We were quite glad to receive the ARCTIC Liquid Freezer II 240 RGB for testing this month, and for a number of reasons. Firstly, it’s the cheapest 240mm AIO liquid cooler we’ve tested recently, with a price that comes in at under $100. For that low price, you get the promise of low-noise cooling, as well as RGB lighting.
At Custom PC, we’ve been reviewing the latest PC hardware since 2003, and we run a number of tests in order to gauge performance. We use Prime95’s smallest FFT test with AVX instructions disabled to load the CPU and take the temperature reading after ten minutes.
When testing CPU coolers, we use CoreTemp to measure the CPU temperature, before subtracting the ambient air temperature from this figure to give us a delta T result, which enables us to test in a lab that isn’t temperature controlled. For more information, see our How we test page.
As with the standard Liquid Freezer II 240 model we reviewed a while ago, we love the fact that the fan PWM cables run through the tubes and down to the pump, giving you just a single cable that powers both pump the pump and the fans, with no cables trailing off the radiator itself. What’s more, with the RGB and A-RGB versions of the Liquid Freezer II, the RGB cables from the fans do the same.
In addition, the fans are pre-mounted to the cooler, so installation couldn’t be easier or neater. Meanwhile, the attractive braided tubes, chrome tube ends and radiator shroud give the whole setup a cleaner, chunkier look than some other coolers. Our sample’s fans have standard RGB lighting, but the A-RGB version can offer more granular lighting control, with both coolers needing your motherboard to control the LEDs, using 3-pin or 4-pin RGB headers respectively.
The Liquid Freezer II 240 RGB is compatible with Intel’s new LGA1700 socket for 12th-gen CPUs out of the box, and is fairly easy to install on both this socket and AMD’s Socket AM4. However, the mounting mechanism is quite large, so if you’re using a mini-ITX motherboard with a cramped CPU socket area, or indeed any motherboard where there isn’t much room around the socket, it’s worth checking the dimensions on ARCTIC’s website, which provides detailed measurements.
Part of the reason for the large size of the waterblock/pump unit is the inclusion of a fan that pushes air toward your VRMs in order to keep them cool. It’s a handy feature, especially if you’ll be using a Core i9 CPU.
You also get a tube of MX-5 thermal paste in the box, so you won’t need to buy any more paste if you reinstall the cooler at a later date, perhaps after a CPU upgrade. See our full guide on how to apply thermal paste to find the best way to spread it on your particular CPU.
ARCTIC Liquid Freezer II 240 noise level
The ARCTIC Liquid Freezer 240 RGB noise level of both the fans and pump proved to be very quiet in our testing, although the fans only peak at 1,800rpm, so there isn’t an enormous amount of cooling power on tap.
ARCTIC Liquid Freezer II 240 temperature
The ARCTIC’s CPU delta T of 56°C in our Socket AM4 system and 55°C in our LGA1700 system were a few degrees off the top spots in terms of coolers we’ve recently tested, but the cooler still kept both our overclocked Ryzen 7 5800X and Intel Core i9-12900K below 80°C after our toasty ten-minute stress test.
ARCTIC Liquid Freezer II 240 pros and cons
- Pre-installed fans and cables
- Low noise
- Excellent value
- Fans aren’t very powerful
- Limited RGB lighting
- Competition offers better cooling
ARCTIC Liquid Freezer II 240 specs
The ARCTIC Liquid Freezer II 240 RGB specs list is:
|Intel compatibility||LGA1700, LGA1200, LGA115x, LGA2066, LGA2011|
|AMD compatibility||Socket AM4|
|Radiator size with fans (mm)||120 x 277 x 63 (W x D x H)|
|Fans||2 x 120mm|
|Stated noise||0.3 sone|
ARCTIC Liquid Freezer II 240 price
The price of the ARCTIC Liquid Freezer II 240 is very generous for the low-noise operation and feature set on offer.
Price: Expect to pay $89 (£80).
ARCTIC Liquid Freezer II 240 review conclusion
While the ARCTIC Liquid Freezer II 240 RGB might not top the cooling performance charts of coolers we’ve tested recently, with the Corsair iCUE H100i Elite Capellix and EK EK-AIO 240 Basic shaving a few degrees off its temperatures, it was far quieter than the competition.
Combine this with its VRM fan, pre-installed RGB fans and super-tidy cables, and it’s an excellent choice, especially for the generous sub-$100 price tag. We’d like to see some slightly more powerful fans included in future revisions, but it’s otherwise easily the 240mm AIO liquid cooler we’d pick for a PC unless you really needed software control or more extensive RGB lighting.
If this CPU cooler isn’t right for you, we’ve reviewed plenty of other alternative 240mm AIO designs, including the EK Nucleus AIO CR240 Lux D-RGB, as well as the Lian Li Galahad 240mm. If you’re looking to upgrade your CPU, make sure you also check out our full guide to the best CPU for gaming, where we outline the very best options at a range of prices.
ARCTIC Liquid Freezer II 240 RGB review rating
Very quiet operation, decent cooling power, a tidy setup and a surprisingly reasonable price. A great cooler for the money.