Thermaltake Frio Advanced CPU Cooler Review
By Rafael Coelho on June 18, 2012


Introduction

The Thermaltake Frio Advanced is a member of the Frio family from which we already tested the Frio and the Frio OCK. The Frio Advanced has five direct-touch heatpipes and two 130 mm fans. Check it out!

The box of the Frio Advanced, decorated with red plasma rays, is shown in Figure 1.

Thermaltake Frio Advanced
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Figure 1: Package

Figure 2 shows the contents of the box: the cooler itself, a small syringe of thermal compound, manuals, and installation hardware.

Thermaltake Frio Advanced
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Figure 2: Accessories

Figure 3 displays the Thermaltake Frio Advanced.

Thermaltake Frio Advanced
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Figure 3: The Frio Advanced

This cooler is discussed in detail in the following pages.

The Frio Advanced

Figure 4 illustrates the front of the cooler. The 130 mm fan with red blades and black frame covers the entire heatsink.

Thermaltake Frio Advanced
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Figure 4: Front view

Figure 5 reveals the side of the cooler. Notice that the fans were installed on plastic frames that make the installation and removal of the fans an easy task.

Thermaltake Frio Advanced
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Figure 5: Side view

Figure 6 shows the rear of the Frio Advanced, where you can see the second fan, installed in the exhaust position.

Thermaltake Frio Advanced
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Figure 6: Rear view

In Figure 7, you can see the top of the cooler. Between the fan frames, there is a red plastic piece with the Thermaltake logo at the center.

Thermaltake Frio Advanced
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Figure 7: Top view

The Frio Advanced (Cont’d)

Figures 8 and 9 illustrate the base of the cooler. The five 6 mm heatpipes touch the CPU directly, with a small aluminum gap between them. The base is smooth but with no mirrored look.

Thermaltake Frio Advanced
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Figure 8: Base

Thermaltake Frio Advanced
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Figure 9: Base

Figure 10 shows the heatsink of the Frio Advanced with the fans removed.

Thermaltake Frio Advanced
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Figure 10: Heatsink

In Figure 11, you can see the 130 mm PWM fans that come with the Frio Advanced.

Thermaltake Frio Advanced
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Figure 11: Fans

Installation

The first step to install the Frio Advanced is to attach the holders (each one with one spring-loaded screw) to the base of the cooler. Figure 12 shows those holders in place.

Thermaltake Frio Advanced
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Figure 12: Holders with screws

The second step is to install the frame on the motherboard. Put the backplate on the solder side of the motherboard, insert the four screws, install the plastic spacers, and then the metal bars, holding them with four thumbnuts.

Thermaltake Frio Advanced
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Figure 13: Motherboard frame

Then, put the cooler over the CPU and fasten the two screws.

Thermaltake Frio Advanced
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Figure 14: Heatsink installed

The last step is to reinstall the fans, as shown in Figure 15.

Thermaltake Frio Advanced
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Figure 15: Installation finished

How We Tested

We tested the cooler with a Core i5-2500K CPU (quad-core, 3.3 GHz), which is a socket LGA1155 processor with a 95 W TDP (Thermal Design Power). In order to get higher thermal dissipation, we overclocked it to 4.0 GHz (100 MHz base clock and x40 multiplier), with 1.3 V core voltage (Vcore). This CPU was able to reach 4.8 GHz with its default core voltage, but at this setting, the processor enters thermal throttling when using mainstream coolers, reducing the clock and thus the thermal dissipation. This could interfere with the temperature readings, so we chose to maintain a moderate overclocking.

We measured noise and temperature with the CPU under full load. In order to get 100% CPU usage in all cores, we ran Prime 95 25.11 with the “In-place Large FFTs” option. (In this version, the software uses all available threads.)

We compared the tested cooler to other coolers we already tested, and to the stock cooler that comes with the Core i5-2500K CPU. Note that the results cannot be compared to measures taken on a different hardware configuration, so we retested some “old” coolers with this new methodology. This means you can find different values in older reviews than the values you will read on the next page. Every cooler was tested with the thermal compound that comes with it.

Room temperature measurements were taken with a digital thermometer. The core temperature was read with the SpeedFan program (available from the CPU thermal sensors), using an arithmetic average of the core temperature readings.

During the tests, the panels of the computer case were closed. The front and rear case fans were spinning at minimum speed in order to simulate the “normal” cooler use on a well-ventilated case. We assume that is the common setup used by a cooling enthusiast or overclocker.

The sound pressure level (SPL) was measured with a digital noise meter, with its sensor placed near the top opening of the case. This measurement is only for comparison purposes, because a precise SPL measurement needs to be made inside an acoustically insulated room with no other noise sources, which is not the case here.

Hardware Configuration

Operating System Configuration

Software Used

Error Margin

We adopted a 2°C error margin, meaning temperature differences below 2°C are considered irrelevant.

Our Tests

The table below presents the results of our measurements. We repeated the same test on all coolers listed below. Each measurement was taken with the CPU at full load. In the models with a fan supporting PWM, the motherboard controlled the fan speed according to core load and temperature. On coolers with an integrated fan controller, the fan was set at the full speed.

CoolerRoom Temp.NoiseSpeedCore Temp.Temp. Diff.
Cooler Master Hyper TX318 °C50 dBA2850 rpm69 °C51 °C
Corsair A7023 °C51 dBA2000 rpm66 °C43 °C
Corsair H10026 °C62 dBA2000 rpm64 °C38 °C
EVGA Superclock26 °C57 dBA2550 rpm67 °C41 °C
NZXT HAVIK 14020 °C46 dBA 1250 rpm65 °C45 °C
Thermalright True Spirit 12026 °C42 dBA1500 rpm82 °C56 °C
Zalman CNPS12X26 °C43 dBA1200 rpm71 °C45 °C
Zalman CNPS9900 Max20 °C51 dBA1700 rpm62 °C42 °C
Titan Fenrir Siberia Edition22 °C50 dBA2400 rpm65 °C43 °C
SilenX EFZ-120HA518 °C44 dBA1500 rpm70 °C52 °C
Noctua NH-L1220 °C44 dBA1450 rpm70 °C50 °C
Zalman CNPS8900 Extreme21 °C53 dBA2550 rpm71 °C50 °C
Gamer Storm Assassin15 °C48 dBA1450 rpm58 °C43 °C
Deepcool Gammaxx 40015 °C44 dBA1500 rpm60 °C45 °C
Cooler Master TPC 81223 °C51 dBA2350 rpm66 °C43 °C
Deepcool Gammaxx 30018 °C43 dBA1650 rpm74 °C56 °C
Intel stock cooler18 °C41 dBA2000 rpm97 °C79 °C
Xigmatek Praeton19 °C52 dBA2900 rpm83 °C64 °C
Noctua NH-U12P SE218 °C42 dBA1300 rpm69 °C51 °C
Deepcool Frostwin24 °C46 dBA1650 rpm78 °C54 °C
Thermaltake Frio Advanced13 °C56 dBA2000 rpm62 °C49 °C

In the graph below, you can see how many degrees Celsius hotter the CPU core is than the air outside the case. The lower this difference, the better is the performance of the cooler.

Thermaltake Frio Advanced

In the graph below, you can see how many decibels of noise each cooler makes.

Thermaltake Frio Advanced

Main Specifications

The main specifications for the Thermaltake Frio Advanced CPU cooler include:

* Researched at Newegg.com on the day we published this review.

Conclusions

Although the Frio and the Frio OCK from Thermaltake were both excellent CPU coolers, with extreme cooling performance and low noise level, the Frio Advanced seems to be the black sheep of this family. Its performance was mediocre, and its noise level was actually annoying.

It seems that Thermaltake decided to produce a simpler heatsink than the ones on the previous members of the family. What is really interesting is that the Frio Advanced costs more than the original Frio.

This is proof that an “advanced” version is not always a better product.

Originally at http://www.hardwaresecrets.com/article/Thermaltake-Frio-Advanced-CPU-Cooler-Review/1575


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