• CPU Support: Intel LGA 2011-3/ 2011/ 1366/ 1156/ 1155/ 1151/ 1150/ 775, AMD AM4/ FM2/ FM1/ AM3+/ AM3/ AM2+/ AM2
  • Air Flow: 19.79 - 71.27 CFM
  • Static Air Pressure: 0.16 - 2.09 mm-H20
  • Fan Noise: 17.2 ~ 33.6 dBA
  • Dimensions: 140 x 155 x 84 mm
  • Weight: 960 g
  • Pros:
  • Silent
  • Performs well
  • Cons:
  • Price
  • Hard to install inside of case

Silently Cool

For many PC gaming enthusiasts, squeezing more performance out of their CPU heavily depends on a good cooling solution. Liquid solution may be all the rage these days, but for those with more modest needs, a tower cooler like MSI’s new Core Frozr L is be enough.

First thing to note about the Core Frozr L is that it’s tall, not exactly the ideal cooling solution you’d want to use in an ITX casing. The heat sink is about 15cm tall and uses a nickel-plated copper base, which then connects to four heat pipes that divert heat away to the aluminium fins. The fan included is MSI’s own highly effective TORX design, with this one being a larger 120mm version.
Inside the box, MSI included separate backplates and screws for installation of Intel and AMD CPUs. There’s also an extra black top cover, which can be swapped in with the pre-installed one, as well as a pair of fan clips and rubber paddings for another 120mm fan.

Installation proved to be a mixed bag. It shouldn’t be an issue if the user is building outside of the case. But if it’s not, then the only way to install the Core Frozr L is if there’s a cut out for the back of the CPU. Despite MSI’s claims to the contrary, the actual process of installing can be quite a chore. The tiny components are difficult to handle for those with butter fingers, while the fan needs to be removed first to install everything else. Also, note that if you want to install a second 120mm fan in a push-pull configuration, there might be some clearance issues with taller RAMs.

With MSI’s experience in GPU coolers, we had expectations for the Core Frozr L’s, expectations which it delivered. At max (non-overclocked) load, it manages to keep running temperatures at 61-degree Celcius. Next, we ramped up the clock speeds and voltage slightly, which yielded an average maximum of 73-degree Celsius. By using a two-fan config, we saw marginal improvements in temperatures by 1-2 degrees.

Noise levels were equally impressive. When idle, the fans spin at a default of 60% max speed, or around 1800RPM. At this level, the fan is completely silent with the system inside an enclosure. The fans generate around 40 decibels when under 100% load, which is also won’t be noticeable from outside of a PC case.

CHIP CONCLUDE: Although the mounting system for it can be improved, the Core Frozr L delivers impressive cooling performance and low noise levels.

(previously published in issue December 2016)