Testing Results and Conclusion
Using our Core i7-5930k testing system clocked in at 4.20 Ghz and 1.20v, we will be comparing the testing results of the Arctic Liquid Freezer II 280 against other 280 and 360 liquid cooling solutions. Our comparison coolers are the Corsair H115i RGB Platinum, the DeepCool Gamer Storm Castle 280 RGB and the Cougar Helor 360. All these coolers have been recently reviewed here and offer large-footprint liquid cooling for those system builders seeking uncompromised thermal performance.
Immediately, the Liquid Freezer II 280 shows promise as we see it providing thermal results that are better than the lCougar Helor 360, as well as edging out the other 280mm AIOs in the Corsair H115i and DeepCool Castle 280. Even with the auxiliary cooling fan pointed away from our motherboard PWM heatsink, the Liquid Freezer II 280 manages to augment case airflow by keeping components adjacent to the CPU cool.
Measured fan speed shows the Liquid Freezer II 280 fans rotate slightly slower than those on the other 280 solutions. Like fine wine and cheese, Arctic has selected the optimized P14 fans to pair well with their 38mm thick radiator.
Often, measured fan RPM provides us with some indication as to respective registered noise levels. This is confirmed on our noise level chart, as the moderately slower-spinning Liquid Freezer II 280 fans provide librarian-approved decibel readings, even at max speed.
With excellent thermal results and low operational noise, the Arctic Liquid Freezer II 280 offers a strong acoustic efficiency rating in comparison to others in the peer group. It manages to be the only cooler to provide a positive chart rating based on evaluation and averages of all units of the testing group.
Solid thermal performance that also comes coupled with low noise levels typically is only available at a premium price. In the case of the Arctic Liquid Freezer II 280, that price is a very alluring $90 at the recent products launch.
Thermal imaging from our FLIR ONE Pro camera shows moderate heat soak around the radiator sides and within coolant tubing at 50% fan speed, while 100% fan speed shows good regulation and exchange of thermal load. Given that the Arctic Liquid Freezer II 280 runs so quietly, operating the unit with a good PWM curve should allow for aggressive fan speed without excess system noise.
Arctic has come out swinging with its new Liquid Freezer II 280 model. It easily becomes a recommended buy for anyone in the market for a 280mm liquid cooler, especially at its $90 price. This also assumes support for a 280 radiator, which does not apply to all system chassis on the market today.
However, if your case doesn’t have room for a larger radiator, Arctic has a full line of Liquid Freezer II models to meet your needs, with four Liquid Freezer II models in total: Liquid Freezer II 120 ($59.99), Liquid Freezer II 240 ($75.99), Liquid Freezer II 280, ($89.99), with the Liquid Freezer II 360 (coming soon, $99.99). We haven’t yet tested the other sizes, but given that they’re based around similar designs as the 280 model, and pricing seems quite reasonable, Arctic could have a big hit on its hands with this new lineup.
Image Credits: Tom's Hardware
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