Deepcool Frostwin CPU Cooler Review
By Rafael Otto Coelho on June 13, 2012
The Deepcool Frostwin is a CPU cooler with two twin tower heatsinks, four heatpipes and two 120 mm fans. Let’s test it.
The Frostwin comes in a medium-size white box, as shown in Figure 1.
Figure 2 shows the contents of the box: the cooler itself, a small syringe of thermal compound, manuals, and installation hardware.
Figure 3 displays the Deepcool Frostwin.
This cooler is discussed in detail in the following pages.
Figure 4 illustrates the front of the cooler, where the 120 mm fan with a conical frame covers the entire heatsink.
Figure 5 reveals the side of the cooler. Here you can see that the heatsinks are identical and completely independent from each other.
Figure 6 shows the rear of the Frostwin. The heatpipes are well spaced inside the heatsinks.
In Figure 7, you can see the top of the cooler. The fins are rectangular, and the tips of the heatpipes are exposed.
Figure 8 illustrates the base of the cooler. The four 6 mm heatpipes touch the CPU directly, with a small aluminum gap between them. The finishing of the base is almost mirrored.
Figure 9 reveals the twin 120 mm fans. They are connected to a single four-pin connector, which means they support PWM speed control.
Figure 10 shows the Frostwin heatsink with the fans removed.
Figure 11 shows the backplate for installing the Frostwin on AMD and Intel CPUs, with the screws inserted in the holes for socket LGA1155.
Put the backplate on the solder side of the motherboard, and then install the metal bars shown in Figure 12.
Put the cooler in place and secure it by installing a transversal bar, attaching it to the other ones with two spring-loaded screws. In order to grant access to those screws, you have to remove the fan located between the two heatsinks.
The last step is to reinstall the fan that comes in between the heatsinks, as shown in Figure 14.
We tested the cooler with a Core i5-2500K CPU (quad-core, 3.3 GHz), which is a socket LGA1155 processor with a 95 W TDP (Thermal Design Power). In order to get higher thermal dissipation, we overclocked it to 4.0 GHz (100 MHz base clock and x40 multiplier), with 1.3 V core voltage (Vcore). This CPU was able to reach 4.8 GHz with its default core voltage, but at this setting, the processor enters thermal throttling when using mainstream coolers, reducing the clock and thus the thermal dissipation. This could interfere with the temperature readings, so we chose to maintain a moderate overclocking.
We measured noise and temperature with the CPU under full load. In order to get 100% CPU usage in all cores, we ran Prime 95 25.11 with the “In-place Large FFTs” option. (In this version, the software uses all available threads.)
We compared the tested cooler to other coolers we already tested, and to the stock cooler that comes with the Core i5-2500K CPU. Note that the results cannot be compared to measures taken on a different hardware configuration, so we retested some “old” coolers with this new methodology. This means you can find different values in older reviews than the values you will read on the next page. Every cooler was tested with the thermal compound that comes with it.
Room temperature measurements were taken with a digital thermometer. The core temperature was read with the SpeedFan program (available from the CPU thermal sensors), using an arithmetic average of the core temperature readings.
During the tests, the panels of the computer case were closed. The front and rear case fans were spinning at minimum speed in order to simulate the “normal” cooler use on a well-ventilated case. We assume that is the common setup used by a cooling enthusiast or overclocker.
The sound pressure level (SPL) was measured with a digital noise meter, with its sensor placed near the top opening of the case. This measurement is only for comparison purposes, because a precise SPL measurement needs to be made inside an acoustically insulated room with no other noise sources, which is not the case here.
Operating System Configuration
We adopted a 2°C error margin, meaning temperature differences below 2°C are considered irrelevant.
The table below presents the results of our measurements. We repeated the same test on all coolers listed below. Each measurement was taken with the CPU at full load. In the models with a fan supporting PWM, the motherboard controlled the fan speed according to core load and temperature. On coolers with an integrated fan controller, the fan was set at the full speed.
|Cooler||Room Temp.||Noise||Speed||Core Temp.||Temp. Diff.|
|Cooler Master Hyper TX3||18 °C||50 dBA||2850 rpm||69 °C||51 °C|
|Corsair A70||23 °C||51 dBA||2000 rpm||66 °C||43 °C|
|Corsair H100||26 °C||62 dBA||2000 rpm||64 °C||38 °C|
|EVGA Superclock||26 °C||57 dBA||2550 rpm||67 °C||41 °C|
|NZXT HAVIK 140||20 °C||46 dBA||1250 rpm||65 °C||45 °C|
|Thermalright True Spirit 120||26 °C||42 dBA||1500 rpm||82 °C||56 °C|
|Zalman CNPS12X||26 °C||43 dBA||1200 rpm||71 °C||45 °C|
|Zalman CNPS9900 Max||20 °C||51 dBA||1700 rpm||62 °C||42 °C|
|Titan Fenrir Siberia Edition||22 °C||50 dBA||2400 rpm||65 °C||43 °C|
|SilenX EFZ-120HA5||18 °C||44 dBA||1500 rpm||70 °C||52 °C|
|Noctua NH-L12||20 °C||44 dBA||1450 rpm||70 °C||50 °C|
|Zalman CNPS8900 Extreme||21 °C||53 dBA||2550 rpm||71 °C||50 °C|
|Gamer Storm Assassin||15 °C||48 dBA||1450 rpm||58 °C||43 °C|
|Deepcool Gammaxx 400||15 °C||44 dBA||1500 rpm||60 °C||45 °C|
|Cooler Master TPC 812||23 °C||51 dBA||2350 rpm||66 °C||43 °C|
|Deepcool Gammaxx 300||18 °C||43 dBA||1650 rpm||74 °C||56 °C|
|Intel stock cooler||18 °C||41 dBA||2000 rpm||97 °C||79 °C|
|Xigmatek Praeton||19 °C||52 dBA||2900 rpm||83 °C||64 °C|
|Noctua NH-U12P SE2||18 °C||42 dBA||1300 rpm||69 °C||51 °C|
|Deepcool Frostwin||24 °C||46 dBA||1650 rpm||78 °C||54 °C|
In the graph below, you can see how many degrees Celsius hotter the CPU core is than the air outside the case. The lower this difference, the better is the performance of the cooler.
In the graph below, you can see how many decibels of noise each cooler makes.
The main specifications for the Deepcool Frostwin CPU cooler include:
The Deepcool Frostwin looks like a double version of the Gammaxx 300, which we recently tested. As expected, the Frostwin is a little louder and is a slightly better performer than its “single brother.” The performance, however, isn’t at the same level as the high-end coolers we tested so far.
The cooler is beautiful, well-made, has a solid mounting system, and looks nice inside the case. On the other hand, it may be incompatible with memory modules equipped with tall heatsinks, depending on your motherboard “geography.”
Due to its reasonable cooling performance and noise level, the Deepcool Frostwin receives the Hardware Secrets Bronze Award.