Arctic Cooling Freezer i30 £35

21st Jun 2012 | 08:52

Arctic Cooling Freezer i30

A bargain-priced CPU cooler with high-price performance

TechRadar rating:

4.5 stars

Like:

Build quality; Price; Stock performance;

Dislike:

Not one for overclockers;

Introduction

The Arctic Cooling Freezer i30 CPU coolers are the latest products to market from masters of cooling Arctic Cooling, and have been designed to support wattages up to a staggering 320 Watts. So, it doesn't just have a clever name then.

Usually anything than can provide that amount of cooling support comes with an impressive price tag. But not so the Arctic Cooling Freezer i30, which comes at a price that pretty much suits all budgets, of around £35 in the UK or $50 in the US.

Despite the relatively low price, the cooler is very well put together, with a build quality that shames many a cooler with much higher price tags.

Arctic Cooling Freezer i30 at a glance
CPU Socket:
IntelSocket LGA 2011/1156/1155
Number of Heatpipes: 4 x 8mm Copper direct contact
Cooling Fan: 1 x 120mm (300-1,350pm)
Dimensions: 139 x 100 x 161mm, 905g

Notice the 'i' in the name. That is a pretty important thing to takes notice of, because the Arctic Cooling Freezer i30 comes with installation parts for Intel CPUs (LGA 2011, 1155 or 1156) only.

But fear not AMD fans, if you want to use the Freezer cooler then choose the Arctic Cooling Freezer A30, which is a specifically AMD (FM1, AM3+, AM3, AM2+ or AM2) cooler.

Performance

To test the coolers we used an Intel DZ77GA-70K motherboard and one of the new Intel Core i7 3770K (3.5GHz) Ivy Bridge CPUs, which we overclocked to 4.5GHz for some of the tests.

To stress the CPU we ran the Small FFTs test in Prime95 for 20 minutes, using the RealTemp utility to measure the core temperatures, averaging out the temperature for all the cores.

Benchmarks

CPU standard clock (3770K @3.5GHz)
CPU Idle (Windows 7 64-bit, all power saving turned off, temperature measured after 15mins)

Degrees C: lower is better
Arctic Cooling Freezer i30: 22
Be Quiet Dark Rock2: 26
Titan Fenrir Siberia Edition: 26

CPU standard clock (3770K @3.5GHz)
CPU 100% (Temperature measured after 20 min. run of Prime 95 - small FFTs)

Degrees C: lower is better
Arctic Cooling Freezer i30: 58
Titan Fenrir Siberia Edition: 60
Be Quiet Dark Rock2: 65

Time from peak to idle

Seconds: Faster is better
Titan Fenrir Siberia Edition: 61
Arctic Cooling Freezer i30: 119
Be Quiet Dark Rock2: 127

CPU Overclocked (3770K @ 4.5GHz)
CPU Idle (Windows 7 64-bit, all power saving turned off, temperature measured after 15mins)

Arctic Cooling Freezer i30: 23
Titan Fenrir Siberia Edition: 30
Be Quiet Dark Rock2: 31

CPU Overclocked (3770K @ 4.5GHz)
CPU 100% (Temperature measured after 20 min. run of Prime 95 - small FFTs)

Degrees C: lower is better
Arctic Cooling Freezer i30: 77
Be Quiet Dark Rock2: 98
Titan Fenrir Siberia Edition: 98

CPU Overclocked (3770K @ 4.5GHz)
Time from peak to idle

Seconds: Faster is better
Titan Fenrir Siberia Edition: 96
Arctic Cooling Freezer i30: 152
Be Quiet Dark Rock2: 160

Considering how little it costs, the performance of the Arctic Cooling Freezer i30 at stock speeds is very impressive.

Verdict

The Arctic Cooling Freezer i30 uses four 8mm copper heat pipes that are bent into a U shape and run under the aluminium base plate. They have been milled flat so they provide the only contact area with the CPU - hence the "direct contact" nomenclature. The pipes then run into the aluminium heatsink - with its 48 fins - where they are cooled by a single 120mm PWM fan.

The fan isn't fixed to the easily removed fan shroud, so if you wanted to replace the fan it shouldn't pose any problems. The design of the heatsink only enables this shroud to be fixed on one side, so if you felt the need to add a second fan to the Freezer i30 it means resorting to a bit of jiggery pokery, and a belt and braces approach to get it installed.

The cooler itself though is whisper quiet in operation, and the fan was only really noticeable when the CPU was being pushed during overclocking. As you can see from the benchmark figures, it's not quite in the realms of the Enermax ETS-T40-TA, which is somewhat of a surprise given that 320 Watt rating.

It would be very easy, and quite justifiable, to rip into it if it cost around the £70/$100 mark because of that, but just take another look at that price tag.

We liked

Installing the Arctic Cooling Freezer i30 is a doddle, with the exception of the small adhesive washers that go under the plastic spacers that the mounting frames screw into. The adhesive here is far, far too sticky and the washers not stamped through enough. In fact, we made a complete hash of one and had to leave it off, but it didn't seem to make any difference to the cooler.

We disliked

Whoever came up with the idea of the little sticky washers that fix under the spacers for the top mounting plate needs taking into a darkened room and shown the error of their ways.

Final verdict

The Arctic Cooling Freezer i30 isn't too far off the pace compared with the Enermax cooler. It's not often you'll see a pair of chip chillers as well built as these, at what many people would regard as an entry-level price.

This little Arctic Cooling Freezer i30 is a great deputy for the ETS-T40-TA, and if you can't pick one of those up, grab this i30 as an extremely quiet, very well put together cooler at a bargain price.

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