|Best CPU Cooler Performance LGA1366 - Q1 2009|
|Reviews - Featured Reviews: Cooling|
|Written by Olin Coles|
|Tuesday, 17 March 2009|
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AC Freezer Xtreme
My first experience with Arctic Cooling products was an extremely positive one, way back in 2006 when NVIDIA was offering portable space heaters with the GeForce 7900 GT model designation. Back then, Arctic Cooling made a name for themselves with their AC Silencer series, which allowed gamers and performance enthusiasts to replace the lacking thermal solution on their graphics card with a much more sophisticated cooling product. I was particularly impressed with the NV Silencer product, which later became the standard design for the externally-exhausting cooling device integrated into the GeForce 8800 series.
Arctic Cooling has produced more than a few enthusiast products in the past three years since, and for the first time in Benchmark Reviews history, we're testing their top-of-the-line CPU cooler named Freezer Xtreme. My first impression of the Freezer Xtreme was it's impressive size. Similar to the Cooler Master V8, the Freezer Xtreme uses two separate heatsink halves and consumes nearly every possible cubic centimeter allowed for ATX cooling products. By the look of it, you would be fooled into believing it's a top-performing cooler. Our test results tell of a different story.
One critical flaw that I recognized early on was the particularly small contact surface. The base of the Arctic Cooling Freezer Xtreme is slightly smaller in diameter than modern LGA775 processors, but it was considerably less appropriate for the larger LGA1366 Core i7 processor series. Worse than that, the Freezer Xtreme is meant to also accommodate AMD AM2+/AM3 Phenom II processors, which are even larger in diameter than the Intel Core i7 CPU. Ultimately our performance results would prove the problem was critical, and that this design flaw renders the cooler less than effective when applied to nearly any modern processor available. At the time of this article NewEgg lists the Freezer Xtreme for $49.99, which is more expensive than other cooling solutions with better potential.
Freezer Xtreme Specifications
The proprietary (read: non-replaceable) 120mm cooling fan secures itself in-between the heatsink halves, and uses a side-clip system for slide-out removal. Installing the Arctic Cooling Freezer Xtreme requires that you first remove the central fan, and use an extended-length Phillips head screwdriver to blindly insert two fine-thread screws into the base assembly. This experience proved to be the most futile attempt at installing any CPU cooler I have ever had to suffer in over ten years, and the mounting system was so convoluted and poorly engineered I was relieved when installation was finally completed in just under twenty minutes. It's rare when I say this, but for once I found myself missing the cheap push-pin mounting kit.
About Arctic Cooling
ARCTIC COOLING is a privately owned company founded in 2001 with headquarters in Switzerland, offices in Hong Kong and the USA and production facilities in Asia. The ARCTIC COOLING team consists of international highly educated people with business, technical and communicational skills. The attitude to work is based on Swiss principles of innovative spirit and high standards of workmanship for which it is recognized internationally. This striving for excellence is integrated in all processes as a matter of course. ARCTIC COOLING´s core competencies are multifarious including systematic noise reduction, copper and aluminum heatsink development, customization of thermal solutions, as well as designing quiet fans. More recently quiet and cool PC Cases and Power Supplies have been developed.