ARCTIC Liquid Freezer II 280 CPU Cooler
Even though this first image allows you to soak in all aspects of what ARCTIC has implemented into this AIO, which was not our intention. What we wanted to show is that fresh out of the box, the AIO is fully assembled and ready to be installed right out of the box! All one needs to do is install the hardware and clear out room in the chassis for the radiator!
The head unit design is unique, and there is no mistaking this product once you see it! The matte textured finish of the black surfaces plays well against the metallic accents, with everything leading your eyes to the VRM fan. Note, too, the use of compression fittings to dress things up, but that does not mean it is easily mod-able.
Both sides of the head unit feature the ARCTIC name and logo, which come in the form of white paint on the plastic. From this angle, we do see that the unit is low-profile, but without any swivel fittings, you will need to consider the fittings and the tube bend if wanting to use this in a low clearance chassis.
At the top of the head unit, or the edge of the head unit that sits nearest the VRM at the top of a motherboard, we see the channel removed from the cover to allow the 40mm fan to push air out of the head unit with near 180-degrees clearance. At this point, we are glad we have kept VRM temps all these years, so we can assess if this does anything worthwhile.
Under the black plastic of the head unit, we find out where the 4-pin PWM power cable enters the head unit, near the corner of the cold plate at the bottom of the image. The power comes back out of the head unit via a 3-pin cable, which powers the VRM fan, with no RPM monitoring wire. Power also comes out of the top of the head unit and is sent through the sleeve, along a tube, to control the fans.
The cold plate is concave in its shape, and with the protective sticker removed, we can see that the base looks textured like it was sandblasted, but if you look closely, you can see the semi-circular machining marks that ARCTIC has left as its mating surface.
As we leave the head unit, and pass the gray or silver sleeve, with the added dashed white twist for added style points, we find them to terminate in a pair of compression fittings, some seventeen inches from the head unit By quite a bit, this is the longest tube we have seen in an AIO personally.
The sides of the 38mm thick radiator are matte black, with an easy to spot applique on either side. With a chrome-like sticker, the ARCTIC name and logo will either blend into the chassis or reflect any sort of RGB lighting that is near it.
In this image, we can cover a few things. First, we can now see the compression fittings used on the radiator, but note that the wire comes out of it as we saw from the Fractal Design Celsius line, but this time, there is not fan hub, just direct connections to the fans, with no need to manage any wires, it is already done for you!
Not only did ARCTIC opt for a 38mm thick radiator over the standard 27mm options we see everywhere else, they feel that high FPI radiators are for the birds. In this model, we took a count and averaged 14 fins per inch in a few spots across the fins.