Thermaltake Frio Advanced CPU Cooler Review

Author: Roger Cantwell
Editor: Howard Ha
Publish Date: Monday, July 30th, 2012
Originally Published on Neoseeker (http://www.neoseeker.com)
Article Link: http://www.neoseeker.com/Articles/Hardware/s/thermaltake_frio_advanced/
Copyright Neo Era Media, Inc. - please do not redistribute or use for commercial purposes.

Today we will be looking at Thermaltake's Frio Advanced CPU cooler. Thermaltake has taken great pride in their innovative approach to the design and manufacturing of their cooling solutions. When Thermaltake set out to design the Frio Advanced cooler they had one thing in mind: overclocking.

Billed as the ultimate overclocking CPU cooler, the Frio Advanced certainly has a lot to live up to. It features twin 130mm PWM fans capable of up to 2000RPM, 5 heat pipes at 6mm each, and high density aluminum cooling fins that provide a much larger cooling surface.

Add in Thermaltake's innovative heat pipe DTT (Direct Touch Technology) plus a maximum 230W TDP (Thermal Design Power) on top of that, and the Frio Advanced may be just what the doctor ordered to protect your processor from a heatstroke.

The Frio Advanced retail packaging is largely black with red highlights. On the front of the box highlights features like two 130mm fans, five 6mm heat pipes and support for the Intel 2011 CPU socket and processors with up to 230W (TDP). The back of the box has a more detailed list as well as various glamshots of the Frio Advanced.

The right side of the box list the specifications in multiple languages aside from English, which is instead reserved for the left panel.

CPU Compatibility:

Intel® Latest Sandy Bridge & 6-Core Processors

AMD® Latest Llano & 6-Core Processors

 

Specifications:

Heatsink Dimension
130.6(L) x 122(W) x 159.2(H) mm
Heatsink Material
Aluminum Fins
Aluminum & Copper Base
Heatpipe
Ø 6mm x 5
Fan Dimension
130(L) x 130(H) x 25(W) mm
Fan Speed
800 ~ 2,000 RPM
Noise Level       
21 ~ 44 dBA
Max. Air Flow  
88.77 CFM
Max. Air Pressure 
2.7 mmH2O
Power Connector 
4 Pin (PWM)
Rated Voltage
12 V
Started Voltage
6 V
Rated Current
0.5 A
MTBF
50,000 Hrs @ 40
Weight
954 g

Opening the box reveals two detailed installation manuals, one for Intel CPUs and the other for AMD, along with Thermaltake's product warranty policy. Both the installation manuals and the warranty policy are translated in multiple languages.

Below the installation manuals you will find the box of accessories. The Frio Advanced comes with everything needed to mount the heatsink onto multiple sockets including Intel's LGA 775, 1155, 1156, 1366, as well as Intel's latest socket 2011. Supported AMD sockets include the AM2, AM2+, AM3, AM3+, 939, 754 and AMD socket FM1.

Once you remove the bundle of accessories, you can see the top red part of the Frio Advanced cooler itself. Thermaltake packed the cooler into a form fitting tray made of a soft foam that will help to ensure that the heatsink remains in perfect condition during shipping and handling.

 

 

Here is a look at the front of the Frio Advanced; straight out of the box, it comes loaded with dual 130mm fans capable of moving a massive 88.77CFM of air per minute.

With the fans removed, you can get a better look at the cooler. As you can see, the heatpipes are offset from one another; this is done to allow for better airflow in and around the heatpipes.

The base of the heatsink is smooth and has a nice polished finish. Below is another view of the heatpipes as seen entering the bottom of the cooler.

Like any air cooled solution, if the fans are not up to the task the product is a wash. Fortunately the 130mm fans supplied by Thermaltake are more than capable of getting the job done.  They have a maximum rotational speed of 2000RPM. The unique curvature of the fan blades allows the fans to push a massive 88.77CFM at their highest setting while still managing to remain ultra quiet.

The only concern I have is the weight of the whole cooler itself (954g), and the resulting stress it may create on the motherboard.  Other than that, installation of the Frio Advanced was straightforward and very easy. The supplied hardware has been well machined and lined up perfect the first time.

The base of the heatsink is like many others manufactured today, made of mixed metals; the heat pipes are copper while the rest of the base is aluminum. The second photo shows the back plate in place and ready for the cooler.

Looking at the front of the motherboard with the cooler brackets attached, the next step is to apply some thermal compound and attach the cooler. On the right you can see the black threaded spacers between the brackets and motherboard.

Below is a view of the cooler mounted and secured, with the two spring loaded screws to help prevent over tightening. It looked as if I would have clearance issues on all sides, but the only issue ended being one of the DIMM slots (number one to be exact).

And as you can see, even the the GSkill Ripjaws would not fit under the fan. The chipset clearance however was not an issue.

Now the fan is finally in the case and ready for some testing.

Testing Thermaltake's Frio Advanced CPU cooler will involve running our test system for 30 minutes using Prime95's small FFT for the CPU. The last stage will be a 30 minute cool-down period for the idle temperatures. The highest temperatures were recorded using a HW Monitor. All fans will be running at 100% rotation speed throughout testing.

Test Setup:

Comparison Coolers:

Results:

Thermaltake's Frio Advanced fared well against the competition, being second only to XSPC's RASA 750.

In a market flooded with CPU coolers of all makes and sizes, Thermaltake manages to stand out among their competitors. The Frio Advanced cooler has a well thought out design that includes five heatpipes measuring 6mm each as well as high-density cooling fins.  The innovative manufacturing technique produces one of the finest cooling products available.

With a maximum 230W TDP (Thermal Design Power) the Frio Advanced CPU cooler can easily handle the 130W maximum TDP seen in Intel's next generation processors.  The Core i7 3960X for instance has a TDP rating of 130W which is well within the 230W limit of the Frio Advanced.

Moving beyond the maximum TDP of the Frio Advanced, the included accessories also manage to impress. While most other manufacturers only include a single fan, Thermaltake gives you two ultra quiet 130mm fans capable of moving up to 88.77CFM.  The Frio Advanced also features one of the easiest mounting systems I have worked with to date.

Performance wise, the Frio Advanced lands high toward the top of the list. Out of the coolers tested, only one was able to top the Frio Advanced.  Load testing of our Core i7 2600k overclocked to 4.4GHz with the Frio Advanced, delivered a maximum temperature of only 62 degrees Celcius.  This is a full 16 degrees Celcius lower than the highest temperature of 78 degrees Celcius recorded by a comparison cooler.

There is also the value factor; with prices starting around $69.99 USD, the Frio Advanced is going to be hard to beat in the price category.  Some of the comparison coolers tested do cost about the same as the Frio Advanced, but most didn't perform as well.

Pros:

Cons:

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