Arctic Freezer A13X / i13X Review
Although the Arctic Freezer A13X & i13X might look like a normal cooler, don't be mistaken. This miniature single tower cooler really stretches the definition of the world tower while maintaining a highly compatible height.
- Extremely Compatible at 137mm
- Surprisingly good performance considering the size
- The installation Method is okay
- Fan embedded into Plastic
What's in the Box?
When going for an Arctic Freezer 13 series cooler, you will be treated with an important decision before even buying it. Although it is a highly dependable topic with the environmental impact on one side and reusability on the other, we are required to choose a CPU platform before getting the cooler.
As the names might already suggest, the A13x is a Freezer 13 Series cooler with the mounting brackets for AM4 & AM5 included in the box. The i13X on the other hand is the Intel equivalent for LGA 1200 and 115X sockets.
Therefore, the 'what's in the box' question will depend on your previous decision.
Apart from the installation material, the following items will be in the box:
- Arctic A13/i13 - x Heatsink with Fan
- Smartphone-shaped manual QR code
Although quite rare nowadays, the Freezer 13 Series comes with some of Arctic's MX-2 Thermal paste pre-applied on the base of the cooler.
Down below we also added a short summary of the most important specs:
|Arctic Freezer A13X / i13X
|Arctic 100mm Fan
|- not specified -
|Fan Static Pressure
|- not specified -
Below we also added a full compatibility list for both the Freezer A13X and i13X. Please note that at the time of writing, there was no update about the LGA 1700 socket. If any new information comes through, we will update the list.
As we have already reviewed Arctic's latest A35 cooler, we believe to have found not only the inspiration for its design but also the exact blueprint.
Looking completely identical from far away, the i/a 13X model uses the same grey single tower design with copper direct-touch heat pipes at its base.
Although the base comes in the same slightly undersized form factor, it doesn't immediately become apparent as the available space is almost maxed out by the 3 present copper heat pipes.
Although it is clearly built after the iconic Arctic P12 fan, this mini 100mm diagonal and 2000RPM fast-spinning version is trying to push the biggest amount of air possible through that tiny heatsink.
Similarly to the Freezer 35 series of coolers, the A13X's Fan comes with the same all-frame Fan design. Instead of using tried and tested fan clips and thus making the fan easily replaceable in case of a failure, the A13X's fan is permanently built into a plastic frame which is then clipped onto the whole cooler.
The all-frame Fan design mentioned above comes with its pros and cons. Surely not being able to replace the fan with a simple clip might be an issue for some. But we have also heard of enough people that not everybody is a fan of looking at a heatsink all day long. For these people. having a big frame that not only keeps the fan in place but also covers a big chunk of the cooler might be a refreshing change.
It might be not our taste, but it is a taste.
Although very close to thermal throttle, we did benchmark the A13X on our usual bench table. While cooling down our 3900x, the A13X managed to keep the CPU at 61°C above ambient, 1°C in front of the original AMD Wraith Prism.
On the Noise-To-Performance end, the A13X managed to enlarge its lead to the originally included AMD cooler. While the distance might not be enormous, the A13X managed to beat the Prism from start to end. More surprisingly, the little 100mm fan also managed to beat the Low-Profile Noctua NH-L12S.
All in all, the A13X perfectly settles in between the slightly bigger Be Quiet! Pure Rock 2 and Noctua NH-L12S in both size and performance.
The Arctic Freezer A13X's benchmark result left us in a bit of a strange situation.
Although the cooler is as far away from "high" performance as you might imagine. It did in fact still outperform an original AMD Cooler.
Additionally and most importantly for us, there is no cooler higher on our benchmark list which is lower than the A13X. This creates a very strange scenario where, if you only have 137mm of CPU cooler height to spare, the A13x might actually be your best shot.
This paired with the fact that the cooler costs around 20€ (which is less than some fans on the market) makes it a highly competitive option for the budget build market.
With all of that strangeness in mind, we cannot blindly recommend this cooler. As there is little to no headroom available, we can only recommend the cooler under the condition that nothing more powerful than an i5 12500 or 3600 is being used with this cooler. Additionally, we also wanted to remind you that jumping from an A13x to an A35 which is significantly better, will cost you just 10€ more, an up price that we would consider worthy.
However, if your care does only support >140mm high coolers, and you are on an extremely tight budget that doesn't have room to spare for high-end SFF coolers, the A13X might actually be the right fit.
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