Arctic Cooling Freezer 7 Pro Socket 775 CPU Cooler w/PWM Fan
Seeing as keeping your PC cool is one of the main goals in the enthusiast realm these days, aftermarket CPU Coolers have become an extremely popular addition to PCs. The big question though is which one to buy? Newegg.com alone has over 300 models listed in its CPU Cooling category and everyday it seems new models come out saying that they are the best, quietest, and what you should put in your computer. While we are not going to find the best cooler in this article, we are going to take a look at the new revision on one of the most popular CPU Coolers on the market today, the Arctic Cooling Freezer 7 Pro.
Arctic Cooling is a well known company to most making many types of CPU and Graphics Card cooling solutions. Many love their high quality products that always provide a boost in performance from stock solutions whether it be cooler temps, quieter operation, or even both.
The Freezer 7 Pro is known to be one of the best in its price range and now Arctic Cooling has expanded on that by adding a PWM Fan. Coming in a great looking retail box, my first impressions of the cooler were very good. I was surprised how large the box was, but once I opened it up I found out why the box was so large...the Freezer 7 Pro is by no means small!
Inside the box with the cooler itself you also get a case badge and instructions (we also received some MX-1 Thermal Compound, but most will have the thermal paste pre applied). The cooler is very well packed sandwiched between two plastic pieces along with a small plastic shield over the heat sink surface that sits on the CPU.
The design of the Freezer 7 Pro is fairly simple. There are six heat pipes that come from the copper heat sink surface plate and continue up into the bank of cooling fins. These fins are then cooled by a flow of air generated from the fan on one side of them. The heat pipes are the six copper ends you see sticking out of the fins at the top.
In the revised version of the Freezer 7 Pro we gain a PWM fan. What does this mean exactly? PWM allows the bios to control the speed of the fan on many mainboards. This allows the fan to be idled down and in turn be much quieter. Most socket 775 boards use the PWM interface (which has one more pin on the standard 3 pin fan connector). To add to the silence, Arctic Cooling shock mounts the fan with rubber so that it does not resonate noise into the heat sink itself or the rest of your PC.
Another very unique feature I have yet to see on other vertical CPU coolers is the curved fins at the bottom. These fins direct air flow down to the voltage regulators that are around the CPU socket. Usually the stock cooler is set to blow air at the mainboard so that these are cooled, but many times with aftermarket coolers blow are parallel to the mainboard and in the process do not cool the voltage regulators. I was very impressed to see this small but important feature as it can prolong the life of those components greatly by actively cooling them.
For testing the Freezer 7 Pro we are using our standard testing machine. The following are the specifications which are the same as when we reviewed the other CPU Coolers we will be comparing to.
Intel P4 3.4GHZ
Unlike many after market coolers, the Freezer 7 Pro actually mounts to the standard LGA775 mounts. This is great as it means you do not need to remove the mainboard to install the Freezer 7 Pro and you can easily replace the stock cooler with the Freezer 7 Pro. Before mounting I took a look at the surface and was fairly impressed. It had a very flat surface (when put under the "razor blade" test), but the shine was a bit distorted compared to some heat sinks that have a perfect mirror finish. *Note that the spot in the picture is a bit of debris that it picked up on our test bench, it is not a flaw and was easily wiped off.
Mounting in our case was very easy especially since we did not even need to remove the mainboard. The Freezer 7 Pro was mounted with generic thermal paste which we use for all our reviews to give a fair comparison.
Since the Freezer 7 Pro is rather large, it was a tight fit in some areas. There was only about 1.5" of clearance between the top of the heat pipes that poke out and the side of our case window. It also came very close to the power supply (within fractions of an inch), but it did not hang over the edge of our mainboard at all which means that it should have no problem in most situations. If you do have a smaller case though, make sure you have the clearance above and to the sides of the CPU for the Freezer 7 Pro to fit.
To give an idea of just how the Freezer 7 Pro is setup to work I put together some flow diagrams. You can see how the air flow is pushed through the heatsink by the fan and toward the back of the case which (in our case) has a vent. The second picture shows how the fins at the bottom direct flow towards the voltage regulators and resistors on the mainboard to keep them cool.
Now to the part you have been waiting for, how the Arctic Cooling Freezer 7 Pro compares to the competitors! For testing we use Prime95 to put a full load on the CPU. Then we measure temperatures with SpeedFan and the onboard temperature probe. All our testing is on this same setup with the same thermal paste so there should be fairly little fluctuation in outside conditions. Before doing any testing we let the thermal paste set by running the CPU at full load for 48 hours and then letting it sit idle for another 48 hours.
After getting the stressing the CPU to full load for a few hours to achieve a steady maximum, the max temperature we ever saw was 54C. I was also very impressed with the stability of this temperature which shows that the Freezer 7 Pro can achieve this temperature under load but also stay there for a long time by dissipating the heat properly. Notice how the temperature stays between 53C and 54C never going out of that range except for once which could have been easily a sampling error. The graph is over a 30 minute time frame after the processor had been under load for a few hours.
The next graph I always love to see is a cool down graph. This shows how steadily the CPU Cooler can bring the temperature down after the load has been totally removed from the processor. The load was removed right where the line starts to drop (not the beginning of the graph). I was very impressed with this cool down graph as the Freezer Pro 7 had no major stopping points which indicates it can easily dissipate the heat quickly. Some coolers will stall at temperatures as they try to dissipate the extra heat, but the Freezer Pro 7 continued right down to idle temps in a quick and steady manner.
After doing our tests and letting the CPU idle for another 48 hours, the idle temperature was found to be 36C.
Now to put all the numbers together and compare with the competitors. The Freezer Pro 7 was amazing to say the least. It comes in at over 20F cooler than the Stock Intel Cooler for idle temps and under load it is over 25F cooler. It also manages to beat the Spire Coolers by 10F - 15F at idle and under load. I was amazed to see these numbers and it shows what a difference the size of the Freezer 7 Pro makes. Also remember that these tests are run on a P4 3.4GHZ which is in general much hotter than today's popular Core 2 Duo LGA775 processors that the Freezer 7 Pro works on as well. Just think of the great temperatures you could get on a Core 2 Duo with this beast!
Throughout testing I was also very impressed by the quietness of the Freezer 7 Pro. It was much quieter than the Intel Stock Cooler and was barely audible most of the time. It also seemed quieter than the Spire solutions which both are known to be very quiet.
The Arctic Cooling Freezer 7 Pro is one amazing cooler. It is a tad on the large side, but with its standard LGA775 mounts and ability to beat out all our competitors by at least 10F, I think it is a very wise purchase for anyone wanting to lower their CPU temperatures. With Core 2 Duo all the rage these days, the Freezer 7 Pro would be a perfect candidate since it can easily keep our P4 3.4GHZ cool which in general is a hotter running processor.
Idle Temp: 36C
Thanks to Arctic Cooling for the Review Sample!
Our owner and founder, Gray, started Tech Islands in 2005 to help pursue his interest of Pocket PC News and Reviews.