Author Topic: Thermaltake Frio OCK CPU Cooler  (Read 2416 times)

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Thermaltake Frio OCK CPU Cooler
« on: December 10, 2012, 10:49:10 AM »
Product(s): Thermaltake Frio CPU Cooler
   Provided By: Thermaltake
   Price: ~$79.99 USD at time of publishing


It's been a while since we've had the original Thermaltake Frio CPU cooler on the BCCHardware test bench, but that's about to change as we've got the new and improved Frio OCK CPU cooler that we are going to review today. We tested the original Thermaltake Frio over 2 years ago and overall we were very impressed with it so one would think that the newly updated version should be a very good cooler as well.

Just like the original Frio cooler, the Frio OCK is also a heatpipe tower design (which has become the most popular design) and features a 120mm fan strapped to each side for very good airflow. The new Frio OCK is rated for 240 Watts of heat (the original Frio was only 220 Watts) which should be more than enough to cool even the hottest CPU around and leave you plenty of room for overclocking if you are into that. Seeing as even the hottest CPU produces less than 160 Watts of heat you should be safe with the Frio OCK being able to handle anything you throw at it.

Well enough with the introductions, let's take a closer look to see what the Frio OCK is all about in the next section.

   First Impressions:   
                                                                        Box (Front)                                                                                     Front View            
So as you can see in the pictures already, the Frio OCK looks pretty similar to a bunch of different coolers already thanks to the heatpipe tower design that it uses. The Frio OCK, just like the original Frio, has a 120mm fan on both sides of the cooler for lots of airflow. Having two fans mounted on a big heatsink makes for a big cooler so you will want to make sure you have lots of room in your case before ordering this cooler. Chances are pretty good though that most mid-size and full-tower cases should have enough room for a cooler this big, but if you have some mini case you might be out of luck when it comes to using this cooler.


                                                          Front View            
                                                         Top View            
                                                                        Side View                                                                                     Bottom View             
As far as accessories go, the Frio OCK comes with everything you need to get it installed onto pretty much any AMD or Intel CPU sold in the last 5 years. As you will see in the next set of pictures all of the mounting hardware is neatly packed into a little black box which sure beats being given a bag of screws and a piece of paper to help you identify what piece goes where. Thermaltake gets top marks for seperating everything very nicely and it helps speed up installation because it's super easy to find the pieces you need.

                                                                        Heatsink (Fans Removed)                                                                                     Accessories             
         One of the biggest differences between the original Frio and the Frio OCK is that the original Frio had a fan mounted on each side of the cooler individually while this new Frio OCK has both fans attached together and they are easily removable via a couple tabs on the side which allow you to slide off both fans and the plastic top piece of the cooler very easily. On the original Frio you would have had to unscrew each fan individually.
                During installation you will need to remove the fans from the Frio OCK in order to secure the cooler to the mounting brackets which is super easy on the Frio OCK but we will get into that in more detail in the installation section of this review.   
                                                                        Fans Removed from Heatsink                                                                                                                                                        Heatsink Side View            
So there we go, that's what the Frio OCK is all about, let's move onto the next section for all the details about this cooler.

   Thermaltake Frio OCK CPU Cooler Specifications:      All specifications taken from           Features:   Ultimate Overclocking Thermal Structure Design, support up to 240W.
   • Dual tower heat-sink with 0.4mm aluminum fins provide large surface for heat dissipation.
   • 6 x Ø6 mm-U-shape copper heat pipes for accelerated heat conduction.
   • Tower side flow design efficiently optimizes cooling performance.
   • Premium thermal grease maximizes heat transfer from the CPU into the cooler copper base for rapid dissipation
   Integrated Module for Dual 130mm VR™ OC Fan and the dazzling Cover.
   • Single VR control knob adjusts fan speed from 1200~2100rpm.
   • Overclocking efficiency with Starcraft II design.
   • Convenient and Tool-less design for dismantle and install the fan module.
   Universal Socket Compatibility & Accessory Package.
   • All-in-one back-plate design, support all Intel and AMD platform
   • Universal socket support :
   Intel: LGA 2011*, LGA1366, LGA1155, LGA1156, LGA775,
   AMD: AM3, AM2+, AM2      Specifications:
            Compatibility               Intel® Latest Sandy Bridge & 6-Core Processors
Intel® Core i7 Extreme (Socket LGA2011/LGA1366)
            Intel® Core i7 (Socket LGA2011/LGA1366 & LGA1155/1156)
            Intel® Core i5 / i3 (Socket LGA1155/1156)
            Intel® Core 2 Extreme / Quad / Duo (Socket LGA775)
            Intel® Pentium & D / 4 (Socket LGA775)
            Intel® Celeron & D (Socket LGA775)
            AMD® Latest Llano & 6-Core Processors
AMD® Llano Processors (Socket FM1)
            AMD® Phenom II X6 / X4 / X3 / X2 (Socket AM3/AM2+)
            AMD® Phenom X4 / X3 (Socket AM3/AM2+)
            AMD® Athlon II X4 / X3 / X2 (Socket AM3)
            AMD® Athlon 64 & FX / X2 (Socket AM2/939)
            AMD® Sempron (Socket AM2/939/754)
            * Supports All CPUs up to 240W TDP
            Heatsink Dimension               143(L) x 136.8(W) x 158.4(H) mm
               (with 2 Fans)

            Heatsink Material               Aluminum Fins
            Aluminum & Copper Base
            Heatpipe               6mm (x6)
            Fan Dimension               130(L) x 130(H) x 25(W) mm
            Fan Speed               1,200 ~ 2,100 RPM
            Bearing Type               ----
            Noise Level               21 ~ 48 dBA
            Max. Air Flow               121 CFM
            Max. Air Pressure               3.12 mmH2O
            LED Fan               ----
            Power Connector               3 Pin
            Rated Voltage               12 V
            Started Voltage               7 V
            Rated Current               1.2 A
            Power Input               14.4 W
            MTBF               50,000 Hrs @ 40?
            Weight               1093 g (with 2 Fans)
CPU Cooler Testing and Installation:

                                                                        Mounting Hardware on Heatsink                                                                                     Motherboard Bracket Installed             
         Installation of the Frio OCK is pretty straight-forward, nothing too tricky involved with this cooler. First step is to install the appropriate mounting hardware onto the heatsink (depending on what CPU you are using, picture above, left). Next you need to put the bracket onto the rear of the motherboard (picture above, right) and then you can put the mounting hardware that goes around your CPU (pictured below, left).
                Once you have that completed all you need to do is attached the heatsink to the brackets on the motherboard and you are done like dinner. If you already have your motherboard removed from your system the entire installation should take you no longer than 15 minutes, even if this is the first time you've installed a CPU cooler. Thermaltake has really good instructions and the process is very straight-forward from beginning to end.             
                                                                         Mounting Hardware on Motherboard                                                                                    Heatsink Installed            
         Even though the Frio OCK is a big cooler, thanks to the design of it you shouldn't have any issues with it interfering with other hardware (for example video cards). As you can see in the pictures below the cooler doesn't interfere with any other components on our test system.
                                                                                                                       Fans Installed on Heatsink                                    
                                                                        Installation Complete         
There we go. The Frio is installed and ready to go, let's see what it's capable of in the next section.

   Testing: Test Setup:

For Intel (LGA1336) testing we will be using the Intel Core i7 920 CPU, which produces 130 Watts of heat. Most current CPU's produce considerably less heat than the Intel i7 920 but this should give you a very good idea what to expect performance-wise when compared to other coolers that we've reviewed.

For both AMD and Intel testing, we have taken all temperatures using CoreTemp v.0.99.4. CoreTemp takes a temperature from the CPU core, and allows for much more uniform results across different motherboard and CPU platforms. These temperatures may seem higher than other temperature recordings; because chances are they are taking temperature recordings using the diode underneath the CPU, which isn't able to be as accurate, and can really fluctuate between different brands of motherboards.

For all tests we are using the Highspeed PC Top Deck Tech Station , and we are using no additional cooling in our testing. All temperatures are recorded in a controlled environment that is set to 23 degrees Celsius (73.4 Fahrenheit) to provide fair results between coolers.

For all tests we use Arctic Cooling MX-2 High-Performance Thermal Compound (Paste), We use the same thermal paste in all our testing so that we can keep our results consistent. If a cooler is shipped with thermal paste pre-applied, it will be removed and we will re-apply it with Arctic Cooling MX-2 to provide fair results.

   Intel Test System:
  •       Intel Core i7 920 CPU - Provided by Intel    
  •       ASRock X58 SuperComputer Motherboard - Provided by ASRock    
  •       ATI Radeon HD2600    
  •       3 GB Kit of Corsair XMS 3 DDR3 Memory    
  •       Western Digital 250 gig (16 MB Cache)    
  •       OCZ Modstream 520 Watt Power Supply
For our testing of the Frio we test this cooler with both fans plugged in. We will also test this cooler with the fans running on high (2100 RPM) as well as at their lowest speed (1200 RPM). For the first test we will turn the fans down to low (1200 RPM) and see what happens.

           Click on Chart for Larger View     Obviously running the fans at the lowest settings isn't going to set any performance records, however the results of this test weren't terrible and more than acceptable and still a huge improvement over stock cooling. In the next chart we will turns the fans up to high and see how much cooler we can get this CPU.

           Click on Chart for Larger View     Ok, so as expected once we turned the fans up to full the performance increased. Overall the performance is very good and improves on the original Frio's good numbers.

As we can see, at 100% CPU usage we saw the Frio OCK able to get the CPU to 51.25 degrees. The original Frio was recorded at 51.5 which is very similar to the original, however, the Frio OCK's fans rung at 2100 RPM while the original Frio was running at 2400 RPM. This is a pretty good improvement as the fans on the Frio OCK are quite a bit quieter than the original Frio thanks to the reduction in RPM's.

Running the fans at full speed (2100 RPM) also reduced the temperature 4 degrees over when they were running at low speeds (1200 RPM). This isn't a huge reduction and chances are good for everyday usage you'd be happy running the fans at low in order to keep things quiet. The nice thing with a cooler like this is that if you ever choose to overclock you most definitely have a cooler that can support it.

Let's see how the Frio OCK compared to all of the other coolers we've reviewed.

       Click on Chart for Larger View   As you can see in the chart above the Frio OCK performed very well compared to all of the other coolers. It didn't set the record but it was able to get within a couple degrees of the best performing air coolers that we've tested and it even beat a couple water coolers.   Overall for the price I'd say the Frio OCK is a good deal performance-wise when compared to the other coolers we've reviewed.   In the next section we'll go over our final thoughts and give the Frio OCK a final score.   
   Final Thoughts:   It has been quite some time since I took a look at the original Frio cooler from Thermaltake and during that time the Frio has remained a very popular pick among people looking to upgrade their CPU coolers. Thermaltake has most definitely improved on the original design with the Frio OCK and have done a good job making an already great product even better.
       One of the biggest complaints I had about the original Frio was that at full speeds (2500 RPM) the fans were quite loud. The Frio OCK at full speeds isn't super quiet, but it is a big improvement over the original. The new Frio OCK fans run at 2100 RPM maximum which is considerably slower than the original and while you might not want to leave it running at full all the time, you can at least hear yourself think if you need to crank them up to full. The Frio OCK has adjustable fans so you can turn them up or down depending on what you are doing. At low speeds the Frio OCK is nice and quiet and chances are good if you are running a ~60 Watt CPU you could probable leave it on low and still achieve very decent performance numbers.
       The build quality of the Thermaltake Frio OCK is very good which is something we expect coming from Thermaltake. I've had the chance to take a look at pretty much every Thermaltake CPU cooler over the past many years and it always seems they produce very high quality products and the Frio OCK is no different.
       The installation of the Frio OCK is a breeze and thanks to the new way that Thermaltake is packaging all of the mounting hardware. You will have no trouble getting this cooler installed in less than 15 minutes, even if this is the first aftermarket cooler that you've ever installed.
           As far as value goes, the Frio OCK offers you good bang for your buck. While not a cheap cooler (MSRP is $79.99) the Frio OCK offers good performance and is a very sturdy cooler. While the MSRP of $79.99 is quite a bit for a CPU cooler, it is pretty comparable to other coolers of its size and chances are good if you watch for an online sale you should be able to find this cooler for around $60 bucks which would make it a really good buy.
       I really have no major complaints with the Frio OCK. Thermaltake has done a good job of improving on an already great product and all of the improvements that can be found on the Frio OCK make it a really good CPU cooler.
       At the end of the day the Thermaltake Frio OCK is a winner in my books. Good performance, top quality construction, and easy installation have earned the Thermaltake Frio OCK our "Editor's Choice - Gold" award. If you are looking for a new CPU cooler than can handle everything you throw at it (and more) the Thermaltake Frio OCK might just be the cooler for you.       Pros:
  •       Good Performance   
  •       Can handle up to 240 Watts of Heat   
  •       Easy Installation   
  •       High Quality Construction
  •       Nothing Major
        I'd like to thank Thermaltake for sending us the Frio OCK CPU Cooler. If you have any questions, comments, or general feedback, please post at the thread below.

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