Thermaltake Frio CPU Cooler

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Product(s): Thermaltake Frio CPU Cooler
Provided By: Thermaltake

Price:

Introduction: 

Today we've got the latest and greatest from Thermaltake on the test bench, the new Frio CPU cooler. This cooler is a big one and can handle CPU's up to 220 Watts which should give you more than enough cooling ability to cool any CPU out there with room to spare. The Frio has been designed with overclocking in mind and even supports the new Intel and AMD 6-core processors.

The design of the Frio is similar to some of their other models (like the ISGC-300 which we reviewed here) and utilizes the popular "tower-heatpipe" design. The Frio is designed to run with either 1 or 2 120mm fans installed (the Frio comes with 2 fans) and with both fans installed you should be able to get some decent airflow happening if you don't mind the noise (both fans are adjustable from 1200 to 2500 RPM).

Let's take a closer look to see what the Frio is all about.

 

 

First Impressions:

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Thermaltake Frio - Box (Front)
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Thermaltake Frio - Box (Back)

 

 

As you can see in the pictures the Frio isn't too crazy of a design and is pretty similar to other "tower-heatpipe" coolers that are by far the most popular design in the past couple of years. The Frio is a bit bigger than some of the other coolers of similar design that we've tested and the inclusion of 5 heatpipes should help improve the performance of this cooler. The Frio comes with 2 fans, both of which are capable for running anywhere between 1200 and 2500 RPM thanks to the built in fan adjustment dial on each fan.

 

 

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Thermaltake Frio - Front View
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Thermaltake Frio - Fan Removed

 

 

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Thermaltake Frio - Side View
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Thermaltake Frio - Side View

 

 

As you can see in the pictures below (right) the accessories that come with the Frio are pretty standard and come with everything you need to install this cooler on a wide range of AMD and Intel CPUs (including all the new 6 core processors). Everything in the accessories is nicely labeled according to what CPU socket you are installing the cooler onto and if you follow the instructions installation should be a breeze.

 

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Thermaltake Frio - Bottom View
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Thermaltake Frio - Accessories

 

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Thermaltake Frio - Side View (1 Fan Installed)
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Thermaltake Frio - Top View (1 Fan Installed)

 

 

So there we go, that's what the Frio is all about, let's move onto the next section for the in depth details.

 

 


 

Thermaltake Frio CPU Cooler Specifications:

 

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All specifications taken from Thermaltake.com

 

Features:

  • Supports Intel Latest 6-Core Processors
  • Ultimate Overclocking Thermal Structure Design
  • Ultra Powerful  Dual 120mm VR™ Fan and Eye-Catching Cover
  • Universal Socket Compatibility & Accessory Package

 

Detailed Features:

Ultimate Overclocking Thermal Structure Design
- excellent cooling capacity – supports 220W
- 0.5mm aluminum fins with large surface for heat dissipation
- 5 x Ø8 mm-U-shape copper heat pipes for accelerated heat conduction
- tower side flow design efficiently optimizes cooling performance.

Ultra Powerful Dual 120mm VR™ Fan and Eye-Catching Cover
- 120 mm VR™ Fan, adjustable between 1200 and 2500 RPM max. for best overclocking performance
- additional 120mm Fan enhances cooling performance
- black and red cooler top add aesthetical appearance

Universal Socket Compatibility & Accessory Package
- universal socket support:
  Intel: LGA1366, LGA1156, LGA775
  AMD: AM3, AM2+, AM2 
- premium thermal grease maximizes heat transfer from the CPU into the cooler copper base for rapid dissipation

 

 

Specifications:

Compatibility    Intel® Latest 6-Core Processors
Intel® Core i7 Extreme (Socket LGA1366)
Intel® Core i7 (Socket LGA1366 & LGA1156)
Intel® Core i5 / i3 (Socket LGA1156)
Intel® Core 2 Extreme / Quad / Duo (Socket LGA775)
Intel® Pentium D / 4 (Socket LGA775)
Intel® Pentium (Socket LGA775)
Intel® Celeron D (Socket LGA775)
Intel® Celeron (Socket LGA775)

AMD® Latest 6-Core Processors
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)
AMD® Athlon 64 (Socket AM2)
AMD® Sempron (Socket AM2)

* Supports All CPUs up to 220W TDP
Heatsink Dimension   

139(L) x 98(W) x 165(H) mm

Heatsink Material    Aluminum Fins
Aluminum & Copper Base
Heatpipe    Ø 8mm x 5
Fan Dimension    120(L) x 120(H) x 25(W) mm
Fan Speed    1,200 ~ 2,500 RPM
Bearing Type    ----
Noise Level    20 ~ 43 dBA
Max. Air Flow    101.6 CFM
Max. Air Pressure    4.2 mmH2O
LED Fan    ----
Power Connector    3 Pin
Rated Voltage    12 V
Started Voltage    6 V
Rated Current    0.5 A
Power Input    6 W
MTBF    50,000 Hrs @ 40℃
Weight    1,042 g

 

 

 


 

Thermaltake Frio CPU Cooler Testing and Installation

Installation of the Frio was pretty easy and if you follow the instructions shouldn't take more than about 10 minutes from start to finish. For LGA1366 installations you will need to remove the motherboard to install the back bracket, but other than that everything is straight-forward and pretty simple. As you can see in the pictures below the Frio is a large cooler, however, due to the design shouldn't interfere with any of the components located near to the CPU socket. Biggest thing to note is the height of this cooler and you might want to double check if you have a smaller case to ensure it fits properly.

 

 

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Thermaltake Frio - Side View
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Thermaltake Frio - Top View

 

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Thermaltake Frio - Side View
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Thermaltake Frio - Side View

 

 

There we go, the Frio is 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. This could be considered a mid-range processor, and while most Dual-Core processors produce ~50-80 Watts of heat, this should give you a pretty accurate estimate of what type of temperatures a cooler will provide you with.

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:

For our testing of the Frio we test this cooler with 1 fan installed, and then again with 2 fans installed. We will also test this cooler with the fans running on high (2500 RPM) as well as at their lowest speed (1200 RPM).

 

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Click on Chart for Larger View

 

 

 

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Click on Chart for Larger View

 

 

With one fan installed on the Frio the performance was actually very good. We will assume that adding a 2nd fan will probably drop temperatures a few degrees; however for most users 1 fan would be more than enough. What I would assume most users will do is run 2 fans at a lower speed than a single fan at higher speeds in order to help reduce noise a bit. When running at full speed 1 fan can produce a fair bit of noise and most people would probably not want to leave this fan on high but it is nice to have the ability to crank it up if you're trying to pull off a big overclock.

 


 

After installing the 2nd fan on the Frio we saw temperatures drop by another few degrees. The performance of the Frio with both fans running on full is pretty impressive for air cooling, however running at the slowest speeds the performance is still pretty good and I'd assume more than adequate for the majority of people buying this cooler. When running at full speeds the fans are pretty noisy, but at slow speeds it would be pretty hard to hear them over other system noise, so you've got some room to play around and find a happy medium between performance and noise.

 

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Click on Chart for Larger View

 

  

 

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Click on Chart for Larger View

 

 

 

Let's see how the Frio stacks up against some of the other coolers we've tested here at BCCHardware.

 

 

 

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Click on Chart for Larger View

 

We've put the Frio up against some pretty tough competition, and the results are pretty good for the Frio. As far as air-cooling goes the Frio comes in 2nd in our chart and was even able to beat the CoolIT ECO A.L.C. Watercooling CPU Cooler. That kind of performance is pretty impressive when you consider that this cooler is almost $20 bucks cheaper than the cooler that beat it (Noctua NH-D14).

Overall I'm pretty happy with the Frio's performance and when you compare it to stock cooling you've going to get close to a 20 degree performance increase under full load.

Running the Frio at full speed is probably not recommended due to the amount of noise it produces, however the performance at low speeds is more than adequate for more users(and still able to outperform some of the other coolers).

 

 


 

Thermaltake Frio CPU Cooler Final Thoughts:

After getting the chance to test the Thermaltake Frio CPU cooler I must say I'm overall pretty happy with it. This cooler is a heavy cooler, weighing in at over 1kg, however the performance it provides will make you quickly forget about its weight.

The MSRP of $59.99 USD makes the Frio a great choice when you compare it to some of the other coolers of its size and performance.

 

Installation is a breeze with the Frio, and if you follow the instructions you should have no problem getting this cooler installed and running in under 15 minutes.

The biggest drawback of this cooler is the noise of the fans when running at full speed (2500 RPM). Chances are good you won't be leaving the fans at high speed on a daily basis, but you will be happy to have the ability to crank them up for a little extra performance when you are trying to pull off that big overclock.

At the end of the day it's pretty easy to like the Thermaltake Frio CPU Cooler. Thanks to fantastic performance, excellent CPU support, and high quality construction the Frio is a great choice for your next CPU cooler and has easily earned our "Editor's Choice - Gold" award. If you have the room in your case for a larger CPU cooler and want a cooler that can handle overclocking like a champ, the Thermaltake Frio might just be the cooler for you.

 

 

Pros:

  • Great Performance
  • High Quality Construction
  • Supports new AMD and Intel 6-Core Processors
  • Able to handle 220 Watt CPU's
  • Easy Installation
  • Reasonable MSRP ($59.99 USD)

 

Cons:

  • Fans are loud at full speeds (2500 RPM)


 

BCCRating


Gold 

 

I'd like to thank Thermaltake for sending us the Frio CPU Cooler. If you have any questions, comments, or general feedback, please leave it at the "Comments" link below.