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Thermaltake Frio CPU Cooler Review

Thermaltake Frio CPU Cooler Review

Manufacturer: Thermaltake
UK Price (as reviewed): £38.19 (inc VAT)
US Price (as reviewed): $60 (ex tax)

The Thermaltake Frio ships with a pair of 120mm fans, complete with individual fan-speed controllers. It supports all current CPU sockets, from LGA775 and LGA1366 to Socket AM3, and it certainly feels like a weighty piece of cooling kit.

The fittings and screws for each CPU socket are neatly supplied in individually labelled bags, and there’s also a tube of thermal paste. No instructions were supplied with our sample, but there’s a guide on Thermaltake’s website. However, the illustrations for fitting the cooler to an AMD system shows the wrong clips, which could easily confuse you.

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The Frio comes with a lot of kit: mounting legs for every socket, plus a second 120mm fan for extra CPU or case cooling. Click to enlarge.

Five 8mm-thick heatpipes emerge from each side of the base, which should increase the cooling power of the Frio, along with its 6mm-thick heatpipes. These copper heatpipes suck heat from the solid nickel-plated contact plate into the bank of aluminium fins, which are thicker than the usual cooling fins we see.

The Thermaltake logo on the top of the cooler indicates which way around it should be fitted, and there are also the usual arrows on the fans to indicate the correct airflow. Each fan also sports a controller, so you can run it at whichever speed you choose; however, we noticed that when we turned the dial to high for one of the fans, the speed actually decreased. Dialling it down a shade solved this fault.

The cooler weighs in at a hefty 1,042g, but once installed, it remained solid whichever mounting we used. Part of the reason for this is that the Frio uses a backplate to mount on every CPU socket. If you don’t have a case with a hole behind the CPU area of its motherboard tray, you’ll need to remove your motherboard
to fit the Frio.

Thermaltake Frio CPU Cooler Review Thermaltake Frio CPU Cooler Specifications Thermaltake Frio CPU Cooler Review Thermaltake Frio CPU Cooler Specifications
The fans are manually controlled, so you need to find a speed you're happy with and leave them. Click to enlarge.

Another potential issue is that if you use both fans, you’ll need a spare header close to the CPU socket to power the second fan. There are 3-pin splitter cables to help, but these will cost a few extra quid, so it would have been great to see Thermaltake include them in the box.

In each system, the fit of the Frio proved to be snug, with the lower edge of the fan nearly touching either the memory sticks or motherboard heatsinks, so tall memory is out of the question with this cooler. Its bulk also made it tricky to plug in the fans, but other than that there were no issues.

Specifications

  • Compatibility: Intel: LGA775, LGA1156, LGA1366. AMD: Socket AM2, AM2+, AM3
  • Weight: 1,042g
  • Size (mm): 139 x 98 x 165 (W x D x H)
  • Fan: 2 x 120mm, manual control, 1,200-2,500rpm
  • Stated Noise: 20 - 43dBA