Deepcool Frostwin Review

Cryonics - 2012-05-31 00:54:16 in CPU Cooling
Category: CPU Cooling
Reviewed by: Cryonics   
Reviewed on: June 24, 2012
Price: $37.83

Introduction:

Let's face it; with today's processors heat is an ever increasing issue. While some of us opt for the more exotic cooling methods on the market, i.e. Phase Change, Dry Ice a.k.a Dice or even LN2 for the extreme overclocker, most people will never have need for such cooling methods in their day to day computer use. For someone looking for a mild to mid range overclock or just looking to improve the cooling efficiency of their system is where aftermarket cooler manufacturers like Deepcool, Noctua and Cooler Master come into play as most stock heat sinks offer at best minimum cooling over Intel and AMD's specifications. Aftermarket coolers offer a significant improvement in cooling, which offers the end user the ability to achieve higher overclocks and system stability while helping to increase the lifespan of their system components without having to make the move to extreme cooling methods.

Closer Look:

Over the past couple of weeks I have had the chance to review a few of Deepcool's products like the GAMMAXX 400 CPU cooler and the UF120 case fan. This time around I will be looking at Deepcool's Frostwin CPU cooler and lets just say from the looks of the Frostwin cooler I already have high expectations for it. The Frostwin is packaged in the standard blue on white box and contains a wealth of information regarding the cooler. The front contains a single photo of the Frostwin and below that is a brief description of the cooler's features: Twin Tower Heat sink, Heat-pipe x4, Intel & AMD compatibility, with dual fan, high performance, overclocking, super silent and "modding look." On the back of the box is the Frostwin's features: Overall Dimension, Fan Dimension, Net Weight, Rated Voltage, Operating Voltage, Starting Voltage, Rated Current, Power Input, Fan Speed, Maximum Air Flow, Noise Level and Bearing Type. The right side of the box contains two photos: one of the twin tower design and one picturing the base of the heat sink. The left side of the box contains both Intel and AMD socket compatibility along with a technical diagram for the front and top of the Frostwin.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Opening the box reveals a well packaged product with the detailed installation manual just inside the top. Once you remove the top insert from the box you can see the top of Frostwin cooler with the fans already attached and firmly held in place by a foam insert. Inside the accessories box contains everything needed to mount the Frostwin on both Intel and AMD systems. Upon removing the Frostwin I can now take a look at the mounting hardware, which includes everything you need to use the Frostwin with Intel sockets LGA2011/1366/1156/1155/775 and AMD sockets FM1/AM3+/AM2+/AM2.

 

 

 

Moving on we will take a little closer look at the Frostwin cooler on the following page.

Closer Look:

First up is a front and rear view with the fans attached and covering the majority of the cooling fins. At this angle we can see the bell shaped design; although it is not officially stated I would assume this is meant as a way to more effectively channel air across the cooling fins. If you look at the photo on the left you will see that the fans overlap the side of the cooler; this allows for some additional tension to help keep the fans secure.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The twin tower design looks like it may have a lot to offer in the way of performance with the push/pull configuration. The cooler is equipped with a total of four heat pipes that are roughly U shaped. Each of the four heat pipes extend one half inch above the top of the towers and run parallel to one another up both sides of the cooler. The base itself is made up of the typical mixed metal combination of aluminum for the top and copper for the heat pipes along with integrated fins for added heat dissipation. The heat pipes themselves are one quarter of an inch across and there does not appear to be any type of solder or thermal epoxy between them and the aluminum; at the same time the gaps between the copper and aluminum seem to be much smaller on the Frostwin than they did on the GAMMAXX 400. From a profile view you can see how the heat pipes fan outward at varying degrees before turning upward and enter the fins. The contact surface is nice and smooth and has been polished, but not to the extent that it has a mirror like finish to it. For some this can be an issue while others do not pay much attention to it.

 

 

 

Looking at the fans one thing that does concern me, although great in theory, is the fact that both are controlled by a single power supply cable. In the event one of the fans should begin to suffer from a failure (either outright quits working or a loss in RPM) you would need to purchase replacement fans as there is no way to disconnect one from the other. Each fan contains nine blades with a rated speed of 900±150~1600±10%RPM that help push a maximum of 55.50CFM of airflow thru the Frostwin's twin tower design. An airflow of 55.50CFM is not substantial when you start considering the amount of heat generated by today's processors.

 

 

Mounting the cooler was straight forward and not all that complicated. Unfortunately with the motherboard still in the case this task proved to be a bit time consuming and a little on the tricky side. With that having been said I removed the motherboard and in less than three minutes I had the Frostwin securely in place and ready to place the motherboard back in the case. Total time from removing the motherboard to replacement was right at seven minutes, which is not bad considering I had to reconnect everything. Once the Frostwin was mounted on the motherboard it became painfully evident I would need a very low profile memory module to fit under the outside fan. As shown in the photos below the outside fan was still touching the number one memory slot. Although this did not cause any issues it is still something to consider when looking at the Frostwin cooler unless you are considering purchasing two standard 120x120x25mm fans as replacements.

 

 

Specifications:

Overall Dimension
121X121X151mm(With Fan)
Fan Dimension
120X25mm(2PCS)
Net Weight
712g
Bearing Type
Hydro Bearing
Rated Voltage
12VDC
Operating Voltage
10.8~13.2VDC
Started Voltage
7VDC
Rated Current
0.16±15%-0.25±10%A(MAX)
Power Input
3.0W
Fan Speed
1600±10%RPM /900±150~1600±10%RPM
Max. Air Flow
55.50CFM
Noise
21dB(A) /17.8~21dB(A)

 

Features:



 

All information courtesy of DeepCool @ http://www.deepcool-us.com/Product/FROSTWIN/

Testing:

Testing of the Frostwin will consist of loading the processor at both stock and overclocked states using Prime95's small FFT feature for one hour. Temperatures will then be measured using RealTemp. Load temperatures will be the highest recorded average from realtemp while idle temperatures will be the lowest recorded average from realtemp with no system usage for one hour. The Frostwin and the comparison coolers will be run with the supplied fans in a push/pull configuration.

 

Testing Setup:

 

Comparison Heatsinks:

 

 

 

I have to admit I am a little disappointed with the Frostwin's performance when overclocked. Considering the fact that it has a push/pull configuration along with the twin tower design it still just did not have what it takes to beat out the competition. Under load at stocks speeds the Frostwin, is roughly two degrees behind the the two best performers.

Conclusion:

Deepcool is known for manufacturing quality products and its designs do have a certain appeal to them. The overall design of the Frostwin was impressive, from the twin towers to the conical shape of the fans. The included mounting hardware was as diverse as it was impressive; easy to use although not a tool-free installation as some of its other offerings but none the less easy to use. The fans are super silent with a maximum noise level of only 21dBA and built to last. They are missing the LEDs that some of us like to see on our fans but once again not a deal breaker. Performance-wise Deepcool needs to up the stakes a little if it intends to compete in the mainstream market. The Frostwin did well against its comparison coolers again only giving up a few Celsius in some of the test while at the same time making up for it in others. But it still lacks the power of some of today's other high end coolers on the market.

My expectations for the Frostwin cooler were high, maybe even too high, but unfortunately we get let down sometimes and this was one of those times. The Frostwin's design is unique, but there are a few things that could have been done differently. First, let's consider that some of today's CPU coolers move as much as 89.43CFM while the fans on the Frostwin only move 55.50CFM - that is a massive difference of 33.93CFM. With that kind of airflow it is going to be hard to compete with the big boys. If the included fans had an airflow of at least 65CFM we would have seen a nice boost in the performance department. Second is the cooling fin alignment; this needs to be near perfect for optimal airflow to help ensure the best performance from a cooler, which in a twin tower design can be difficult to achieve. The Frostwin did have some clearance issues with the memory modules as mentioned on page two; you will need memory with a very low profile to fit under the outside fan.

With everything considered from price to performance, Deepcool's Frostwin is a tough sale with so many other coolers on the market in the $35-$40 dollar range that offer a much greater performance and value. It is difficult to recommend the Frostwin as a viable cooling solution.

 

Pros:

 

Cons: