ARCTIC Liquid Freezer III 240 A-RGB White Review

👤by Tim Harmer Comments 📅01-03-24
Conclusion

The desktop PC market has in recent years been blessed with a wide selection of excellent value-oriented CPU coolers, both in terms of air and AIO liquid solutions, and so ARCTIC was was always going to have it's work cut out in setting itself above the competition. In that respect the Liquid Freezer III has certainly impressed us, much more so than we were expecting.

That being said, there is a slight wrinkle in our assessment: regional pricing is exceptionally variable, with the UK and EU being ultra-competitive and the US/NA/AUS regions far less so. In the former this cooler is technically well within the budget bracket, whereas elsewhere it's far more mid-range in its pricing. We'll try and reflect that in our conclusion.

Clearly this model's cooling performance is more than up to scratch, rivalling more expensive models with larger radiators. That's partially due to a relatively thick 38mm radiator (the DeepCool LE500 for instance is only 27mm thick), but the fans are also deserving of praise in pushing air through this dense fin stack. There will be some compatibility issues with specific cases and motherboards, particularly cases that do not off-set their 120mm roof fan mounts, which potential users will need to account for.

Adding a dedicated VRM fan is an interesting design choice. It arguably shouldn't be necessary - general case air flow should be sufficient - but it does add some peace of mind when overclocking or using Intel and AMD's most power-hungry CPUs. The trade-off is one of noise - while not loud you can expect it to add a higher-pitched tone to the aggregate fan noise profile. Independently setting fan curves and running the VRM fan at low RPM may be a sensible approach for the noise-sensitive.

Acoustics are generally good, even though the fans are working commensurately harder to maintain good airflow through the radiator. That's particularly noticeable during light workloads, where the default fan profile is notably more aggressive than some competitors.



Another wrinkle is the need to use a contact frame when paired with Intel LGA1700 systems. It's not a problem per se but it's easy for an inexperienced user to make a mistake and cause damage to the CPU socket. The blame rests firmly with Intel who engineered a poor retention system for this generation of CPUs, but it is something to be aware of prior to purchasing.

In terms of aesthetics, this model is just great. We're always suckers for a clean all-white finish but the black version should be just as good, and the A-RGB lighting is vibrant and attractive. White sleeving for the coolant tubes works well, and running the PWM fan cables up the length of this tubing leads to a nice, clean finish. Even a novice should be able to put together a system that looks great with this cooler.


Fundamentally, ARCTIC have hit a great price/performance sweetspot without neglecting aesthetics. It's arguably merely good in the US and Australia at ~$120 and AUS$170 respectively, but exceptional affordability in the UK and EU make this cooler almost a no-brainer. If your case supports it, you'd be a fool not to at least consider this solution at 69.99.

Due to these factors we're more than happy to grant the ARCTIC Liquid Freezer III 240 A-RGB our Approved award and, in the UK and EU specifically, the Amazing Value award.

Whether you're keeping costs down or attempting to maximise cooling within a 240mm radiator footprint, ARCTIC's Liquid Freezer III 240 A-RGB ticks all the right boxes to be in the running against more recognisable brands. If you pay in 's or 's it should go right to the top of your shortlist for consideration.

Pros
+ Looks great
+ Multiple size options
+ Excellent performance
+ Low-noise operation
+ Exceptionally good value for money in the UK and EU
+ Long 6 years warranty

Cons
- Requires changing the Intel LGA1700 ILM with a contact frame
- Pricing varies greatly depending on geographic region
- A thick radiator will impact case/motherboard compatibility

Click here for an explanation of our awards at Vortez.net.

Stay connected with the Vortez Social Media pages:
Facebook
Twitter
Instagram

Join in with the discussions on Discord

9 pages « < 6 7 8 9

Comments