Performance on the LGA1150 system is very good. We noted that the cooler bore a resemblance to the SilverStone Argon AR01 in terms of shape and size, and it outperforms this by a convincing 3°C. Thanks to its larger and slower fan, it's also quieter than the SilverStone cooler too – the fan noise is audible but below average. For what its worth, there was no audible clicking noise from the fan either, so Gelid appears to be right about that concerning its PWM IC. The Thermalright Macho Rev.B is 5°C cooler than the Gelid, and also quieter, but it's also massive and more expensive.
Click to enlarge - The Antarctica in our LGA1150 system (left) and AMD AM3+ system (right)
Moving to our AMD system, and it's another strong result. The Gelid Antarctica is again better than the SilverStone AR01, this time by 2°C. However, what's more impressive is that it keeps pace with the Corsair H75 and is only 1°C behind the bulky Thermalright Macho Rev.B. The results here suggest that unless you're using one of AMD's top-end, eight core Bulldozer parts, you don't need to make much of an investment to achieve decent temperatures – even if you're doing a bit of overclocking.
The Gelid Antarctica is a sucessful, if a little bog-standard, new entry to the cooler market. It offers strong performance that nips at the heels of more expensive all-in-one coolers without making too much noise - you could easily limit the fan speed via PWM or manually to obtain near silence without worrying about temperatures too much, even on an overclocked CPU. It's also got an inoffensive colour scheme and non-intrusive shape; the only dimension you need worry about is the 160mm height, and most cases with tower cooler support will take that. It can also be installed in multiple orientations. We would like to see more attention paid to fan clips (both by Gelid and other cooler companies), but it's not a deal-breaker. Lastly, we'd be wary of using this on an LGA2011 system, but for an LGA115x or pretty much any AMD system, the Antarctica is a great mid-range air cooler.
Intel LGA1150 Scores
AMD AM3+ Scores