Arctic Liquid Freezer II 280 Review

👤by Matthew Hodgson Comments 📅02-12-19
First things first, we need to tell you that the installation didn’t go to plan within our Corsair 680X chassis, causing us to do something a little unorthodox, and something that we’re not particularly proud of, but we’re confident that the results will be largely reliable and representative of the product’s true potential.

The first step is mounting the studs through the Intel socket. This was, and there’s no easy way to say this, absolutely painstaking. Arctic, instead of providing something like a rubber o-ring, or furnishing the metal hardware with rubber edges, give you 8 small plastic stickers that you’re to place around each of the mounting holes, on both sides, to prevent damage occurring to the motherboard. Unless you have the hands of a new-born infant and the dexterity of a brain surgeon, you’ll struggle here, particularly with the top-right most, inside those VRMs and power phases.

Next up is mounting the two crossbars onto the pump housing with a small screw holding each side in place.

You can then go ahead and install the radiator into the case. Unfortunately, this is where we ran into some trouble. We had to disconnect the 8-pin CPU power and remove one of the 4 mounting screws on the left fan to get it into place, but it was then impossible to install the 8-pin CPU power back into place. The issues we faced are because of the 38mm thick radiator, in place of the usual 25mm thickness.

We removed the cooler again and had a think, toying with the idea of installing the radiator into the front of the chassis instead, or even testing it outside of the case, but neither of those would provide anything close to a reliable result, so instead, we got it 95% in place and used a couple of small cable ties instead. It’s not elegant, by any means, but it allows us to close the door of the case and have it almost in the same position as other AIO radiators that we’ve tested.

We then apply some Noctua NT-H1 thermal paste onto the 9700K and to ahead with the install of the pump enclosure. We didn’t have a great deal of clearance left over when installing this, so tighter motherboards might present an issue.
Then it’s a case of plugging in the single 4-pin PWM which controls both 140mm fans, the small pump-mounted fan and the waterpump. It’s perhaps the only simple part of the entire installation procedure so far.

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