Cooling at Stock Speed

Some users will never overclock their CPU, but they still want to run the coolest CPU temperatures possible to enhance stability and extend CPU life. We compile all temperature benchmarks with CoreTemp, a public domain utility that is quite stable with reproducible results on the Intel platform. This required retesting a cross-section of the best coolers evaluated so far at AnandTech. To better document performance in the large speed gap between 2.93 GHz and 3.73 GHz, we added the intermediate value of 3.33 GHz to all test results during the retest of the coolers.

Stock (2933MHz) IDLE Temperature

Performance at stock idle is amazing for the Alpine 7 - a cooler that costs less than $15. The Freezer 7 Pro does slightly better, but both perform much better than you might expect at this price point. Where the very good Intel stock air-cooler keeps the X6800 at 31C at idle, the Alpine 7 reduces that to 25C and the Freezer 7 Pro is one degree lower at 24C. This compares to the top Thermalright Ultra 120 eXtreme at 24C, Corsair water-cooling at 24C, Swiftech water-cooling at 27C, and ZEROtherm Nirvana at 23C. In comparing results, please keep in mind the test results from the new cooling bed using CoreTemp are not directly comparable to earlier cooling results.

It is more difficult to simulate all the various stress conditions a computer may encounter in different operating environments. For most home users, contemporary gaming is one of the most demanding CPU (and system) applications. Therefore, our stress test simulates running a demanding contemporary game. We loop the Far Cry River demo for 30 minutes and capture the CPU temperature with CoreTemp's "logging" option. We report the highest temperature during the load test. We ignore momentary spikes and report a sustained high-level temperature that you are likely to encounter in this type of scenario. This test configuration roughly equates to an 80% CPU load test using Intel TAT, another respected program for thermal measurements.

We next compare cooling efficiency of the Arctic Cooling HSFs under load conditions at stock speed to the retail HSF and other recently retested CPU coolers.

Stock (2933MHz) LOAD Temperature

The Freezer 7 Pro turns in an outstanding performance under load at stock speeds. CoreTemp results are 35C, which is one of the best air-cooling results tested so far at AnandTech. The Alpine 7 is also a terrific performer under load at 40C. This sub-$15 cooler is a significant improvement over the stock Intel fan, which reaches 50C under load at stock speed in our cooling test bed.

If you do not plan to push overclocking to the extreme, the Freezer 7 Pro is an outstanding choice. The stock performance at idle and load is among the best we have tested - matching or coming in a bit better than the Thermalright Ultra 120 eXtreme. The Alpine 7 is frankly cheap to buy, but it still significantly outperforms the stock Intel cooler at stock speeds. These reasonably priced coolers from Arctic Cooling are great choices if you want better cooling at standard CPU speeds.

CPU Cooling Test Configuration Noise Levels
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  • yacoub - Wednesday, January 30, 2008 - link

    It's a shame it took this long for you guys to review the Arctic Freezer 7 Pro, which is a staple of the cheap-but-effective heatsink setups for overclockers. Glad to see it performed rather well. =)
  • Archon29 - Wednesday, January 30, 2008 - link

    I just built a new PC with 2 front intake fans, one rear exhaust fan, and the Arctic Freezer 7 Pro. My E4500 hits 40c at idle, 59c at load, and 63c with a 600 Mhz overclock. Not sure if my CPU reports the temp high (I've heard of this), I got a dud with the Freezer 7, or I applied my thermal paste wrong, but it sucks seeing other people get these kinds of results. I'm almost tempted to see what I would get with the stock fan but that would be a lot of trouble.
  • orenlevy - Wednesday, January 30, 2008 - link

    is closed by dust.
    the alpine 7 resist and keep working long after many other stop dissapating heat.
    i will be glad that when you benching somthing you will chek it for the long run. as im living in israel (dusty) i have lot of experience. oren
  • swaaye - Wednesday, January 30, 2008 - link

    I had a Freezer 64 Pro on an Opteron Dual Core about 2 years ago. It was pretty good and cheap, but the fan gets loud when it's at full speed. When I got my Core 2 Duo, I switched to Scythe Ninja Plus because it cools a lot better while being basically silent and only a bit more expensive.

    I'm all about effective + quiet these days and I wouldn't go back to that Freezer unless it was a CPU that didn't need much cooling power.
  • 9nails - Wednesday, January 30, 2008 - link

    I've had a Freezer-7 on a Core 2 Duo 3.0 Ghz E6850. I bought it based on good feedback at NewEgg in November. I wanted a cooler that was quiet, better at cooling than stock, and one that could extend the life of my CPU. I'm glad to say that the Freezer-7 has met all my expectations. It's been rock solid and something which I could easily recommend.
  • limo wreck - Tuesday, January 29, 2008 - link

    What did you use to control the speed of the fan during the tests? Asus' QFan? Speedfan?

    Would you know what the speed was during idle and under load? The reason I ask is because I have an AC Freezer 7 Pro and although it is somewhat quiet, I definitely wouldn't call it "near silent" like you did in the article.
  • gorobei - Tuesday, January 29, 2008 - link

    while the fan may not be equivalent to the AC, the design is roughly the same. Given the new testbed and temp monitor, the hyperTX2 should be worth a second look.
  • poohbear - Tuesday, January 29, 2008 - link

    gotta give credit to arctic cooling. Their vga coolers are top notch: reasonably priced (compared to the $50 option from Thermalright and zalman) and virtually silent. seems they replicated this for their cpu coolers. hope to see more products from these guys in the future.
  • Etern205 - Tuesday, January 29, 2008 - link

    Is there by any chance in a future article that you guys do a test to see how well are the new Intel stock coolers?

    And excellent review.
  • Etern205 - Tuesday, January 29, 2008 - link

    I mean the stock cooler for the Extreme edition cpus.

    Like this one

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