The Arctic Coolers

Both the Alpine 7 and the Freezer 7 Pro use a frameless 92mm fan, but the output and bearing design differ by model. The frameless fan is a design feature that distinguishes Arctic Cooling designs.

The fan mount is also a trademark feature. AC coolers use elastomeric mounts to isolate the fan and reduce noise levels. This is true even on the $12 entry-level Alpine 7 (with PWM) cooler. The frameless fan with elastomeric mounts is a similar design on both coolers, but there little else is the same. The Alpine 7 is a one-piece aluminum block; it uses a traditional down-facing fan, much like the Intel retail cooler and other entry-level coolers.

The Alpine 7 consists of several models. Our test unit is the Alpine 7 (with PWM), which is basically an Alpine 64 with a custom cage for mounting on Socket 775. This model will mount on any current AMD or Intel socket. Other models are the Alpine 64 Pro for Intel 775 only and the Alpine 64/Alpine 64 (with PWM) for AMD only. All these variations use a heatsink that is basically the same and a down-facing fan with the same fan specifications. Performance should be the same across these coolers. Arctic Cooling also has a smaller cooler with a smaller 80mm fan where small size is important, the Alpine 7 GT.

The midrange Freezer 7 Pro is a side-mounted heatpipe tower. Three vertical heatpipes are looped through a heavy base and support horizontal aluminum cooling fins. Airflow exhausts toward the rear fans in the case. All the top performing coolers tested in recent months at AnandTech use a heatpipe tower design.

Index Alpine 7 (with PWM)


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  • Etern205 - Tuesday, January 29, 2008 - link

    Sorry for the triple post.

    Somehow the link code does not work so...">
  • strikeback03 - Wednesday, January 30, 2008 - link

    Great, an LED fan direct from Intel.

    and it still uses push pins, though since it weighs about the same as the previous stock cooler I guess that is expected.
  • sparkuss - Tuesday, January 29, 2008 - link

    Is there any reason you don't include with the new testbed/database your custom water cooling setup that you've been using to chart the X38/X48?

    I realize it may be extreme but it feels missing if only to show what that "next" level of cooling means in relation to the "top rated performers". I guess I'd also be remiss in not asking for at least one of the new Peltier/Water compact combo coolers in the mix just for those reference lines on the graphs.

    If you only want to limit results to "available/ready to buy" I understand.

    I'm still looking at all options for my next "technology-leap" (AMD 4000+ 939) system build and being able to see if investing in the extreme is worth the results would help with some of the choices.

  • strikeback03 - Wednesday, January 30, 2008 - link

    I'd guess Wesley is in a different part of the country/world than Raja or whoever has the extreme cooling setup. Reply
  • mindless1 - Tuesday, January 29, 2008 - link

    Quote:"low noise, longer-life fan bearings and elastomeric fan mounts. This is expensive engineering."

    These aren't really longer-life bearings. Anyone can make a bearing and claim that in an ideal environment it will have really long life. That's shady marketing, the finished fan, as implemented, is not that ideal environment for several reasons such as thrust level, imbalance, ambient temp. Frankly I find the bearing on my Freezer 64 Pro to be below average compared to my major (fan manufacturer not PC parts relabeler) brands. I would rate them as well if not better than many of the crude fans one would find on cheap heatsinks at least, and the fan imbalance being offset by the rubber mounts does help.

    As for the elastomeric fan mounts, no this is not expensive engineering. Maybe a penny a piece, no more expensive than screws to hold a fan on. Perhaps we could say the unique fan frame design cost a slight bit extra though when in volume the cost may be less than you'd think, particularly if not manufactured by a major label. Upon examination of the fan bearing anyone with a trained eye can easily see these are not premium sleeve bearings by any stretch, and they are a lot short on lubricant, you should expect them not to be so quiet within the life of the system. Relube the bearing periodically for best results.

    While my comments seem (are) negative, overall these coolers are a great value, but we do need to be objective in recognizing the cons as well as the pros. I'm not aware of better value for the money so they are still 'sinks to seriously consider except for attempts at extreme overclocking.
  • Wesley Fink - Tuesday, January 29, 2008 - link

    The Engineering is expensive - not necessarily the parts. What we were trying to say here is that these kinds of solutions are usually reserved for higher-priced coolers, and not often seen on coolers selling for such a low price.

    As for bearing life, most coolers in this price range don't even rate fan bearing life. The expected "life" of the fan on the under $15 Alpine 7 is 400,000 hours and the bearing is a Fluid Dynamic Bearing - like the Scythe Sflex 120mm fan which is $20 for the fan alone. These are both impressive specs for any cooler fan - especially one that sells with the complete cooler for less than $15.
  • mindless1 - Tuesday, January 29, 2008 - link

    The life rating of 400K hours is nonsense.

    Their typical fan sells for $6, and that with a bit of profit built in. Their bearings are not special, just the marketing is.">

    A minimum price is a better proof than an inflated one, as even the generic junk out there selling for $2 is also marked up 250% or more through relabelers.
  • forgotmypassword - Tuesday, January 29, 2008 - link

    Your under load test is WAY TOO GENTLE. Same AC Freezer 7 can hardly keep my E6550 @ 2.8GHz Core Duo under 75C under 100% load... Compare it to your 41C Reply
  • RamarC - Tuesday, January 29, 2008 - link

    if your e6550 is hitting 75c you either don't have the freezer 7 mounted properly or your bios/fan control is configured to allow that level of heat. Reply
  • mindless1 - Tuesday, January 29, 2008 - link

    You have no evidence of that. A higher ambient temp, worse case ventilation, and/or higher vcore can cause this.

    However, some mountings don't seem to put as much pressure on the 'sink, it can be mounted as "properly" as possible and still this (and especially along with a combination of aforementioned factors) could result in that temp.

    The real question is WHY someone would have allowed their CPU to get this hot instead of reducing the o'c or taking whatever other measures are necessary.

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