Articles: Cooling

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Thermal and Acoustic Performance

First, let’s see how the CoolIT Freezone and its opponent cope with the overclocked quad-core processor.

Alas, there is no miracle. The system from CoolIT is only better than the good air cooler in Idle mode, which is indicative of inefficient use of the Peltier elements that might be shut down at low CPU loads. Under constant load the temperature is growing up steadily and finally exceeds that of the Enzotech Ultra-X. Here are the monitoring graphs for the hottest CPU core:

CoolIT Freezone

Enzotech Ultra-X

The CoolIT Freezone maintained a lower temperature at first, but the CPU temperature was growing up steadily with it. I guess the reasons lie on the surface: the volume of coolant is too small, the radiator is too small and simple, and the fan probably has too low performance. All of this limits the efficiency of the Peltier elements and of the pump which are ready to go on cooling at the same rate as in the beginning of the test but the other system components just cannot dissipate that much of heat.

It can be argued that I took a wrong processor because CoolIT developed the Freezone to dissipate 175W of heat rather than 200W (the estimated heat dissipation of the overclocked quad-core CPU in my tests), but then I can’t understand the purpose of this system and its positioning on the market as such a high price.

And here is the noise level diagram (the noise is measured using our traditional method described before). The subjectively comfortable level of 36dBA is marked with a dash line. The ambient noise level was about 34dBA.

I can’t say anything good about the Freezone again. The pump starts up first and is not too loud at work, yet its noise is far louder than that of quiet (and even not very quiet) air coolers. And then it becomes even worse as the fan joins in. Experienced overclockers should know that a 92x92x25mm fan won’t be quiet at a speed of 2400rpm, which is the minimum for the Freezone. Here, we’ve got a 92fan with a thickness of 38mm working at a speed up to 3200rpm! It is very loud.

I don’t forget about the system performance and fan speed control installed on the controller card but I just can’t say anything about it. It is to be turned with a cross-headed screwdriver counterclockwise to increase the performance of the Freezone and clockwise to reduce the performance and noise. However, my turning it around had no effect on the results I could track in the monitoring graph and on the CPU temperature. Perhaps the controller was defective, but whatever mode the Freezone defaults to, it is still too noisy and inefficient for its price.

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