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Appeared on: Tuesday, July 12, 2005
Arctic Cooling Freezer 7


1. Introduction

Once again we will be reviewing an Arctic cooling product, this time an Intel based CPU cooler. It's none other than the Freezer 7 and once again, we will see what a cooler that bears the name of AC can do. The F7 (as we will be referring to the Freezer 7 for the purposes of this review), is compatible with all 775 Intel CPU sockets (hence its name) and can be installed on any Intel Pentium 4 CPU, up to 4.4 GHz.

looks familiar? a patented version of the F64...

Freezer 7 : A modified version of the Freezer 64...

Anyone familiar with Arctic's range of coolers, will notice that the F7 is basically the same heatsink as the Freezer 64, differing only in the mounting module. In the case of the F7, we have the standard Intel based screw-like retaining clips which will fit right on to any 775 socket based CPU, while with the F64 we had the AMD heatsink brackets, that made use of the retention module. For how the heatsink works, you can take a look at the F64 review here. Briefly, the F7 consists of 2 copper heat-pipes, 40 aluminum fins and a modified 80mm CPU fan which is located on the side of the heatsink blowing air horizontally across the fins as opposed to downwards as with most coolers.

a side look of the F7 and the 40 aluminum fins...

As one can see from the following screenshot of the two heatinks, (i.e. the stock and AC), they do not differ that much in overall size but the F7 does have a slightly larger copper base that will fit right onto the CPU.

>stock cooler on the left, F7 on the right...

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

Product name Freezer 7
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 300 - 2500 RPM (PWM)
Power Consumption: 0.16 Amp.
Bearing: Arctic Ceramic Bearing
Air Flow: 36 CFM / 65 m3/h
Weight: 516 g
Compatibility: all Intel 775 socket, up to P4 4.4GHz
*Noise Level: 1.2 Sone
Thermal Resistance: 0.19°C/Watt
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.

Detailed Features

The 80mm patented CPU fan, is strategically placed to the side of the heatsink in order to minimize any buzzing sound, ensuring the silence that the Freezer 7 promises. It rotates at 2500 RPM, and the PWM chip in the motor allows for exact fan speed control from the BIOS (4 wire), something that will not be needed as the cooler is almost silent at these speeds.

A comparison to the P4 stock box cooler...

The heatpipes are able to transfer heat up to 200 Watt (according to manufacturer). The 40 fin heat exchanger ensures a free energy transfer to air.

thermal resistance differences to the stock box cooler..

Now that we have a more detailed view of the Freezer 7 CPU cooler, it's time to have a look at the installation procedure, which proved to be quite easy, as we will explain on the following page.


2. Installation

The Arctic Cooling Freezer 7 CPU Heat Sink was extremely easy to install, and the whole procedure took only a few minutes to complete, with the CPU heatsink itself requiring only a few seconds to install.

Let's have a look at the steps that are required to install the F7 heatsink.

First step obviously is to remove the previous, stock box cooler.

as one can see, the mounting clips are the same...

Then we clean the CPU surface of any Thermal Compound that was left over from the original box cooler. After cleaning the surface, we should have a nice clean CPU that looks something like this...

be sure to clean any remaining compound, failing to may prove hazardous...

Now we need to apply a new layer of thermal compound onto the CPU's surface. In this case, we used the paste which comes with the F7 in the retail package, the ARCTIC MX-1. Note here that this compound hardens during the first 200h as Arctic Cooling claims, while performance improves steadily. Apply the MX-1 compound evenly all over the CPU's surface, and it should look something like this...

a thin layer must be applied, and make sure no air bubbles are trapped beneath the compound...

Now, install the F7 heatsink onto the CPU, the easiest part of the installation I might add. Line up the F7 with the CPU and orient it so that the fan will blow the hot air towards the rear of the case (as is should with ATX cases) or to the front, depending on the airflow of the case fans. Before clamping the fan into position, move in small circular motion so that the thermal compound spreads evenly and any air bubbles are expelled.

In our case the case fans blow the air in...

Now we can secure the Arctic Cooling Freezer 7 heatsink to the CPU.

We put the cooler on the CPU and connect the clips onto the retention module ...

And finally, we plug in the fan power cable to the appropriate supply clip on the motherboard as shown in the picture below...

all one needs to do now is just press the power button...

We are now ready to go. Installation completed successfully.


3. Performance

The test PC that was used for this review of the Arctic Cooling Freezer 7 Heatsink...

the test PC specs, as reported by CPUZ
motherboard info by CPUZ...

To measure the CPU's temperature, we used SpeedFan v4.24, which provided us with real time monitoring and created a graph of the temperature over time. First, we let the processor cool down in idle for a few minutes, and then we ran the Prime 95 - In-place large FFT test to heat it up to its maximum level. Lets take a look at the graphs with the Stock Box Intel Cooler first...

in idle mode, the CPU reported 40°C..
the stock box's cooler fan goes up to 2800 RPM

The Intel stock cooler starts from 40°C in idle mode and rises up to hit a max for 55°C under full load with the FFT Torture test...

Now lets have a look at the graphs for the same procedure repeated with the Freezer 7 installed...

5°C temperature drop, both in idle and full mode...
the average speed of 2500 confirms the specifications...

The temperature differences are noticeable and more than welcome in this case. It never ceases to amaze how such a small cooler can make a difference of 5°C from the outset while also running at a lower fan speed. It would be interesting to see the temperature drops after the 200 hours that the paste needs to "harden". We got a drop of 5°C in both full and idle mode. Notice that same temperature drops were achieved with the Freezer 64, the AMD based cooler of the same technology.


4. Conclusion

The Freezer 7 proved to be more than a standard cooling solution. It proved to be a good one, keeping the temperature levels low without producing too much noise and without pushing everything else inside the PC case to the sides in order to fit. The F7 is a small enough heatsink, with a quite small fan rotating at 2500 RPM, 2 copper heat-pipes and aluminum fins. All these combine flawlessly and give the best outcome one can expect from a cooler of this size. The major achievement of the Freezer 7 is not so much that it offers a significant drop in temperature over the stock cooler, but rather that it does it while at the same time being silent.

While all other CPU coolers run at 3000+ RPM, the F7 runs at an average speed of 2500 RPM, regardless of whether the CPU is in idle or under full load. While reviewing this heatsink, we were able to verify that this is indeed a silent cooler. It appears that the patented fan design, along with the heat-pipes and the fins, really make a difference.

The Freezer 7 up and working...

Installing the F7 was not a problem. We managed to complete the installation and have the cooler up and working in only a few minutes. This is a major plus for any CPU heatsink, as the average user with little know how and experience can easily install it, without getting into too much trouble.

Being an affordable solution - the F7 costs US$34 / €28 (VAT excl.) - along with the 6 years warranty and company support, this cooler can easily make its way to the top of any potential buyers list.

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

Cons:
-

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


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