Installation and Finished Product
After looking over the digital instructions, we put the cooler in hand and went to it. The first thing we did was grab the top brackets, set them in the groove of the base plate, and slid it into place aligning the holes. Once that is done, you can secure the screws into the base, and the longer the screwdriver, the better, in this instance. That way you aren't grinding your knuckles against the saw-toothed fins.
The next step is to put the backplate into place, for LGA115X users only, as other Intel and AMD compatibility uses either the socket or the default backplate. To align the backplate, make sure the hole goes around the socket retention screw, which will have the ARCTIC name and logo at the top.
There is a bit of confusion for this step, as the manual says we should have washers to go under these nuts, but the box makes no mention of them. We went ahead and installed the threaded posts anyways with no detriment to the motherboard.
After applying a stripe of TIM to the bottom of the heat pipes, as shown in the manual, we set the cooler onto the CPU, and are now securing it to the rest of the hardware already on the motherboard. Be sure to tighten the cooler in an X-pattern, as the base can get uneven pretty quickly with just a few turns of one of the screws.
After completing the installation, we stepped back a bit to admire the job we did, while having a look at the cooler behind the memory. The cooler is skinny in this view, as the memory is longer than the Freezer 34 is wide, and with the bottom edge of the fan below the height of the memory, there has to be clearance there as well.
It turns out there is plenty of room behind the memory. No matter which kit you use, no matter how tall the spreaders are, the Freezer 34 eSports DUO is accommodating, enough that the fans can easily be removed for cleaning purposes without much hassle at all.
Even though this single-tower design has a pair of fans strapped to it, the thickness of the cooler is of little concern. The rear I/O is well away from it, we can easily access the 8-pin connection, and there is plenty of room under the tower to tuck away excess wire and connectivity options.
The ARCTIC Freezer 34 eSports DUO is an excellent addition to the standard system we use with all of our coolers. The black used to coat the fins thermally is dark, and stands out against the sea of other blacks in the build, and while the red is not as bright as the motherboard accents, the top of the RAM, or the color of the chassis, it is still a slick-looking option for those with similar themed systems.