Arctic Liquid Freezer II 420 Rev. 3 Review

Test setup and results …

We are testing the Liquid Freezer II 420 AIO water cooler on our well-known test system with AMD Ryzen 5 2600 CPU in factory and overclocked condition. The test system consists of the following components …

CPU AMD Ryzen 5 2600 (6 Cores, 12 Threads)
AMD Mainboard ASUS TUF B450M-Pro Gaming
RAM 2x 8GB DDR4-3400 CL14
Ambient temperature Approx. 21 °C
Test #1 CPU @ 3400 MHz at 1.2V and approx. 85W
Test #2 CPU @ 4000 MHz overclocked at 1.38V and about 133W

To keep the influence of the housing as low as possible, no side wall of the housing was mounted during the tests. The CPU was loaded with the program Prime95, where we chose the “Small FFT” test for maximum heat development and the temperatures were determined with the program HWiNFO. Here you can find the Tools for download.

The system was always loaded until no temperature increase was detected for 5 minutes. At least in the tests with the unoverclocked CPU the AMD Boxed cooler and a good midrange tower air cooler, the Arctic Freezer 34 eSports, were the opponents. The pump of the Liquid Freezer II 420 always ran on 100%, because it doesn’t make any audible noise even at 100% speed. So only the fan speed was varied.

Results without overclocking at synthetic load …

The measured values for the not overclocked CPU are as follows. Results with the value >85 °C mean that the test was aborted early because the cooling was not sufficient.

The AMD Boxed cooler must be operated at maximum fan speed even at standard clock speed to cool the CPU sufficiently and the Arctic Tower cooler provides sufficient cooling power from medium speed. The Liquid Freezer II 420 is for an AMD Ryzen 5 2600 total overkill. Even the slightest draught through the radiator is enough to cool the CPU easily. In this situation the Liquid Freezer II 420 with 26dBA is almost inaudible at a distance of almost 30cm, because neither pump nor fan produce noticeable noise during operation. The cooler maintains this attitude up to 60% fan speed, which corresponds to about 1200 rpm. The already low temperature is reduced by another 2°C. The Ryzen 2600 is now at 48°C under full load. At full speed and now clearly audible but not very loud fans, the CPU is now cooled down to 47°C.

Results with overclocking and synthetic load …

Let’s get the CPU up to speed and overclock the Ryzen 5 2600 to 4GHz, whereby the CPU produces about 133 watts of power dissipation, which is about 56% more than with a standard clock. Since the AMD Wraith Stealth cooler was already at its limit at factory clock speed, only the Arctic Tower cooler and the Liquid Freezer II 420 are now competing against each other. Here are the results.

Even with OverClocking the Arctic cooler does not even come close to its limits! Even with 20% fan control, the Liquid Freezer II 420 keeps the six core almost inaudible at 68°C. This happens under synthetic load, where all calculations take place in the cache of the CPU, resulting in a tremendous heat. If the fan speed is increased to 1200 rpm again, the overclocked CPU reaches only 66°C under Prime 95. At full speed it is then 65°C. Thus the Arctic Liquid Freezer II 420 Rev. 3 AIO is even one degree below the result of the Arctic Liquid Freezer II 360 Rev.2 at 1750 rpm despite a slightly lower speed of 1650 rpm.

Results with overclocking and gaming …

On a fast lap of Forza Horizon 4, the CPU didn’t even reach the 50°C mark!

The test results clearly show that we couldn’t really challenge the CPU with our overclocked 6-core. The Liquid Freezer II 420 is designed for bigger things. It takes it easy with 12 or 16 CPU cores, no matter if Team Red or Blue 😉

We see the VRM fan as a nice addition, which can have a positive effect on the voltage converters of the mainboard under very cramped conditions, like an HTPC in M-ITX format.

In a gaming PC in M-ATX or ATX format, where one or the other case fan is still installed, the benefit of the VRM fan will hardly be measurable, or more precisely, we already tested this with a 60mm VRM fan of an Asus ROG Ryujin 360. But here we think we prefer to have rather than need, because even at full speed, the 40mm VRM fan of the Liquid Freezer II 420 AIO produces practically no audible noise.

Arctic Liquid Freezer II 420 AIO water cooler Overall impression and conclusion …