Performance: 38 out of 40
When compared against similarly priced cooling solutions the Freezer i35 CO crushes the bell curve. Mix in reliability with ease of use and the result is one excellent cooling solution. Sadly, it is not perfect and the lack of a ‘second gear’ via the loss of a secondary fan keeps the Freezer i35 CO from being best in class.
Ease of Use: 15 out 20
There are two ways at looking at the Freezer i35 CO’s ease of use. The most obvious is that Arctic has indeed done what they set out to do: make an excellent cooling solution that is as easy to use as it is powerful. Sadly, the combination of the custom fan and lack of AMD components does negatively impact our ease-of-use score. After all, while extremely easy to use on Intel systems having to source out a specific model just to get it to work on a new rig is an annoyance that should have been avoided at all costs. As for the custom fan+fasica… the less said the better. All fans eventually die and sourcing out this custom design in 5-10 years is going to be… difficult.
Build Quality: 17 out of 20
We have come to expect sterling quality from Arctic and once again Arctic crushes the curve. Only by going up a good price point or two will you find its equal. Sadly, and once again, that plastic fan+fascia combination unit mars another wise perfect execution. We sincerely hope that this is a ‘one of event’ that is quickly forgotten when the Freezer 36 is eventually released.
Value: 17 out of 20
As we have said many times in the past, the overall value of a given PC component is going to vary from person to person and build to build… and the Freezer i35 CO is no exception to this personal rule of thumb. On the one hand the Freezer i35 CO is easy to work with; is extremely reasonably priced and yet does not look, act, or sound like a value cooling solution; and last but not least is a going to last for many, many years – thanks in no small part to the use of Constant Operation rated fan. These are all things that should result in value nirvana. Sadly, that fan+fascia combo unit means that swapping out something as simple as fan is a non-starter… and having to buy Intel or AMD only models annoys us to no end. CPU cooling solutions should be as adaptable and flexible as they are powerful. The Freezer i35 CO fails on two of three of those benchmarks. So, while excellent, Arctic’s frustrating design choices keeps the Freezer i35 CO from being perfect. What a shame.
Final Score:87 out 100
With its combination of excellent performance, good installation process, zero worries over compatibility with RAM and (modern Intel) motherboards the Freezer i35 CO is an excellent refresh to the already award-winning Freezer series. Sadly, their decision to combine the fan and fascia into one unit and then make it nearly impossible to (properly) mount a second fan is going to negatively impact the overall opinion of it for many. However, if the Freezer i35 CO meets your builds needs one will be hard pressed to find its equal at this price point. Warts and all.