Arctic Freezer A13 X CO – A reasonable replacement for the boxed cooler?
The manufacturer Arctic has long been a very well-known manufacturer of CPU coolers, GPU coolers and case fans. Especially the CPU coolers of the Freezer series and GPU coolers of the Accelero series have made this brand famous worldwide. With the Freezer A13 X CO, the manufacturer Arctic brought the largely disappeared Freezer 13 series back to life in July 2020. Compared to its predecessor, the Freezer A13 X CO comes with only three heatpipes and, depending on the variant, can only be mounted on Intel or AMD sockets. Despite less weight and the use of the Heatpipe-Direct-Touch process, the Freezer A13 X CO is supposed to perform better than its predecessor. This is to be achieved primarily through a better design and layout. Arctic estimates the price for the Freezer A13 X CO (AMD socket) to be Price not available *. This puts the cooler in a competitive price range. How the Arctic Freezer A13 X CO performs in general and if it has a chance against the competition, you will find out in this review.
|Dimensions (with fan)||109 x 137 x 86 mm (W x H x D)|
|Weight (with fan)||443 g|
|Material||copper (base plate, heat pipes), aluminium (cooling fins)|
|Heatpipes||3x Ø 6 mm|
|Price||Price not available *|
|Storage type||Rolling bearing (double ball bearing)|
|Dimensions||92 x 92 x 25 mm|
|Speed||300 – 2000 rpm (PWM controlled)|
|Volume||max. 0.3 Sone|
|Power consumption||0.84 W|
Packing & scope of delivery
The Arctic Freezer A13 X CO comes in a small box, which is designed in the typical Arctic style. The carton is mainly printed in blue and shows all technical information and pictures of the cooler or fan. The general product information is written in several languages.
If you open the lid, you will find the heatsink with the fan premounted. To protect the components, the cooler is wrapped on one side in brown cardboard. The supplied accessories include four stand-offs or nuts, two mounting brackets and a card with QR code for downloading the mounting instructions. Unfortunately, you won’t find a tube with heat-conducting paste. However, the manufacturer has already applied this at the factory and protected it from smearing with a plastic cap.
Design & workmanship
The Arctic Freezer A13 X CO has a plain and simple design and at first glance hardly differs from its smaller brother Freezer 7 X CO. The cooler is based on three 6 millimetre heatpipes, 44 aluminium fins and a base plate with heatpipe direct touch technology. Arctic has decided not to anodise the fins in favour of the price. However, in order to improve the airflow, the fins are bent at the sides to form a kind of tunnel. Furthermore, the fins are jagged behind the fan. This design should make it easier for the fan to move the air through the fins.
As already mentioned, the Freezer A13 X CO is based on three copper heatpipes which are directly connected to the heatspreader of the CPU. The manufacturer has already pre-applied a thin layer of the in-house MX-2 thermal compound. This should make the installation easier for beginners. In order to keep the price as low as possible, Arctic has also dispensed with anodising for the heatpipes.
Arctic goes its own way when designing the fan or its mounting. In comparison to the competition, no conventional 92 millimetre fan is used. Thus, the fan, fan frame and the cover plate for the ends of the heatpipes form a common unit which can be easily removed. Due to the proprietary design, however, it cannot simply be replaced in case of a defect. However, Arctic shows confidence in its product with the 6-year manufacturer’s warranty. The CO version of the Freezer A13 X uses a grey fan with six blades and a “Dual Ball Bearing” bearing. The connection is made via a black 4-pin PWM cable.
A test system on a benchtable is used for the review. This enables us to exclude factors such as heat accumulation in the case. The test system consists of the following components.
- AMD Ryzen 5 1400 @ 3.8 Ghz at 1.25V
- MSI B350 PC Mate
- Crucial Ballistix Sport LT grey 16 GB DDR4-2666
- Plextor PX-256M8 NVMe SSD
- Gigabyte AORUS GTX 1060 6G
- be quiet! Pure Power 10 400W
- Cooler Master Tech Bench V2.0
When mounting on AM4 boards, the Arctic Freezer A13 X CO is installed with the aid of the backplate of the AMD retention module. After removing the upper plastic clasps of the retention module, the four enclosed spacers must be screwed to the backplate. Using four nuts, two retaining brackets are now attached to the spacers. In the last step, only the cooler with the retaining brackets is then screwed over the two spring-loaded screws.
The mounting system is simply designed, but connects the cooler firmly to the mainboard and even has springs that can control the contact pressure. Those who should still have difficulties during the assembly, will be forwarded directly to an assembly instruction by scanning the enclosed QR code.
Volume and cooling capacity
As already shown in the previous chapter, we use an AM4 system based on the Ryzen 5 1400 and the MSI B350 PC Mate as test hardware. The Ryzen runs overclocked at 3.8 GHz at 1.225V.
In order to heat up the processor, the processor was loaded with Prime95 for 15 minutes. The CPU temperature was then read out using the CPUID hardware monitor. This test was then compared to the achieved values of the AMD Boxed Cooler (Wraith Stealth). During the temperature measurements, the room had a temperature of 22° C.
|AMD Wraith Stealth||50% PWM||1500 rpm||101 °C (crash)|
|AMD Wraith Stealth||100% PWM||2650 rpm||87 °C|
|Arctic Freezer 7 X CO, 1x 92mm||50% PWM||1060 rpm||75 °C|
|Arctic Freezer 7 X CO, 1x 92mm||100% PWM||2000 rpm||63 °C|
|Arctic Freezer A13 X CO, 1x 92mm||50 % PWM||1060 rpm||72 °C|
|Arctic Freezer A13 X CO, 1x 92mm||100 % PWM||2000 rpm||60 °C|
|Alpine hairdryer Matterhorn Pure, 1x 120mm||50% PWM||1100 rpm||63 °C|
|Alpine hairdryer Matterhorn Pure, 1x 120mm||100% PWM||1900 rpm||59° C|
One thing quickly becomes clear when looking at the results, the Freezer A13 X CO manages to cool the overclocked CPU better than the Arctic Freezer 7 X CO due to the additional heatpipe and comes surprisingly close to the big Alpenföhn Matterhorn Pure at full fan speed. But the Freezer A13 X CO is also much more audible due to the smaller fan. If you reduce the speed, there is an almost two-digit temperature difference between our testers (Freezer 13, Matterhorn Pure).
Conclusion on the Arctic Freezer A13 X CO
At the beginning of the year almost all specimens of the original Arctic Freezer 13 disappeared from the shelves. Half a year later the manufacturer presented the successor. It hardly differs from the Arctic Freezer 7 X CO, both optically and technically. Only the number of heatpipes and the mounting system were changed. With the third heatpipe the performance of the cooler can be improved again and according to the manufacturer it is suitable for processors up to a TDP of 150W. At the same time, the cooler convinces with compact dimensions and a solid mounting system including pre-applied heat-conducting paste.
We negatively noticed the fan’s noise in the speed range above 1500 rpm and the fact that the attached fan can’t simply be replaced by a conventional 92 millimeter copy. Furthermore, the Freezer 13 X doesn’t have a multi-platform mounting system. So if you change the CPU socket, the CPU cooler has to be replaced as well.
At the time of this review, the Arctic Freezer A13X is unfortunately poorly available and costs about 5€ more than the Arctic Freezer 7 X CO. It delivers slightly worse temperature values, but can be mounted on Intel and AMD platforms. On the other hand, the Arctic Freezer 34 with a larger 120 millimeter fan and multi-platform support is available for a few euros more. This puts the Arctic Freezer A13X in a difficult price range. Although it is a good replacement for the boxed cooler, its success will depend entirely on the future price (with high availability).
Arctic Freezer A13 X
Value for money
Compact CPU cooler with good performance but without multiplatform support.