Thermaltake Frio Advanced and Frio Extreme Reviewairman - May 23, 2012
Category: CPU Cooling
Price: Advanced $58.99, Extreme $96.99
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Thermaltake is a name in this side of the computer world that everyone knows. Most likely, when it comes to naming off companies that manufacture heatsinks, fans, cases, power supplies, water cooling equipment, and even HDD enclosures and laptop coolers, Thermaltake is going to be one of the first three names that pop up in conversation. Additionally, when it comes to Thermaltake heatsinks, the name Frio lights up in our brains as well. The original Thermaltake Frio came to us over two years ago in 2010. Its performance was noteworthy for its price and many chose it for their own builds. About a year later came the Frio OCK, beating is predecessor by clear margins in cooling performance. Now, we are pleased to get our hands on two new Frio models: the Frio Advanced and the Frio Extreme. Both coolers are currently available, though the price difference is large at $59.99 and $99.99 respectively. The Frio Advanced is a single-tower cooler with five 6mm heatpipes and two 13cm fans, while the Frio Extreme is a dual-tower cooler with six 6mm heatpipes and two 14cm fans. Both support all recent sockets and are rated for 230W and 250W of heat dissipation.
I am looking forward to seeing what these coolers can do and am excited to see if the Frio Extreme has the capability of putting up numbers like the Noctua NH-D14 and the Phanteks PH-TC14PE — especially for its $100 price tag. In this article, I will provide a thorough evaluation of the Thermaltake Frio Advanced and Frio Extreme that includes unboxing, a close-up look at each cooler, and specifications and features, followed by a measure of their performance metrics and how they compare to other coolers out there.
The packaging for both coolers is nearly identical with the exceptions being the size, shape, and pictures. The front of each box has a picture of the coolers with their fans in place, its wattage rating, and icons for its fan size, heatpipe configuration, and the fact that they are LGA 2011-ready. The right side of the Frio Advanced box lists its features in non-English languages, and the right side of the Frio Extreme package has eight pictures of individual features that I will cover shortly. The rear of the Frio Advanced box contains a graphic feature list and some other information; the rear of the Frio Extreme box has a tabular listing of its specifications and features. Finally, the left side of the Frio Advanced package contains its tabular list of features and specifications, while the let side of the Frio Extreme box contains the feature listing in non-English languages.
The internal packaging for each cooler is rather similar since both use Styrofoam on each side of the coolers (Advanced will be shown on the left, Extreme on the right for the remainder of the article). The installation manuals and warranty information is found directly on top of the packaging. The accessory box sits at the top of the Frio Advanced's box, and the accessory box for the Frio Extreme is located between its two towers. The Frio Advanced is already assembled with its fans though the Frio Extreme will require some assembly. The two coolers use similar mounting hardware (not entirely identical), although the Frio Extreme's mounting hardware is presented in a more elegant way than just several zip-lock baggies! With it, you get a nice black box with form-fit foam on the inside so everything has its own spot.
As far as the Frio Advanced goes, the only extra "loose" stuff in the box are the paper manuals and the box of mounting hardware. On top of the mounting hardware and paper manuals for the Frio Extreme are two pairs of fan clips, the two fans, a fan controller, and a 4-pin "jumper" cable. This fan controller looks interesting; I will be sharing more info on that soon. With both coolers removed, it's clear where the price difference comes in. The Frio Extreme is a larger heatsink that uses more material and offers the fan controller along with hopes of excellent performance. Both coolers look to be good specimens, and I am excited to see how they perform.