Here we see the TCM mounted in my case. As mentioned earlier, you can let the TCM automatically adjust fan speed and TEC output or you can manually adjust these via the potentiometer located on the control unit. To do this, simply turn the pot dial clockwise for a quiet system or counterclockwise for higher performance. I will be testing the Freezone at both low and high settings.
Here we have some final pictures of the unit installed in my dedicated test system. Specs for the test rig consist of the following hardware:
EVGA 680i SLI Motherboard
2 Gb Corsair XMS PC2-6400 Memory
Two 8800 GTX cards in SLI
74 Gb Western Digital Raptor 10k RPM HDD
Lite-On Optical Drive
120mm Front Intake Fan
OCZ 1,000w Power Supply
All temperatures were obtained using NVIDIA Monitor. Idle temperatures were taken after 30 minutes of no system activity. Load temperatures were taken after 30 minutes of running Prime 95 (one instance per core). An overclock of 3.2 GHz was obtained using a core voltage of 1.40v. An overclock of 3.5 GHz was obtained using a core voltage of 1.56v. A constant room temperature of 25 C was maintained throughout testing. Do note that these temperature results are specific to this exact system configuration, etc... your results may vary slightly. I will be comparing the Freezone to the stock Intel cooler and the recently reviewed EnzoTechnology Ultra-X HSF from my heatsink results database. Please also note that the room temperature during the Intel and Ultra-X testing was 26 C, which is 1 C higher than our Freezone testing environment. First up, we have results at the stock clock of 2.4 GHz.
At the low setting, we see that the Freezone only beats the stock Intel cooler by 2 C. Once in high mode, the Freezone completely owns the stock cooler, beating it by 22 C at idle and an incredible 25 C under load. The Freezone beats the Ultra-X at high fan speed by 11 C at idle and 9 C under load. Next up, we increase the clock speed to 3.2 GHz.
Here again, we see much of the same, although I was surprised to see the stock Intel cooler beat out the Freezone on low by 4 C under load. Once in high mode, the Freezone takes 1st place again, beating out the Ultra-X at idle by 10 C and under load by 5 C. Next up, we push the system to 3.5 GHz. Neither the stock Intel cooler nor the Freezone on low settings could compete here.
As expected, the Freezone reigns supreme once again, beating out the Ultra-X on high fan speed by 4 C at idle and 3 C under load.
At the end of the day, it is clear that the Freezone means business. At 3.5 GHz, the Freezone was only able to beat the Ultra-X by 3 C but it is important to remember a few things here. First, the Freezone only uses a 92mm fan, whereas the Ultra-X was equipped with a larger 120mm fan. That being said, with both systems at their maximum settings, the Freezone was still the quieter of the two, although not by much. I do want to stress one thing here though. While the Freezone does give you the option to run at both low and high performance modes, I think it would be a waste to purchase this system and only run it on low. Performance at the low setting was comparable to the stock Intel cooler and thus, I can't see the reasoning in spending a good bit of money on the Freezone if you don't intend to use it to its maximum potential. The cooling ability of the Freezone on high performance mode at stock and even with moderate overclocking was very impressive to say the least.
Aside from sheer performance, the Freezone impressed us in several other categories as well. Unlike many watercooling systems on the market today, this is an all-in-one closed-loop system that comes pre-filled, ready to install and requires virtually no maintenance. The Freezone is designed to fit inside your case, whereas other watercooling systems require you to mount the radiator or reservoir outside of the chassis. Installation was extremely easy; perhaps the "hardest" part of the process is removing your motherboard. Unlike traditional HSF assemblies that dump hot air from the heatsink right into the heart of your system, the Freezone carries this heat to the liquid chiller, where the 92mm fan blows it straight out the back of your case. This method will certainly help to lower overall system temperatures inside the case. The Freezone will be fully compatible with CoolIT's MTEC Control Center software when it is released to the public later this year. Users will be able to monitor temperatures on the fly and even make use of Predictive Cooling technology, which monitors the load of the processor instead of the heat generated from it and throttles the cooling fans and TECs accordingly.
With all of the great things we found with the Freezone, there are also a couple of cons that I want to mention. First, the 92mm fan. While I realize it was perhaps necessary to use a smaller 92mm fan in order to broaden compatibility, I can only dream of what the Freezone would be capable of with a high powered 120mm fan and matching TECs / Chiller. I would suggest this to CoolIT as a future product idea, and it still may happen. As you may know, CoolIT recently released the Eliminator, which is the little brother to the Freezone... and yes, little brother status means a decrease in performance (although, the price point is more attractive than the Freezone). But for the hardcore overclockers out there, an even higher powered Freezone would be great. The other thing I want to touch on is price. As of writing, the Freezone has a MSRP of $299.99 which is a bit on the high side compared to other cooling solutions. But if an easy to install, all-in-one liquid cooling system that offers great performance and no maintenance sounds appealing (and you have a couple extra bucks to spend), I would certainly give the CoolIT Freezone a look.
OCIA.net has awarded the CoolIT Freezone our seal of approval.