Arctic unveiled two new CPU coolers that target enthusiasts who value a silent PC. The new coolers are in Artic's Freezer line, and are named Freezer A32, Freezer I32, and Freezer I32 CO.
Arctic refers to these coolers as "semi passive" because at low temperatures the fan is set to completely turn off. So long as the CPU stays relatively cool, the fan on the cooler will remain off in order to keep the ambient noise as low as possible. After the CPU starts to heat up, the fan then turns on and works to keep the processor from becoming too hot, but the design continues to favor silent operation above all else. As such, even with the fan active, it will strive to remain as quiet as possible by varying the fan speed.
It should be noted that Arctic is taking a questionable tactic with this cooler. The two coolers are completely identical in terms of the fan, heatsink and heatpipes. The only difference between the two coolers is the mounting brackets. The Freezer i32 has mounting brackets exclusively for Intel sockets, whereas the Freezer A32 is only equipped for AMD sockets. Although many won't be affected by it, this could be inconvenient if the user later needs to switch the cooler to a different system.
Although these aren't the first coolers Arctic has sold in this way, it is one of the few major manufacturers of CPU coolers that does this.
In addition to the A32 and I32, there's the Freezer I32 CO, which is, again, virtually the same cooler. This model is only for Intel sockets, and it uses a dual-ball bearing fan instead of the fluid dynamic bearings used inside of the fan on the other coolers.
All three coolers are available now. The Freezer A32 and I32 carry a $49.99 price tag, and the Freezer I32 CO comes in just a little higher at $59.99.