Color us thoroughly impressed! The Liquid Freezer II 280 has renewed our hopes that the AIO market is not dead! ARCTIC supplied us with the best temperatures we have seen in an AIO in years, doing so silently, and all without breaking the bank!
If you are looking for a powerful water cooling system without RGB Bling Bling but don’t dare to build your own custom open loop system, the Arctic Liquid Freezer II 280 is the right choice.
Featuring a thick 38mm radiator, a pair of 140mm P14 fans and a pump unit that houses its own external circulation fan, the Arctic Liquid Freezer II 280 provides excellent cooling, silent running operation and an incredibly appealing $90 price tag.
For the price, you get a nice, sleek liquid cooler without RGB functionality. The pump design is ok. It’s a bit “Batmobile-ish”, and also a bit too much plastic was used there, to be honest. The radiator looks nice with the silver accents, and the wiring is hidden inside the tube sleeve, so you can only see one 4-pin fan connector. That’s really great. It simplifies the installation process even more, and the same goes for cable management.
Although it doesn’t have RGB features, its cooling performance worked as great as it was advertised. In fact, it’s not an issue for us since what matters the most are the cooler’s thermal and acoustic performances. The best thing is that we got all of these for an affordable price. Overall, we were totally satisfied with the Arctic Liquid Freezer II 280 CPU Cooler and its performance. With that, we’re highly recommending this product.
Arctic has built, thus far, a good product. We need to see how it does long-term, as Enermax has scared us away from firm recommendations on thermals alone. We would recommend the Arctic Liquid Freezer II 280 as a go-to solution over competing liquid coolers, based on thermal and acoustic performance, although we’d also note that most proven (e.g. Asetek, CoolIT) coolers will perform similarly. If you want RGB LEDs, you’re mostly just paying more for them, but should be in the ballpark for performance.