Introduction

If you know about the 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.

ARCTIC is making a comeback in the dual tower configuration air coolers and they are doing it in a style. Meet Freezer 50 from ARCTIC! This is a dual tower cooler with 120mm and 140mm P series fans. The cooler has a plastic cover all around. The 120mm fan is fixed using the plastic part. The only removable part is the mid-section where the 140mm fan is installed. It is attached to the middle portion of the housing and can be lift off completely. ARCTIC has released the TR version of the cooler as well. The ARCTIC Freezer 50 comes with an ARGB controller and there is a standard version without the dedicated controller. The housing of the cooler features ARGB LEDs highlighting the ARCTIC branding on the housing of the two parallel lines. This reminds me of the Cooler Master cooler with a similar layout. The cooler is compatible with Intel LGA1200/115x/20xx and AMD AM4 sockets. For TR4, you would need to buy a TR version of Freezer 50.

Version US Pricing UK Pricing
Freezer 50 $74.99 €59.99
Freezer 50 Incl ARGB Controller $85.99 €69.98

 

There is a black Friday sale going on at SCAN UK on this cooler. You may want to take a look at it. The prices are taken at the time of the review and I am not quoting the Black Friday prices. Since I am reviewing the non-TR version hence I have not mentioned its price.

Specifications

Packing and Unboxing

The cooler is shipped inside a cardboard box.

Our sample comes with a dedicated A-RGB controller included. Please note that the cooler has 6 years warranty but the A-RGB LEDs have 2 years limited warranty. The cooler is compatible with:

  • ASUS AURA SYNC
  • GIGABYTE RGB FUSION READY
  • MSI MYSTIC LIGHT SYNC
  • ASRock POLYCHROME SYNC

The specifications of the cooler are printed in a tabular format. The box has taken quite a hit during the shipping as is evident on the bottom left side. The height of the cooler is 166mm. Keep that in mind for the chassis clearance.

According to ARCTIC’s in-house testing on 8700k @ 4.8GHz their Freezer 50 cooler is coming on top of the Noctua NH-D15 with a 1°C margin. Salient features are highlighted using pictures. These include:

  • Bundled A-RGB Controller
  • Quick and Easy Installation
  • Push-Pull Configuration
  • Dual Tower Design

The salient features are printed in 7 languages. There is a packing list on the bottom.

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

When the box was opened we spot a cardboard-made top cover.

Removing the top cover would show two boxes. The top black color box contains the A-RGB controller with a remote.

The cooler is in the brown color box.

The cooler is placed on another cardboard made container and wrapped inside a transparent cover.

The mounting hardware is placed on the bottom container. I was expecting an accessory box though!

Contents

Let’s take a look at what is bundled with the cooler.

There is a black color box provided with the cooler. This box has the A-RGB controller with a remote in it.

We have:

  • 1x Sync Cable
  • 1x A-RG Controller
  • 1x Remote
  • A pack of mounting hardware

ARCTIC has provided an RGB sync or connectivity cable with the controller. ARCTIC is using an 8-pin proprietary connector on this cable. We have a 4-pin RGB connector and a 4-pin PWM connector. The arrow mark on the RGB connector needs to be aligned with the arrow mark on the header or connecting cable.

ARCTIC has provided two options for the secure installation of the controller in the chassis. The user can install the controller using two dual-sided self-adhesive strips or use the two magnetic strips. Kudos to their design team for paying attention to the details. Magnetic strips would make the handling easier and also would not leave any mark on the chassis, unlike the self-adhesive strips. There are 4x self-tapping screws. The user can also install the controller using these screws. There are 4x mounting holes on the bottom of the controller’s housing as well as 2x screws on each side. Options are exhausted by their design team by providing maximum possibilities to the user.

We have a black and gray color controller housing. The center portion is glossy and is quite a fingerprint magnet. There is ARCTIC branding in the center of the glossy area. The dimension of the control box is 100x70x12mm (LxWxH) having a weight of 50g.

Looking at the backside of the control box, we can spot two places on the top and the bottom where the magnetic/self-adhesive strips are to be placed. There is a sticker in between those places. We have a total of three outputs with each output rated at 2A max. The same is the output for 2x A-RGB fans (for each). The control box is taking 0.1A at 5VDC as input power.

On one side of the control box, we have a 3-pin header for the A-RGB device. There are 2x 8-pin proprietary headers as well for the A-RGB fans.

The other side of the control box has a SATA port and another proprietary 8-pin header.

The above picture shows the control box with a sync cable connected to it.

ARCTIC has provided an RF remote with the control box. Unfortunately, our sample did not function.

The above picture shows the functions of each button on the remote. The top middle button is used to switch the control from the control box to the motherboard and back. The user can switch the light off as well. When the unit is powered on the last active mode will be loaded. When the control is switched to the motherboard, the controller adds the signal from the motherboard to its own signal. One of the effects will be static which will be overlaid when the dynamic effect is loaded. If this does not suit your taste then you can directly connect the A-RGB connector of the cooler to the 5V light header of the motherboard.

We have:

  • 1x Metallic backplate for Intel
  • 2x Mounting Brackets for Intel/AMD

We have:

  • 4x Intel LGA20xx standoffs
  • 4x AMD standoffs
  • 4x Other socket standoffs
  • 4x Thumbnuts

ARCTIC does not provide a printed manual. Instead, they provide a scanning label that will take the user to the product’s webpage with detailed installation steps. You would need an active internet connection for that. We have 08g of MX-4 thermal paste and 8x rubber washers provided with the accessories.

Closer Look

It is time to take a look at the cooler.

The dimension of the cooler is 148x150x166mm (LxWxH) where 166mm is the overall height of the cooler. The weight of the cooler is 1160gm with the fans. The ARCTIC Freezer 50 is compatible with Intel LGA1200/115x/20xx and AMD AM4 sockets. The cooler has a black color housing which is encapsulating the heatsink and the fans.

We have an aggressive yet beautiful tone coming out of the design of the cooler. Looking at the top of the cooler, there is a backlit ARCTIC branding in the middle. We can see two backlit diffusers on the left and right sides of the central portion. This will be the side visible to the user and it has a beautiful outlook on it hiding the aluminum heatsink and the fans. The area below the ARCTIC branding has cut-to-size cutouts for ventilation.

The left and right sides of the housing are identical in layout. The sides of the housing are not fully covering the heatsink. We can see the aluminum jointed assembly of the fins here. The central portion has an ARCTIC branding in the middle. The overall design is well planned and executed.

The front side of the cooler has a 120mm P series high-performance fan which is pre-installed and fixed in the housing. The housing has a stylish outlook on this side as well.

Taking a look at the rear of the cooler, we can spot the curvature layout of the straight aluminum fins. This side is fully exposed which is understandable as the exhaust of the cooler is coming from this end.

Taking a look at the bottom of the cooler, we find a protective sheet on the base. The base is nickel coated. The cables are coming out from the opening on the mid-section.

The central portion of the housing is completely removable. To take it off, pull the bottom ends on both sides and slide out the panel. The 140mm P series fan is fixed to the frame. The 140mm fan has 5 blades. There is a ring frame in black color which is attached to the cooler’s housing.

Looking at the back of the 140mm fan, there is a 4-arms assembly holding the motor and the blades.

The 140mm fan has a 4-pin PWM connector as well as a 4-pin socket. The idea is simple. Connect the 4-pin PWM connector of the 120mm fan to this socket and then connect the 4-pin PWM connector of the 140mm fan to the motherboard’s 4-pin PWM header for a single control. Since both fans have different rated speeds, going this route, we will only get to know the speed of the 140mm fan. The cable has a length of approximately 210+82mm.

There is a 3-pin A-RGB cable as well. The good point is that we can simply connect this cable to the A-RGB header on the motherboard and sync & control the lighting on the cooler with the motherboard using the motherboard’s software. This cable has an approximate length of 348mm.

There are 13 A-RGB LEDs installed on the ARCTIC Freezer 50 cooler.

Now that we have removed the central panel, let’s take a look at the top of the heatsink. We have 6 copper heat pipes terminating in an alternate fashion on the top of both towers. There is no color coating on the fin stack or the heat pipes. The front side of both towers has V-shape notches which help reduce the resistance to the airflow and the noise. The backside of the front tower has a plain layout unlike the backside layout of the rear tower.

The ARCTIC Freezer 50 has 52 aluminum fins per tower making a total of 104 fins. The fins are jointed from the sides.

The above picture shows the close-up view of the front side of the rear tower. We can spot the V shape notches all over here.

The above picture shows the backside of the front tower. We have a plain layout of the fins here.

Here is the close-up view of the front side. The 120mm fan is pre-installed and fixed to the frame. It has 5 black color blades and a ring frame.

The 120mm fan has a 4-pin PWM connector cable having a length of 145mm approximately.

The above picture shows the curved fin design on the rear of the cooler. The whole area is exposed to effective exhaust.

The above picture shows the displacement of the nickel-plated copper heat pipes inside the tower.

The ARCTIC Freezer 50 packs 6 nickel-plated copper heat pipes each having a 6mm thickness.

The mounting plate is pre-installed on the base and has a spring-loaded screw on each side.

The ARCTIC Freezer 50 is following continuous direct contact technology. The heat pipes are nickel-plated. The base measures roughly. In CDC the heat pipes make direct contact with the heat source. In our case, the heat source is the CPU.

The finishing on the base is not a mirror one. The base area roughly measures 40x36mm.

The Freezer 50 features two P-fans working in push-pull-configuration.  Combining a 120 mm and a 140 mm fan leads to an increase in airflow for improved cooling while keeping the noise level and the installation height down. The Freezer 50 benefits of all advantages of our P-fans:

High static pressure for increased cooling performance

  • Broad RPM range
  • Lower power consumption
  • Fewer vibrations
  • Extended life span
  • High-quality bearing
  • PWM for synchronous fan control

Here are the specifications of the Fan:

120mm 140mm
Speed 200 ~ 1800 RPM 200~1700 RPM
Noise Level 0.4 Sone 0.4 Sone
Current 0.09A 0.13A
Rated Voltage 12VDC 12VDC
Bearing Fluid Dynamic Bearing Fluid Dynamic Bearing
Connector 4-pin PWM 4-pin PWM + 4-pin socket

 

Installation

The cooler is tested on the AMD AM4 socket using X570 AORUS PRO WIFI. Here are the steps needed for the installation of this socket.

Remove the stock retention brackets on the motherboard. Install 4x AMD standoffs on the mounting holes.

Place the mounting brackets as shown in the picture.

Use the thumb nuts and secure the brackets on the stock AMD backplate. Take off the center panel from the cooler. Peel off the protective cover from the base. Apply the thermal paste on the CPU.

Place the cooler on the CPU by aligning the spring-loaded screws on the base plate with the threaded sockets on the brackets and start screwing.

Put back on the center panel. Make sure it sits fully and locks in at the tip of the sides.

Daisy chain the 4-pin PWM connectors and connect them to a single fan header on the motherboard. You can also connect both fans individually. Connect the SATA cable of the PSU to the control box and connect the 3-pin A-RGB cable with the control box. Alternatively, you can connect the 3-pin A-RGB cable to the 5V header of the motherboard.

The mounting bracket is sitting that close to the capacitors to my discomfort.

Clearance

The height of the cooler is 166mm. Keep this in mind while planning your build with respect to the PC Chassis as the chassis should have support for CPU cooler’s height of a minimum of 167mm or so.

The cooler has a RAM clearance of only 31.7mm. Unfortunately, we can’t adjust the height of the fan to make the room as the fan itself is not an issue but the tip of the underside frame. This is a compromise one has to make for this cooler. The RAM with an inset in the center can be installed with this cooler. I was able to install only one stick of ADATA XPG Spectrix D41.

The cooler does not block the first PCIe slot.

A-RGB Lighting

The 13 A-RGB LEDs installed in the Freezer 50 are autonomously controllable. Freezer 50 is compatible with the common A-RGB standards of leading motherboard manufacturers or via an external controller. There are 15 lighting modes from the A-RGB controller. Here are some pictures:

 

Testing Methodology

The Testbed configuration is:

  • X570 AORUS PRO WIFI
  • AMD Ryzen 7 3700X
  • ADATA XPG Spectrix D41
  • Colorful iGame GeForce GTX 1050Ti 4G [For Display]
  • HyperX 120GB SSD
  • Cooler Master MWE 650W Gold PSU
  • Custom Open-air Test Bench

The following software were used for testing and monitoring.

  • AIDA64 6.20 Extreme

Here is the settings table for testing:

AMD OC Voltage (V) 1.350
OC Clock (MHz) 4200
Turbo Boost Disabled
Thermal Paste Noctua NT-H1
Test Run Time 60 minutes
Idling Time 15 minutes
Fan Speed Manually set to run at 100% PWM cycle.

 

We are using Noctua NT-H1 thermal paste for coolers testing. Using the same thermal paste for all coolers would ensure standardization. We are reporting absolute temperature in the graph. 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, the temperature sensor of the die. 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.

100% PWM Cycle

Boi o boi! We have a new winner here as the Freezer 50 manages to beat the NH-D15 by 1°C margin but at a bit an elevated noise level. The ambient temperature was in the range of 19.6°C to 19.9°C.

Acoustic

The sound meter was showing the noise level to be 48 dB(A) with an ambient sound level of 32 dB(A).

Conclusion

The ARCTIC is back in a dual tower configuration cooling solution as they have released the ARCTIC Freezer 50 CPU Air Cooler. They have also released a TR edition of this cooler. There are two variants of this cooler. One is shipped with a dedicated A-RGB controller included and the other does not have that controller. The price range is different for both versions. The cooler is following the design which reminds me of the Cooler Master cooler with a similar outlook. The ARCTIC Freezer 50 is compatible with Intel LGA1200/115x/20xx and AMD AM4 sockets.

The heatsink and the fans assembly is encapsulated inside a stylishly designed housing. The cooler is using 120mm and 140mm P series high-performance fans. Each tower has 52 aluminum fins and using an asymmetrical design. Each fin has a 0.4mm thickness. One side of the tower has V-shape notches for a reduction in resistance to the airflow and noise. The other side has a plain layout. The rear tower has a curved layout on the backside.

The 140mm fan is no installed on any tower. It is fixed to the frame of the central panel of the housing. The central panel is removable. You will have to pull the tips of the panel and lift it off. This needs to be done anyway to install the cooler. However, I have found that placing the panel back on is not convenient and if the panel is not fully flushed then the central fan would make a whining noise which is quite loud. In my opinion, ARCTIC should consider some alternative design for easy placement of the central panel. The 120mm fan is also fixed to the front side housing. It seems like the front and the rear housing are not removable.

The ARCTIC Freezer 50 is using the continuous direct contact method on the base. The nickel-plated copper hat pipes are making direct contact with the CPU. The base of the cooler roughly measures 40x36mm. The mounting plate is pre-installed on the base and it has a spring-loaded screw on each side. The ARCTIC Freezer 50 is using 120 and 140mm fans in a combination. These fans are using Fluid Dynamic Bearing. The airflow and air pressure ratings are not provided in the spec sheet. Replacing a faulty fan would be an issue! Either the cooler or the central panel would need to be replaced depending upon the faulty fan. I would suggest ARCTIC making the modular shroud and use standard P design fans for longetivity and ease of handling at the user end. I have a piece of mind with 6 years warranty though.

We have reviewed the version of the cooler with the A-RGB controller included. The control box has a black and gray color housing with 3x proprietary 8-pin headers for the A-RGB fans and 1x 3-pin A-RGB port. It is SATA powered. ARCTIC has provided self-adhesive magnetic and pad strips. You can connect the 3-pin A-RGB cable directly to the motherboard’s 5V header. The lighting on the cooler is compatible with all leading motherboard manufacturers. ARCTIC has provided mounting hardware which makes the installation easy and convenient. They have also provided 0.8g MX-4 thermal paste with the cooler.

The ARCTIC FREEZER 50 is listed at US $85.99/€69.99 at the time of the review for the edition with an A-RGB controller. The standard version is listed at $74.99/€59.99. The ARCTIC means business as their performance rich Freezer 50 has managed to beat the Noctua NH-D15 by a 1°C margin at a bit elevated noise level which is not that bad. What makes this performance more compelling is the 6 years warranty from the manufacturer. This price to performance ratio and even the noise to performance ratio of this cooler is on the money. This level of performance is coming at the cost of restricted RAM clearance which is a letdown in my opinion. We are thankful to ARCTIC for giving us the opportunity to review their Freezer 50 Incl A-RGB Controller CPU Air Cooler.

Tech4Gamers Performance Award

 

 

REVIEW OVERVIEW
Design
8.0
Quality
9.0
Features
9.0
Performance
9.0
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