Introduction

AZZA is not a new name in the PC industry as the company dates back to 1996 where they started manufacturing motherboards as OEM products. From 2004 onwards they were manufacturing PC Chassis and PSU for XION as OEM products. It was 2009 when they started manufacturing and marketing products under the brand AZZA. Solano 1000 was their very first PC Chassis and ever since they have been making waves with some interesting and unique designs.

AZZA has recently launched new liquid coolers for CPU named Blizzard. They are launched in three sizes namely 120mm, 240mm, and 360mm. They have sent us their Blizzard 360 cooler for the review. Salient features of the cooler are:

  • Customizable ARGB Backlit pump head.
  • ARGB dual rings around fan and ARGB ring around the pump head.
  • Fan & pump can be controlled with either the ARGB controller or through motherboard software.
  • 120mm fan with PWM function.
  • ARGB controller can toggle through 10 ARGB modes.
  • Made with durable and low-evaporation Teflon tubing.
  • Compatible with MSI™, ASUS™, ASRock™, and GIGABYTE™ motherboard software.
  • The copper base plate offers great thermal conductivity.

The pump of the cooler is rated for 1.25 meter pressure head with a flow rate of 1.2 L/min and has a TDP rating of 180W. The radiator has 20 FPI for which high static pressure fans would be better suited. AZZA has bundled three of their Hurricane II ARGB fans with dual ring lighting with this cooler. They have added a form to the cooler for sure but I am kinda skeptical towards their performance on the radiator given their low static pressure rating of 1.79 mmH₂O and airflow rating of 43.06 CFM at 1800 RPM. Our testing section will see to that. The block of the cooler has a circular design with infinity mirror design on the top which looks dope in person but reminds me of the NZXT Kraken X series coolers. This cooler is compatible with Intel and AMD sockets including AM4 and 115x.

  • Item:                              Blizzard 360
  • Manufacturer:                AZZA
  • Price:                             $129.99 MSRP [at the time of the review]

Specifications

Packaging and Unboxing

The cooler is shipped inside a cardboard box.

The cooler’s picture is in the mainframe. The light-up fans and block give a hint to the user on how the cooler is likely to look like. It looks much doper than this. The model of the cooler is also printed. The overall design makes the packing box stand out and speak loudly gaining the attention of the seeker.

For the users who would like to know more about the cooler, there is a tabular presentation on the backside of the cooler shows the specifications. There is also a scanning label on the right side which can be scanned by the mobile devices to access the manual on the website.

The salient features are highlighted in the packing box as well.

Opening the box will show a white color Styrofoam placed over the contents. The contents are tucked inside an egged carton for maximum safety during traveling. Someone at customs was not kind enough and as the knife mark was visible on the front side. It was deep enough to reach through the cardboard. Styrofoam did a good job of taking the hit and saving the contents.

Accessories

Following are included in the box:

  • 1x 360mm Radiator and pump unit
  • 3x Hurricane-II 120mm Fans
  • 1x Intel Backplate
  • 2x Intel Mounting Brackets
  • 2x AMD Mounting Brackets
  • 2x AMD Fasteners
  • 4x Intel LGA20xx Screws
  • 4x Intel LGA115x Screws
  • 2x AMD Mounting Screws
  • 4x Intel/AMD Fastener Screws
  • 12x Fan Long Screws
  • 12x Radiator Small Screws
  • 1x Thermal Paste
  • 1x ARGB Controller
  • 1x ARGB VDG Cable
  • 1x 3-way PWM Splitter Cable
  • 1x Double Sided Tape
  • 1x User Manual

Closer Look

Let’s start with reading what AZZA is saying about their first cooler, “Ice cold! Introducing the AZZA Blizzard Cooler, a fully customizable RGB cooler that keeps your CPU nice and frosty. The addressable RGB lights on the cooler can be controlled directly through the motherboard software for compatible motherboards, or through the RF remote system. With a water pressure of 1.2 meters, the Blizzard cooler will ensure that your hardware stays nice and cool at safe temperatures for all your overclocking needs. The copper base plate maximizes heat dissipation from the CPU to offer excellent cooling performance, and the leak-resistant Teflon tubing allows for any liquid to evaporate at an extremely fast rate, allowing for excellent durability and high-temperature resistance. The pump system is easy to install, and the light effects are fully customizable through compatible software on select MSI, ASUS, ASROCK, and GIGABYTE motherboards. The AZZA Blizzard Cooler is great for anyone looking for both form and function in a cooler.”

RADIATOR

The AZZA Blizzard 360 is a 360mm CLC cooling solution. It has a 360mm radiator with three Hurricane-II digital RGB fans.

The dimension of the radiator is 394 x 120 x 27mm. The thickness of the radiator is 27mm. With 25mm fans the overall thickness would be 53mm. The radiator has 638mm thickness with the barbs which is more than the 53mm of overall thickness with the installed fans. So, keep that in mind. The radiator has a 20 fins per inch one (FPI). There is a gap of 105mm between any two fan mounting holes on the radiator.

The radiator is made of aluminum hence it is lightweight. I am not sure of the OEM but it is not an Asetek design. The blocks on both ends of the radiator are not rectangular and have rounded edges. Fin stack is dense and taking into account the left and right side channels, it has a total of 13 channels for water flow. There are no protective sheets over the fins under the fan mounts. So, take care while mounting the fans as longer screws could damage the fins which would hamper the performance of the cooler. It is recommended to use the supplied long screws to mount the fans on to the radiators.

The heat shrinks on the barbs are tightly and neatly done but given their sturdiness and the length, it gives a total of 63mm thickness to the radiator from this perspective.

There are two stickers on the block end of the radiator. One is showing the part no or serial no of the unit whereas the other one is warning the user not to tamper with or remove the white color sticker on the port.

There is what seems to be a refill port on the radiator. Surprisingly, it has a Warranty Void sticker pasted on it. If it is a refill port, it helps the users to refill the coolant should its level drop affecting the performance of the cooler.

The tubes are firmly fitted on the radiator assembly and on the pump housing. The tubes are coated with leak-resistant Teflon (PTFE) making the tube anti-explosive and durable. The tubes run for a 390mm as per our measurement (Specifications show them to be running for 400mm). Please, keep in mind that this length includes the heat shrinks barbs portion as well. The tubes are not kinky and not that flexible either.

PUMP/BLOCK

Let’s take a look at the main element of this cooler. It is the water block with the pump housing. The complete block is circular in design with the top section giving the dam good look to this cooler. The block has a size of 78.4×87.9×52.9mm. The circular frame or housing is in glossy black color and fingerprints magnet.

There is a blue color protective sheet that does not come off with the white color small size sticker reminding the user to peel off the protective sheet. I had to scratch peeled it off from one corner. A small size extended portion coming off the protective sheet would be helpful. The scratches visible in the picture are on the protective sheet not on the actual lid.

The picture shows the block’s top with the protective sheet removed. There is a highly reflective glass top.

Enjoy the infinity mirror design on the block! The AZZA brand logo is fixed in its orientation and the user would have to take care while installing the block to ensure that AZZA text remains upside right. This is kinda limitation which we saw on the Deepcool’s Castle coolers’ first versions which they later on addressed with removable lid in the V2 of Castle coolers. I am hoping that AZZA would take note of this and come up with a better idea in the next iteration.

The tubes are installed in 90° mount on the base of the block to make them rotatable giving the user some room to play with the tubes while installing the cooler for the best fitment.

There are two cables coming out from the right side of the block. One is a 3-pin power cable measuring 315mm in length approximately. The second cable is an LED one with two headers (male and female). These are 5V 3-pin digital RGB LED connectors. The cable has a length of 410+46mm approximately.

The pump has a pressure head rating of 1.25m with a flow rate of 1.2 L/m. The noise rating is ≤ 26.9 dBA. The life span is rated at 40000 H. There is no information regarding the power consumption or the bearing types.

Let’s take a look at the base of the block. The base has a size of 59x50mm which is large enough to cover the CPU IHS that we will be using for the testing. I7 6850k has a surface area of approximately 37x37mm. The base is implemented in a polished finish cooper.

FAN

AZZA has used its Hurricane-II ARGB fans with the Blizzard 360 cooler. The design of these fans is bold and beautiful. The frame is actually made of plexiglass and there are dual rings on the outer side. There are 4 ARGB LEDs inside the rings. The inner side of the fan has a white color coating for even diffusion. Each fan has 7 translucent blades and 6 ARGB LEDs in the center (6 is my guess). There is a black color sticker in the middle with the AZZA brand logo printed on it.

There is a 4-arm assembly on the backside. Each arm has LED cables going towards each corner to power the ARGB LED in that area. There is a black color sticker in the middle. The fans are made in China.

There are two flat 4-pin PWM power and ARGB LED cables coming out of the fans. PWM cable’s length is approximately 626mm and it is 560+198mm for the digital RGB LED cable.

Speaking of the specification of the fans, here they are:

Dimension 120x120x25mm
Type 4-pin PWM Connector
Speed 1000-1800±0%
Airflow 43.06 CFM
Air Pressure 1.79 mmH₂O
Noise 29 dB(A)
Bearing Type Hydro Bearing
Lifespan 10000 at 25°C
ARGB Connector 5V,3pin ARGB Male & Female Header

 

Cables and Controller

Let’s take a look at the bundled accessories of AZZA Blizzard 360.

AZZA has bundled one 3-way PWM splitter cable. The user can connect all the three fans of the cooler to a single header or power source using this cable. The length of each cable in the splitter cable is 445mm approximately.

There is Motherboard ARGB Sync cable (VDG) for Gigabyte motherboards only. This will allow the user to connect the daisy-chained fans and pump to be connected to the 5V lighting header (RGB Fusion) of the Gigabyte motherboards. To connect the daisy-chained set up on the other brand motherboards, simply use the connector of the fan/pump for this purpose.

AZZA has provided a dedicated controller in the box in case the user does not have a supported motherboard with lighting headers. It has a single button which is used to toggle the lighting mode. There is no speed or brightness control feature on this controller. The controller is using the SATA connector to power itself and 3-pin ARGB pin format header on the one side to which the ARGB cable is connected. There is a 2-pin port on the controller as well to which the Reset cable of the PC Chassis can be connected which will allow the user to switch lighting modes using the Reset button of the chassis.

RGB Lighting

The controller has 10 pre-defined modes on it including the Rainbow RGB and static modes. I love the even diffusion and vivid lighting on the block and the fans as they look totally dope in person.

Here are some pictures for your eye pleasure.

Installation

We have tested the cooler on the X99 platform using the LGA2011-3 socket. Installation mechanism is as under:

Install the Intel brackets to the pump housing using 4x small size black color screws. The screws go inside from the base side.

This is after the fixation of the Intel mounting bracket/fastener to the housing.

Install the fans on the radiators. Peel off the protective cover from the copper base. Apply the thermal paste on the CPU IHS.

Place the block on the CPU by aligning the outermost holes on the Intel mounting brackets/fasteners with the holes on the socket. Use the Intel LGA-2011 screws (screws with a thicker threaded side) to secure the block on the CPU socket.

Daisy chain the fans and pump ARGB LED cables and connect the ARGB LED to the source (motherboard or controller). Connect the fans’ PWM connectors to the Y-cable and connect the Y-Cable’s PWM connector to the 4-pin PWM header, preferably the CPU Fan header of the motherboard. Connect the 3-pin power cable of the pump unit to the fan header/source. This would complete the installation.

Since AZZA is not using standoffs for the installation, the placement of the block on the CPU and installing it on the socket can be tricky as it involves some guesswork at the user end. This would complicate further if the installation is to be done inside the chassis. Either lay the chassis flat (horizontally) on the table or better install the block on the motherboard outside of the chassis. My humble suggestion to the AZZA is to introduce the standoffs which would eliminate the guesswork from the user side and also make it easier installation even inside the chassis.

There is no clearance issue with respect to the DIMM slots and the first PCIe slot. Make sure your chassis has clearance for a 360mm radiator.

Testing Methodology

Following test benches have been used: –

  • Asus Rampage V Edition 10
  • Intel i7 6850k
  • XPG Spectrix D41 32GB @ 2666MHz
  • Colorful GeForce GTX 1050Ti Vulkan
  • Samsung 840 EVO 250GB SSD
  • Antec HCP1300
  • PrimoChill Praxis WetBench

The software used for testing and monitoring include:

  • Asus Real Bench v 2.56 (Intel)
  • Real Temp GT v 3.70 (Intel)

Here is the settings table for testing:

Stock Clocks (MHz) 3600
Stock Voltage (V) 1.140
OC Clock (MHz) 4200
OC Voltage (V) 1.325
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 Manually set to run at 100% speed.

Auto PWM using CPU Fan Header

Pump Speed Connected to the AIO Pump header to run at 100% speed

 

We are using Noctua NT-H1 thermal paste for coolers testing. Using the same thermal paste for all coolers would ensure standardization. Delta temperatures are reported on the graphs. 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

This is a decent performance from the AZZA Blizzard 360. In my opinion, this performance can be bettered by using more powerful fans as the Hurricane-II fans with average air pressure and airflow ratings are not cutting it. Nonetheless, the cooler is doing a decent job by offering a blend of form and function.

The fans have tight PWM regulation. They were in 1600 RPM range under load on an Auto PWM setting. For some time they even peaked at 1734 RPM.

Acoustic

The noise level at 100% PWM duty cycle was measured at 49 dB(A) with an ambient sound level of 37 dB(A). Noise performance is on the money.

Conclusion

AZZA has marked their entry in the coolers market with their liquid coolers named Blizzard. These coolers are available in three sizes; 120mm, 240mm, and 360mm. We took a spin on their Blizzard 360 CPU liquid cooler. The cooler is compatible with Intel LGA775/1366/115x/20xx sockets and AMD AM4/AM3+/AM3/AM2+/AM2/FM2+/FM2/FM1. This cooler is not compatible with Intel LGA1200 as informed by the AZZA. The cooling capacity is rated at 180W. The OEM of the unit is not confirmed.

The unit has an aluminum radiator measuring 394 x 120 x 27mm. The thickness of the radiator is 27mm. The overall thickness would be 53mm after installing the fans. One point here is that the length of heat shrinks on the barb fittings would make the total thickness to be 63mm. The radiator has 20 FPI. There is a gap of 105mm between any two fan mounting holes. The soft tubing is made from an anti-explosion rubber tube with Teflon coating and running to 390mm in length. The soft material tubing is a bit flexible and don’t produce kinking which is always a plus. There is what seems to be a refill port on the radiator.

The distinct footprint on this cooler comes from the infinity mirror design on the block and 3x Hurricane-II digital RGB fans though I must say that the infinity mirror design reminds me of the NZXT Kraken X series coolers as I guess they were the first ones to use infinity mirror design if I am not wrong! The block has a size of 78.4×87.9×52.9mm. The housing of the pump unit is in gloss black finish in a circular design. It is a fingerprint magnet. The top has a mirror glass finish. The unit has a copper base that measures approximately 59x50mm and is large enough to cover any supported socket’s CPU IHS. There is an AZZA brand logo in the center of the glass top of the unit for infinity mirror design. This logo is fixed and the user would have to keep that in mind while installing the unit so that AZZA text remains upside.

The magic on the cooler is coming from the Hurricane-II fans (in terms of the form). These fans feature a dual ring for some vivid and cool lighting effects. These fans are rated at 12VDC with a rated current of 0.26A with the power of 3.12W. The power rating for the ARGB LEDs is 0.4A. The fan speed is 1000 ~ 1800±10% RPM. The maximum airflow on 12VDC is 43.06CFM. The noise level is rated at <29 dB(A). The maximum static pressure is 1.79mmH₂O. The fans are using the Hydro Bearings. A 3-way PWM splitter cable is provided so that all fans can be connected and controlled by the single fan header. These fans would give the user a killer lighting show. AZZA has provided a dedicated SATA powered controller with 10 pre-defined modes to control the lighting effects. These are compatible with ASRock Polychrome Sync, GIGABYTE RGB Fusion, ASUS AURA Sync, and MSI MYSTIC Light sync using 5V lighting headers as well. The user can also connect the Reset button cable of the PC chassis to the controller and use the Reset button to toggle the lighting modes.

The installation is relatively easy though, in my opinion, AZZA should use standoffs which would make the installation more convenient. AZZA has informed us that this cooler is not compatible with the Intel LGA1200 socket. Since the cooler’s mounting on Intel LGA1200 is identical to the LGA115x sockets, I am of the view that this cooler is compatible with Intel’s new socket. I will update this portion after checking on the Intel LGA1200 socket motherboard.

The AZZA Blizzard 360 is listed at $129.99 at the time of the review. AZZA is offering 2 years limited warranty on these coolers. We tested the cooler on the Intel test bench. It has performed decently if not the best. Nevertheless, it will handle the cooling task at hand. Using fans with better air pressure and airflow ratings might change the game for AZZA!

We are thankful to AZZA for giving us the opportunity to review their AZZA Blizzard 360 CPU Liquid Cooler.