Skip to main content

Arctic Liquid Freezer II 280 AIO Cooler Review: Unique, Affordable Performance

Arctic Liquid Freezer II
Editor's Choice

Testing Results and Conclusion

Comparison Coolers

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.

Benchmark Results

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.

Image 1 of 2

Image 2 of 2

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

MORE: Best Motherboards

MORE: How To Choose A Motherboard

MORE: All Motherboard Content

  • helper800
    This seems like a top contender for the best 280mm AIO. Great job on Arctic's side of things. The only thing left to test is whether or not there will be more or less horror stories with them, as well as, how many are DOA and the longevity of each cooler.
    Reply
  • joeblowsmynose
    I have one of their older 120 models (push pull) on an R7 1700 (non-x, but OCd to 3.8)- cools extremely well and is super quiet - I only hear it when 3D rendering (100% load for more than a few minutes).

    This one in the review looks really nice as well. I wish more manufacturers would stop making their products look like action figure toys.
    Reply
  • CountMike
    I'm using very good CM Nepton 140XL which is doing great job on my 3700x Ryzen but is pushing it's 6th year and time to change the cooler. Good price, easy and simple wiring and that little fan should make it a strong contender i intermediate bracket. Now just to find it in Europe. Is it already for sale in US ?
    Reply
  • joeblowsmynose
    CountMike said:
    I'm using very good CM Nepton 140XL which is doing great job on my 3700x Ryzen but is pushing it's 6th year and time to change the cooler. Good price, easy and simple wiring and that little fan should make it a strong contender i intermediate bracket. Now just to find it in Europe. Is it already for sale in US ?

    Should be available in Europe -- I'm pretty sure Arctic is a European company -- based in Germany maybe?
    Reply
  • soddo
    https://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/corsair-h115i-rgb-platinum-cpu-cooling,5908-2.html
    sneaky marketing suggesting that this is good but is performing less then a h100 pro
    Reply
  • joeblowsmynose
    soddo said:
    https://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/corsair-h115i-rgb-platinum-cpu-cooling,5908-2.htmlsneaky marketing suggesting that this is good but is performing less then a h100 pro

    Er ... this thing costs less than half the price of a h100 pro ... and cools within 0.1 degree (by the data that you yourself linked) ... not to mention PWMs @ over 50% cooler with this AIO.

    Snarky commenting suggesting that somehow that doesn't make this a superior cooler.
    Reply
  • COLGeek
    I consider the lack of LEDs a major plus! I like what I see here.
    Reply
  • jpe1701
    I looked back to compare this with my EVGA clc280 and something doesn't add up. The clc280 at full fans was only a 37 degree delta t, while this is 56. Was there a hardware change that wasn't mentioned? The hardware and software mentioned in the articles is the same.
    Reply
  • Yandex63
    Just installed this cooler a couple of days ago. Replaced a Corsair
    Hydro Series H100i v2, and couldn't be happier! This cooler is everything the Corsair was not...... FAReasier to install, MUCH quieter, and keeps my Ryzen 2700X 7-10 degrees cooler across the board then the Corsair.
    My advice is to buy one before Arctic realizes how good the product is, and jacks up the price!
    Reply
  • vMax
    admin said:
    System builders with an aversion to RGB lighting who seek a liquid cooler with distinct attitude should put Arctic’s Liquid Freezer II 280 cooler on their short list.

    Arctic Liquid Freezer II 280 AIO Cooler Review: Unique, Affordable Performance : Read more

    I am just waiting for the 360mm one to be available and then I will buy!!!! Looks very good in terms of performance...
    Reply