Arctic Cooling Freezer 11 LP Review

RJR - 2010-09-30 16:03:00 in CPU Cooling
Category: CPU Cooling
Reviewed by: RJR   
Reviewed on: October 27, 2010
Price: TBA

Introduction:

Arctic cooling has just released a slim/HTPC case compatible CPU cooler called the Freezer 11 LP (LP = Low Profile). It is completely designed for short/narrow cases that require a better cooling option than is provided by a stock Intel heatsink. This cooler is only compatible with the Intel socket 775/1156 motherboard. It uses a dual heat-pipe design to transfer the heat away from the processor and removes it with a 92mm silent PWM controlled fan. The mounting on this cooler is a variation of a push pin and is a very simple and easy solution that works extremely well.

Closer Look:

The packaging of the Freezer 11 LP is a plastic clam shell encasement indicative of a retail package with the cooler and mounting hardware enclosed. From the top you get a birds eye view of the cooler through the clear plastic. The accompanying cardboard sleeve has the specifications and features listed as well as the compatibility information so you can verify that this cooler will indeed fit your application.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The mounting hardware that is included with this cooler is very simple and very effective. You just place the mounting bar across two motherboard mounting holes and insert the white pins, then push the black adapters into the white pins to secure it to the motherboard. The heatsink is then secured from the top with the 4 mounting screws that are threaded into the black bars previously secured to the motherboard. Pretty simplistic and effective variation of the push pin design.

Closer Look:

Here we will take a closer look at the heat sink and how it's mounted. This heat sink from Arctic Cooling is a low profile design that is designed to be used in small form factor cases and is one the HTPC crowd should love based on the height alone. This design uses two heat pipes that feed into the aluminum fin array to dissipate the thermal load from the CPU. The 92mm Fluid Dynamic bearing equipped fan is mounted on top of the Freezer 11 LP so you have a downdraft design that should help keep the surrounding electronic components cool. The dimensions on this little cooler are 115mm x 106mm x 53mm(H). That's just over 2 inches tall if the metric system is not your bag. With its diminutive size you have to wonder how well it will cool by comparison to the Intel supplied cooling solution.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

When you strip the Freezer 11LP down to its bare essence you have the elements that make up a potent heat sink. You have a copper base, 2 large heat pipes that feed through the base and a series of aluminum fins to get rid of the heat. All in all a simple layout that has been used many times before with excellent results.

 

 

The heat sink has a 92mm PWM controlled fan rated to run at 12v with a power draw of  .15A at a speed of 900-2000 RPM. The CFM is rated at 27 and the fan also has a fluid dynamic bearing. The fan is mounted on the top of the aluminum fins with the dual heat-pipes running completely through the fins. The copper base is covered with Arctic Cooling MX-2 thermal compound. You may want to remove a little bit of the thermal compound as I found out, they do put a very generous amount on.

 

 

 

The solid copper base is flat but does not have a highly polished finish. A polished finish is a luxury that takes more time and money to execute that really does not pay huge dividends and really is not needed so no harm no foul on this point. This finish should be fine for the 90 watt maximum heat load specified for this cooler.

 

 

The cooler is just a little taller than the ram installed next to it. One thing you do have to take into consideration with this heatsink is the clearance issues with it's very short/wide stance; as can be seen by the heat-pipe extending over the NF200 chip and the cooler completely covering the chokes, some versions of mosfet or chip coolers surrounding the CPU socket may cause a conflict. Here is also a picture of just how short this cooler really is.

The mounting is a  very simplistic and effective method. You place the bracket across two mounting holes and insert the white adapters into the holes and then just place the black pins into the white adapters which spread them to secure it to the motherboard. The heatsink is then secured by 4 mounting screws that are threaded into the black brackets previously mounted to the motherboard. This is about the easiest heatsink I have ever installed.

 

 

 

Now to the specifications and features and then testing.

Specifications:

 

Product Name
Arctic Cooling Freezer 11 LP
Dimensions
115L X 106W X 53H (mm)
Minimum Case height
70mm
Fan Speed
900-2000 RPM (PWM controlled)
Maximum Cooling Capacity
90 Watts
Air Flow
27 CFM
Weight
255g

 

Features:

 

All information courtesy of Arctic Cooling @ http://www.arctic-cooling.com/catalog/index.php

Testing and Setup:

Testing of this cooler will involve a Prime95 run (4 threads) for 4 hours using the Blend setting at stock and a mild 3.61 Ghz overclock. The load temperature will be the maximum temperature of any core as recorded by Coretemp. The idle temperature will be recorded as the average temperature after at least 30 minutes of an idle condition. The ambient temperature was maintained at 22c throughout the testing. The stock 3.06 Ghz  frequency of the i3 540 defaults to 1.212v vcore and a mild 3.61 Ghz overclock was run using 1.224v vcore setting. Since this is mainly a slim case/HTPC cooler and not an overclocking cooler these mild settings should be more conducive to the real world application of this heatsink.

 

 

Testing Setup:

Comparison Coolers:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Arctic Cooling Freezer 11 LP bettered the stock Intel heatsink by 5c at the stock speed and widened the margin even farther at the mild overclock to 10c. The Freezer 11 LP can't compete with the 212+, but you can't fit the 212+ into a very narrow or HTPC case.

Conclusion:

The Arctic Cooling Freezer 11 LP CPU cooler is completely designed for very slim or HTPC cases. It features a 92mm PWM controlled fan that is very quiet in operation, even under the overclocked stress test we put it through. The mounting included with this cooler was a very simple and effective solution that was a joy to install. The addition of a cooler such as this, can shave a few needed degrees off of your CPU temperatures to make it a little happier under load for a rather mild investment.

 

Pros:

 

Cons: