ReviewsCoolersARCTIC Liquid Freezer - II 420 Liquid Cooler Review

ARCTIC Liquid Freezer – II 420 Liquid Cooler Review

An in-depth review of ARCTIC Liquid Freezer – II 420 covering its features, installation, testing, and benchmarks.

Expert Verified By

Top-Notch Performance!

Review Summary

The ARCTIC Liquid Freezer – II 420 is a powerful cooler in the market that comes with a 6-year manufacturer’s warranty and offers fantastic thermal performance at almost silence, which is unheard of. Thanks to integrated cable management, we have a single cable to handle, making life easy and simple. The only caveat is the same thing that is giving this cooler the advantage: its size. You can definitely thank the ARCTIC for this beast of a cooler, and it comes recommended by us.

Hours Tested: 5

Tech4Gamers Recommended Award

Overall
9.1/10
9.1/10
  • Quality - 9/10
    9/10
  • Design - 9/10
    9/10
  • Performance - 9.5/10
    9.5/10
  • Features - 9/10
    9/10
  • Value - 9/10
    9/10

Pros

  • Excellent Thermal Performance
  • Integrated Cable Management
  • One Cable to rule them all
  • Silent Operations
  • Convenient AM5 Installation
  • MX-5 Thermal Paste
  • Warranty
  • Pricing

Cons

  • No printed User Manual
  • No Independent PWM control
  • Inconvenient Intel Installation

In PC cooling, ARCTIC stands out with its popular Liquid Freezer II series and MX-4 thermal paste. Despite new releases like MX-6 and MX-5, the Liquid Freezer II 360 remains a fan favorite. Today, we’re looking at the 420mm version, Revision 4, which comes in non-RGB and A-RGB editions. It includes an AM4 mounting kit and MX5 thermal paste, ensuring compatibility with Intel and AMD sockets. Is it a true powerhouse in the cooling arena? Let’s find out!


Key Takeaways

  • The ARCTIC Liquid Freezer II 420 is a high-performance AIO liquid cooler with a substantial 420mm radiator designed for efficient CPU cooling.
  • This liquid cooler suits users seeking a cost-effective, high-performance AIO solution for CPU cooling, especially those with CPUs like the Ryzen 9 7950X.
  • It is not for users seeking RGB lighting or additional features, as it focuses on performance without incorporating such extras.

Here are the specifications of The ARCTIC Liquid Freezer II 420:

ARCTIC Liquid Freezer II 420 Specifications
Intel Socket 1700, 1200, 115X, 2011-3*, 2066* *Square ILM
AMD Socket AM5, AM4
Ram Clearance Unlimited
Warranty 6 Years
Operating Ambient Temperature 0—40 °C
VRM Fan 40 mm, 1000—3000 rpm (PWM controlled)
Pump 800—2000 rpm (PWM controlled)
Power Consumption 0.5 W—2.7 W (Pump + VRM Fan)
Cold Plate Copper, Micro-Skived-Fins
Thermal Paste MX-4 (0.8 g)
Fan ARCTIC P14 PWM 140 mm Fan x3
Fan Speed 200—1700 rpm PWM Controlled (0 rpm below 5% PWM)
Fan Bearing Fluid Dynamic Bearing
Noise Level 0.3 Sone
Current 0.12 A 12 V DC
Airflow 72.80 cfm 123.69 m3/h
Static Pressure 2.4 mmH2O
Connector 4-Pin Connector
Radiator 458 (L) x 138 (W) x 38 (H) mm
Pump (w/o tubes) 98 (L) x 78 (W) x 53 (H) mm
Tube Diameter Outer: 12.4 mm Inner: 6.0 mm
Tube Length 450 mm
Weight 1977 g (Fan, Radiator, Pump, Tubes)

Packing and Unboxing

I have never seen such a packaging style. Although it seems lucrative and eye-catching, its handling is quite the worst. I wish they had kept it simple like other AIOs.

 

Box Contents

It is time to see what is provided beside the main cooling unit in the box.ARCTIC does not provide a printed user manual. There is a scan label. Use it on your mobile phone or visit their website for an online manual. The online manual has an illustrative design with animation. I would still prefer a printed user guide, ARCTIC.

The mounting hardware includes:

  • 2x AMD Mounting Brackets [Offset Bars]
  • 4x black spacers
  • 4x long screws
  • 1x Intel Backplate
  • 2x Intel Mounting Brackets
  • 4x Thumb Nuts
  • 4x Intel LGA-20xx Standoffs
  • 4x Intel other sockets Standoffs
  • 12x Washers
  • 2x Long Screws for the Mounting Brackets
  • 12x Radiator Screws
  • 12x Fans Screws [Already installed]

Design

ARCTIC introduces a new CPU water cooler series with an innovative pump for optimal cooling performance and minimal noise. The Liquid Freezer II Series features integrated cable management and powerful P-fans for efficient heat transfer.

Radiator

This cooler features a 38mm tall radiator with pre-installed ARCTIC P14 140mm PWM fans. The fans have cut-to-size power cables, routed on the side, and are daisy-chained. This approach differs from Fractal Design’s hub integration seen in the Celcius+ series.

We have removed the fans and are showing a single cable with three sockets. One of these sockets has 4 pins, whereas the other two have 3 pins. The cable is then passed under the sleeve on one tube towards the block, which is integrated with the other two cables. Hence, we have an integrated cable management system, which is nice and clean.

Single cable with three sockets
Single cable with three sockets (Image By Tech4Gamers)

Looking at the side of the unit, we are telling you that the overall thickness of the unit is approximately 66 mm, including the heads of the screws. There is an ARCTIC brand logo in the centre as well. We are showing the backside of the radiator. The fin stacking job is satisfactory.

Now that we have removed the fans, we show the radiator itself. There are 14 channels for the flow of coolant. The dimension of the radiator is 458x138x38mm (LxwxH). The fin density is at 15 FPI. The fins stack is less dense but provides more surface area, and we have more channels for the coolant flow. The complete assembly is black colour coated. The far end has a rectangular outlook and no branding or sticker label.

Overall, fin stacking is fine. Though we found a few bent fins, there were no broken fins.

ARCTIC Liquid Freezer II 420 Liquid Cooler — Radiator
Bend in fins of the radiator (Image By Tech4Gamers)

Looking at the tube connection side, there are chrome colour clamps covering the connection of the tube with the barb fittings. Look how close these connections are. We can see a cable inside the mesh sleeve on the left side of the tube. There is no serial number sticker label of any sort here. A certain gap exists between the side frame arms and the fin stack. Notice the tightened ends below or under each mounting hole. This is there to prevent the screw from going down towards the fin stacking since there is no protective plating over the fin stacking.

The tubes used in this cooler are fibre-reinforced long EPDM rubber tubes. These have a length of 450mm, which is sufficient for any requirement. There is a beautiful and colourful textured sleeve in grey and white colours. The tubes are designed to reduce the coolant evaporation. The tubes have ID/OD measurements of 12.4/6.0mm.

PRO TIP: Opt for the ARCTIC Liquid Freezer II 420 if you prioritize cost-effective, high-performance AIO liquid cooling with a substantial 420mm radiator, especially suitable for powerful CPUs like the Ryzen 9 7950X.
ARCTIC Liquid Freezer II 420 Liquid Cooler — Radiator 1
Fibre-reinforced long EPDM rubber tubes (Image By Tech4Gamers)

Block

Check out this innovative cooler with a unique design – a departure from the traditional. It resembles a mini spaceship from a sci-fi movie. The ARCTIC-branded block, viewed from the side, integrates tubes in the middle, solving DIMM slot clearance. However, note its extra length, which might pose compatibility issues with certain motherboards. The cooler features a 40mm PWM fan with transparent blades, operating silently at 1000-3000 RPM.

Unlike some competitors, ARCTIC’s fan is praised for its quiet and durable performance. It effectively cools voltage transformers and the base area, offering a 15°C temperature reduction, which is especially useful in overclocking or poor airflow conditions. ARCTIC’s customer service promises free replacements if the fan fails.

The block’s rear is featureless, but its removable underside is designed for compatibility with specific motherboards. The 39x43mm copper base is smaller than other AIOs. A white-coloured label displays model information. A single 4-pin PWM cable for connectivity, along with two interconnected short cables, emerges from the base.

Unfortunately, the design requires disassembly to stop the VRM fan powered by this cable. The cold plate features Micro-Skived fins for effective heat dissipation. The PWM-controlled pump aims to reduce humming and improve efficiency by adjusting power draw based on load. The pump’s power consumption ranges from 0.8W at no load to 4.3W at full load, with speeds between 800 and 2000 RPM.

Fans

The ARCTIC Liquid Freezer II coolers feature the popular and powerful P12 and P14 PWM fans. Three P14 PWM fans with five blades each are pre-installed on the radiator, boasting a stealthy all-black design. The fans have ARCTIC branding on the hub, lack anti-vibration pads on the mounting corners, and display a spiral layout with wires routed from the hub on the backside. The top of the fan is embossed with “P14 PWM,” and the bottom indicates “DC 12V 0.12A.”

Each fan has a 4-pin PWM connector on a small length cable. These are the screws used to install fans on the radiator.

The specifications of the fans are:

Dimension 140x140x27mm
Type 4-pin PWM Connector
Speed 200~1700 RPM
Airflow 72.8 CFM
Air Pressure 2.4 mmH₂O
Noise 0.3 Sonne
Bearing Type Fluid Dynamic Bearing
Input Voltage 12VDC
Input Current 0.12A
Input Power 1.44W

Installation

The cooler was required on the AMD AM5 platform to tame our new AMD Ryzen 9 7950X CPU installed on GIGABYTE X670E AORUS MASTER. Here are the steps:

  • Install the mounting brackets on the block.
  • Remove the stock AMD mounting brackets from the motherboard.
  • Place black colour spacers on the studs of the motherboard near the socket area.
  • Put the Mounting plates or brackets in an offset position and secure using 4x screws.
  • Apply the thermal paste on the CPU.
  • Remove the protective cover from the base of the unit.
  • Carefully place the block on the CPU by moving the PWM cable out of the way.
  • Align the mounting holes on the brackets with the standoffs on the mounting brackets.
  • Use the thumb screws to secure the block on the CPU.
  • Connect the PWM cable to the 4-pin PWM fan header.
  • Install the radiator in the PC Case or as per the requirement.
  • Installation is complete.
WARNING: Avoid this cooler if you prioritize RGB lighting and additional features in your cooling solution, or if you have size constraints as the 420mm liquid cooler may not fit all PC cases.

There is no clearance issue for the DIMM slots, but certain motherboards may have clearance issues concerning the M.2 slot heatsink or the top VRM heatsink cover. Better check the compatibility on the ARCTIC website. Also, ensure your PC Case has clearance for a 420mm liquid cooler. The dimension of this cooler is 458x138x65mm. There are only a few PC Cases that can handle this size cooler.

Thermal Testing

We have used the below-mentioned configuration for this testing:

Here is the settings table:

Clocks Auto
VCore Auto
PBO Advanced
Efficiency Curve Adjustment -30mV
PPT 110W
Thermal Limit 85°C
XMP/EXPO Loaded where available
Thermal Paste Alphacool Subzero
Thermal Paste Application 5 dots
Fan Headers CPU_FAN and CPU_OPT
Fan Control 100% PWM cycle
Stress Tool CINEBENCH R23.2 Multi
Monitoring Tool HWInfo64
Test Duration 30 minutes
Idle Time 5 Minutes
Ambient Temperature 25ᵒC~26ᵒC

We updated the motherboard and chipset software to the latest BIOS for testing, excluding GIGABYTE’s ECO Mode. The cooler was utilized to tune AMD Ryzen 9 7950X. Beyond this article’s scope, a summary table of findings will provide insights into the cooler’s performance based on stock and tuned thermal differences.

Arctic Liquid Freezer II - 420mm Test Bench (Image By Tech4Gamers)
Test Bench (Image By Tech4Gamers)

Results

Stock CPUs often reach 95ᵒC; the same happened with this SKU, hitting 234W at 1.4V Vcore. Despite high power and close-to-limit temperature, performance was good, scoring 37345 in CINEBENCH R23.2 Multi CPU. We utilized PBO Advanced to improve, adjusting the efficiency curve by -20mV on all cores. While -30mV wasn’t achievable; the voltage drop boosted our score to 38325 without affecting power or thermals. Setting the thermal control limit to 85ᵒC ensured the temperature stayed below this threshold, resulting in the best score of 38656. Introducing another variable, PPT (socket power), we experimented with different configurations.

For me, the best results came from these settings:

  • Efficiency curve adjustment by -20
  • Thermal Control Limit 85ᵒC
  • PPT of 185W (Entered as 185000)

This gives us a score of 38101, and the temperature was 77ᵒC at an ambient of 25.4ᵒC.

ARCTIC Liquid Freezer II 420 Liquid Cooler — Thermal Performance
Thermal Performance (Image By Tech4Gamers)

Noise

We are not measuring the noise output due to repair and maintenance work, but this cooler is dead silent.

Should You Buy It?

By carefully analysing and testing The ARCTIC Liquid Freezer II 420, I concluded that:

Buy It If:

You Prioritize Performance Excellence: If you want a cost-effective, high-performance AIO liquid cooler with a substantial 420mm radiator.

You Need CPU Compatibility: If you need excellent CPU cooling, especially for powerful CPUs like the Ryzen 9 7950X.

You Prefer Simplicity Focus: If you prefer a cooler without RGB lighting or additional features, focus on performance.

Don’t Buy It If:

IF You Prioritize RGB Priority: If you prioritize RGB lighting and additional features in your cooling solution.

IF You Have Size Constraint: If you don’t want a large 420mm liquid cooler, your PC case may not have clearance.

IF You Have Control Preferences: If you have specific preferences for a cooler with more control options for power users.

Final Words

I recently had the chance to try out the ARCTIC Liquid Freezer – II 420 liquid cooler and was quite impressed. This cooler features a large 420mm radiator, measuring 458x138x38mm, so it’s important to make sure it fits in your PC case. The aluminum radiator is equipped with three P14 PWM fans, a fin density of 15 FPI, and 14 channels for the coolant to flow through. It’s compatible with a range of sockets, including Intel’s LGA115x/1200/2066/2011(-3) and AMD’s AM4/AM5, with LGA1700 support depending on the cooler’s version.

The cooler’s EPDM rubber tubes are both flexible and reinforced with fibre, and they come with a textured sleeve in either grey or white. A standout feature is the integrated cable management system, which makes for tidy routing, and there’s a single control point for the P14 PWM fans, VRM fans, and the pump.

While the control options might be a bit limited for power users, all the components, including the in-house designed pump with PWM control, operate quietly. Plus, it comes with a 6-year warranty. This makes it an attractive option for gamers who need high-performance cooling but don’t want to deal with a lot of noise, even with its larger size.

Awards Won By The ARCTIC Liquid Freezer II 420

Now that I have tested the ARCTIC Liquid Freezer II 420, I gave it the following Tech4Gamers Awards in our round-ups:

Recent Updates


  • January 18, 2024: A few text changes to improve readability. Also added image galleries.

 
Was our article helpful? 👨‍💻

Thank you! Please share your positive feedback. 🔋

How could we improve this post? Please Help us. 😔

Join Our Community

Still having issues? Join the Tech4Gamers Forum for expert help and community support!

Related articles

Server Providers Recommending AMD CPUs Amid Intel Core i9 Stability Issues

Gamers and server providers have begun to make the jump to AMD processors due to Intel's latest range of stability issues.

Free Black Myth: Wukong Copies Available With RTX 40 Promotion

Nvidia is giving away free Black Myth: Wukong codes with select GeForce RTX 40 series graphics cards for new buyers.

Ryzen 9 9950X CPU Reportedly Boosts As High As 5.85GHz

According to the latest information on Zen 5 CPUs, the AMD Ryzen 9 9950X has the same maximum frequency as the Ryzen 9 7950X.

Snapdragon X Series To Offer Up To 10 SoCs

The Qualcomm Snapdragon X Series line-up for laptops has up to 10 SoCs, however not all of them will be shown in light.

iPhone 16 Reportedly Comes In Four Variants That Use A18 SoC

According to leaked information, all four iPhone 16 models are set to feature the same A18 Bionic SoC from Apple.

Similar Guides