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[nextpage title=”Introduction”]

Today we are testing the Freezer i30 CPU cooler from Arctic, which is targeted to Intel CPUs. It has a tower heatsink, one 120 mm fan, and four direct-touch 8 mm heatpipes. Check it out!

Arctic offers two coolers that are actually almost the same product: the Freezer i30 (that we are reviewing here) and the Freezer A30, which is the same cooler, but aimed at AMD CPUs.

The Freezer i30 comes in a compact white cardboard box, as shown in Figure 1.

Arctic Freezer i30Figure 1: Package

Figure 2 shows the contents of the box: the cooler itself, a syringe of thermal compound, manual, and installation hardware.

Arctic Freezer i30Figure 2: Accessories

Figure 3 displays the Freezer i30.

Arctic Freezer i30Figure 3: The Arctic Freezer i30

This cooler is discussed in detail in the following pages.

[nextpage title=”The Arctic Freezer i30″]

Figure 4 illustrates the front of the cooler, which is covered by the 120 mm fan. The fan is mounted on a plastic frame that can be easily removed and reinstalled.

Arctic Freezer i30Figure 4: Front view

Figure 5 reveals the side of the cooler. The fins are folded, creating a closed surface.

Arctic Freezer i30Figure 5: Side view

Figure 6 shows the rear of the cooler.

Arctic Freezer i30Figure 6: Rear view

In Figure 7, you can see the top of the cooler, where the tips of the heatpipes are visible.

Arctic Freezer i30Figure 7: Top view

[nextpage title=”The Arctic Freezer i30 (Cont’d)”]

Figure 8 illustrates the base of the cooler. The heatpipes touch the CPU directly, and there is no gap between them. The surface has no mirrored finishing.

Arctic Freezer i30Figure 8: Base

Figure 9 reveals the Freezer i30 without the fan. The fins create a flat surface.

Arctic Freezer i30Figure 9: Without the fan

Figure 10 shows the 120 mm PWM fan that comes with the Freezer i30, as well as the plastic frame that holds it in place.

Arctic Freezer i30Figure 10: Fan

[nextpage title=”Installation”]

Figure 11 shows the backplate for installing the Freezer i30 on socket LGA1155/1156 CPUs. Socket LGA2011 systems don’t require a backplate.

Arctic Freezer i30Figure 11: Backplate

In order to install the Freezer i30, you need to put the backplate on the solder side of the motherboard, and then install the holders shown in Figure 12, using four plastic spacers.

Arctic Freezer i30Figure 12: Holders installed

After that, install the heatsink, securing it with two screws.

Arctic Freezer i30Figure 13: Holders

The last step is to install the fan, as you can see in Figure 14.

Arctic Freezer i30Figure 14: Installation finished

[nextpage title=”How We Tested”]

We tested the cooler with a Core i5-2500K CPU (quad-core, 3.3 GHz), which is a socket LGA1155 processor with a 95 W TDP (Thermal Design Power). In order to get higher thermal dissipation, we overclocked it to 4.0 GHz (100 MHz base clock and x40 multiplier), with 1.3 V core voltage (Vcore). This CPU was able to reach 4.8 GHz with its default core voltage, but at this setting, the processor enters thermal throttling when using mainstream coolers, reducing the clock and thus the thermal dissipation. This could interfere with the temperature readings, so we chose to maintain a moderate overclocking.

We measured noise and temperature with the CPU under full load. In order to get 100% CPU usage in all cores, we ran Prime 95 25.11 with the “In-place Large FFTs” option. (In this version, the software uses all available threads.)

We compared the tested cooler to other coolers we already tested, and to the stock cooler that comes with the Core i5-2500K CPU. Note that the results cannot be compared to measures taken on a different hardware configuration, so we retested some “old” coolers with this new methodology. This means you can find different values in older reviews than the values you will read on the next page. Every cooler was tested with the thermal compound that comes with it.

Room temperature measurements were taken with a digital thermometer. The core temperature was read with the SpeedFan program (available from the CPU thermal sensors
), using an arithmetic average of the core temperature readings.

During the tests, the panels of the computer case were closed. The front and rear case fans were spinning at minimum speed in order to simulate the “normal” cooler use on a well-ventilated case. We assume that is the common setup used by a cooling enthusiast or overclocker.

The sound pressure level (SPL) was measured with a digital noise meter, with its sensor placed near the top opening of the case. This measurement is only for comparison purposes, because a precise SPL measurement needs to be made inside an acoustically insulated room with no other noise sources, which is not the case here.

Hardware Configuration

Operating System Configuration

  • Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit SP1

Software Used

Error Margin

We adopted a 2°C error margin, meaning temperature differences below 2°C are considered irrelevant.

[nextpage title=”Our Tests”]

The table below presents the results of our measurements. We repeated the same test on all coolers listed below. Each measurement was taken with the CPU at full load. In the models with a fan supporting PWM, the motherboard controlled the fan speed according to core load and temperature. On coolers with an integrated fan controller, the fan was set at the full speed.

Cooler Room Temp. Noise Speed Core Temp. Temp. Diff.
Cooler Master Hyper TX3 18 °C 50 dBA 2850 rpm 69 °C 51 °C
Corsair A70 23 °C 51 dBA 2000 rpm 66 °C 43 °C
Corsair H100 26 °C 62 dBA 2000 rpm 64 °C 38 °C
EVGA Superclock 26 °C 57 dBA 2550 rpm 67 °C 41 °C
NZXT HAVIK 140 20 °C 46 dBA 1250 rpm 65 °C 45 °C
Thermalright True Spirit 120 26 °C 42 dBA 1500 rpm 82 °C 56 °C
Zalman CNPS12X 26 °C 43 dBA 1200 rpm 71 °C 45 °C
Zalman CNPS9900 Max 20 °C 51 dBA 1700 rpm 62 °C 42 °C
Titan Fenrir Siberia Edition 22 °C 50 dBA 2400 rpm 65 °C 43 °C
SilenX EFZ-120HA5 18 °C 44 dBA 1500 rpm 70 °C 52 °C
Noctua NH-L12 20 °C 44 dBA 1450 rpm 70 °C 50 °C
Zalman CNPS8900 Extreme 21 °C 53 dBA 2550 rpm 71 °C 50 °C
Gamer Storm Assassin 15 °C 48 dBA 1450 rpm 58 °C 43 °C
Deepcool Gammaxx 400 15 °C 44 dBA 1500 rpm 60 °C 45 °C
Cooler Master TPC 812 23 °C 51 dBA 2350 rpm 66 °C 43 °C
Deepcool Gammaxx 300 18 °C 43 dBA 1650 rpm 74 °C 56 °C
Intel stock cooler 18 °C 41 dBA 2000 rpm 97 °C 79 °C
Xigmatek Praeton 19 °C 52 dBA 2900 rpm 83 °C 64 °C
Noctua NH-U12P SE2 18 °C 42 dBA 1300 rpm 69 °C 51 °C
Deepcool Frostwin 24 °C 46 dBA 1650 rpm 78 °C 54 °C
Thermaltake Frio Advanced 13 °C 56 dBA 2000 rpm 62 °C 49 °C
Xigmatek Dark Knight Night Hawk Edition 9 °C 48 dBA 2100 rpm 53 °C 44 °C
Thermaltake Frio Extreme 21 °C 53 dBA 1750 rpm 59 °C 38 °C
Noctua NH-U9B SE2 12 °C 44 dBA 1700 rpm 64 °C 52 °C
Thermaltake WATER2.0 Pro 15 °C 54 dBA 2000 rpm 52 °C 37 °C
Deepcool Fiend Shark 18 °C 45 dBA 1500 rpm 74 °C 56 °C
Arctic Freezer i30 13 °C 42 dBA 1350 rpm 63 °C 50 °C

In the graph below, you can see how many degrees Celsius hotter the CPU core is than the air outside the case. The lower this difference, the better is the performance of the cooler.

 Arctic Freezer i30

In the graph below, you can see how many decibels of noise each cooler makes.

Arctic Freezer i30

[nextpage title=”Main Specifications”]

The main specifications for the Arctic Freezer i30 CPU cooler include:

  • Application: Sockets 1155, 1156, and 2011 processors
  • Dimensions: 5.5 x 3.9 x 6.3 inches (139 x 100 x 161 mm) (W x L x H)
  • Fins: Aluminum
  • Base: Direct-touch copper heatpipes
  • Heat-pipes: Four 8-mm copper heatpipes
  • Fan: 120 mm
  • Nominal fan speed: 1,350 rpm
  • Fan air flow: 74 cfm
  • Maximum power consumption: 2.64 W
  • Nominal noise level: Not informed
  • Weight: 1.98 lb (900 g)
  • More information: https://www.arctic.ac
  • Average price in the U.S.*: USD 45.00

* Researched at Newegg.com on the day we published this review.

[nextpage title=”Conclusions”]

The Arctic Freezer i30 is a good CPU cooler with reasonable cooling performance and an almost inaudible fan. It will probably perform better if you change the stock fan for a more powerful one, which makes it a very versatile cooler. However, the new fan might not be as quiet as the fan that comes with the product.

This versatility, the good performance, low noise level, reasonable price tag, and great overall quality make the Arctic Freezer i30 a great choice, so we are giving it the Hardware Secrets Silver Award.