Introduction

If you know about world-famous MX-4 then you already know of ARCTIC! They started in 2001 with the name Arctic Cooling and has evolved into a much more popular and reliable cooling solution provider now known as ARCTIC. Their bases of operation are in Switzerland, Germany, Hong Kong, and the USA with the availability of their products in over 45 countries. Quiet cooling without performance compromise is their motto. Their product lines include CPU Coolers, Case Fans, Thermal Pastes, Charging solutions, Audio solutions, and monitor stands to name a few. Today, we will be taking a look at their Freezer 34 eSports DUO cooler.

ARCTIC has sent us their Freezer 34 eSports DUO in the yellow color. This cooler is available in Red, Green, Yellow, Black, White and full white colors and it is a further evolution of their popular Freezer 34 eSports. This is a 120mm single heatsink tower solution that comes with 2x powerful BioniX P120 fans in the push/pull configuration. The heatsink is black color coated with 4x 6mm thick copper heat pipes. The cooler is using CDC technology. CDC stands for Continuous Direct Contact in which the heat pipes with their copper side exposed make direct contact with the CPU surface and there are no gaps between any two heat pipes. I think this is probably my first or second cooler with CDC as many others which I have reviewed though making direct contact are not CDC. DUO here refers to the two 120mm fans. These are not RGB LED fans but they are customized as the frame’s ring and corner mounts are finished in a color (black, white, red, yellow, and green). The cooler is compatible with the Intel LGA 115x/20xx and AMD AM4 sockets only. The cooler is rated to handle the TDP of up to 210W.

MSRP Listed Price Buying Links
USD 44.99 $36 AMAZON
Europe €40 €34 AMAZON DE

 

At the time of the review.

Specifications

Freezer 34 eSports DUO Specs

*Thermal paste is not pre-applied.

Packing and Unboxing

The product is shipped inside a cardboard box in a black and yellow color theme. From the packaging, I am guessing that each color-coded cooler will have the packing box finished in the same color design.

Packing Box Front Side

There is a picture of the cooler printed on the main section giving a clue to the buyer how a cooler would look like. ARCTIC brand name is printed on the top. ARCTIC is offering 10 years warranty on their cooler and this is very impressive. This goes to show the faith and trust that the manufacturer has in the heatsink and the fans. ARCTIC has not included a user manual or installation guide in the box. Instead, the user can scan the label on their devices to access the manual or can view or download the same from their product’s web page. Got to tell you that the animated installation guide on their website is quite handy.

Packing Box Rear Side

Salient features are highlighted here. The cooler comes with two pressure optimized BioniX P120 fans. The heatsink is color coated with offset heat pipes layout. The fans are using fluid dynamic bearings and are using PWM PST for synchronous fan speed control. Their internal testing results are shown here which are interesting as they are claiming to beat the Noctua NH-D15 in noise normalized environment.

Packing Box Left Side

The salient features are printed in 7 languages. The user manual is also available on their website in 7 languages.

Packing Box Right Side

The box contents are shown here. The specifications are printed in the tabular format giving the user a hint of what this cooler is capable of.

Opening Side

The opening side of the packing box has the ARCTIC brand name in the middle.

Bottom view

The EAN and UPC info labels are printed on the bottom side of the packing box. They have used and covered all sides of the packing box to provide as much information to the buyer as possible.

Box Opened

Opening the box will sow the accessory box placed on the top.

Inside the box

Taking the accessory box out will show the fans and the heatsink.

Contents

Following are included:

  • 1x Heatsink
  • 2x 120mm fan
  • MX-4 thermal Paste 0.8gm
  • 1x Intel Backplate
  • 2x Mounting Bars
  • 4x Thumb Nuts
  • 4x Intel LGA2011 Standoffs
  • 4x Intel LGA115x Standoffs
  • 4x AMD Screws
  • Manual Card

Contents of the box

Closer Look

The ARCTIC FREEZER 34 eSPORTS DUO is a single tower cooling solution in 120mm sizing. It comes with two powerful BioniX-P120 fans which are static pressure optimized. Here is what ARCTIC is saying about their cooler, “The ARCTIC Freezer 34 eSports DUO is a Tower CPU cooler with two 120 mm BioniX P-series fans in push-pull configuration. It is a powerful cooling solution for AMD® & Intel® CPU and recommended for CPU with a TDP up to 210W. The push.pull-configuration allows ideal airflow. The pressure-optimized fans create a focused airstream for increased performance. A broad RPM range enables the highest performance as well as low noise levels. With high-quality bearings and a new motor-generation, the fans are very quiet, efficient and durable.”

It is time to take a look at the cooler.

Freezer 34 eSports DUO Main

The dimension of the cooler is 124x103x157mm (LxWxH) where 157mm is the overall height of the cooler. The weight of the cooler is 764gm with the fans. The ARCTIC Freezer 34 eSports DUO is compatible with Intel LGA115x/20xx and AMD AM4 sockets. The cooler is rated to handle the TDP of up to 210W. The complete assembly is black color coated. A thermal coating creates micro-turbulences with a special surface structure. Combined with offset heat pipes this leads to an optimized heat-dissipation and increased cooling performance.

Freezer 34 eSports DUO Top view

The top fin plate has an ARCTIC brand logo and name embossed in the middle. The heat pipes are terminating at the top. There are 4 screws with 2 on each side near to the corners. The fans’ metal clips are inserted in these holes. The clips come pre-installed along with the fans. You don’t need to remove the clips. I took them out to show the heatsink in its entirety.

Freezer 34 eSports DUO Front View

The ARCTIC Freezer 34 eSports DUO packs 54 aluminum fins. These fins are coated in black color and they are following the optimized-V shape notches design. This design helps in reducing the noise and resistance to the airflow. The heatsink is dense given its size and high-static pressure fans would do the job here which is why BioniX P-120 fans are bundled with this cooler. At the same time, this heatsink offers more surface area for heat dissipation. Each aluminum fin is 0.4mm thick. The V-shape notch design is across the entire length of the aluminum fin. The overall layout and flow of the fins placement are symmetrical.

Freezer 34 eSports DUO Heatsink

The above picture shows the displacement of the heat pipes in the fin stack in an even spread. They are following the offset displacement and are making maximum contact inside the fin stack.

Freezer 34 eSports DUO Side View

The left and the right sides of the heatsink are identical. This is where the fins are joined together. The whole area is closed and gives a good impression. There are two cutouts on the left and right sides of the central portion. The fan clips can be seen as I did not remove them while taking this picture.

Heatsink

The above picture shows the cross-section view of the heatsink. The edges of the cooler are not sharp and the overall layout is very well synced and follows symmetry. The black coating is on the point and there is no un-even coating impression anywhere on the surface.

Cooler Base

The ARCTIC Freezer 34 eSports DUO has 4x copper heat pipes which are 6mm thick and are in the black color coating. They are in the offset displacement and making contact inside the fin stack with even spread out.

Offset Design

The picture better shows the offset displacement from the base of the cooler which becomes evenly once inside the fin stack.

Cooler Pipes

There is a protective sticker pasted on the base of the cooler with a warning note to peel this sticker off before the installation. The base measures 36x30mm approximately. The smaller size base may not cover the IHS of the CPU in full but it does cover the area under the IHS on the die.

Sticker Removed

Peeling the sticker off the base shows that the ARCTIC FREEZER 34 eSPORTS DUO is following a Direct Contact method. In CDC the heat pipes make direct contact with the IHS of the CPU. This is a continuous contact as there are no gaps between any two consecutive heat pipes. The bottom section of the heat pipes making this direct contact does not have a color coating. This is done to ensure efficient heat transfer.

Freezer 34 eSports DUO Mounting Plate

The mounting plate is pre-installed on the base of the cooler. It has two mounting holes with one on each side. I appreciate this design where the mounting plate/crossbar is pre-installed as it makes the installation convenient.

BioniX-P120 fans

The ARCTIC has provided two BioniX P series fans which are 120mm size with this cooler. Here are the specifications of the Fan:

Dimension 120x120x27mm
Speed 200 ~ 2100 RPM
Max Air Flow 67.56 CFM
Max Air Pressure 2.75 mmH₂O
Noise Level 0.5 Sone @ 2100 RPM
Current 0.13A
Rated Voltage 12VDC
Power 1.56W
Fan Power Connector 4-Pin
Bearing Fluid Dynamic Bearing

 

Freezer 34 eSports DUO Fan Top

The BioniX P120 fan has specially designed 5x blades for the focused flow. These impellers are in black. The center has an ARCTIC brand logo in the silver color. The centered ring is in yellow. Similarly, the corner mounts are in yellow. This is the color customization on the Freezer 34 eSports DUO cooler. The frame of the fan is quite sturdy and is in black.

BioniX-P120 Focused Flow

The user two BioniX-P120 fans in push/pull configuration result in increased (and focused) airflow ensuring that more cold air is transported into the heatsink for cooling and the heat from the CPU is dissipated even faster from the heat sink.

Freezer 34 eSports DUO Fan Backside

Looking at the backside of the fan, there is a 4-arms assembly holding and securing the motor and blades to the frame. One of the arms has power cable routed on it. The power rating of the fan is embossed in the center. The fan is using Fluid Dynamic Bearing for increased life span and operations. 10 years of warranty on this cooler shows the confidence and trust of ARCTIC in their cooling solution.

Arrow Symbols

There are two labeled arrow symbols on a corner inner side of the frame. These are there to provide a visual aid in knowing the direction of the airflow and the fan’s blades spin direction.

Anti-Vibration Pad

The rear fan has 4 black color pads on each corner. These pads touch the heatsink and act to reduce the noise from vibration.

Fans Clips

The metal clips are pre-installed on the heatsink. The user is not required to remove them. Installing/removing the fans is as simple as placing the fans on the heatsink and pushing/pulling these clips on the fans’ frame.

PWM Cable

Each fan has meshed sleeve cable with a length of 195+80mm.

PWM Connectors

The main cable has a 4-pin PWM connector. There is a 3-pin socket connector on the extended portion of the cable. I appreciate this simple yet effective idea in which both fans are daisy-chained and connected to a single 4-pin PWM fan header.

Daisy-Chained

The above picture shows both fans connected or daisy-chained together and connected using a single connector on a 4-pin PWM header. This is further augmented by PWM PST synchronous sharing. The fans support extended PWM range and feature auto stop function which is dependent upon motherboard PWM controller and UEFI/BIOS provision.

Installation

Since the cooler is tested on the Intel LGA2011(v3) socket, here are the steps needed for the installation on this socket.

Intel Socket Cooler Installed

  • Install the Intel LGA20xx standoffs on the pre-drilled mounting holes around the socket.
  • Place the Intel mounting brackets on the Mounting plate on the base of the cooler. Use two small size screws to secure the brackets on the mounting plate.
  • Make sure that the mounting corners on the brackets are facing out.
  • Peel off the transparent warning sticker from the base of the cooler.
  • Apply the thermal paste.
  • Place the heatsink on the CPU by aligning the mounting holes on the brackets with the standoffs.
  • Use the thumb nuts to securely install the cooler.
  • Install the fans using the metal clips.
  • Daisy-chain the fans and connect the PWM connector to the 4-pin PWM fan header of the motherboard.
  • This would complete the installation.

Here are the pictures of the assembled cooler.

 

Clearance

  • The height of the cooler is 157mm. Keep this in mind while planning your build for the PC Chassis as the chassis should have support for CPU cooler’s height of a minimum of 158mm.
  • The cooler does not overhang the DIMM slot area hence there is no clearance issue what so ever concerning any height of the RAM. Even on our X99 with quad-channel configuration. Both sides of the DIMM slots are not covered by this cooler.
  • The cooler does not block the first PCIe slot.

Here are some clearance related pictures.

DIMM slot clearance Quad Channel Clearance PCIe Slot Clearance

Testing Methodology

The Testbed configuration is:

  • Asus Rampage V Edition 10
  • Intel i7 6850k
  • CORSAIR Vengeance 4x8GB @ 2666MHz
  • Gigabyte GTX 1060 6GB
  • Samsung 840 EVO 250GB SSD
  • Thermaltake TP iRGB 1250W PSU
  • Primochill Praxis Wetbench

The software used for testing and monitoring are:

  • Asus Real Bench v 2.44
  • Real Temp GT v 3.70

Here is the settings table for testing:

Intel Stock Voltage (V) 1.130
Stock Clock (MHz) 3600
OC Voltage (V) 1.350
OC Clock (MHz) 4300
Turbo Boost Disabled
C-States Disabled
Speed Step Disabled
Thermal Paste Noctua NT-H1
Test Run Time 60 minutes
Idling Time 15 minutes
Fan Speed 1.       Manually set to run at 100% PWM cycle.

2.       PWM controller testing.

 

A stress test run is made for the first time after the cooler’s installation. The duration of the test is 60 minutes. After this run, the PC is shut down for a minimum of 15 minutes. Actual testing is done afterward. This gives enough time for the thermal paste bonding. Please, keep in mind that cure time varies from thermal paste to thermal paste. We are using Noctua NT-H1 on our test bench for all the coolers testing. This will ensure the standardization and mitigate any performance benefit that may come using the supplied thermal paste. Delta temperatures are reported on the graphs (Delta Temp = Average of all cores’ max temps – ambient temp). The testing is done on an open-air bench system. Once inside the chassis, the temperatures are expected to rise and would largely depend upon the optimal airflow inside the chassis.

Not every run of the stress test may yield the same result. This could well be due to many factors like mounting pressure, thermal paste application, varying ambient temperature. Not to mention the silicon differences even among the same category of the chips. Hence, it is pertinent to mention the testing methodology along with the specifics.

Let’s take a look at the results.

Results

Freezer 34 eSports DUO Result at 3.6GHz

 

Freezer 34 eSports DUO Result at 4.3GHz

We have seen some impressive performance from the ARCTIC FREEZER 34 eSPORTS DUO. During our PWM auto controlled testing, the fans were spinning in the range of 1600 RPM and so. They reached a maximum of 1950 RPM depending upon the range. The PWM function of these fans is effectively utilized as there is 1.3°C difference between both runs which can be in the margin of error. On 100% PWM cycle one fan was spinning at 2119 RPM. The other fan was spinning at 1989 RPM which is approximately 5% less than the advertised speed of 2100 RPM. Again the margin of error needs to be taken into consideration but ARCTIC has not mentioned such information in the specification. Normally this information is presented in ±10% or so.

Noise

The sound meter was showing the noise level of the cooler to be 45 dB(A) with an ambient sound level of 32 dB(A) which is quite good.

Conclusion

The ARCTIC FREEZER 34 eSPORTS DUO is a single tower air cooler in the 120mm size. The dimension of the cooler is 124x103x157mm (LxWxH). The height of the cooler with a fan is 157mm. The cooler weighs around 764gm with the fans. The cooler is compatible is with Intel LGA115x/20xx and AMD AM4 sockets. The ARCTIC FREEZER 34 eSPORTS DUO packs 54 aluminum fins with 4x 6mm copper heat pipes. The complete assembly is black color thermal coated. A thermal coating creates micro-turbulences with a special surface structure. Combined with offset heat pipes this leads to an optimized heat-dissipation for better cooling performance.

The heatsink has 54 aluminum fins forming a dense stack for which static pressure optimized fans are used. The fins have V-shape notch design which helps in reducing noise and the resistance to the airflow. The heat pipes are making direct contact with the CPU surface and for that part, their contact surface is in pure copper. This is a direct contact approach and for that matter, this is a CDC design meaning there is no gap between any two adjacent copper heat pipes on their point of contact with the heat spreader. The base of the cooler roughly measures 36x30mm. While this seems rather a small size base, the ARCTIC is more focused on covering the heat spreader portion right above the CPU’s die. The mounting plate is pre-installed on the base and it has mounting holes on each side.

ARCTIC is using powerful BioniX-P series 120mm fans with this cooler in push/pull configuration. These fans are using a new motor design which is quite power-efficient yet delivering powerful airflow and high static pressure. These fans are not LED fans rather they are customized to have up to 5 colors (black, red, yellow, white, and green). Hence this cooler comes in 6 different colors. The 6th color is all-white design. I wish they had sent me a white cooler! I digress. Coming back to the point of discussion, these fans are rated for a maximum of 2100 RPM at 12VDC using 2.75 mmH₂O static pressure rating and 67.56 CFM. Their peculiar blade design gives these fans a focused flow advantage which helps in pushing and taking out direct air through the heatsink for quick heat dissipation. A single is rated for 0.13A making it draw the power of 1.56W. These fans are using Fluid Dynamic Bearing. I could not find their life expectancy but 10 years of Warranty from ARCTIC shows their confidence and trust in this design.

I love the simple installation mechanism on this cooler which is a walk in the park. They have provided 0.8 gm of their famous MX-4 thermal paste in the accessory box. The Intel mounting bracket is made of plastic. There is to hope that it would hold the 764gm weight of the cooler! Still, it is better than the push pins setup that we have seen with some budget coolers in this weight range. Oh, and did I mention that their mounting hardware is completely in black! I like their attention to the details. The cooler has no clearance issue for the DIMM and PCIe slots.

The ARCTIC FREEZER 34 eSPORTS DUO has an MSRP of USD44.90/€40 at the time of the review. The performance of the cooler in this price range is too good and gives this cooler a better value for the bucks, which is further augmented by 10 years of warranty, pleasing aesthetics and easy installation. This cooler in this price range is offering what the 140mm good cooling solutions are capable of but at a higher price tag. This price to performance ratio and even the noise to performance ratio of this cooler is on the money.

We are thankful to ARCTIC for allowing us to review their Freezer 34 eSports DUO CPU Air Cooler.

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