Thermaltake Frio Advanced and Frio Extreme Reviewairman -
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The similarities between these coolers and other models on the market are noticeable, albeit understandable — there can only be so many designs out there for heatsinks. The dual-tower Thermaltake Frio Extreme resembles many of the high-end coolers on the market, and the Frio Advanced can be compared to most of the other coolers in its class as well. The part where heatsinks are made into something super special is the tolerance tightness and care of how they are put together, which leaves little room for error. I've had my hands on many heatsinks and many have impressed me. These two Thermaltake Frio models perform as we should expect them to, but they don't offer anything groundbreaking. This lack of ingenuity is not necessarily a negative however, since only so much can be done with a heatsink!
Both the Advanced and Extreme have their pros and cons. The clip-on, interchangeable fans of the Frio Advanced are very convenient because of the ease of removing and installing the fans. It also presents the opportunity for the user to change the fans out to something they feel is a better fit for their desires — some earlier "clip-on" fans from Thermaltake were proprietary and could not be easily changed. The Extreme offers high end performance, but only at a high end price. The Extreme is fitted with an extreme 10-year warranty, which far exceeds the life of the computer system that it will be cooling.
Acoustically, these coolers are rather unimpressive. Other models in each of these coolers' price ranges offer equal or better performance at much lower noise levels. I have never been bothered by excess noise, but I have seen plenty of coolers that perform exceptionally well at little more than a whisper in volume. As far as the base concavity goes, I would love to hear from a manufacturer on this topic. Between many brands of coolers, even high end models, I have witnessed many bases that are clearly convex perpendicular to the mounting force. Although there is always going to be some deformation due to these mounting forces, I truly cannot imagine that it's enough to make the base of the Frio Advanced anywhere close to flat. Yes, its base has a mirror finish, but if it's like a circus mirror, it does no good!
For the price of each of these coolers, I cannot say I was blown away. Taking price, performance, and noise level into consideration, I think there are better options available. With the Frio Extreme, you do get a 10 year warranty and the included remote fan controller, but you'll have to ask yourself if those features make it worth the extra $15-$20 price premium over where I believe it should be priced. The Frio Advanced is better when it comes down to pricing versus performance, but there are other, quieter options out there that may be of equal cost.
- Wide range of compatible sockets
- 10-year warranty and fan controller included (Frio Extreme)
- Good looks and color scheme