Welcome to my first blog post, I’ve been thinking about beginning a blog for a long time but have never really gotten around to doing it. So hey, here’s my first shot! I don’t claim that everything I’m going to test can be replicated 100% as temperatures are affected by case conditions, more so it is an opinion piece based upon my experiences with these two CPU coolers within my system specifically.
And the two parts to be examined:
Note: The same thermal compound was used for both coolers.
To monitor the differences in performance for both the stock cooler and the after market tower cooler, I will be running Cinebench R23. Cinebench is a CPU intensive benchmark which will stress the CPU to it’s limits.
The reason we want to do this is fairly simple:
It is clear by looking at the two images of these coolers that while their basic function is the same, that they’re methods of fulfilling that function are a little different.
The AMD stock Wraith Stealth cooler, is the classic CPU cooler design of yesteryear. The bottom of the aluminium heat-sink has direct contact with the IHS (Integrated Heat Spreader – the top of the CPU), and the fan blows air from the case down through the heat-sink towards the motherboard. Dispersing the hot air past the heatsink and CPU towards the rest of the case.
On the other hand, the Arctic Freezer CPU cooler has a more modern form factor. It is what is known as a CPU tower cooler, named after the fact that it sits tall… like a tower.
The benefits of this form factor are that the size of the heatsink can be increased, meaning it is possible to add more fins which increases the total surface area of the heatsink and helps to reduce temperatures. Additionally, you can add more than 1 fan, one as an intake fan and one as an exhaust fan.
This means fresh cool air is being pushed through the heatsink by the intake fan, while simultaneously the warm air is being sucked out of the heatsink and away from the area. Additionally the extracted hot air is being diverted towards another area in the case which (for most cases) means it can more easily be exhausted from the case via a case exhaust fan. Unlike the stock cooler which pushes the hot air back down towards the CPU package area.
Another point to note is that the Arctic Freezer uses copper heat pipes to contact the CPU IHS and spread that heat to the heatsink, whereas the AMD stock cooler, contacts the IHS directly with it’s aluminium heatsink, which is much less thermally conductive.
Although for the Arctic Freezer cooler specifically (this does not apply to all tower coolers), its contact pad with the IHS is actually smaller than the size of the IHS itself, meaning that there are possibly hot spots on the CPU IHS that are not being cooled as effectively as they could be if the entire IHS was covered.
I have run each test with different fan speed custom presets: Silent, Standard, Full Fan Speed.
Each cooler will got through the Cinebench R23 benchmark mutliple times, each time changing the fan speed present to see how each cooler performs at different levels to airflow.
Silent Fan Speed Preset Multi Core
The first test can be seen below. I started with the Silent Fan Speed Preset. Both coolers were tested under the same conditions – only two programs were running during these tests. One was the Cinebench R23 benchmarking suite and the other was Asus AI Suite which I used to monitor temperatures.
It is clear from the graph below that the Arctic Freezer cooler kept our CPU at a lower temperature. Although I would have expected the score to increase given the lower temperatures. My only conclusion here would be that the scores are proportional to how hard the CPU would have been working and thus the higher temperatures would generally speaking collate with a higher score, and lower temperatures with a lower score.
The results from this test I believe to be either inconclusive and most likely unimportant anyway, as generally speaking we’re more concerned with how much performance we can squeeze out of our CPU when utilising our coolers to their limits.
Standard Fan Speed Preset Multi Core
Next we can see the results from running the same benchmarking suite with the Standard Fan Speed Preset selected. These results appear o be more inline with my expectations, the Arctic Freezer cooler appears to be out performing the stock AMD cooler, keeping temperatures a whooping 6 degrees cooler, while also achieving a better score than the AMD cooler run.
I should note however, that the difference in score is just within the 1% error region meaning that these scores may well be consider to be the same when taking into account a 1% margin of error. Although even while achieving the same score, the Arctic cooler temperatures were noticeably cooler. This is a clear win for the Arctic Freezer cooler.
Full Fan Speed Multi Core
It is at full fan speed where we see the most difference between the two coolers. This is where the increased surface area, extra fan, more conductive materials, and more appropriate exhaust direction start to show their benefits.
We can see an even bigger improvement in multi core benchmark scores while also dropping temperatures by another degree. Whereas the AMD stock cooler has more or less stagnated in terms of performance.
Single Core Benchmark Results
For those of you interested you can view the Single Core test results in the gallery below. I do not think these are worth analysing as they are not using all cores and I’m only interested in testing these coolers under real working/gameplay conditions.
Silent Fan Speed Preset at Idle
At the silent fan preset while idling the Arctic Freezer vastly out performs the AMD stock cooler, I would assume this is due to the greater surface area and extra fan, which means that it will have more cooling action with a similar air flow.
Standard Fan Speed Preset at Idle
At the standard fan preset the AMD stock cooler surprisingly holds it’s own when compared to the Arctic Freezer. They are neck and neck in terms of CPU and Motherboard temperatures but the Arctic Freezer takes it in terms of the CPU Package temperatures, which is what we’re most interested in.
Full Fan Speed at Idle
Finally, when observing temperatures at idle with full fan speed the Arctic Freezer sets a frosty example for the AMD stock cooler, but the stock cooler just can’t compete. Although the motherboard temperature is higher for the Arctic cooler, this could be due to the fact that the cooler could be displacing a lot of the CPU heat to other areas of the case which could cause the general case temperature to rise but keeping the CPU temperatures low. However, this is only speculation.
The most important piece of information here is that the Arctic Freezer is keeping the CPU package a whooping 6 degrees cooler.
In conclusion, generally speaking I think the data indicates a win for the Arctic Freezer 34 eSports Duo. The results weren’t as black and white as I was expecting, with the Arctic Freezer out performing the AMD Wraith Stealth with marginal differences in some areas and fantastic differences in other areas.
I do think given the small price of the Arctic Freezer it is well worth the investment. Additionally, the case in which the system is situated focuses mainly on aesthetics rather than function – I would suspect the differences in performance and temperature to only increase when test on an open air test bench or being used within a case with better airflow.
All in all, the Arctic Freezer 34 eSports Duo is a good buy in my experience.