Gelid Antarctica Ultra-Quiet Tower CPU Cooler Review

Introduction


Gelid are one of the most legendary cooling companies in the world and while you may not think of them first when you’re looking at a new CPU cooler, they’re the top choice for many system builders, enthusiast overclockers, and all of us here at eTeknix for our test benches, when it comes to Thermalpaste. Gelid GC-Extreme has been a popular choice for many years, and it’s with that in mind that we know that Gelid has a fair bit of knowledge when it comes to thermal performance in the PC market.

“The Antarctica comes with a 3D optimized heatsink that offers best-in-class thermal performance. The engineers of GELID Solutions especially designed a set of 5 power heat pipes, aluminum fins with improved profiling and an additional smaller heatsink with a copper core. These elements provide exceptional heat transfer from the CPU to the heatsink. Both heatsinks were created using precise software simulation and calculation during the development stage to ensure efficient air flow distribution at the lowest fan speed possible. The result, the Antarctica fully supports heat transfer of TDP 220W being paired with even very low-speed, virtually noiseless fans.” – Gelid

Their latest CPU cooler, the Gelid Antarctica, comes equipped with support for a wide range of CPUs, features a slim cooling tower to ensure it doesn’t conflict with motherboard VRM cooling or large RAM heatsinks, while being tall enough to provide great cooling performance. This is backed up by a high-quality 140mm PWM fan, which is designed to operate at low RPM, providing great airflow while maintaining whisper quiet performance. To make things even more appealing, it’s also backed up by a reassuring 5-year warranty.

“A silent 140mm fan with the intelligent GELID PWM (Pulse Width Module) control compliments the heatsink. The fan blades are optimized to deliver high air flow at low speed, and the newly designed PWM IC eliminates any clicking noise. The intelligent GELID PWM curve operates the fan in an extended speed range of 450 RPM to 1500 RPM, it constantly keeps the fan silent but accelerates speed whenever additional cooling is needed. With 2 sets of fan mounts, a second fan can be installed to improve the cooler’s outstanding performance even further. Additionally, the multi-award winning high performance GC-Extreme thermal compound is already included in the package.” – Gelid

The packaging is pretty straight forward, nothing too fancy overall, but a nice image of the cooler as well as detailing support for Skylake CPUs.

Around the back, we can see that the cooler supports a huge range of CPUs, right back to 775 and old AMD sockets. There’s also 2011 support, but you’ll need to purchase a separate bracket for it.

In the box, you’ll find all the usual documentation, as well as a bag of fitting components.

There’s a backplate for both Intel and AMD motherboards, two mounting arms, four fan retention clips, high-quality screws, a sticker and a very welcome tube of Gelid’s award-winning GC-Extreme thermal paste; the same paste we use for all our cooling reviews!

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!