It was time to activate the summer plan again to prepare the machine for the heat waves. This year it was already necessary to replace the CPU fan because, after 12 years of service, it kept sounding ugly and announcing its possible death.
The next step is to replace the two small original 35mm SUNON support fans on the board, which are beginning to show fatigue and make an annoying noise, as I was finally able to find them in a faraway shop in Asia at a reasonable price, but that will be when they arrive because they are brought by an emissary on horseback from China and it will take a while.
The replacement has been the ARCTIC Freezer i13 X. This is a compact and inexpensive CPU cooler with three heat pipes and a 100mm PWM fan with fluid dynamic bearing that spins between 300 and 2000 RPM and offers a 6 year warranty.
The letter i in its name indicates Intel compatibility as it can be mounted on most current motherboards with Intel sockets 1700, 1200, 1151, 1150, 1155, 1156 and with a kit, to be purchased separately for about 9 euros, also on LGA170.
The first thing we see when we open the case is the top of the fan casing, which we have to say is an inexpensive plastic and looks as light as it is flimsy.
In the mounting kit, in the case of the Rev 1 and Rev 2 versions, we find the plate for the 115X socket, the two fastening clips, 4 threaded spacers with their corresponding knurled nuts and 8 adhesive rubber washers.
Detail of the 44-fin aluminium heatsink.
As it is a PWM fan, the power connector is 4 pins.
It comes with Arctic MX-2 thermal paste pre-applied, ready to mount.
Once the introductions have been made, we take the patient to the operating table for the transplant.
The first step is to disassemble the old fan, it is a Freezer 7 PRO Rev 2 that has been repaired several times and is no longer in production (although it has a successor in the Freezer 7 CO). It already had a rather ugly sound due to natural wear and tear coming from the bearing mechanism.
On the left the new one, on the right the now happily retired one.
Once removed, the thermal paste is removed from the processor.
The next step, in my case, is to remove the support that is anchored to the board with plastic bolts and that come out easily by squeezing the tabs with your fingers, both front and rear
On the back of the plate, the washers are glued and the plate is fitted.
We go back to the inside and do the same and then screw in the four spacers.
Then the spacers have to be attached with the screws and fixed with their nuts.
These brackets allow you to install it in all four directions.
I had to file the spacers a little at the ends to lower them a millimetre, which was just what my plate needed to fit without forcing them. Two sandings in two minutes was enough.
To finish, tighten the nuts and we can mount the heatsink/fan.
As it is much narrower than the previous one, the fan does not invade the space above the RAM slots.
We start it up and it starts spinning non-stop.
On the downside, you can’t replace just the fan if it breaks, at least not without doing handmade modifications, and I don’t think anyone would consider it for the price of this unit.
- Width: 108 mm
- Height: 145 mm
- Length: 94 mm
- Weight: 0.61 kg
Here are the rest of the specifications (PDF).
I found the lowest price at Wipoid (25,90€ including shipping and handling).
Manual in English (and seven other languages).
- Low price
- Pre-applied quality thermal paste
- Small size, doesn’t invade RAM space
- Ease of mounting
- Quiet and good performance
- Insufficient for overclocked machines
- Loose finish on some plastic parts
- Cannot replace only the fan.
This post does NOT contain any affiliate links or anything similar. Any products or accessories quoted here have been purchased from places with which I have no links whatsoever.