Today’s review has been the most-requested review from our commenters for about 6 months now, and it’s not even a piece of silicon. The Arctic Liquid Freezer II series has gotten heavy community interest because of high reported performance in the enthusiast forum userbase. We wanted to look at it with our new testing methodology that we’ve spent six months revising to see how the Liquid Freezer performs against incumbents, including the NZXT Kraken X62 (similar to the X63 we reviewed), the Noctua NH-D15, and a growing list of others. The Liquid Freezer’s biggest marketing point, currently wedged in between being a gimmick and a useful feature, is its included VRM fan on the coldplate housing. Our review includes benchmarks of VRM thermal performance with and without this fan, tested in A/B fashion, and also tests of surface levelness, CPU core thermals on the 3950X and 3800X at 120W and 200W, noise tests, and time-to-max temperature.
Taking a break from innovating tediously typed names for graphics cards, Inno3D claims it has now improved GPU AIO cooling with its new “iChiLL BLACK” GTX 1080. For future reference, we'll revert capitalization to something that makes more sense and is less susceptible to triggering sticky keys.
The iChill unit runs a CLC mounted atop the silicon, as one would expect from any AIO-cooled card (review of Hybrid vs. Sea Hawk here), and uses an aluminum baseplate with heatspreaders for the VRM and VRAM cooling. Heat conducted through the baseplate is dissipated with an 80mm blower fan, similar to the Sea Hawk, though Inno3D markets that their fan is capable of spinning down to 0RPM under low load. As far as we can tell, Inno3D does not deploy a copper VRAM cooling plate like EVGA does with its Hybrid, and instead takes a more traditional route of using thermal pads to communicate heat to the baseplate. The plate is cooled entirely independently from the GPU, and vice versa.
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