The Freezer 13 comes in a surprisingly small package. I am used to seeing a large box and an overkill of protective packing. It is a form fitting plastic case with labels on the inside with the Arctic silver and black color scheme. On the back are the specifications that we looked at in the introduction. Upon opening, the contents are pretty simple. We find parts for Intel and AMD mounting, an instruction booklet, and the cooler itself.
I was happy to see that no fins were bent out of the box; something that occurs more often than it should with new heatsinks. I believe the fins are slightly thicker than the comparison unit, which is probably what allows the reduced packing requirements.
Taking a closer look at the cooler itself, I like how the fan attaches to the fins. The biggest pet peeve I have with a lot of aftermarket aircoolers is the metal clips used to attach the fans. They work, are effective, but look ugly when contrasting against the cooler itself and can be difficult to install. The plastic tabs that attach the single fan look nice and work well. Looking at the top, we see that it is designed for the air to flow through one way. Following the other pictures, we see the side fins are bent down to channel air through the cooler away from the fan. Depending on case and case-fan configuration, this could be quite effective, but more on that in the testing.
Arctic Cooling has pre-applied MX-4 thermal compound on the copper base of the heatsink. Note, I cleaned this off for two reasons. First, I wanted to take a look at the base. Second, to keep testing consistent, I tested using Arctic Silver 5 thermal compound.
I cleaned off the pre-applied thermal compound with ArctiClean thermal material remover and then used ArctiClean thermal surface purifier. Using the two gets the surface of a cooler (or CPU for that matter) as clean as when it was made. As you can see in the photo, the base isn’t perfectly shiny, but not overly rough either. There are vast differences of opinion on how critical this really is. I have always been in the camp that a slight texture helps the thermal compound grip and transmit heat, though have never been able to prove either way in testing. So it really is a matter of opinion and looks. That being said, I found the copper base to be perfectly sufficient.