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Appeared on: Wednesday, December 07, 2005
Arctic-Cooling Freezer 7 PRO


1. Introduction

Founded in 2001, Arctic Cooling is a well known manufacturer of cooling solutions for personal computer systems focusing on CPU, GPU and PC-Case cooling. Some time back, we reviewed the very good Freezer 64 cooling system, designed for AMD Athlon 64 processors.

 

More recently we reviewed the new PRO series with the Freezer 64 for AMD platforms. This time we will be looking at the same cooler but for Intel socket 775 platforms, known as the Freezer 7 PRO. More heatpipes and fins, improved air flow and fan mounting method are some of the new characteristics of the Freezer 7 PRO.

The updated Freezer 7...in PRO version

The heatpipes are now 6 instead of the four with the previous Freezer 7 series. The fins are 42 for the Freezer 7 PRO, two more than in the case of the Freezer 7. The three fins near the base have a new design helping cool components around the CPU. The base is still made of copper.

profile of the F7 PRO....

...the rear of the F7 PRO...

In comparison to the stock cooler, the Freezer 7 PRO is much larger, while both have exactly the same mounting method for easy installation.

A comparison with the P4 stock box cooler...

The 4-pin connectors for Intel's stock cooler and the Freezer 7 PRO.

...four-pin connector for both...

The retail package includes the Freezer 7 PRO and an installation guide. No thermal compound is included in the box since the cooler comes with ARCTIC MX-1 thermal compound pre-applied.

Specification/Features by Arctic-Cooling

Product name Freezer 7 PRO
Heatsink Dimension 104 x 58 x 126.5 mm
Heatsink Material Copper Base & Aluminum Fin (42Fin)
Fan Dimension 107 x 43.5 x 96 mm
Overall Dimension 107 x 96.5 x 126.5 mm
Rated Fan Speed 300 - 2500 RPM (PWM)
Power Consumption: 0.16 Amp.
Air Flow: 46 CFM / 77 m3/h
Weight: 520 g
Compatibility: Intel 775 socket
*Noise Level: 0.9 Sone
Thermal Resistance: 0.17°C/Watt
Warranty: 6 Years

Extremely Quiet
The low speed 92 mm fan reduces the noise level to a minimum. The patented fan holder is able to practically eliminate the typical buzzing sound emanating from 92 mm fans. The PWM chip in the motor allows exact fan speed control from the BIOS (4 wire).
The noise level is measured in Sone (loudness) instead of dB (sound intensity). The loudness depends upon ear's response curves and tells you exactly, how bothering a certain noise is.

Powerful cooling
6 Heat Pipes (three on each sided) are able to transfer heat up to 200 Watt. The heat exchanger comprises 42 fins and constitutes a surface area of over 4700 cm2 and allows for resistance free energy transfer to air.
All Pentium 4 CPUs have an integrated "Thermal Throttling" i.e. in case of overheating risk, the number of working cycles is reduced, thus lowering performance and preventing the CPU from over heating. Therefore, to reduce the noise level, a Pentium 4 CPU cooler can work at its limit and this way drop the noise level significantly. The Thermal Throttling is usually activated at 85°C core temperature. Good system ventilation is crucial for CPU cooling. The temperature in the area of the CPU cooler should never exceed 38°C. Therefore we recommend using a temperature controlled Case Fan.

thermal resistance and noise differences to the stock box cooler..

Integrated Cooling of Voltage Converters
Air is drawn in from the side of the fan to cool the components around the CPU. Some air is blown out towards the voltage converters on the mainboard through the fins (bent) at the bottom.

Patented Vibration Absorption
The four rubber connectors on the fan case act as a vibration dampers to absorb the vibration of the running fan and prevent vibration transfer to the heatsink and the case.

...the new patent for vibration absorption..

Easy Installation
The cooler is easy to install in seconds and requires no tools.

Long Lifetime / 6 Years Warranty
The ARCTIC Ceramic Bearing provides an unmatched Life Time of 137'000h L10@40°C) resp. an MTBF@70°C of 163'000h and thus a 6 year warranty.

Thermal Compound
All Arctic-Cooling coolers comes with ARCTIC MX-1 thermal compound. According to the manufacturer, this compound hardens during the first 200 hours while the performance improves steadily. By heating it, up the hardening process can be shortened. Performance is very steady from the outset, good enough to cool your CPU reliably.

Now that we have a more detailed picture of the Freezer 7 PRO CPU cooler, let's take a look at the installation procedure, on the following page...


2. Installation

The installation procedure for the Freezer 7 PRO is quite easy and doesn't require any experience. A few minutes and that's it. For our tests, we used a P4 650.

First step obviously, is to remove the previous stock cooler and clean any remains of thermal compound on the processor's surface.

make sure you clean the CPU surface...

The good thing with the Freezer 7 PRO is that it has exactly the same mounting clips as the stock cooler, for easiest installation, without requiring that the motherboard be removed.

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

Remove the protective plastic cover o the thermal compound on the base of the Freezer 7 PRO.

the thermal compound has already in place...

Place the Freezer 7 PRO on the CPU. There are four clips on the Freezer and four holes on the board in a square arrangement, so there is a specific orientation when installing. However, we highly recommend you install the Freezer in such a way that the air blown from the Freezer's fan goes either to the rear of the PC case or towards the power supply, which also exhausts air from the case for better airflow within the PC case. For convenience, you can temporarily remove the fan from the cooler.

be sure to clean any remaining compound, failing to may prove destructive...
align the mounting pins in the motherboard's holes...

Now we can secure the Arctic Cooling Freezer 7 PRO heatsink to the CPU. By pressing down on the clips, you'll hear a "click" sound and that's it.

Press the clips to fasten...
connect the CPU_FAN clip...

Replace the fan, if you had previously removed it, back on the cooler and plug the power cable to the appropriate supply source on the motherboard.

connect to the CPU FAN power...

We are now ready to go. Installation completed successfully. The Freezer 7 PRO is up and working...

connect the CPU_FAN clip...

The installation was indeed easy as we had said. In case you want to remove the Freezer 7 PRO, turn the clips in the direction of the arrows (see below) and pull the clips up.

turn in the direction of the arrow...

Let's move on to the next page with the performance tests...


3. Performance

For our tests, we used Intel's P4 650 3.4GHz processor and P5LD2 Deluxe motherboard from ASUS.

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

To measure the CPU's temperature, we used SpeedFan v4.27, 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. The room temperature at the time of the tests was close to 21°C. All the tests were done on our test PC without a PC case. Let's take a look at the graphs with the Stock Box Intel Cooler first...

...48~67°C from idle to full load...
...and 2625~2740rpm for the stock cooler fan...

The new P4 generation 6xx with 64bits and 2MB L2 cache have higher temperature levels than the previous 5xx series. In idle, the reported temperature was close to 49°C while under full load, it increased to 67°C. The rotation speed of the stock cooler fan was close to 2625~2740 rpm, without any significant increase under higher temperatures. The voltage for the CPU was close to 1.425v. When we tried to increase it to 1.5v, just to see how the stock cooler would perform with the higher voltage, the reported temperature for the same test was close to 75°C under full load.

Now let's have a look at the results with the Freezer 7 PRO installed this time...

close to 15°C temperature drop!!!
the average speed of 2500 confirms the specifications...

With the Freezer 7 PRO on board, things are totally different, even during idle. The CPU runs at 40°C, nine degrees lower than with the stock cooling system from Intel. The amazing thing is that the temperature of 67°C under full load with the stock cooler, is decreased down to 50~52°C, which is fifteen or even more degrees temperature difference. This performance from a normal compact cooling system is more than very good and can be compared to those of small water cooling systems. The noise levels are the same as previous versions of the Freezer 7, which were rather low and with the rotation speed between 2420~2600 rpm. The odd spikes jumping above 2700 rpm are not something to worry about.

Overclocking

For our tests, we used the ASUS P5LD2 Deluxe motherboard and the DDR2 PC2-5400 Gold Dual Channel modules from OCZ.

We had default settings for our Intel P4 650 17 x 200MHz = 3.4GHz. From the BIOS, we overclocked the processor to 4.42GHz. The voltage for the CPU was set at 1.50v. At that speed, the system was able to boot and ran the Prime95 torture test, SiSoft Sandra and PCMark05 tests for the CPU and memory.

It is important to mention that with the stock cooler, the system could not run at such speeds. Over 4.25GHz, it was able to boot but restarted the PC during the tests.

...the Freezer will help you with overclocking...

Even with increased speed, from 3.4GHz to 4.42GHz, the Freezer 7 PRO did a great job. Without any increase in fan rotation speed, the CPU ran close to 58~59°C under full load with Prime95 or the PCM05 CPU tests, which is even better performance than when running at the default speed with the stock cooler. Simply excellent performance...


4. Conclusion

The Freezer 7 PRO is a cooler designed from very good materials and of excellent construction. The 6 heatpipes along with the 42 fins deliver a lot of cooling. The four rubber connectors on the fan case offer vibration dampening from the running fan and prevent vibration transfer to the heatsink and the case, something you don't usually see with coolers.

The Freezer 7 PRO produced very good performance in our tests with low temperatures and noise levels. In idle, the Freezer 7 PRO reduced the temperature of our CPU by 9°C while under full load, it did even better by lowering the CPU temperature by 15°C. This is not the only thing we noticed. If you are interested in overclocking your system, the Freezer 7 PRO will serve you well. Although with the stock cooler, our P4 650 3.4GHz had a limit close to 4.25GHz, where the system booted and ran all of our tests without problems, when we installed the Freezer 7 PRO, we managed to set the speed of our CPU up to 4.42GHz with not significant temperature increase.

The noise levels were rather low, confirming the manufacturer's specifications, while in all cases, (idle mode, full load, benchmarks etc) the rotation speed for the fan was 2420~2600rpm.

The Freezer 7 PRO up and working...

Installing the Freezer 7 PRO was definitely not a problem. Adopting the same mounting mechanism as the stock cooling system from Intel, it is not a problem even if you have no experience with such things. It has thermal compound pre-applied in order to avoid any inconvenience and mess with tubes. A couple of minutes are enough for the whole procedure.

The new Freezer 7 PRO costs US$34 / €28 (VAT excl.) - along with a 6 year warranty and company support, definitely an affordable solution which we highly recommend.

Pros:
-
Very good performance
- Low noise levels
- Easy to install
- Simple innovative technology
- Low price

Cons:
- No extra tube with thermal compound in the retail package

 

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


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