ID-Cooling Frostflow 240L Closed-Loop CPU Cooler Review

Id-Cooling's dual-120mm-radiator liquid cooler comes to us at a lower price than most competitors, but does it have the performance to make it a better value? Let's find out.

Closed-loop coolers offer the low temperatures of Big Air coolers, without the big heat sink blocking access to components or the extra weight flexing the motherboard. That last "Big Air problem" routinely damages machines in shipping, and is the reason I try to put closed-loop coolers in the machines I build for others. On the other hand, the higher price of closed-loop coolers is rarely offset by increased performance, which is the reason I often fail to incorporate these into my System Builder Marathon machines. I'm always looking for the best performance-per-price, and ID-Cooling is trying to help by selling its two-by-120mm cooler direct to the public for less than $100.

Specifications

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Features

Two sets of mounting brackets allow the Frostflow 240L to fit both square ILM Intel platforms (LGA 775 through 2011-v3) and AMD motherboards with four-bolt brackets. AMD users are required to remove the motherboard's original "clip" bracket, and everyone except LGA 2011 users must then install the universal support plate to the back of their motherboards using the included screws and standoffs.

ID-Cooling doesn't polish the base of its Frostflow 240L, but instead leaves a very flat machined finish, which is almost perfect for keeping thermal paste in place without requiring too much of it.

Installation begins by securing either the Intel or AMD brackets, which are added to the water block/pump base with a single screw on each side.

Since LGA 2011 has its own threaded mounting plate, the Frostflow 240L includes a special set of standoffs with those threads. Unlike its generic standoffs, which accept screws on both sides, the LGA 2011 standoffs use nuts.

Using a two-fan splitter cable in the installation pack, the Frostflow 240L requires only two motherboard fan headers to power its single pump and twin fans. Fan control is the responsibility of the motherboard, which really means that the Frostflow 240L doesn't require any cumbersome software or its own firmware.

A ring of LEDs slowly circle the pump body as the Frostflow 240L does its cooling duties.

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22 comments
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  • The original Derfman
    Well, it would be nice if we could buy this, but it is no longer available at the link provided.
    1
  • Crashman
    Anonymous said:
    Well, it would be nice if we could by this, but it is no longer available at the link provided.
    id-cooling is selling these directly from the factory through an eBay store: http://www.ebay.com/itm/181842957385
    2
  • The original Derfman
    Quote:
    Anonymous said:
    Well, it would be nice if we could by this, but it is no longer available at the link provided.
    id-cooling is selling these directly from the factory through an eBay store: http://www.ebay.com/itm/181842957385


    Thanks
    0
  • The original Derfman
    Now as for the article, I kind of like the simple solution of having the motherboard control the fans, but understand that some may want a more robust solution. Very good article.
    2
  • cknobman
    This looks impressive for the price.

    Probably my first choice (for the time being) when I upgrade (or do a new) my gaming rig build this year.
    0
  • jkhoward
    This is an excellent piece of hardware. I have the Corsair H100i now and the software controlled fans are extremely buggy. I'd love to be able to control everything with the motherboard.. Definitely my next buy if they prove to be reliable.
    1
  • gilbadon
    Yay, do more aliexpress reviews! I love all my Chinese stuff. ID_Cooling makes some great radiator fans. For $8 a pop on newegg they pack a bigger punch than most of corsair's lineup.
    0
  • ykki
    Great! About time we saw some new cpu coolers that actually disrupt the current recommended lineup.
    2
  • SuperVeloce
    I don't understand why motherboard fan control qualifies as a "con" in 2016. When you get a picture of the temperature range from your cpu under this cooler, you go to UEFI and set an appropriate custom/auto PWM curve for your needs. Then you just forget about it.
    2
  • Crashman
    Anonymous said:
    I don't understand why motherboard fan control qualifies as a "con" in 2016. When you get a picture of the temperature range from your cpu under this cooler, you go to UEFI and set an appropriate custom/auto PWM curve for your needs. Then you just forget about it.
    I think the original said "motherboard only" and it's only listed as a "con" because it's a cost-offset. The article clearly states my preference for it.

    I'm up for any re-phrasing ideas in the pros and cons box. Getting it changed could take a day though because the list is in a graphic that I can't access.
    0
  • gilbadon
    Anonymous said:


    Okay, so this is the coolest thing I have seen in weeks (and CES just happened!)
    0
  • darkbreeze
    Yeah, I'm liking the results, but I'm wary of chinese engineering. I know most companies, regardless of brand, are manufacturing their products overseas, but when it's designed there as well, those kinds of products tend to start showing issues after a while. I'd like to wait a while before recommending this and see if trends regarding component failure or leakage become prevalent.

    Even their website, when you click on "English" below thermal solutions, is broken, and shows you a Chinese version. I'm pretty sure all those chinese engineered hover boards catching on fire was just a fluke though. Hopefully, this IS a decent product and I'm wrong about the quality, as it wouldn't be the worst thing in the world for some of the better known brands to have to up their game a bit.
    0
  • Crashman
    Anonymous said:
    Yeah, I'm liking the results, but I'm wary of chinese engineering. I know most companies, regardless of brand, are manufacturing their products overseas, but when it's designed there as well, those kinds of products tend to start showing issues after a while. I'd like to wait a while before recommending this and see if trends regarding component failure or leakage become prevalent.

    Even their website, when you click on "English" below thermal solutions, is broken, and shows you a Chinese version. I'm pretty sure all those chinese engineered hover boards catching on fire was just a fluke though. Hopefully, this IS a decent product and I'm wrong about the quality, as it wouldn't be the worst thing in the world for some of the better known brands to have to up their game a bit.
    Maybe the link is taking you to the wrong place? How about starting out from the English-language website?

    http://www.idcooling.com/Product/productList/category_parent/72/category/74/name/FROSTFLOW%20Series
    0
  • darkbreeze
    Yeah, that link definitely works better. Not sure why Google isn't offering that up as a primary link instead of the one I was seeing. Thanks Crash.
    0
  • Dex does Computers
    Great liquid cooler but the stock fans creates echoe vibration sound at loud rpm. Overall great budget aio
    0
  • darkbreeze
    I still don't see any of these for sale anywhere in the US, UK, Deutschland, Canada, Australia, Italy, Spain or New Zealand, any of the places our user base tends to originate, and PCPartpicker represents, so did they decide not to sell these or are they only going to be available for sale to people in Asia?

    Not even sure why they sent you a review sample if they didn't plan to bring them to market anywhere.
    0
  • Crashman
    Anonymous said:
    I still don't see any of these for sale anywhere in the US, UK, Deutschland, Canada, Australia, Italy, Spain or New Zealand, any of the places our user base tends to originate, and PCPartpicker represents, so did they decide not to sell these or are they only going to be available for sale to people in Asia?

    Not even sure why they sent you a review sample if they didn't plan to bring them to market anywhere.

    They sell them direct.
    http://www.ebay.com/itm/181842957385
    0
  • darkbreeze
    I see. Ok, thanks for that info. Much appreciated.

    Have you used the sample for any length of time since doing the review and can you offer an opinion on whether there are any concerns that may have cropped up since the initial review. I may want one of these for a client build if they're a solid product. I know a lot of products look good initially, and then problems present after a while so I'm just interested in knowing if you'd seen anything you'd be concerned about.
    0
  • darkbreeze
    And are they warranted through any US locations, or do they have to be sent overseas if there is a problem?
    0