Thermaltake Frio ReviewBosco - May 12, 2010
Category: CPU Cooling
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Once you decide to start down the long road of overclocking, one of the first things to get under control is the cooling for the CPU. Its one of the easiest improvements and usually pays big dividends over the stock cooling solution from AMD or Intel. Much in the same way installing a free flowing exhaust on your high-performance car helps increase performance, the installation of a high-end cooling solution can help you reach higher clock speeds. This in turn equates to higher performance, whether it is increased benchmark scores or reducing the time it takes to render video, or cleaning up the photos from the last family vacation. Add in the greater comfort factor and it's a win/win situation. But which one do you choose? There are a million to choose from it seems, and the difficult bit is getting the right one to fit both your wallet and performance expectations. Thermaltake has a cooler that may just fit your needs in the FRIO. It is a cooling solution "Designed for Overclocking", so the expectation is that it will be up to the task. Priced at $59.99, it sits at the lower end of the high-performance spectrum for fully equipped heatsinks. On paper, the FRIO looks full of potential, so let's see if it can deliver.
The packaging for the Thermaltake FRIO shows a profile shot of the heatsink and lists several of its features along the bottom of the front panel that show the inclusion of two 12cm VR fans, the use of 8mm heatpipe technology and the 4-in-1 mounting assembly. Thermaltake also states that the FRIO supports up to a 220 watt thermal load hence the "Designed for Overclocking" underneath the name. The rear panel lists the features of the FRIO as well as pictures of the heatsink, fans and mounting hardware. The left panel lists the specifications and the right side tells you how to get to Thermaltake for more information in a variety of languages.
Opening up the package shows that the company takes great care to make sure that the FRIO arrives with no damage. The base assembly accessory box and second VR fan are all separated by the foam inserts. Pull them all out and you get a look at what is included for the use and installation of the FRIO.
The accessory bundle includes mounting hardware for all the latest Intel and AMD sockets, from LGA 775 to LGA 1366 on the Intel side and AM2 to AM3 on the AMD side of the fence. The FRIO bolts on to the motherboard, so the hardware is different based on what CPU socket you have. The AMD and Intel hardware is packaged separately with the common components included in a separate bag, so there is no confusion as to what belongs with which mounting assembly. The common parts kit includes a tube of thermal grease, nylon washers, screws and rubber vibration isolators used to mount the VR series fans to the FRIO. The instructions are well laid out, but are a bit small and difficult to read.
Just the initial look shows that Thermaltake may be onto something with the design and implementation of this heatsink. Not to mention that it looks pretty good to boot.