Once we’d attached the Frio Advanced to our test system, we were pleasantly surprised by the results we saw. In our LGA1155 test system, the CPU levelled out to a delta T of 41˚C, which is towards the top end of the results we’ve seen here. In fact, the only air cooler that bettered the Frio Advanced was the marginally more expensive Be Quiet! Dark Rock Pro.
Unfortunately, while the Dark Rock Pro remained almost whisper-quiet during our testing, the Frio Advanced's fans spun up to almost ridiculous levels. It was by far and away the loudest component in the case, and the only other coolers that could match its racket were the water-cooling systems at their highest fan speed settings. Our AMD testing revealed a similar story, with the cooler performing well (it recorded a delta T of 48˚C), but only by spinning up its fans to an uncomfortable level of noise.
Thermal performance with our LGA2011 test CPU at 100 per cent load was also respectable. The Frio Advanced managed a delta T of 53˚C, beating the Corsair H80 at its lowest speed setting and making the Frio Advanced one of the coolest conventional heatsinks we've tested. It made our overclocked and overvolted CPU a huge 9˚C cooler than the similarly priced Be Quiet! Dark Rock Pro. However, this great cooling ability came at a price; the Frio Advanced is comically loud, and its fans quickly spin up to a highly intrusive whine.
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The Thermaltake Frio Advanced is a bit of a disappointment given the pedigree of the Frio. Your motherboard may be able to alter its fan profile to quieten the otherwise noisy pair of 120mm fans, but it’s a shame that Thermaltake has decided to ditch manual fan speed control. The original Frio still performed well with its fans set to minimum speed, but the Dark Rock Pro is the Frio Advanced’s nemesis – it’s far quieter and better-looking than the Frio, and roughly as adept when it comes to cooling. It’s definitely worth forking out a few extra quid to buy the Dark Rock Pro instead.