Arctic Freezer 33 eSports ONE: The Little Beast That Cooled

The latest cooler from Arctic is here and it is pretty sweet. Howdy howdy guys ponchato here and today we’re taking a look at the Arctic Freezer 33 eSports One, brand spankin’ new and promising strong performance with low noise. But who doesn’t promise that these days? Let’s find out how it holds up to the claim. The Freezer 33 eSports One was released just a few weeks ago in December of 2017 at a launch price of $40 USD (though Arctic is running an introductory price of only $30). It’s compatible with AM4, LGA 1151 and LGA 2011/2066 sockets.

The eSports One comes in at 150mm tall, 123mm wide, and 88mm deep. Because it has a 120mm fan and it’s only 150mm tall, I’d consider this a compact full tower cooler, about 5-10mm shorter than a typical full tower cooler. That means it should fit in basically anything that’s not a low profile case. The fan comes in 4 colors: red, green, yellow, or white, and does not have any LEDs.

It’s rated for 200 to 1800RPM, a fairly wide range, and uses a fluid dynamic bearing which is near the top in terms of bearing quality. The heat sink has 4 heat pipes 6mm in diameter, typical for a cooler of this size, and comes with extra fan clips for a push/pull configuration. Arctic says it’s good for a TDP up to 200W, which will cover nearly every consumer CPU available.

One interesting aspect is that the fins on the eSports One are folded down on the edges – this forces air all the way through the heat sink instead of coming out the sides to play keno games canada with pleasure. Another optimization is that the heat pipes are all offset from each other, which should spread heat more evenly on the fins and further increase cooling capacity. Beyond that, the eSports One has direct contact heat pipes and a thermal coating, likely a special powder coating mix for higher thermal conductivity to the air.

Inside the box you’ll find the extra fan clips, Intel backplate, motherboard mounting screws, Arctic MX-4 thermal paste, rubber vibration dampers for an extra fan, mounting brackets, and screws to attach them. The reason it doesn’t come with an AM4 backplate is the eSports One uses the stock backplate if you’re mounting it to a Ryzen system. Quick side note: The Freezer 33 eSports One is basically the Freezer 33 eSports Edition with a single fan, rather than two. Back in November of 2017, Arctic switched over to digital-only copies of their manuals to save paper. Makes sense, since most people are probably only going to look at the manual once if they even read it at all. Arctic’s digital manual is actually pretty nice, laid out by socket and it even has installation videos.

Of course, reading things and following directions is for nerds so I just jumped into it without reading anything. First thing’s first you’ll have to take the fan off the heat sink. It’s just held on with tension so you simply lift up on the fan clips to unhook them from the fan.

Next you’ll need to remove the AM4 mounting clips from the motherboard if they’re not already off – I do like coolers that install with the stock mounting clips, but those usually only allow horizontal installation, with the fan exhausting toward the top of the case instead of toward the back. Important bit here: don’t forget to peel off the plastic protector on the bottom of the heat sink. It’s pretty hard to transfer heat through plastic. Next you need to attach the mounting brackets to the heat sink. The first time I put them on, I had them arching out away from the tower, which is backwards.

Fortunately they’re held on with just one screw, so flipping them around to face the right way isn’t a problem. The eSports One actually can’t be installed horizontally – it has to be vertical. That’s good though since it exhausts toward the back of the case like this.

I used the thermal paste included with the cooler and applied it in a line perpendicular to the heat pipes. It probably doesn’t matter, but at this point I pretty much just do that out of habit. I set the cooler down on the CPU, lined up the mounting brackets with the mounting holes, and screwed it down. Whenever you’re installing a CPU cooler, you should tighten down each screw a little bit at a time and in a star pattern, similar to what you’d do when tightening lug nuts on a car.

That way you get even pressure over the entire contact area and you don’t risk putting too much stress on the back plate, motherboard, or CPU. Once it’s all tightened down, all you have to do is install the fan. As you can see here, the eSports ONE fan fits entirely behind the RAM slots, so RAM clearance isn’t an issue. Clip in the fan brackets, plug in the PWM lead to the motherboard, and it’s all set. The test system here is my Ryzen 3 1200 overclocked to 4.1GHz at 1.35V on an MSI B350M Gaming Pro motherboard, using two 4GB sticks of DDR4-2400 memory from Team Group.

The GPU is a passively cooled Nvidia GT 1030 and the power supply is a Seasonic Focus Plus 850FX, which can run passively below about 30% load. That means the only sound produced by this system is from the CPU cooler itself. I run all the tests in open air, decibel levels are recorded from 4 inches in front of the fan, and temperatures are reported as deltas; degrees above ambient temperature. The stock Ryzen 3 cooler, AMD’s wraith stealth, is included for comparison.

Here are the idle noise and delta results. At idle, the eSports One is actually silent – the fan completely stops at 0% speed. The minimum startup speed is 10% which puts it right at 200RPM, the minimum RPM rating for the fan. It’s still too quiet to be audible at this speed, so I skipped playing back the audio; all you can hear is noise from the mic itself. Compared to the Ryzen stock cooler, there’s really not much difference at idle; both are nearly silent and both hit a delta of around 7 degrees Celsius. Now here are the noise and delta results at full speed and under full load.

As you can see, quite a big difference. The eSports One hits 56dBA, moderately loud, but maintains a delta of only 36C. Compare that with the Ryzen stock cooler which is much quieter, but also much hotter: 48dBA but a 55 degree delta. These two charts only show the outlying conditions though, the next charts show a much better complete picture. Here is the RPM vs PWM percentage. It’s not extremely important in the real world, but I like to include it to show the quality of the fan speed controller.

The ideal result is a straight line from the fan’s minimum RPM to maximum RPM, which would give the finest control over fan speed and therefore temperatures and noise. The Freezer 33’s fan actually has a very high quality speed controller, since it’s pretty dang close to a perfect result. The Wraith Stealth’s is linear, but reaches maximum speed at 80% PWM, limiting the granularity of control. Next we’ll look at the temperature delta versus RPM. This graph shows a few things: first, diminishing returns of increased fan speed and second, whether the cooler is limited by airflow or by the heat pipe’s ability to transfer heat.

These two coolers give an easy example of both; the Wraith Stealth is limited by airflow. Since the temperature delta pretty much goes down linearly with increased fan speed and doesn’t reach a plateau, you can tell there’s more room for the cooler to improve. Being a top-down configuration though, increasing airflow is difficult since the motherboard is right in the middle of the airflow channel.

On the other hand, the Freezer 33 is limited by its heat pipes. Toward the bottom of the curve, the RPM continues to increase while the temperature delta stays nearly flat. That means increasing airflow more won’t really decrease temperatures; the heat sink itself is the limiting factor here. Finally, we’ll look at the most important graph: delta vs noise level. Ultimately this is the chart that matters most in the real world for comparing coolers; how loud is it, and how well does it cool. The Wraith Stealth starts at a nearly 65 degree delta, and only goes down to 55 at full speed.

The Arctic cooler’s results are pretty interesting in that they show the effect of diminishing returns very dramatically. Going from 20% fan speed to 30% drops the temperature delta by nearly 10 degrees while barely changing the sound level. Go from 30 to 40%, and the delta drops by only 4 degrees while sound increases by 1dB. As you increase the speed further from there, noise continues to increase by about 3dB for every 10% increase in fan speed, but the delta levels off rapidly. In fact, going from 60% to 100% fan speed increases noise by over 10dB while only dropping the delta 1 degree.

In short, like with most coolers there’s very little to be gained by turning up the eSports One’s fan speed past about 50%. The Freezer 33 eSports One is a good cooler in general, but I think it shines for one main reason: it has a 120mm fan and it can still fit in nearly any case because of its height. And my hat is off to Arctic for making just about the simplest installation possible: 6 screws, stock back plate, and no funky angles or difficult to thread junk.

If it weren’t for me putting the mounting brackets on backwards, installation from start to finish would have only taken about 90 seconds, total – it’s obvious that Arctic put work into making this as simple and straightforward as possible. I like that. And as a completely subjective opinion, I love how this cooler looks. It’s black from top to bottom, other than the CPU contact, and the fan just looks nice.

Plus, I like the fact that it doesn’t have LEDs; I’m a big fan of bright colors, but not a big fan of bright lights. The eSports One does that right. In terms of raw performance, I’d put this cooler a bit above average. The unfortunate reality is there just isn’t that much room left for temperature improvement in tower coolers, so even a “well above average” cooler is only going to differ by a few degrees at most. Ultimately it comes down to noise level, and I think the eSports One excels there. If you limit the fan speed to 40 or 50%, you’ll only be a couple degrees warmer than max speed, but the noise level will be very nearly silent.

In fact, I’d argue that if you have an actively cooled GPU (you probably do) or a mechanical hard drive (also pretty common), you won’t be able to hear the eSports One over either of them. That, combined with a dead simple installation, makes the Freezer 33 eSports One a great choice for an aftermarket cooler. If you want to pick one up, click the link in the description. If you wanna get notified of new videos as soon as they’re up, hit subscribe then click the bell icon to enable notifications. So guys if you liked this video hit the like button, if you want to see more hit subscribe, and if you have any questions on the Freezer 33 eSports One or these results, leave them in the comments below.

Thanks for watching, I hope I helped, and I’ll see you in the next video.

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