Chad's CPU Cooler Test System Specifications
- Motherboard: ASUS ROG Maximus VIII HERO (Intel Z170) - Buy from Amazon / Read our review
- CPU: Intel Core i7 6700K - Buy from Amazon / Read our review
- Memory: Patriot Viper 4 3000MHz 4X4GB - Buy from Amazon / Read our review
- Graphics Card: MSI GeForce GTX 1060 6GB OC - Buy from Amazon / Read our review
- Storage: Corsair Neutron XTi 480GB - Buy from Amazon / Read our review
- Case: INWIN D-Frame - Read our review
- Power Supply: Thermaltake Toughpower DPS 1050W - Buy from Amazon / Read our review
- OS: Microsoft Windows 10 Home 64-bit - Buy from Amazon
- Software: RealTemp 3.70, AIDA64 Engineer 5.75.3900, and CPU-z 1.77.0 x64
To see our testing methodology and to find out what goes into making our charts, please refer to our CPU Cooler Testing and Methodology article (October 2016) for more information.
Even if you are not a fan of the style, there is nothing to argue about with a third-place finish overall. Considering the first two places are held by the same cooler in different modes, ARCTIC proves what I have said for years can still be done. A 52.5-degree result on the stock test is excellent, and only a degree behind the very aged Thermaltake Flow Ring 360mm solution!
The box did say you could get extreme cooling while being silent, and this test proves that one of those claims is true! The 68.5-degree result lands the Liquid Freezer II 280 into fourth place, 2.5-degrees out of the lead! Impressive, to say the least!
When we cover the fan numbers, it will help to put perspective on the efficiency, as there were only 1.5-degrees left in the tank while adding another 700 RPM to the fans as well as a bunch of noise. ARCTIC has the curve set near perfectly, in our opinion, leaving very little on the table.
Noise Level Results
During the stock test run, we saw the fans idling at 460 RPM, but with the load applied, they did increase to 680 RPM. At their highest, the fans were 24 dB. Other things to note, we had to use a wire to read the fan speed, as it is not designed to deliver that to software on its own. Under PWM control, the pump spun at 2820 RPM and was at 29dB for the majority of testing.
When the overclock was applied, the fans topped out at 950 RPM during the stress test. With only 27 dB coming from the fans, ARCTIC has now proved both claims on the box to be true. It is an extreme cooler, and it does it in near silence!
With all of the power sent through the fan header on the motherboard, our fans topped out at 1640 RPM, close enough to that 1700 RPM mark on the box. The noise does increase, to the tune of 38 dB, and with just 1.5-degrees to be gained doing so, it is not worth the effort, PWM control is excellent!