ARCTIC Freezer i30 CPU Cooler Review
The ARCTIC Freezer i30 is very much alike the Freezer 13 cooler which we reviewed some time ago; only significantly larger. The i30 is now 161mm tall, 31mm more than the Freezer 13 was and this excludes the installation of this cooler in HTPC systems or even in cheap, narrow desktop cases. The cooler comes with the 120mm pre-installed on the cooling body which, as we will discover later, needs to be removed during the installation of the cooler.
The aluminum fins of the Freezer i30 cooler are very large, thus offering ample heat dissipation surface. ARCTIC also bent the sides of the fins, creating a wind tunnel of shorts, prohibiting the airflow from escaping towards the sides of the cooler. This also improves the mechanical strength of the fins, which are now very difficult to be bent; however, we found minor imperfections regarding the tightness of the fin’s fit on the heatpipes, a few of which appear to be a little loose and are creating gaps, as seen in the above picture.
Four large copper heatpipes run though the base of the Freezer i30 and expand to both sides of the cooler. ARCTIC did not nickel plate the copper heatpipes or the base of the cooler but the copper has obviously been treated with a corrosion resistive layer.
The Freezer i30 is a direct-touch type of cooler, meaning that the heatpipes have been machined in order to come into direct contact with the CPU core and the aluminum parts of the base serve as nothing more than the necessary structure for the mechanical cohesion of the cooler. The four heatpipes are very well machined and packed together tightly, essentially minimizing the gap between them. ARCTIC holds a patent on the design of “gap-less” direct touch heatpipe coolers, therefore the aforementioned formation can only be found on their coolers at this point of time.
Unlike the Freezer 13, the fan of the Freezer i30 is a standard interchangeable 120mm cooling fan. The white bladed fan supplied by ARCTIC is a high quality fluid bearing 1350RPM fan with PWM control. Switching to another fan would be pointless, as a faster fan would increase noise dramatically without improving thermal performance by a significant amount; unless of course if there is another motivator than performance, such as LED lighting.