Arctic Cooling Liquid Freezer 120 AIO CPU Cooler Review @ [H]

koomba

Limp Gawd
Joined
Nov 10, 2004
Messages
297
I maybe want to get the 120 version and use it with a NZXT Kraken G10 to cool my GTX 980 Ti. Cheap awesome watercooling for $100.00.

Anyone know if this combo will go together? I'm a bit worried that the tubes are just too short to get this done, though.
I'm hoping to do the exact same thing, I didn't really pay attention the tube length. Is it significantly shorter than on other AIO coolers or something?
 

koomba

Limp Gawd
Joined
Nov 10, 2004
Messages
297
In regards to availability and the amazon prices now being ridiculous: AC still has them in stock directly from their website for MSRP, which is $85 on the 120 version. Not as good as the $70 it was on Amazon a few days ago, but better than current price on there if you just have to order it today. Shipping would be $16 for me though, :( making it just over $100. As much as I really want to order it right now, my 980 ti isn't even here yet, so I'm gonna resist the impulse buy, at least until I know when my card will be here lol. But man I'm so excited for my Ti, I can't hardly wait. :D
 

jyi786

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
Jun 13, 2002
Messages
5,560
In regards to availability and the amazon prices now being ridiculous: AC still has them in stock directly from their website for MSRP, which is $85 on the 120 version. Not as good as the $70 it was on Amazon a few days ago, but better than current price on there if you just have to order it today. Shipping would be $16 for me though, :( making it just over $100. As much as I really want to order it right now, my 980 ti isn't even here yet, so I'm gonna resist the impulse buy, at least until I know when my card will be here lol. But man I'm so excited for my Ti, I can't hardly wait. :D
Well, I asked NZXT directly. They said that the Kraken G10 is NOT compatible with this cooler.

No issue for me anyway, as I already installed a Kraken G10 with a Corsair H90 on my MSI GTX 980 Ti during the past week.
 

DarkLegacy

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Dec 26, 2004
Messages
1,095
Patiently waiting for it to come back down on price via Amazon. Most likely going to be awhile since this review has made the demand very high for it. I pretty much check Amazon every hour if I can lol.
 

koomba

Limp Gawd
Joined
Nov 10, 2004
Messages
297
Well, I asked NZXT directly. They said that the Kraken G10 is NOT compatible with this cooler.

No issue for me anyway, as I already installed a Kraken G10 with a Corsair H90 on my MSI GTX 980 Ti during the past week.
What kind of temperatures are you getting? I just finished my custom loop for my 5820k, and I'm having a hard time deciding if I should add my 980 ti to the loop, or go the AIO route. I wouldn't mind adding it to my loop, but the only problem is I only have room for one more radiator, a 120/140 size. I can fit up to a 60mm thick one, but I just don't know if it would be any better than having it isolated in a separate AIO loop.
 

jyi786

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
Jun 13, 2002
Messages
5,560
What kind of temperatures are you getting? I just finished my custom loop for my 5820k, and I'm having a hard time deciding if I should add my 980 ti to the loop, or go the AIO route. I wouldn't mind adding it to my loop, but the only problem is I only have room for one more radiator, a 120/140 size. I can fit up to a 60mm thick one, but I just don't know if it would be any better than having it isolated in a separate AIO loop.
Excellent temps actually. One day when I came home from work and fired up my rig, the GPU temp was 16C. Yes, that wasn't a typo: the GPU temp was sixteen degrees C. My room doesn't have heat. :D

Realistically, I get idle temps of about 28~37C, and load temps do not go higher than 60C. Highest when running something like MSI Kombustor, which is completely unrealistic, nets me a max of 63C. Now, it can definitely be lower, but I purposely run the fan at low RPMs, so the computer is practically silent, even when running a game full bore, like Far Cry 4 or Fallout 4. If I ramp the fan up, I can get full load temps of no more than 46C.

Highly recommended. Even if you don't do full custom water cooling, I'm of the opinion now that at the very least an AIO should go on your GPU.
 

jfreund

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Sep 3, 2006
Messages
1,043
With regard to 1366 compatability, the top mount that snaps onto the water block fits both 115x/2011 and 1366. The backplate is 115x/2011 only. However, the backplate from a Corsair h110i GT and the 1366 backplate from a Thermalright TRUE will both work with the Arctic Cooling water block.
 

mnewxcv

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
Mar 4, 2007
Messages
6,956
Nope, nope, and nope. If I were making a water cooling system, I wouldn't have an Asetek pump on the block, I would go with push-only fans (most likely NB-eLoops), and I'd go for the biggest radiator I could fit (240 or 280mm minimum). I don't find single 120mm rads worth it, they just end up being to expensive and underpowered compared to an air cooler of the same cost and noise level.
Perhaps you didn't read the article? Also the double thickness rad has area close to a 240mm thin rad. ALSO the pump in these is reliable and low power. ALSOOO the fans are removable!
 

mrluckypants96

Limp Gawd
Joined
Oct 6, 2015
Messages
431
Perhaps you didn't read the article? Also the double thickness rad has area close to a 240mm thin rad. ALSO the pump in these is reliable and low power. ALSOOO the fans are removable!
I've read it and read it again. It's still not how I'd set my cooling up.

For example, the pump. Instead of an Asetek pump (which I've heard many complaints about in terms of failure rates, and had one fail on me personally) mounted directly on the CPU (vibration and noise), I want something like what Swiftech and EK do on their AIO coolers, with a full-size DDC pump that's mounted (with much more effective vibration dampeners) to the radiator. Bigger pump, more flow, and less noise/vibration. For me at least, I don't care about low power on a pump if I'm going to be overclocking a CPU, because the CPU is going to be drawing far more than the difference a more efficient pump will be anyways. Kind of a "I added 50W overclocking, but at least the pump takes 3W less" kind of situation.

Part two is the radiator. In my experience, even thick single rads (ala H80i GT) don't perform to the same level as a good dual rad. The option for a thick dual rad or a 140mm-based dual rad can boost the cooling power and noise reduction even more over any single rad. I'd also want a copper radiator in my system, because they can dissipate much more heat than the aluminum ones in the Asetek/CoolIT units.

The fans are always a sticking point with Arctic, since they are always good at the beginning, but quickly develop bearing issues leading to massively increased noise output. As stated before, I'd use (and do use) Noiseblocker eLoops for cooling, since they are incredibly quiet (even after long-term use) and move a ton of air for their noise level. Removable fans are great (and expected, unless you're Antec), but that just means another $20 in fans and another couple fans in my spare parts drawer.
 

Riccochet

Fully [H]
Joined
Apr 11, 2007
Messages
23,920
I've read it and read it again. It's still not how I'd set my cooling up.

For example, the pump. Instead of an Asetek pump (which I've heard many complaints about in terms of failure rates, and had one fail on me personally) mounted directly on the CPU (vibration and noise), I want something like what Swiftech and EK do on their AIO coolers, with a full-size DDC pump that's mounted (with much more effective vibration dampeners) to the radiator. Bigger pump, more flow, and less noise/vibration. For me at least, I don't care about low power on a pump if I'm going to be overclocking a CPU, because the CPU is going to be drawing far more than the difference a more efficient pump will be anyways. Kind of a "I added 50W overclocking, but at least the pump takes 3W less" kind of situation.

Part two is the radiator. In my experience, even thick single rads (ala H80i GT) don't perform to the same level as a good dual rad. The option for a thick dual rad or a 140mm-based dual rad can boost the cooling power and noise reduction even more over any single rad. I'd also want a copper radiator in my system, because they can dissipate much more heat than the aluminum ones in the Asetek/CoolIT units.

The fans are always a sticking point with Arctic, since they are always good at the beginning, but quickly develop bearing issues leading to massively increased noise output. As stated before, I'd use (and do use) Noiseblocker eLoops for cooling, since they are incredibly quiet (even after long-term use) and move a ton of air for their noise level. Removable fans are great (and expected, unless you're Antec), but that just means another $20 in fans and another couple fans in my spare parts drawer.
FWIW, the 240 version for $10 more, is REALLY hard to beat price and performance wise. Even compared to a custom loop. Zero pump noise (not sure where you are hearing that), virtually silent fans and as much cooling (if not better) than my last custom CPU loop. For $80.
 

mrluckypants96

Limp Gawd
Joined
Oct 6, 2015
Messages
431
FWIW, the 240 version for $10 more, is REALLY hard to beat price and performance wise. Even compared to a custom loop. Zero pump noise (not sure where you are hearing that), virtually silent fans and as much cooling (if not better) than my last custom CPU loop. For $80.
I agree that $80 is a good price, but like I said I don't trust those fans to hold up, so that's about another $40 on replacement fans. I've used AIO coolers before, and they always have pump noise (Both Kraken X61's had noise, one of which failed and had to be replaced, and my CM Seidon has pump noise), you can drop the voltage to 7V or so to make it quieter, but I've seen a DDC pump in action before, and they're pretty damn quiet by comparison.
 

Riccochet

Fully [H]
Joined
Apr 11, 2007
Messages
23,920
I'll record a video of the pump noise from my 240 unit. It's pretty much non-existent.
 

DejaWiz

Fully [H]
Joined
Apr 15, 2005
Messages
19,971
For the past couple years, I've been dead-set on getting a Corsair 280mm unit and was about to do so. This review of the 120 and testimonials of its bigger sibling prompted me to buy the 240 this morning. Amazon had a couple left in stock for $100 Prime shipped. A huge thank you to [H] and my fellow members for taking the time to post their reviews and swaying me over to a far suprior AIO solution.
 
Last edited:

David-Duc

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Dec 22, 2010
Messages
1,162
What I have been wondering is since most of those CLCs come from just a few OEM (Asetek, CoolIT...), whether or not they perform the same with the same fan? Arctic Cooling and NZXT both use Asetek OEM, Corsair use both Asetek and CoolIT as far as I know.
 

mrluckypants96

Limp Gawd
Joined
Oct 6, 2015
Messages
431
What I have been wondering is since most of those CLCs come from just a few OEM (Asetek, CoolIT...), whether or not they perform the same with the same fan? Arctic Cooling and NZXT both use Asetek OEM, Corsair use both Asetek and CoolIT as far as I know.
Theoretically, yes. Assuming the radiator is the same design and thickness, and the pump is the same design and speed, they should perform identically with the same fan.
 

DejaWiz

Fully [H]
Joined
Apr 15, 2005
Messages
19,971
Theoretically, yes. Assuming the radiator is the same design and thickness, and the pump is the same design and speed, they should perform identically with the same fan.
What sold me on the AC LF240 was that it comes with 4x120mm AC PWM fans. That's around $40 as a separate purchase. I look at it as paying $60 for the radiator, block/pump, tubing, fluid, and misc hardware. That's one hell of a cool deal.
 

jfreund

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Sep 3, 2006
Messages
1,043
How can the backplate work for 2011 and not 1366?
I don't have a 2011 system, so I base that only on AC listing 2011 compatibility. I can tell you that the included backplate fit the measurements for 115x but not 1366, while the top piece is cut for both.
 

mnewxcv

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
Mar 4, 2007
Messages
6,956
I don't have a 2011 system, so I base that only on AC listing 2011 compatibility. I can tell you that the included backplate fit the measurements for 115x but not 1366, while the top piece is cut for both.
oh ok, that explains it. 2011 will have a built in backplate, which the top part will screw into, while a 1366 board would require a backplate.
 

mrluckypants96

Limp Gawd
Joined
Oct 6, 2015
Messages
431
What sold me on the AC LF240 was that it comes with 4x120mm AC PWM fans. That's around $40 as a separate purchase. I look at it as paying $60 for the radiator, block/pump, tubing, fluid, and misc hardware. That's one hell of a cool deal.
The Deepcool Captain 240 is $60 after rebate (At Newegg: Deepcool CAPTAIN 240 91.1 CFM Liquid CPU Cooler (CAPTAIN 240) - PCPartPicker), including two of their high-quality GF120 fans. I'm not a fan (heh heh) of the Arctic fans, they get loud after not a very long time.
 

bpizzle1

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
Oct 27, 2007
Messages
4,172
Glad I saw this review before I made my decision. It saved me about $50! The pump on my H220 started making a terrible grinding noise, and I can't seem to get it to stop. I had assumed it was air in the line, but the usual methods of clearing that haven't done anything. Since it's out of warranty, I decided to just replace it with the 240mm version of this cooler. Looking forward to getting it up and running.
 

Riccochet

Fully [H]
Joined
Apr 11, 2007
Messages
23,920
Glad I saw this review before I made my decision. It saved me about $50! The pump on my H220 started making a terrible grinding noise, and I can't seem to get it to stop. I had assumed it was air in the line, but the usual methods of clearing that haven't done anything. Since it's out of warranty, I decided to just replace it with the 240mm version of this cooler. Looking forward to getting it up and running.
You won't be disappointed. It's a beast for the money.
 

munkle

[H]F Junkie
Joined
Jan 16, 2005
Messages
11,505
I picked one of these up, pretty disappointed. I replaced an h50, was hoping for something a little quieter in the fan department, I was hoping with the thicker radiator that I would be able to have it run cooler as well. So far it seems this is louder than my h50 and its stock fan, and it doesn't seem to cool as well either. I'm sitting at 72C at 3.9ghz on i7 4770k with prime 95. That's really no better than my h50 and its noisier as well, ill pull it tomorrow to check the paste as maybe it didn't apply evenly but that's not going to affect the sound profile.
 

munkle

[H]F Junkie
Joined
Jan 16, 2005
Messages
11,505
Alright, pulled the block and the spread on the paste was just fine. I did some individual tests on each component compared to my h50. At 12v the pump on the arctic is much quieter than the h50. The fans though are roughly the same loudness as the fan that comes with the h50 but the arctic fans seem to push less air (this just how it feels to me I don't have a way to measure this). I think I may have found the culprit of why my temps are so much higher. I left my bios settings on auto, at 3.9ghz it was doing 1.33v, I set it to the same settings H used at 3.5ghz and 1.0v and I got roughly the same temps. I still wouldn't call this thing near silent at all. I'm going to put the h50 back on and see how it fares at 3.5ghz 1v to see which comes out better.
 

munkle

[H]F Junkie
Joined
Jan 16, 2005
Messages
11,505
So the h50 is about 4c hotter at 3.5ghz 1v than the arctic, and noise wise I would put it roughly the same, possibly the h50 being slightly noisier at load. The arctic seems for the most part generally quieter at idle. In my opinion, its not worth the cost coming from another water cooler.
 

hakstarr

Limp Gawd
Joined
Mar 29, 2011
Messages
276
Has anyone ran one of these for a year and had any issues? debating on buying one.
 

RIRed48

Limp Gawd
Joined
Dec 2, 2006
Messages
360
I need the 120MM version Arctic AOI for a Mini-ITX build in either the Fractal Core 500 or the Phanteks Evolv cases with the Asus Z170I Pro Gaming MB...

Will be a relatively easy install in either of these small cases?.... anyone w/ personal experiences w/ this specific proposed setup?

Thanks...

-Brian in RI
 

gmariust

n00b
Joined
May 13, 2016
Messages
5
Hello everyone, maybe you can help me with a small clarification regarding the Arctic Liquid Freezer 120, I would like to know how to power the pump on this AIO on an Asus Gene VII. The daisy chain method stated by Arctic removes the PWM capability and sets the pump and fans to work at a more or less fixed 1400 RPM. If I split the fans to cpu_fan and pump to cpu_opt, and do new setup via Q-Fan, the fans run at a the same 1400 RPM while the pump go full speed at ~5000 RPM. As the pump requires 12v can it damage the cpu fan header by drawing too much power? I recall that the cpu headers support 1A max. The AIO has 2 years warranty so it can die prematurely if it is used at full speed? Interesting is that when I use the split method at idle the fans run at around1400 RPM's and if I start AIDA bench for example while the pump keeps the same speed the fan speed actually decreases from 14000 RPM to around 800. Is it possible that the cpu_fan starts getting less voltage because cpu_opt header starts using more voltage for the pump?

Thank you for any advice
M.
 

mikeohara

Limp Gawd
Joined
Dec 24, 2002
Messages
368
I bought mine to finally replace my stock cooler that I have been running on my FX8350 for sometime now. The other day, I saw the chip throttle out after hitting 90 degrees C and I came across the review. I paid $84 with two day shipping (wife needed a charging cord as well for a old Samsung tablet), but the 120mm version was less than $60 on Amazon when I bought it, which makes this a instabuy pretty much.
 
Top