As I sit here figuring out which angle to take first I figured I would go right to what is going to sell this cooler; silence! Seriously this is the most silent 120mm fan cooler CPU cooler that I have ever tested. Most manufacturers ran to 140mm fans to bring these levels down, but ARCTIC had a smaller, can fit in more cases approach to doing this. They have in fact left me with a smile on my face during the testing runs, as there is usually some sort of racket distracting me. With these tests, I had to keep reminding myself it was on, and is why I missed the 49th pass on the overclocked run. It is literally so quiet you forget it is there!
The testing results on the temperature side of things, well, left me a bit confused. The box states that it is 320 watts capable, or can remove that much heat from the CPU. While I will agree that this cooler, with some other fan, may keep temperatures reasonable with a load around 300 watts, as the Freezer i30 is shipped, I don't suggest you load it that hard. If you do, prepare for high numbers; worse that were seen in my overclocked results of eighty degrees. ARCTIC wanted to deliver a silent stock replacement cooler, and that is two things this cooler is very well capable of, but this leads me to the last point that must be made about the Freezer i30.
I can respect a cooler for what it can accomplish in its projected market, such as the stock replacement cooler segment. Here the goal is to provide users an option to the boring stock cooler and deliver those users better temperatures, ease of installation, and in most cases a very reasonable price. With ARCTIC, this is the only point that I see an issue with.
While users aren't going to find a cooler this silent for the MSRP listed at ARCTIC of $49.95, my issue is more along the lines that people in the $50 market can find much better coolers for that price. Even as far as stock replacements go, I think the CM Hyper 212+ still gets my vote for bang for the buck, even if you are subjected to higher noise levels. Maybe as these coolers start to hit more-tailers, pricing will drop enough to make it a more reasonable choice, but for now I keep the opinion that the ARCTIC Freezer i30 needs to be cheaper to be a huge success!
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- Page 1 [Introduction]
- Page 2 [Specifications, Availability and Pricing]
- Page 3 [The Packaging]
- Page 4 [The ARCTIC Freezer i30 CPU Cooler]
- Page 5 [Accessories and Documentation]
- Page 6 [Installation and Finished Product]
- Page 7 [Test System and Thermal Results]
- Page 8 [Noise Level Results]
- Page 9 [Final Thoughts]