Air-based CPU coolers have progressed as far as to practically reach their limits. The manufacturers find it very hard now to improve their characteristics further, yet new coolers keep on being rolled out. Why? Well, some firms do hope they can release a more efficient product by implementing some special features and others just try to attract users with an original exterior design. And there are also companies that update their CPU cooler series so rarely that we nearly forget about their earlier products when new ones are released.
The Swiss firm Arctic Cooling (or simply Arctic) is a good example of that as it has not produced any CPU coolers since its Freezer Xtreme which was released more than 2 years ago. But now, in early 2011, the company unveils two new coolers at once: the Freezer 13 and the Freezer 13 Pro. The latter seems to be intended for computer enthusiasts as, besides larger dimensions and weight, it has one special feature which is perhaps questionable but certainly unique. I haven't seen it in any other cooler. I am already preparing a review of that model, but today I'm going to talk about the Freezer 13.
The Korean Zalman has a different approach and updates its cooler line-up on a regular basis. Having finally developed a series of high-performance CNPS10X coolers, Zalman also continues with its coolers that have radial heatsinks. To be exact, Zalman seems to put a full stop in the development of this product line by releasing the CNPS9900 MAX. I find it hard to grasp the marketing logic of it but the company positions that model as a flagship of the entire fleet of Zalman’s coolers. Sounds optimistic, but let’s see how it performs in practical tests.
Arctic Freezer 13
I want to begin with the Arctic Freezer 13 cooler which comes in a plastic blister wrap with a paper insert:
You can see there some information about the cooler's specs and a couple of diagrams indicating that the Freezer 13 is more effective than a standard boxed Intel cooler by almost 20°C at only half the noise. The manufacturer also claims this cooler can cool CPUs that produce up to 200 watts of heat, which sounds very optimistic.
In the bottom part of the package there is a plastic fastening frame, four locks, two screws, two steel fasteners with screws for AMD CPUs, and an installation guide:
The Arctic Freezer 13 is manufactured in China. Its recommended price is $39.8 and its warranty period is 6 years.