ID-Cooling FrostFlow 240L CPU Cooler Review
   
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ID-Cooling FrostFlow 240L CPU Cooler Review

February 20th, 2017 James Leave a comment Go to comments

Overview

 

As we’ve said before it’s always nice when a new manufacturer approaches us here at pcGameware. This allows us to approach a review without any preconceived ideas and that’s always a good thing. This time around it’s CPU Cooling specialist ID-Cooling, although to be fair they now make far more than just CPU Coolers. The first product that we here at pcG will take a look at is the ID-Cooling FrostFlow 240L.

The ID-Cooling FrostFlow 240L features a 240mm radiator that’s 27mm thick, while at the other end we find a 2,100RPM pump. The unit comes complete with two 120mm fans that are controlled via your Motherboard’s PWM circuitry. In addition to this the FrostFlow 240L features LED lighting aboard the pump head and the lighting is a available in three colours (Blue, Red & White); we will be looking at the Blue version. The lighting itself is quite unique and is labelled up by ID-Cooling as ‘Comet-Tail’ LED lighting. The FrostFlow 240L is compatible with both Intel (LGA2011/1366/1151/1150/1155/1156/775) and AMD (FM2+/FM2/FM1/AM3+/AM3/AM2+/AM2) sockets.

 

‘The Frostflow all in one water cooler has been designed with gamers and overclockers in mind. The 240mm Radiator with 2 PWM high static pressure fans allow for better control and performance. The cooler has a supper fast heat transfer provided by the micro fin pure copper base on the CPU block and has excellent heat dissipation with the thick 240mm Radiator. ‘

 



 

The ID-Cooling FrostFlow 240L arrived at pcG in a simple black box with a large image of the AIO CPU Cooler on the front. As you can see from the sticker on the right, this is indeed the Blue Edition of the cooler. In addition to the brand and product name ID-Cooling have chosen to highlight the following:

  • Unique Comet-Tail LED Lighting
  • Micro Fin Copper Base
  • Durable EPDM Rubber Tube
  • De-vibration Rubber Design
  • PWM Fan for Silent Operation
  •  

     

    On opening the box we can see that the ID-Cooling FrostFlow 240L ships with a basic installation guide and that the top of the box is sealed with a foam mat. On removing the mat we are greeted with the familiar recycled (egg carton style) packaging that seems to be synonymous with AIO Liquid CPU Coolers. General packaging and presentation is best described as adequate.

     

     

    Within the box other than the the cooler itself and the two fans we find the aforementioned installation guide and a plastic bag containing a raft of mounting hardware for both Intel and AMD.

     

    At the time of writing the ID-Cooling FrostFlow 240L is retailing at Overclockers UK for approximately £80 and comes with a 1 year warranty.

     

    Specifications/Features

    courtesy of ID-Cooling

    Compatibility

     Intel LGA2011/1366/1151/1150/1155/1156/775

     AMD FM2+/FM2/FM1/AM3+/AM3/AM2+/AM2

     TDP

     200W

     Radiator Dimension

     274×120×27mm

     Radiator Material

     Aluminum

     Tube Material

     Premium Sleeved Rubber Tubing

     Tube Length

     315mm

     Waterblock Dimension

    —–

     Ф65×36mm

     Cold Plate Material

     Copper

     Pump Current

     0.25A

     Pump Speed

     2100RPM

     Pump Bearing

     Ceramic Bearing

     Pump Life Expectancy

     50,000 Hrs

     Pump Noise Level

     25dB(A)

     Fan Dimension

     120×120×25mm

     Included Fans

     2pcs

     Fan Speed

     8002000RPM

     Max. Air Flow

     84.5CFM

     Max. Static Pressure

     3.2mmH2O

     Noise

     2038.2dB(A)

     Rated Voltage

     12VDC

     Operating Voltage

     10.813.2VDC

     Started Voltage

     7VDC

     Rated Current

     0.38A

     Power Input

     4.56W

     Bearing Type

     Hydraulic Bearing

    * Additional details available here

     

    First Impressions

     

     

    First impresses of the ID-Cooling FrostFlow 240L is that despite this AIO Liquid CPU Cooler being at the budget end of the Market it certainly doesn’t look like it is. Once out of the box the FrostFlow 240L was found not only to be a good looking cooler but it also appears to be well made too. In fact as far as first impressions go, I can’t find anything wrong with it…

     

     

    The radiator itself is made from aluminium and measures in at 274×120×27mm and is thus a 240mm radiator at its core. Attached to the radiator we find two captive (meaning that the unit cannot be easily disassembled) fittings that attach to two 315mm long durable EPDM rubber tubes. These tubes are further braided in a rather nice gun-metal coloured braiding.

    Turning our attention to the pump head we can clearly see the ID logo in the centre with this coolers signature ‘Comet-Tail’ LED lighting ring around the outside. The pump itself has a maximum speed of 2,100RPM and is fitted with a ceramic bearing, with a life expectancy of 50,000Hrs.

    The cold-plate of the pump features a Micro Fin Copper base and is protected by a plastic cover (Remove Before Installation), there is also no thermal paste pre-applied. Also worth noting that the two Intel brackets are attached to the pump housing by default, while the AMD brackets are supplied separately in the box.

     

     

    The ID-Cooling FrostFlow 240L comes with two 120mm fan, these fans feature no illumination but are equipped with a coloured ring. In this instance the ring is blue to match the pump’s blue LED lighting. The fans themselves are equipped with a Hydraulic Bearing arndhave a maximum rotational speed of 2,000RPM. At this speed airflow is quoted at 84.5CFM while noise levels are quoted at 38.2dBA. Note that each corner of the fan is equipped with a rubberized mount in an aide to keep both vibration and noise to a minimum.

     

    Hardware Installation

     

  • Test Rig Setup

  • Case Cooler Master HAF XB Power Supply SilverStone Strider Platinum 750W
    Motherboard ASRock Fatal1ty Z170 GAMING K6 CPU Intel Core i5-6600K
    CPU Cooler ID-Cooling FrostFlow 240L RAM G Skill Ripjaws 4 16GB
    Graphics Card EVGA GeForce GTX 980Ti Classified SSD Samsung SM951 512GB M.2

     

     

    Above you can see all (and there’s a lot) of the parts required for our socket LGA 1155 installation. This comprised of eight screws for the radiator and fans, one back-plate, four screws, four washers, four spacers and four nuts. In addition to this ID-Cooling also supply a PWM fan splitter for easy connection to just one of your Motherboard’s fan headers.

     

     

    The screws were first fed through the back-plate (centre hole for LGA 115x) and are automatically held in place by the tight fitting foam. The back-plate was then threaded through the back of the motherboard ensuring that the holes in the back-plate were lined up to the Motherboard (above right) and then held in place by the four washers and spacers supplied. I’m unsure as to the reason why there are the extra washers but the instructions call for their use nonetheless. With that done the back-plate is now held in position and ready to receive the pump head.

     

     

    For this test (as is the norm) the fans were fitted to the outside of the HAF XB Case and the radiator to the inside of the Case. The fans themselves would suck in cool air from the front and blow it in the through radiator within. This was all held in place by the eight long screws provided. Again it’s worth noting that the mounts on the fans are rubberized to keep both vibration and noise to a minimum.

     

     

    The cold plate of the pump head was then treated to a small bead of Arctic Cooling MX-4 Thermal compound (as none is pre-applied) before it was secured to the top of the processor with the four nuts provided. Note that each nut was tightened a little at a time and in turn to ensure good contact between the CPU lid and the cold-plate. The screws were tightened by hand until they were finger-tight and then treated to a quarter-turn with a screwdriver. The pump was then connected to one of the Motherboard’s CPU fan headers while the fans were connected to the supplied fan splitter and then in turn to one of the Motherboard’s chassis fan headers.

    Above right you can see the Comet-Tail LED lighting effect that the ID-Cooling FrostFlow 240L features. Note that this lighting effects circles around the pump head at a approximately one revolution every five seconds. And very Cool it looks too, all though I wish we had been sent a Red sample… 😉

     

    Testing Methodology/Setup

     

    CRYORIG A40 - Ambient For CPU Cooler testing, we here at pcGameware run Prime95 for a 15 minute period. During this period the temperature is monitored via the NZXT CAM software and the maximum CPU temperature recorded. Between each stress test we allow a 15 minute cool-down to allow for more accurate results. A close eye is also kept on the ambient temperature, with the maximum being recorded for each run, this allows us to calculate the Delta temperature (Core – Ambient = Delta). Each run was performed with the Intel Core i5-6600K CPU at the following frequencies: 3.9GHz (Stock) and 4.4GHz (using the ASRock OC Tweaker, shown in the images below).

    * Please note: To ascertain the maximum and minimum noise levels produced by our test CPU Coolers, the dBA is recorded at a distance of 1 metre from the cooler, with all Case fans unplugged to isolate the sound in question.

     

    ASRock UEFI - main ASRock UEFI - Load Optimized CPU OC Setting

     

    Processor speed is set using the OC Tweaker tab within the UEFI, “Disabled” for stock speeds (3.9GHz) and “Turbo 4.4GHz” for the overclock tests. It should be noted that changing the OC settings resets the Fan Speeds, so these are checked on the next reboot and reset to “Full Speed”. All the fans installed in the system are set to 100% during testing to ensure an even playing field.

     

    Hardware Performance

     

    As stated above, to make our performance tests easier to follow and to get the most accurate recordings, all of the following tests have been carried out with all Case fans set at 100% and the two ID-Cooling FrostFlow 240L fans also set at 100% courtesy of the Motherboard’s UEFI.

     

    • Intel Core i5-6600K – 3.9GHz (stock)

     

    NZXT CAM – CPU @ 3.9GHz @ 1.136v (fans @ 100%)

     

    CPU Cooler Air/Liquid Fan Speed Ambient Temperature Max CPU Temperature (core average) Delta Temperature Noise Level
    Cryorig A40 Liquid 100% 24.00 42.00 18.00 54dB
    NZXT Kraken X62 Liquid 100% 23.00 42.00 19.00 50dB
    ID-Cooling FrostFlow 240L Liquid 100% 20.00 41.00 21.00 52dB
    Alpenföhn Atlas Air 100% 21.00 42.00 21.00 39dB
    NZXT Kraken X31 Liquid 100% 22.00 43.00 21.00 39dB
    Noctua NH-U12S Air 100% 22.00 44.00 22.00 38dB
    Scythe Fuma Air 100% 22.00 45.00 23.00 44dB
    be quiet! Dark Rock TF Air 100% 22.00 48.00 26.00 38dB
    Cryorig H7 Air 100% 24.00 51.00 27.00 41dB

     

    Above you can see a screenshot of the NZXT CAM monitoring software and you can also see the recorded temperature that we recorded after 15 minutes of Prime95 (Torture Test). A pretty good temperature it is too but it can’t quite match the big boys. What happens if we add a little overclock in the form of 4.4GHz @ 1.312v?

     

    • Intel Core i5-6600K – 4.4GHz (OC Tweaker)

     

    NZXT CAM – CPU @ 4.4GHz @ 1.312v (fans @ 100%)

     

    CPU Cooler Air/Liquid Fan Speed Ambient Temperature Max CPU Temperature (core average) Delta Temperature Noise Level
    Cryorig A40 Liquid 100% 24.00 59.00 35.00 54dB
    ID-Cooling FrostFlow 240L Liquid 100% 24.00 60.00 36.00 52dB
    NZXT Kraken X62 Liquid 100% 23.00 59.00 36.00 50dB
    Scythe Fuma Air 100% 22.00 58.00 36.00 44dB
    Alpenföhn Atlas Air 100% 21.00 58.00 37.00 39dB
    Noctua NH-U12S Air 100% 21.00 59.00 38.00 38dB
    NZXT Kraken X31 Liquid 100% 22.00 61.00 39.00 39dB
    be quiet! Dark Rock TF Air 100% 21.00 63.00 42.00 38dB
    Cryorig H7 Air 100% 22.00 65.00 43.00 41dB

     

    In our 4.4GHz test at a voltage of 1.312 volts the FrostFlow 240L matches the performance of the NZXT Kraken X62 and jumps into the second from top spot. A pretty impressive performance for a cooler costing under £80 and it’s more than enough to keep your overclocked CPU cool when Gaming. And, it looks good too thanks to that Comet-Trail LED lighting. Although, with those two 120mm 2,000RPM fans running at full speed the FrostFlow 240L does produce rather a lot of noise at 52dBA unfortunately and you’re unlikely to want to put up with this on a daily basis. But thanks to PWM control you can adjust the cooling performance/temperature curve via the Motherboard’s UEFI.

     

    Final Thoughts

     

    To be honest the ID-Cooling FrostFlow 240L is one of those products that simply ‘does what it says on the tin’ so to speak. Not only does it appear well made, it looks good, performs well and it’s also equipped with some funky LED lighting. At below £80 is simply wrong to critique what is simply a damn good product.

    The ID_Cooling FrostFlow 240L arrived at pcG in a smart predominately black box with the usual eco-friendly recycled cardboard packaging that now seem to be synonymous with all AIO CPU Coolers. Within the box there’s not much other the the 240mm AIO CPU Cooler, a couple of 120mm fans and a raft of Intel and AMD mounting hardware. But that’s all we need anyway. 😉

    Knowing that the ID-Cooling FrostFlow 240L was a sub £80 240mm AIO CPU Cooler before opening the box I have to confess I wasn’t sure as to what to expect. Especially as we’ve not seen anything from ID-Cooling in the past. But I was pleasantly surprised, even a little shocked actually. The FrostFlow 240L is a good looking cooler and it seems well made also and I especially like the new tube braiding that’s be added. I was also aware at this point that the cooler is likely to look even better when powered up thanks to its ‘Comet-Tail’ LED lighting…

    Installation of the FrostFlow 240L was very easy, although there are a few too many parts for my liking. To get the back-plate installed on the Motherboard takes 17 parts (although 4 are washers), but the NZXT Kraken X62 can achieve the same thing with just 9, now that is impressive. But let’s be fair you’re only likely to do this once anyway.

    As you can see from the performance data above the ID-Cooling FrostFlow 240L punched way above its £80 price tag. With a maximum CPU temperature of just 60 degrees Celsius the FlostFlow 240L is the second best performing CPU Cooler we’ve seen. But, it is loud (52dBA), especially when running those two 120mm 2,000RPM fans at 100%, luckily this can be controlled via your Motherboard’s UEFI.

    So as we can see the FrostFlow 240L is well made and looks good, it’s pretty easy to install and performs extremely well also. What more could we want!? Well how about some nice LED lighting? The ‘Comet-Tail’ LED lighting aboard the FrostFlow 240L is really rather smart with a ring type LED graduated illumination around the pump’s perimeter. With both Red, White and Blue versions are available the only thing we could hope for is RGB, but that’s going to bump up the cost of course…

    To all intents and purposes this ID-Cooling FrostFlow 240L is the perfect cooler and is one of the best I’ve seen to date, especially when considering the cost of under £80. If you want a well made, good looking CPU Cooler that performs extremely well and sports some nice, tasteful LED illumination then look no further. The ID-Cooling FrostFlow 240L is a very worthy Gold award winner.

     

    Verdict

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    Overclockers UK




    ID-Cooling FrostFlow 240 L

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    Design/Quality pcGameware awards the ID-Cooling FrostFlow 240L a Gold
    Performance
    Value
    Overall

     

    Many thanks to ID-Cooling for providing this sample for review

     


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