Arctic Liquid Freezer 240 AIO Cooler Review

Introduction


Arctic are well-known for their air cooling products, but today we’ll be taking a look at one of their first entries to the high-end AIO water cooling market; the Arctic Liquid Freezer 240. Designed for high-performance cooling for gaming systems, overclocking, workstations and more, you’ll find a fairly thick 240mm radiator, backed up by four high-quality 120mm fans, there’s little doubt that it’ll be able to shift some serious heat from your system. With a max TDP of 300 Watts, as well as support for all major Intel and AMD sockets, the Freezer 240 can easily handle some of today’s fastest CPUs.

Water cooling is becoming increasingly popular, especially with many consumers now running overclockable processors. Being able to push your systems limits to get the most value for money out of your hardware is no bad thing. When you’re gaming, editing video, rendering and more, the CPU get’s pretty toasty, which in turn causes fans to spin faster and can result in more noise. Having a more powerful cooler should help ensure that not only do your temps stay nice and low, but you’ll also be keeping the acoustics in check too; let’s hope the new cooler from Arctic can tick both of those boxes.

The packaging is pretty straight forward, with a good image of the cooler on the front and a bit of branding.

Around the back, things get a lot more technical, with some relative performance figures and specifications. Of course, we’ll be doing our own independent testing, so I won’t focus on their figures too much.

The packaging is pretty crammed, with components and hoses next to each other and minimal padding around anything in here. I would hope then when shipped, the item comes in another box with bubble wrap around this one, as it doesn’t seem sufficient.

In the box, you’ll find all the usual nuts and bolts, a universal backplate, AMD and Intel brackets, as well as a small sachet of Arctic MX-4 thermal paste.

There are four high-quality fans included with this cooler. Each measure 120mm and are Arctic’s own design, promising high airflow and low noise. Each fan comes with a built-in fan header splitter, making it super easy to daisy chain them on a single fan header. Each fan has extra long cables, with black sleeving and a PWM header.

Arctic Announces Freezer i11 CO CPU Cooler

Arctic is one of the most respected manufacturers of CPU coolers in the industry and provides astonishing products at a ridiculously low price point. Many consumers ditch their processor’s stock cooler for a higher end alternative due to the improved thermal dissipation and lower noise levels. Even at the CPU’s stock frequency, its beneficial to purchase a slightly better cooling solution. Clearly, you don’t want to go overboard though because modern CPUs such as Intel’s latest Skylake architecture are efficient at stock values. Arctic’s Freezer 7 Pro and Freezer 13 offer an astonishing price to performance ratio and rival products at a significantly higher cost. At around £15-25, both units are a great choice for the average consumer wanting to upgrade their system’s hardware.

Today, Arctic unveiled the Freezer i11 CO CPU cooler designed for 24/7 operation and provides up to 150 watts of cooling capacity. Not only that, the product is equipped with a premium Japanese dual ball bearing fan which reduces rotational friction and is significantly less sensitive to dust and high temperatures. When compared to standard models, the bundled fan lasts five times longer!

On another note, the 92mm PWM fan is more efficient due to fluidic analysis. In basic terms, this means the fan offers greater cooling performance at reduced noise levels. As you can see, the product has three direct copper heatpipes to ensure heat can easily dissipate fast to the fins. The cooler also features a very easy to setup and versatile mounting apparatus which enhances the user-experience. The mounting system is transport-proof which prevents any damage from occurring once your system is being moved. This is pretty important due to the advent of flexing on Skylake processors. The bundle comes with a tube of MX-4 thermal paste to apply a few re-applications.

Available now, the i11 CO CPU Cooler is priced at GBP £25.99 (incl. VAT).

Arctic Liquid Freezer 120 AIO CPU Cooler Review

Introduction


Arctic are well-known for their air cooling products, having made many great products over the years, but now they’re moving into new territory with the release of their first water cooler. The Arctic Liquid Freezer 120 is an AIO water cooler, which means its going to be super easy to install and will need virtually no maintenance, making it an accessible option for those who don’t want to tackle custom loop cooling. It may only be a 120mm radiator, but Arctic are promising big performance, which will no doubt come from the thick radiator design, the two high-quality fans and their high-end pump and block design.

“We fully designed the F12 fan with CFD (Computational Fluid Dynamics) software and optimized it for high airflow. From all fans tested in our air tunnel and anechoic chamber the F12 offers the highest airflow at a given noise level – by margin” said Arctic. “Dual low noise 120 mm fans mounted on opposite sides of the radiator provide a great airflow. First fan pushes air through the radiator, second fan pulls the air through it. Controllable with PST function to adjust the fan speed based on CPU temperature.” they added. “The Fluid Dynamic Bearing comes with an oil capsule that avoids lubricant leakage. Thus this bearing is as quiet as a sleeve bearing but comes with a significantly higher service life.”

120mm radiators are extremely compatible with a huge range of chassis products, but keep in mind that at 49mm thick, as well as two 15mm thick fans, you’re going to need good clearance to einsure a comfortable fit, although we suspect this will only be an issue for some SFF chassis types.

The cooler offers up support for all the latest socket types, and with an impressive max TDP of 300 watts, it’s going to be able to handy virtually anything you throw at it.

  • Intel Socket: 2011(-3), 1150, 1151, 1155, 1156
  • AMD Socket: AM2(+), AM3(+), FM1, FM2(+)
  • Max. Cooling Performance: 300 Watts
  • Recommended for TDP up to: 250 Watts

The packaging is nicely designed, with a nice clear image of the cooler on the front, as well as a good amount of technical data on the sides.

There are some performance figures here, but as is often the case, I’ll trust my own numbers in our benchmarks, which we’ll take a look at shortly.

In the box, you’ll find a backplate, Intel and AMD mounting brackets, the installation guide, and all the usual nuts and bolts for mounting the fans, radiator, and pump.

Both F12 series fans are Arctics own design, with FDB and PWM speed control. What’s interesting is that both fans have super long cables and each has a Y-splitter so that you don’t lose the use of a fan header.


Arctic Reveal P533 Gaming Headset


Arctic may be better known for their high-performance air cooling products, but this last year has seen them pushing more into other markets. With the release of their fantastic AIO water cooling products, to their new P533 gaming headset range. There are two new headsets launching from them, the P533 Military and the P533 Racing. Fundamentally these are still the same headset, but rather two different visual designs of the same model.

“The conquest of new worlds, all-powerful enemies, great battles and wild chases – ambitious gamers are daily confronted with the toughest challenges. With the P533 stereo gaming headset they get the right equipment.” Arctic

The designs certainly look great, although I personally prefer the racing model, it just looks nice and sleek. There’s leather padding on the drivers, a closed back design and a thick layer of padding on the metal frame headband, so it certainly look robust and pretty capable overall. Of course, we’re eager to hear how it performs ourselves, as I’m sure you are, so we’ll be reaching out to Arctic to see if we can test it.

“Like the player itself the gaming headset must show performance at the highest level. The perfect fit is determining because you easily forget the time while gaming. However burning ears and uncomfortable pressure can bring you back to reality faster than favored. In contrast the P533 headset with its soft foam ear cushions and the equally padded and light headband keeps you comfortable for even the longest sessions. Nothing stands in the way for non-stop gaming. To really bring the action on the screen to life best audio quality is just as well under obligation. The lifelike stereo sound of the P533 catapults the gamer with a slam into the middle of the virtual world and makes it even more perceptible and spectacular. But even at the most hectic multiplayer combats, you can rely on the absolute precision of the integrated boom microphone. The sound volume can be directly adjusted through the headphone.” – Arctic

The headsets come with a protective clam-shell style case, great for storage. The P533 work with both console and PC, the 2m extension cable with 2 x 3.5 mm Jack leaves full freedom of movement.

  • P533 Stereo Gaming Headset
    Strong Bass and Crisp Treble
    Powerful Neodymium Driver
    Unparalleled Comfort Through Extra Smooth Earpads
    Compatible with Xbox, Playstation, Tablet, Smartphone, Laptop and PC
    Images for download
    The P533 is now available at ARCTIC for a price of 79.99 £ and also at Ebay and Amazon.

For more information, please check out the official product page here.

Report Suggests High Pressure CPU Coolers Can Damage Skylake Processors

Intel’s latest architecture requires a new LGA 1151 socket and features an enhanced pin count. Additionally, the CPUs are built on a 14nm manufacturing process. Some of you might remember that Skylake retail samples do not ship with a stock heatsink which raised concerns about temperatures. Thankfully, Skylake is very efficient with improved thermal dissipation. Here we can see the difference in size between Intel’s official Skylake heatsink and the previous generation.

However, according to PCGamesHardware.de, CPU coolers exhibiting high pressure mounts could damage the 1151 socket and Skylake CPUs. One theory suggests this is due to Skylake’s reduced thickness which makes the CPU flex under pressure due to a lack of mechanical stability. Therefore, any cooler which adopts a hefty clamping force is capable of pushing the CPU into the socket and damaging both the motherboard and CPU pins.

This is clearly a very worrying turn of events, and PCGamesHardware contacted a number of cooler manufacturers to see clarification. Here’s is a complete rundown of the replies:

Scythe:

“The company Scythe EU GmbH announces that on several coolers from its portfolio, a change of the mounting system for Skylake / plinth is made ​​1151stAll coolers are in fact generally compatible with Skylake sockets, but it can in some cases result in damage to CPU and motherboard when the PC is exposed to stronger shocks (eg shipping or relocation). To prevent this, the pressure was reduced by an adjustment of the screw set. We will send the new set of screws you also like to charge. Please send your request via email tosupport@scythe.com or use the contact form on our website(http://www.scythe-eu.com/support/technische-anfragen.html).”

Noctua:

“Our SecuFirm2 mounting systems are subjected to prior to the release of new platforms an extensive compatibility testing. It could be determined with reference to the Intel LGA1151 platform (“Skylake”) no problems. Also on the part of our customers and our specialist resellers and system integration partners we have no reports of any problems. Our SecuFirm2 mounting systems access (with the exception of some more compact models of the L-series) for generating the necessary contact pressure on coil springs back, which allow a certain degree of flexibility both in terms of tolerances in the height as well as the case of vibrations or other forces. Compared with conventional spring-less installation systems where pressure is produced exclusively by the deformation of the mounting brackets, so can reduce the mechanical load on the CPU, and motherboard socket and any damage can be prevented by excessive force.”

EKWB:

“All EK Water Blocks EK-Supremacy Series CPU Water Blocks – Including the latest -MX and -EVO variants – are fully Complying with Intel Socket imposed H3 (LGA-1151) Mechanical force limitation. The clamping force, created by our PreciseMount spring loaded mounting mechanism, is well within the allowed mechanical limitations. The design of PreciseMount itself Prevents over-tightening and damage to mechnical Possible Either socket or the CPU packaging.

Older generation of (physically) compatible LGA-1151 Water Blocks with classic, undefined clamping ForceType mouting mechanism such as Supreme LTX – requires special attention When attaching the water block. As a result the use of search Waterblocks is not recommended with the LGA-1151 socket CPUs.”

Today, we received a statement from ARCTIC about their CPU cooler range and the effect it has on Skylake CPUs and 1151 motherboards:

ARCTIC:

“With this official statement we would like to assure that ARCTIC coolers are not affected by these problems and thus fully Skylake compatible. All ARCTIC CPU Coolers complies concerning the released sockets with the mechanical specification from Intel. With our coolers there are no problems on Intel CPUs of the 6th generation (Skylake) for LGA 1151. Depending on the parcel service drop heights of over 2 m can not be excluded. Therefore we recommend regardless of the CPU used to carefully evaluate the dispatch and the packaging used and to possibly mount larger and heavier CPU coolers by the end user.”

While this is far from ideal and illustrates a major flaw in Intel’s production, cooler manufacturers should be able to complete thorough testing and judge the probability of damage occurring. Thankfully, many have released statements pretty quickly, and it remains to be seen how much force is actually needed to cause damage. Currently, it seems like the issue is only effecting coolers with a very heavy mount point. As a result, there’s no need to panic but this is something which needs clarification from Intel and further research.

Do you use a hefty air cooler or water cooling setup?

Arctic Reveals Its First Liquid CPU Coolers

Even though Arctic has made a name for itself by manufacturing reliable air CPU coolers, recent reports suggest that the company is now looking to expand its portfolio a bit by creating liquid coolers. Arctic’s first ever liquid coolers are named Liquid Freezer 120 and Liquid Freezer 240, and as it happens, they’re actually the quietest and most powerful all-in-one coolers in their segment.

Starting off with the Liquid Freezer 120, I can tell you that it is fully compatible with a variety of Intel and AMD CPUs, and that it is recommended for TDP up to 250 Watts. Its maximum cooling performance is actually 300 Watts, all thanks to its powerful dual fans and highly efficient pump. By comparison, the Liquid Freezer 240 is recommended for TDP up to 300 Watts and is able to deliver a maximum cooling performance of 350 Watts. This cooler is ready for 16 cores and overclocking, and it is based on 4 high-quality fans. Both of these Arctic cooling solutions include Full Dynamic Bearings and were created using CNC manufacturing, which means that they are likely to last for a very long time. It’s also worth mentioning that they were designed to fit in any standard PC case, which is always a big plus in my book.

The Liquid Freezer 120 will cost £71.99 while the Liquid Freezer 240 will set you back £92.99. Both coolers will hit the market in December 2015, and if I were planning to build a high-end gaming PC anytime soon, I’d definitely consider purchasing one of them. How about you?

Liquid Freezer 120 Liquid CPU Cooler for Overclockers

  • Minimum Noise Level
  • Fits every standard case
  • Most efficient pump
  • Longer service life
  • Every unit performs the same
  • MX-4 thermal compound

Liquid Freezer 240 High-Performance CPU Water Cooler

  • Ready for 16 cores and overclocking

Arctic Announces Semi Passive Freezer CPU Cooler

Arctic has released some impressive cooling solutions in the past, for both CPUs and GPUs. Their newest CPU cooler is the Freezer i32 or a32 depending on whether you’ll want to mount it on an Intel or AMD processor. The really cool thing about this CPU cooler is that it is semi-passive, like we’ve seen quite a bit on graphics cards lately. This effectively means that the fan will not spin up before it is actually needed.

The Freezer is using a 120mm PWM fan that won’t spin up for the first 40% of the scale and comes with quite a nice TDP rating for its size. This CPU cooler is able to keep up to 320 Watts TDP under control and keep an i7-4790K below 50 degrees under full load.

The slim size should prevent any issues with memory clearance or other areas around the CPU. The backplate is secure enough for transport and should keep everything in place in your LAN gaming rig too.

In case you have a system that runs continuously for 24/7, Arctic released the Freezer i32 CO which stands for continues operation. It is specifically designed for these kinds of systems in mind while still performing great and for a long time.

Feature Highlights

  • Improved cooling performance
  • German fan controller
  • Improved Bearing
  • Optimal compatibility through lower footprint
  • Transport safe due to a back-plate and a lower weight
  • MX-4 thermal compound included

The Freezer i32/A32 is now available for a price of £49.99 while the CO version costs a little more and is available for £59.99.

Thermal Grizzly Thermal Paste Vs 6 Major Brands Review

Introduction


Finding the right thermal paste for your system is no easy task, as there are quite a lot of brands out there and from my experience, one person says “X is better than Y” the other says “Y is better than X”. In all honesty, pretty much any thermal paste on the market will likely be “enough” or give you reasonable performance, but that’s not what we’re looking to find out today. When it comes to squeezing every drop of performance out of your system, a few degrees can be the difference between a failed or a successful overclock. It can also be the difference between your PWM fans running in low or high RPM mode and a whole host of other factors.

We’ve been told that Thermal Grizzly was to up and coming king of the thermal paste market, and I’ve been a loyal user of the mighty Gelid GC Extreme for a long time now, so I’m eager to see if this new kid on the block can really perform better. Although, if it’s just as good as Gelid, I will not be disappointed. Putting one thermal paste head to head with another wouldn’t make for an interesting review though, so I’ve picked up some other popular favourites, from budget friendly to the premium choices; let’s find out which one is king!

Thermal Grizzly Kryonaugt

The newest thermal paste brand on our list and also one of the most expensive, clocking in at £15.95 for 11.1g. This brand is targeted at the enthusiast/overclocking crowd.

Akasa Pro-Grade 460

Akasa is a common choice for a lot of system builders and with just 3.5g in the tube and an average price of £6, it’s still expensive, but appeals to those building a few systems or for maintaining their own.

Noctua NT-H1

Notcua is known for their high-end engineering and their NT-H1 thermal paste has proven many times before that I can offer exceptional performance. It’s obviously targeted at the high-end and enthusiast market and will cost you around £7-10 for a small 3.5g tube.

Gelid GC Extreme

The popular choice for enthusiast overclockers around the world, Gelid is highly regarded for being able to deliver lower temps with their GC Extreme. You can pick up a smaller 3,5g tube for around £8 and a 10g mini-tub for about £22, making it noticeably more expensive than Thermal Grizzly.

Arctic Silver 5

This is one of the go-to brands of thermal paste for many system builders, it’s not “the best” but it’s still very good and has been on the market for many years. More often than not, you can pick up a 3,5g tube of this for just £5, making it very appealing to a lot of people.

EK Ectotherm

This one is new to me, I have heard of it, but I’ve never used it. It’s surprisingly affordable and will set you back about £5 for a 5g tub, making it a very attractive option and EK have a rock solid reputation in the cooling industry already.

Artic MX-4

Another budget friendly option from the legendary Arctic, costing just £6 for a 4G tube and much like Arctic Silver, it has long been a popular choice for system builders.

So there’s the competitors, a nice range of budget friendly options from a wide range of manufacturers,  some new, some old, some that have been around longer than time its self. There’s going to be some interesting competition here in terms of performance and prices, so there’s only one thing left to do, let’s fire this up on our eTeknix test bench and see who takes first place!

Arctic Release Accelero Hybrid III-140 AIO GPU Liquid Cooler

Many people like the idea of liquid cooling their system components, but daren’t venture into the full do it yourself market. Those people have had great joys out of all-in-one liquid cooling solutions for their CPU and in limited versions also for the GPU. Arctic already had their Accelero Hybrid II-120 on the market and now it is time for a bigger brother, the Accelero Hybrid III-140.

The Arctic Accelero Hybrid III-140 combines a liquid cooling solution with a 300W cooling ability, a 140mm radiator, an 80mm fan, and a heatsink to generate a pretty good graphics card cooler.

Arctic paid special attention to the voltage regulator modules and created individually made VRM heatsinks for NVIDIA and AMD graphic boards as well as generic ones to fit anything out of the norm. The downside to this cooler is that it takes up an expansion slot above your graphics card too and that is due to the memory and PCB heatsink that will be mounted to the rear of the card. There is no need for any gluing of heatsinks on the graphic card either, allowing you to go back to the stock setup if you wish to later on.

 

 

The released performance figures speak for themselves and it can cut half of the temperature when mounted on an AMD Radeon R9 290 graphics card. The stock cooler goes up to 94 degrees on the GPU and 76 on the VRM. With an Accelero Hybrid III-140 from Arctic, those are cut down to 46 and 42 degrees respectively. The noise production is also down with an impressive 60% reduction. The Arctic solution produces 0.3 Sone while the AMD cooler goes all the way up to 1 Sone.

Features:

  • Back-side cooler for lower RAM temperatures
  • Optimal VRM cooling through dedicated VRM heatsinks and an 80 mm fan for all NVIDIA and AMD graphic boards
  • Unparalleled performance with liquid cooling unit
  • Virtually silent thanks to low noise fan
  • Improved fan controller for NVIDIA graphics cards
  • No thermal glue necessary

The Arctic Accelero Hybrid III-140 is now available for a price of £84,99 at ARCTIC, Amazon, and Ebay.

Arctic Releases 5-Port 8A USB Smart Charger

When it comes to charging your smart devices then you got a whole lot of options. You can use the adapter you got along with the purchase, you can connect the USB cable to any kind of host devices such as your computer, smart tv, router, and more or you can use a smart and dedicated charger.

There aren’t many homes with just one device that needs charging, I know I’m looking at two smartphones and two tablets right now that all need to be charged regularly and be full of juice when I need them. With individual chargers, I take up a lot of power outlets and with my computer or other USB port I might get a slower charging result; if they deliver enough power at all.

That is where Arctic’s new Smart Charger comes into play. This isn’t the first of it’s kind, but it looks like a solid choice. The Arctic Smart Charger 8000 packs every protection feature you’ll want and it also provides enough juice to charge your devices as fast as possible.

With 8,000 m, the Smart Charger delivers even enough output to charge three tablets and two smartphones with high speed at once. The integrated voltage stability and overcurrent protection ensure furthermore that the charging is not only fast and smart but also safe.

  • Smart charging technology to guarantee maximum compatibility
  • Intelligent detection of the connected devices for maximum charging speed
  • 8 A total output
  • Voltage stability to ensure lasting fast charging
  • Over current protection
  • Functional and portable for the perfect use in office, at home and while travelling
  • 1m AC cable for the perfect use for out of reach sockets
  • 83 % efficiency minimum
  • Fully compliant with CE safety requirements

The Smart Charger 8000 is now available now for at a special price of £18.99 through Amazon. The normal MSRP is £29.99.

Arctic Released Alpine M1 & Alpine M1-Passive Silent AM1 CPU Coolers

AMD’s AM1 platform has great potential for a lot of builds, but the stock cooler leaves some wishes open. Arctic seems to think so too and they have released not one but two new CPU coolers for just this platform. The new CPU coolers are the Alpine M1 for whisper silent operation and the Alpine M1-Passive for completely silent operation.

The Alpine M1 comes with pre-applied MX-2 thermal compound ready to use. It has the same cooling abilities as the stock fan, but with figures that speak a lot more to us. Where the stock cooler will spin with up to 4000RPM, the Alpine M1 comes away with just 750RPM, resulting in a barely audible noise generation. The 80mm low-speed fan delivers the desired airflow and pressure without producing any audible noise, even under full load it generates only 0.1 Sone.

The Arctic Alpine M1 comes backed by a six-year warranty and will only cost you £8.99 on Amazon.

The second new CPU cooler from Arctic kicks the whole thing up a notch, or rather down as it comes without a fan and is a completely passive cooler. Despite the lack of a fan, the cooling block can keep an AMD Athlon 5350 Quad-Core under full load at just 49 degrees. The stock cooler with a fan can keep the CPU at 46 degrees, so that’s barely a difference in performance.

The aluminium cooler is 77mm wide and 70mm high, so it should fit into pretty much any chassis. Like the active brother, it comes with pre-applied MX-2 thermal compound, ready to be mounted in your system.

Arctic’s Alpine M1-Passive will cost a little bit more than the active version, but not much. It can be had for just £9.49 on Amazon at the time of writing and also comes backed by the same six-year warranty as the active model.

Arctic Launched New P324 BT Sports Bluetooth Headset

Music is a great motivator when working out, but not every headset is equally suited for the job. Arctic’s new P324 BT Sports Bluetooth 4.0 Headset is both washable and sweat resistant and sounds like a great one for the job. If you are jogging on the beach or exercising in the gym, the ultra light headset stays in place with the comfortable neckband.

The headband is foldable and the ear pads can be removed and washed. It comes with a battery for 20 hours of playback, enough for even the longest workout sessions.

Features

  • Extra lightweight supra-aural design with removable and washable ear pads
  • Built-in microphone
  • 20 hours of playback time
  • Foldable design for safe and space-efficient transport in a chic hard case
  • Available in black, white, blue, purple, pink and lime

The P324 BT is available now for a special launch offer of £22.99 instead of £29.99 at Amazon and ARCTIC. The launch offer is valid until 31 May 2015.

Thanks to ARCTIC for providing us with this information

Portable USB Wall Charger Roundup

Introduction


Quite often you’ll find yourself traveling to another city, state or country and be met with the all-too-common sinking feeling when presented with your hotel room power point options – only one or two annoyingly placed ports. If you’re like me, not only have you forgotten a power board, but you’ve got multiple devices to charge via USB ports. Furthermore, if you’re heading on a holiday or business trip – it’s likely that you’re carrying a myriad of battery-powered devices: a smartphone, tablet, smartwatch and GoPro being just the beginning of a very long list.

Being left with your standard issue 1-port USB smartphone charger won’t do you much justice, pulling out your bulky laptop isn’t always the best solution due to them being heavy and slow to charge – this is where USB power hubs come into their element. They’re also suitable for a home environment, offering between two and five handy USB ports to charge your devices overnight or while you’re sitting on the couch.

Thankfully for us, we’ve had a couple of wall USB chargers provided to us for testing. Read on for a quick round-up on these life-saving devices and what conditions we think they suit best.

The full list of products in this roundup and their pricing is as follows:

Inno3D Reveal A Pair Of Overclocked GTX 780s

Inno3D has expanded its GTX 780 line up with a pair of custom-cooled GTX 780s. The first of these is the iChill Black GTX 780 Accelero Hybrid which essentially combines Nvidia’s reference GTX 780 PCB with Arctic’s Accelero Hybrid VGA cooler. This allows the card to essentially use AIO liquid cooling to cool the GPU while the smaller fan on the cards outer shroud cools VRM and VRAM. The card features no backplate on the rear side as the rear side lacks additional components. The card uses a dual slot design and features out of the box overclocks to 1020MHz core, 1059MHz Boost and 6280MHz memory up from reference speeds of 868/900/6008MHz. 

The second card is the iChill GTX 780 HerculeZ 3000 X3 Ultra which features Inno3D’s rather large HerculeZ 3000 VGA cooling solution which uses a trio of 90mm fans and a huge heatsink that overhangs the GTX 780 PCB. This ships with overclocked speeds of 1006MHz core, 1046MHz boost and 6200MHz memory up from Nvidia reference speeds. Neither cards have pricing or availability details revealed but think GTX 780 prices and then add about 20 to 25%. Inno3D is claiming that both these cards are faster than a GTX Titan

Images courtesy of Inno3D

Arctic Accelero Hybrid 7970 VGA Cooler Review

All In One liquid CPU coolers are becoming increasingly common in the CPU cooler market, yet we haven’t really seen them arrive in the VGA cooler market to date. Arctic were the first company that I know of to start this trend off. Shortly after Arctic released their first AIO liquid cooled VGA cooler, the same principle was used by ASUS in their ARES II graphics card. The Arctic Accelero Hybrid 7970 VGA Cooler we are looking at today is only intended for a single GPU graphics card. This cooler can best be described as a Corsair H55 for graphics cards as it features an Asetek OEM pump design and a single thickness 120mm radiator with a 120mm fan. In addition it comes with a plastic shroud that has a smaller 80mm frameless fan to cool the VRM area.

Arctic are one of the biggest players in the VGA cooling game as most companies have stopped producing VGA coolers because graphics card vendors are gradually producing better and better in-house VGA coolers that make third party solutions almost extinct. If you have paid attention to the graphics card market recently you will have seen the likes of Inno3D offer this graphics card cooler pre-fitted to some of their products. That said, Arctic seem to be doing well whilst other companies are discontinuing their VGA cooler product lines.

Below you can see the full specifications of this Arctic Accelero Hybrid 7970:

GTX Titan “iChill Black Series” Graphics Card with Arctic Accelero Hybrid Now Shipping

Nvidia’s GTX Titan is the fastest single GPU card available to the consumer at this current time. You may think it has been overpriced and overhyped (which I do) but there is no taking away its performance crown. Yet with Nvidia’s reference design that performance crown comes at the price of high temperatures. In opting for a blower style fan that stays quiet Nvidia have had to sacrifice temperatures a certain amount which is why its not uncommon to see temperatures in the 80s or 90s depending on how silent or how highly clocked you want the GTX Titan to be.

Inno3D have attempted to provide inexperienced enthusiasts with a way around this in the form of the Inno3D GTX Titan iChill Black Series. Essentially, this card is a reference GTX Titan design with a powerful custom water and air cooler fitted. The custom cooler fitted is the Arctic Accelero Hybrid cooling solution which offers active VRM cooling via the shroud fan and liquid cooling for the GPU core with a 120mm single thickness radiator. The entire design is black and takes up two slots in spacing.

The GTX Titan GPU used for this card comes clocked at 937MHz core and 980MHz GPU boost versus the reference 837MHz core and 876MHz boost. Memory clock speeds have been held at the stock 6GHz effective because these clocks make very little difference to performance. For those of you who do not know the GTX Titan features 2688 CUDA Cores, 224 TMUs, 48 ROPs and a 384 bit wide GDDR5 memory bus with 6GB of memory. Power connections are a 6 pin and 8pin (both PCI Express power connectors), display outputs include two dual link DVI, HDMI and DisplayPort.

Pricing information was not released but the Arctic Accelero Hybrid costs $169.99 on its own and a GTX Titan costs $999.99 on its own, so a price of $1099.99 seems likely. We think this is a great little solution for anyone looking to push a GTX Titan to the next level without having to get down with the nitty-gritty warranty-voiding task of installing a custom cooler to a reference design. What do you think of this new product from Inno3D?

Arctic release limited edition MC001-XBMC media centre

Arctic have released  their limited edition media centre using XMBC 12 platform for those who want to use it in their living or their bedroom.

Arctic’s MC001-XMBC is an easy, ready-to-use media centre that will play all the well known audio and video formats even with 1080p support. The units come with 1TB storage Using OpenELEC 3.0 PCR functionality and you can use this unit to record your favourite TV shows.

To access the device wirelessly, Arctic also has a remote control app for Android and iOS based devices or you can use the infra-red remote that’s provided with it.

The media centre can be bought from ARCTIC GmbH for EUR 199 including VAT and shipping within EU until the stocks last.

Arctic MC001-BD Blu-Ray Entertainment Center Review

Arctic were formally known as Arctic Cooling and for a very good reason, as their main focus was of course; cooling. They have now developed the company into much more and offer a vast product lineup of sorts to the consumer who believe value is a major aspect of any purchase.

As of late, Arctic have started to develop audio products including headphones and headsets and with a big focus being on the home entertainment market in general. With this in mind, they have created their very own entertainment centre, known as the MC001 series. Within this series is an array of different variants including the MC001-DVDs which incorporates a SSD as the main storage drive and DVD burner, though today we are looking at something a bit different.

The MC001-BD is the same device but with a few subtle differences. Instead of including a SSD, Arctic have plumped for a large 500GB 7200RPM 16MB cache mechanical hard drive and a 4x Blu-Ray player for those wanting to watch HD content. Also included on the model we have today is a DVB-T tuner for watching live TV whenever you want.

Unlike other devices on the market, this is not just an entertainment or media centre but is a fully fledged desktop PC with Windows 7 Home Premium bundled on it, so that you can do work, surf the web or use it as its main purpose, being a media/entertainment centre.

With a sleek and slim design, the unit is designed to seamlessly integrate with your home theatre television arrangement with a style that matches, but can it offer an affordable solution to a DIY home-built system in a HTPC chassis?

Arctic Living Audio Relay Wireless Media Extender Review

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The modern home environment is awash with audio visual systems which independently shape the way we lead our lives. With over two million UK residents installing Wi-Fi in their homes in the last 18 months, ARCTIC has seen a gap in the market for a bespoke wireless multi room system.

The new Audio Relay, wireless media extender allows users to listen to music anywhere in in their home, utilising smart phone technology to control your personal jukebox. The system allows intuitive control over preselected music libraries which are stored on your home PC or DLNA server.

Independent multi room systems can come with a hefty price tag and integrated hard wired installations are still in the realms of the serious AV enthusiast.

ARCTIC have stripped back the confusion and refined the installation process to create a plug and play device that utilises your home Wi-Fi network to send media from your computer playlist to a chosen output location within your home. What makes this product even more exciting is the dedicated control application that will allow media browsing and song selection.

Looking at the product off the shelf, the packaging is simple and clean with a large graphic of the receiver on the top of the box.

The key features are identified in smart phone style graphics along the front flap of the box. This gives an initial suggestion of the devices compatibility and functionality.  There is also a reference to the downloadable App controller and the URL for ARTCIS’s home site.

On the rear of the packaging there is a schematic diagram for the device setup accompanied by a product description and package contents breakdown. Additionally there is a photograph of the product which identifies the physical connections including analogue output, optical output, USB and Ethernet RJ45 input.

When you open the box you find the components neatly packed leaving little room to spare. The device is wrapped in a cushioned pouch for added protection, with the connection leads and USB power plug separated by a cardboard division.

Once unpacked it is hard to miss the high gloss black finish on the product. The device is a made from a thermosetting plastic that has been manufactured to a high quality finish. The relay is ergonomic in its design with the only features being the on/off button and the Arctic logo.

It is clear from initial inspection that ARCTIC has tried to make the device user friendly to simplify its installation and subsequent operation.

The shape of the unit has also been thought about with its discreet size and light weight at only 0.4 kg allowing multiple installation locations with minimal visual impact.

When installing the device for the first time, the quick start guide provides the option for both Ethernet and Wi-Fi installation. This allows you to install the device in the way that best suits your applications.

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Following the simple setup guide I was able to connect within minutes to the Audio Relay and the device was shown on my computers network display in the explorer window. Once the device was recognised on the network it was simple to access connection settings by simply right clicking on the icon and clicking “view device webpage”. This opened a web user interface that allowed me to check for firmware updates, configure a connection mode and view Wi-Fi settings.

On closing the user interface streaming could begin straight away. To do this was as easy as the installation process, I simply had to open my media player and right click on the media I wanted to stream and select play to Arctic wireless speaker. This opened a second media player window ready to output my selected track.

The Audio Relay uses an IP address to stream the music to the correct device, this is like a unique reference number to ensure that the data is sent to the right place and is assigned automatically by your computer during the installation process.

The ARCTIC remote application for this product was released into the Android market in October last year, soon followed by the App store in early December. The device uses Wi-Fi standard 802.11b/g and is compatible with Windows Vista and above.

In addition to this a minimum system RAM of 1Gb is required and a standard 10/100Mbps Ethernet connection. The standard audio formats that are supported include MP3, AAC, WAV and WMA. This makes the device compatible with both downloaded media and ripped music from windows media applications.

The power is supplied through a USB power plug connector into the rear of the device. Running at 5 volts the relay only draws 600mA’s and is therefore relatively economical compared to various other receivers on the market. With the lower power that the system draws, its performance has not been compromised in the slightest, with impressive signal strength and clarity when tested on a standard wireless home router.

ARCTIC has been working hard to design a product that can hold its own in the multi room entertainment market. One feature that I feel really sets this device out above the others is the concurrent music playback which allows multiple users to play music in different rooms at the same time.

Using one central library, the media can be streamed through your router to the networked devices, allowing a true multi room experience. With the price of most multi room systems running into the high hundreds ARCTIC have entered the market with a competitively priced product. Retailing at $132.60 USD or €102 EUR from ARCTIC directly, this product could be seen as a cost effective solution for multi room applications when expensive hard wired alternatives are not an option.

It is most defiantly a serious contender in this market with plenty of room for expansion through its versatile use of home Wi-Fi networks. We look forward to seeing what ARCTIC are going to come up with next as home entertainment networks become more accessible to us all.

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