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Appeared on: Thursday, November 09, 2006
AC Freezer64 Pro

1. Introduction

While most users are satisfied with the cooler that arrived with their system, there are occasions when the stock cooler is not sufficient and users are forced to look for a better solution which provides better heat dissipation and/or quieter operation. Arctic Cooling, a company with a solid background in cooling, offers an attractive solution for the AMD platform, with the "Freezer 64 Pro".

- Features

Extremely Quiet
The low speed 92 mm fan, reduces the noise level to a minimum. The patented fan holder practically eliminates the typical humming noise coming from 92 mm fans.

Powerful cooling
6 Heat Pipes (three used double sided) are able to transfer up to 200 Watts of heat. The heat exchanger is composed of 42 fins providing a surface area of over 47002 cm and allows for unrestricted transfer of the heat.

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 with the bent fins at the bottom.

Patented Vibration Absorption
The four rubber connectors on the fan case act as vibration dampers, absorbing the vibration of the turning fan. This can reduce significant vibration between the plastic fan case and heatsink. 

Easy Installation
The cooler can be installed in seconds, without the use of any tools.

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

Thermal Compound
The Freezer 64 Pro ships with the ARCTIC MX-1 thermal compound. This compound hardens during the first 200h, steadily providing improved performance. But the performance is still good from initial install, providing reliable cooling for your CPU.

- Specifications

Heat Sink: 104 x 58 x 126.5 mm
Fan: 107 x 43.5 x 96 mm
Overall Dimensions: 107 x 96.5 x 126.5 mm
Rated Fan Speed: 2200 RPM
Power Consumption: 0.16 Amp.
Air Flow: 40 CFM / 68 m3/h
Weight: 528 g
Noise Level: 0.8 Sone
Thermal Resistance: 0.18°C/Watt
Thermal Interface Material: Pre-applied MX-1 Paste
Warranty: 6 Years

2. Installation/Package

Arctic Cooling provided us with a sample of their Freezer 64 Pro. The package comes ins a mid-sized box and costs around €28, according to the AC website.

The package includes the Freezer 64 Pro cooler, a printed installation guide and an AC sticker logo.

Let's now have a closer look at the Freezer 64 Pro. Reading the specs, you should have already realized that this a big cooler. Its overall height is 12.5cm, which makes it almost double the height of AMD's stock cooler:

The cooler has a rather unique design, and AC has taken out international patents on it. On the copper base we find ARCTIC MX-1 thermal compound.

Several photos of the Freezer 64 Pro from different views:

The time has come to install the cooler. At first, I was rather skeptical about how easy (or difficult) it would be to install such big cooler. The Freezer 64 Pro uses the existing plastic base for Socket 774/939/AM2, so you only have to fit the metal clips to the existing plastic base and secure it. Just make sure you turn the lever up to secure it into position. After installation, you can see how it will look in your system:

We can clearly see the CPU under the copper base. Initially I was worried that this might present problems. However, AC states that "...The protection cap of the CPU is a lot larger than the DIE underneath that is to cool. The size of the DIE is just about 14x14mm. Thus not the complete protection cap needs to be covered. A smaller contact area can achieve a better cooling performance since the pressure and therefore the heat transfer in the important area will be higher...".

The orientation of the rotating fan is towards the memory modules. It sits higher than memory modules so there is no problem with space. Since the air flow is towards the fins (from left to right in the photo below), the hot air above the memory modules is drawn in and expelled outside away, providing additional cooling!

3. Performance

As we saw, the installation was relatively simple, but how about performance? Don't forget that this cooler costs just under €30! We made a comparison with the following test system:

Our aim was to monitor the temperatures with the stock AMD cooler and then with the AC Freezer 64 Pro. To do this, we ran 3D Mark 06, stressing the CPU/GPU and producing maximum heat. In addition, we overclocked the CPU up to 2.77MHz, which provided additional heat for our system. Note, that both coolers were running in automatic mode, under control of the Foxconn C51XEM2AA.

The results are rather impressive. In all cases, the AC Freezer 64 Pro managed to maintain a difference of 4~5° C below the stock cooler. The most impressive part though, is that at full load, it was from 9~12° C below AMD's stock cooler. So, we have a range of at least 3° C to a maximum of 12° C. The graph below shows the overall average temperature for both coolers:

To sum up then, on average, the performance was 6.76° C better with the AC Freezer 64 Pro.

4. Conclusion

I was originally skeptical as to whether this "new" cooler would be able do a good job, or better job, on my CPU than the original, stock cooler. It looks big and it is big, weighing in at 528gr. I also thought it would be hard to install but I was wrong.

The AC Freezer 64 Pro performed impressively, compared with AMD's stock cooler. We saw a difference that reached as much as 12°C, while on average, the difference was 6°C.

The installation is indeed easy, the product looks nice and solid and it comes with a 6 year warranty. The retail price is around €28, so if you think your CPU is running hot, just buy an AC Freezer 64 Pro :-)

Value for money

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