility), which is the CPU cooler that we will be reviewing in the following pages.

 

The Copper base, the Heatpipes and the Liquid...

Basically, the Freezer CPU cooler consists of : the copper base, located on the base of the cooler, the 40 aluminium fin heatsink which makes up the larger part of the cooler and finally, the 80mm 5 blade fan. The copper base is attached to the CPU and as the latter becomes hotter, the heat is transferred to the copper base. A special liquid located inside 2 heatpipes, circulates through the copper base and across the fins where the fan gets down to work (and pretty effectively I might add) cooling down the fins and the liquid. The liquid is maintained at the appropriate temperature, cooling down the copper base and consequently the CPU itself.

A closer view of the cooler's copper base and mounting clips...

As you can see, the secret behind this design of the Freezer 64 is in the heatpipes. The continuous flow of the hot liquid towards the fan where any heat is dissipated through the fins and returns towards the copper base attached to the processor is what keeps the temperature down.

Here are the detailed specifications as provided by Arctic-Cooling:

Product name Freezer 64
Heatsink Dimension 92 x 72 x 120 mm
Heatsink Material Copper Base & Aluminum Fin (40Fin)
Fan Dimension 77 x 77 x 42 mm
Overall Dimension 92 x 114 x 120 mm
Rated Fan Speed 2200 RPM
Power Consumption: 0.13 Amp.
Bearing: Arctic Ceramic Bearing
Air Flow: 32 CFM / 55 m3/h
Weight: 460 g
Compatibility: all AMD Sempron (Socket 754)
AMD Athlon 64 up to 5000+
AMD Athlon 64 up to FX-59
AMD Opteron
*Noise Level: 1.0 Sone
Thermal Resistance: 0.20°C/Watt
Retention Module included Warranty: 6 Years

*Noise Level
The noise level is measured in Sone (loudness) instead of dB (sound intensity).
The loudness depends upon ears response curves and tells you exactly, how bothering a certain noise is.

The Freezer 64 is a very quiet cooler, one that even at high speeds (2200max RPM) will not disturb or bother you in the least. The patented fan holder is designed to eliminate the usual buzzing sound fans of this size make... Comparing the AMD stock cooler 3200+ which has a value of 2.6 Sones with the Freezer 64 which has a value of 1.0 Sones! Regardless of whether we measure sound levels in Sones or dBs, at the end of the day what we have is a very silent cooler...

Rear view of the fan where we can see the rated voltage, amps and RPM.

Apart from being silent, the Freezer 64 is also easy to install. We are pretty sure that you won't have to spend more than 5 mins tops for the installation (thermal paste application included). It's also compatible with a variety of AMD processors, as it can be seen in the specs table.

With a weight of 460 grams, the cooler will not hang from the motherboard and despite the fan being on the side of the fins and not on top of them, will fit right in along with anything else installed.


2. Installation

As noted previously, the Freezer 64 is extremely easy to install. In fact, it took more time to detach the stock cooler, than it did to install the new one. We installed the cooler on an Asus A8V Deluxe and we used the stock Retention Module as it fitted right on and no replacement was needed.

The overall procedure is straightforward. First, we uninstalled the AMD 3500 Stock Cooler and removed any residue thermal paste from the CPU. We then applied the Arctic MX-1 thermal compound which is included in the retail cooler box. Note here that in order to achieve maximum performance with the CPU cooler, it has to "work" for approximately 200h as the compound hardens and performance improves steadily.

Not much left to do now but to install the Freezer on to the Asus motherboard...

We put the cooler on the CPU and connected the clips onto the hooks of the Retention Module

The Freezer 64 is installed with the fan facing the bottom of the standard ATX case. It can also be installed with the fan facing towards the back of the case, depending on the motherboard.

We then fastened the lever, so as to lock the Freezer 64 in place

To successfully complete the installation, we attached the fan power cable to the respective power socket on the motherboard.

The power cable should "pass" round the rear of the cooler, leaving the fan free...

And we are ready to go. Installation completed successfully.


3. Performance

To measure the CPU's temperature we used SpeedFan v4.21, which provided us with real time monitoring and created a graph of the temperature over time. After letting the processor cool down in idle mode, we fired up Prime95 and ran the in-place large FFT test to heat it up to its maximum level. This is the graph of the temperature with the original AMD fansink:

Starting from 38C...
and the reported fan speed...

As we can see from the above graph, the reported temperature with the AMD stock fansink is 38°C in idle mode and as the torture test commences, the CPU temperature rises up to 51°C.

After installing the Freezer 64 we waited with the CPU in"idle" to cool down and then started the FFT torture test once more...

Starting from 34°C in idle mode...
the RPM graph under the Freezer 64

As we can see from the above graphs, the temperature in idle mode with the Freezer 64 installed is 34°C, which is 4°C down from the stock AMD cooler and when the Prime 95 FFT torture test starts, the max temperature reported is 45°C which is 6°C lower. Also note the Freezer 64's RPMs, which is the reason it is such a silent cooler...

Overclocking

The default settings for our AMD 3500+ were 11 x 200MHz = 2200GHz. From the BIOS, setting the CPU Voltage and FSB ratio, we managed to overclock are processor. We settled on setting the voltage to 1.6V and the FSB to 233MHz. We ended up with an 11 x 233 = 2563 AMD OC processor.

At that speed, the system was able to boot and even when running Prime95 which is very good at identifying errors, it reported only correct calculations.

Let's see the graph showing the temperature of the CPU starting from idle and during the Prime95 torture test.

an total show off of the "Freezer" 64

The idle temperature now starts from 37°C due to the increased Voltage for the CPU. As the torture test ran, we ended up with a stable 51°C.

Great performance from the "Freezer 64" CPU cooler in all cases, both with normal and overclocked processors. It's sure to impress overclocking enthusiasts. Thumbs up for Arctic Cooling.


4. Conclusion

Throughout these pages we saw what constitutes a really good cooler, without having to be either big in size, or producing a significant levels of noise. Arctic cooler gave us the perfect solution for all users out there, who desire a silent and cool solution for their AMD based processors. As seen in the previous pages, the "F64" really made a difference from the stock AMD fansink, where in idle mode it had a nice 4°C drop from the stock cooler and a 6°C drop under full load. But the real thrill was when we overclocked our motherboard, where temperature values were similar to those of the AMD stock cooler under normal operating speeds for both idle and full load. The "F64" even managed to drop 1°C lower than the original bundled fansink. With those drops achieved, we managed to overclock our AMD 3500+ processor from 2200 MHz to 2600 MHz without any errors whatsoever, even with the Prime torture test which is known for causing errors with OC CPUs.

CPU coolers tend to produce significant noise levels trying to keep CPU temperatures down. This is due to the large RPMs of the the fans which in most cases goes over 3000 or even 4000 RPM. While most coolers are specially designed this way, this Arctic Cooler product is not. With an 80mm sized fan and 2200 RPM max, the "F64" gives the desired effect, which is a 100% silent cooler and a very good cooling solution.

The F64 at work...

The installation of the Freezer 64 is accomplished if not in seconds, then in just a few minutes. In fact, as said earlier in this review, it took longer for us to detach the stock fansink than to install the Arctic cooler.

Concluding, what we have here is a low noise, easy to install, excellent cooler with an excellent price tag, which according to Arctic Cooling is at US$35 / €28. A very low price for what this cooler offers. So, thumbs up for Arctic Cooler and the Freezer 64 AMD CPU Cooler.

Pros:
-
Extremely low noise
-Very good thermal reduction
-Easy to install

Cons:
-

Performance:
Features/Design:
Installation:
Value for money:



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