By continuing to develop and improve its line of gaming products, MSI has invaded a previously unknown part of the market, namely, cooling for processors. Enthusiasts will easily remember that both ASUS and Gigabyte have already tried to produce cooling systems, but their coolers have not received much popularity. However, MSI approaches the issue from a slightly different angle. They aim to make the Gaming series complete, filling it with all the necessary components – motherboards, video cards, gaming peripherals, and now, even a processor cooling system. The debut cooler of the company was called Core Frozr L, in the spirit of the names of the coolers of their video adapters. The letter “L” clearly hints that the model will not be the only one in the series, and in the future we will see other Core Frozr variants for processors with different TDPs. In the meantime, we will explore the capabilities of this model.
Packing and scope of delivery
The cooler comes in a retail package with the same design style as the motherboards and graphics cards of the Gaming series. The leading combination of colors here is black with red, and all the inscriptions are made in a beautiful white font. The technical and marketing information on the box is more than enough for a conscious choice of the buyer, even without getting to know the official website.
The inner packaging is a plastic blister consisting of two halves. All accessories are folded into a small black box with a laconic Gaming series logo in the middle of the top cover.
When I opened the box, I was pleasantly surprised. Instead of the usual bags, a solid damper was found here, in the figured holes of which spare parts and accessories were neatly laid out.
In addition to the heatsink and fan, the MSI Core Frozr L package includes:
- installation instructions;
- syringe with thermal interface;
- replaceable top cover for the cooler in black;
- two additional mounting brackets for the fan;
- four rubber dampers for the second fan;
- universal reinforcement plate;
- mounting bracket for the cooler;
- universal mounting frame for all types of connectors;
- four metal threaded stands with rubber pads;
- four long screws;
- four threaded knurled cradles for Intel LGA2011 socket;
- four short screws;
- four large plastic spacers;
- four small plastic spacers;
- two mounting screws for Intel sockets;
- two mounting screws for AMD sockets.
Appearance MSI Core Frozr L is quite standard. It is made according to the classic U-shaped layout of heat pipes and has medium dimensions. The axis of symmetry of the heatsink is shifted to the side, this is probably done to eliminate a possible conflict with the PCI-E slot when mounted on small motherboards.
The fan is attached to the radiator with wire clips of a specific shape. In terms of dimensions, it does not protrude beyond the body of the radiator, in any projection.
Most of the time, the user will see the cooler from the side of its top panel. It has a beautiful gray overlay (it can be replaced with black if desired) with an illuminated Gaming-series logo in the form of a dragon.
The fan has a standard size of 120x120x25 mm. At its corners, rubber vibration dampers of red color are built in, on both sides. The 14 blades of the impeller have an unusual shape, which we have previously encountered on MSI’s video card cooling systems. The blades are characterized by a sharp bend in the profile in the middle, which should create better airflow with less noise. The dragon logo is also pasted in the center of the rotor. The power cord has a four-pin connector, is short and has no sheath.
On the reverse side, on the stator, we can find out the name of the OEM manufacturer of this propeller. It turned out to be the well-known company Power Logic. It declares the use of a hydraulic type bearing (HDB), which should not be confused with a hydrodynamic type (FDB). It can be inferior to the latter both in terms of quality and duration of time between failures. However, it is still much better than a plain sleeve or noisy ball bearings. The operating speed range of the impeller is from 500 to 1800 rpm. It can be considered conditionally silent in the interval from the start to 800 rpm and 40 dB (A). At 900-1000 rpm, the noise of the blades becomes audible. Up to 1300 rpm, the noise level can be described as average, and in the range from 1400 to 1800 rpm, the noise becomes strong and annoying to the ear. The fan speed is controlled by PWM.
The fan kit includes a splitter required to connect the glowing MSI logo on the top of the cooler. And if the propeller power is removed without problems, then disconnecting the logo power without damaging the cable can be problematic. Unfortunately, the kit does not include a splitter to turn on the second fan.
The overlay on the top panel is held on by four small screws. You may need a screwdriver to remove them. In addition, there are plastic latches on the overlay itself, so it should be removed carefully.
The top panel with the logo rests on four thin and long screws. The logo board has no visible tracks on the reverse side and is held on by six more small screws. We haven’t taken it apart yet.
Judging by the top rib, the cooler fins have almost no aerodynamic optimization. Although the manufacturer claims that the notches in the center serve as “guides” for air towards the heat pipes, this is hardly believed.
In total, the radiator uses four heat pipes of a large 8 mm diameter. They are nickel plated copper. There is no solder at the points of contact with the ribs, the plates are simply pressed onto the thermal channels, arranged in a cross section in the form of a rhombus on the left and right sides.
In profile, we see that the heat pipes are staggered on both sides, in two rows, which ensures good heat distribution with optimal airflow permeability. However, the fins are quite dense, with a gap of only 1.8 mm, which impairs the radiator’s airflow at low fan speeds. The total heat dissipation area reaches approximately 8000 cm², which is a very good indicator for a mid-range tower cooler.
Additional rubber dampers are glued to the corners of the radiator, even though there are anti-vibration rubber bands on the fan itself.
This is what the radiator looks like. Its total height, even with a plastic overlay on top, will not exceed 155 mm, which means that, by definition, it is compatible in height with the vast majority of standard and even budget cases.
Looking at the cooler from below, you can see how much the base is shifted to the side, relative to the axis of symmetry of the radiator body.
The nickel-plated solid sole of the cooler is not polished to a mirror finish, but leaves the impression of being relatively flat. Measurements with a metal ruler indicate a flat raised area in the center and slight bevels in the corners. The solder of the heatpipes passing through the base can be seen with the naked eye.