Thermaltake Frio OCK CPU Cooler Review
By Rafael Otto Coelho on May 18, 2011


Introduction

Hardware Secrets Golden Award

The Frio OCK is a new cooler from Thermaltake, with a tower heatsink, six heatpipes and two 130 mm fans. Let's test it.

Keep in mind that the Frio OCK is not an upgraded version of the Thermaltake Frio, which we reviewed some time ago. Actually, they have almost nothing in common, except for the fact that they both have tower heatsinks and two fans each.

The Frio OCK box is made of cardboard, with a picture of the cooler in the front, as you see in Figure 1.

Thermaltake Frio OCK
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Figure 1: Package

Figure 2 shows what comes with the cooler: manual, thermal grease, and installation hardware. This hardware comes nicely packaged into a small box with a foam filling where every piece has its own place.

Thermaltake Frio OCK
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Figure 2: Accessories

In Figure 3, you can see the Thermaltake Frio OCK. By the way, OCK stands for "Overclocking King."

Thermaltake Frio OCK
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Figure 3: The Thermaltake Frio OCK

This cooler is discussed in detail in the following pages.

The Thermaltake Frio OCK

Figure 4 shows the front of the cooler, where a 130 mm fan with semitransparent blades forces the air into the heatsink.

Thermaltake Frio OCK
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Figure 4: Front view

Figure 5 shows the side of the cooler. The heatsink is barely visible under the plastic cover.

Thermaltake Frio OCK
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Figure 5: Side view

Figure 6 illustrates the back side of the cooler, where the second fan extracts the air from the heatsink. Both fans have only one power connector, which has three pins. It also has a small potentiometer where you can adjust the rotation speed.

Thermaltake Frio OCK
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Figure 6: Rear view

Figure 7 presents the top of the cooler. Here you can see the plastic cover, which has a transparent blue window at the center.

Thermaltake Frio OCK
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Figure 7: Top view

The Thermaltake Frio OCK (Cont’d)

In Figure 8 you see the base of the Frio OCK. It is smooth but it doesn't have a mirror-like aspect.

Thermaltake Frio OCK
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Figure 8: Base

Figure 9 reveals the cover off the heatsink. It can be removed just by pulling it from the sides. The fans are screwed to this cover.

Thermaltake Frio OCK
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Figure 9: Cover with fans

By removing that cover, you can see the heatsink. It resembles the Prolimatech Megahalems heatsink, with two independent towers, as you can view in Figures 10 and 11. It's not a bad thing to mimic a champion design, is it?

Thermaltake Frio OCK
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Figure 10: Heatsink

Thermaltake Frio OCK
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Figure 11: Heatsink

Installation

Figure 12 shows the cooler base with clips attached to it and, in Figure 13, you see the backplate and the screws that go on the solder side of the motherboard.

 

Thermaltake Frio OCK
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Figure 12: Clips installed

Thermaltake Frio OCK
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Figure 13: Backplate and screws

After placing the backplate and the screws on the solder side of the motherboard, you need to install four plastic spacers and two metallic holders on the component side, as you can see in Figure 14.

Thermaltake Frio OCK
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Figure 14: Holding system installed

Then, screw the heatsink to the holders.

Thermaltake Frio OCK
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Figure 15: Heatsink installed

Finally, slip the cover over the heatsink and connect the fans to the motherboard.

Thermaltake Frio OCK
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Figure 16: Installed in our system

How We Tested

We tested the cooler with a Core i7-860 CPU (quad-core, 2.8 GHz), which is a socket LGA1156 processor with a 95 W TDP (Thermal Design Power). In order to get higher thermal dissipation, we overclocked it to 3.3 GHz (150 MHz base clock and 22x multiplier), keeping the standard core voltage (Vcore), which was the maximum stable overclock we could make with the stock cooler. Keep in mind that we could have raised the CPU clock more, but to include the stock cooler in our comparison, we needed to use this moderate overclock.

We measured noise and temperature with the CPU idle and under full load. In order to get 100% CPU usage in all threads, 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 the Intel stock cooler with a copper base (included with the CPU), as well as with other coolers. Note that in the past, we tested coolers with a socket LGA775 CPU, and 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 in the next page. Every cooler was tested with the thermal compound that accompanies 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 left panel of the case was open.

The sound pressure level (SPL) was measured with a digital noise meter, with its sensor placed 4" (10 cm) from the fan. We turned off the case and video board cooler fans so they wouldn't interfere with the results. 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 isn't 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 idle and 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 minimum speed on the idle test and at full speed on the full load test.

 

Idle Processor

Processor at Full Load

CoolerRoom Temp.NoiseSpeedCore Temp.NoiseSpeedCore Temp.
Intel stock (socket LGA1156)14 °C44 dBA1700 rpm46 °C54 dBA2500 rpm90 °C
Cooler Master Hyper TX3 G114 °C47 dBA2050 rpm33 °C56 dBA2900 rpm62 °C
Zalman CNPS10X Extreme14 °C45 dBA1400 rpm27 °C53 dBA1950 rpm51 °C
Thermaltake Silent 115614 °C44 dBA1200 rpm38 °C49 dBA1750 rpm69 °C
Noctua NH-D1414 °C49 dBA1250 rpm27 °C49 dBA 1250 rpm53 °C
Zalman CNPS10X Performa14 °C46 dBA1500 rpm28 °C52 dBA1950 rpm54 °C
Prolimatech Megahalems14 °C40 dBA750 rpm27 °C60 dBA2550 rpm50 °C
Thermaltake Frio14 °C46 dBA1450 rpm27 °C60 dBA2500 rpm50 °C
Prolimatech Samuel 1714 °C40 dBA750 rpm40 °C60 dBA2550 rpm63 °C
Zalman CNPS8000A18 °C43 dBA1400 rpm39 °C54 dBA2500 rpm70 °C
Spire TherMax Eclipse II14 °C55 dBA2200 rpm28 °C55 dBA2200 rpm53 °C
Scythe Ninja317 °C39 dBA700 rpm32 °C55 dBA1800 rpm57 °C
Corsair A5018 °C52 dBA1900 rpm33 °C52 dBA1900 rpm60 °C
Thermaltake Jing18 °C44 dBA850 rpm34 °C49 dBA1300 rpm60 °C
GlacialTech Alaska18 °C43 dBA1150 rpm36 °C51 dBA1600 rpm60 °C
Deepcool Gamer Storm18 °C43 dBA1100 rpm35 °C48 dBA1600 rpm62 °C
Corsair A7026 °C56 dBA1900 rpm40 °C56 dBA1900 rpm65 °C
Deepcool Ice Blade Pro23 °C45 dBA1200 rpm38 °C52 dBA1500 rpm64 °C
AC Freezer 7 Pro Rev. 223 °C47 dBA1750 rpm44 °C51 dBA2100 rpm77 °C
Corsair H7027 °C60 dBA1900 rpm37 °C60 dBA1900 rpm61 °C
Zalman CNPS9900 Max27 °C55 dBA1600 rpm38 °C58 dBA1750 rpm63 °C
Arctic Cooling Freezer 11 LP25 °C45 dBA1700 rpm51 °C49 dBA1950 rpm91 °C
CoolIT Vantage26 °C60 dBA2500 rpm37 °C60 dBA2500 rpm62 °C
Deepcool Ice Matrix 60025 °C46 dBA1100 rpm41 °C53 dBA1300 rpm69 °C
Titan Hati26 °C46 dBA1500 rpm40 °C57 dBA2450 rpm68 °C
Arctic Cooling Freezer 1327 °C49 dBA1950 rpm41 °C53 dBA2300 rpm70 °C
Noctua NH-C1426 °C52 dBA1300 rpm37 °C52 dBA1300 rpm61 °C
Intel XTS100H26 °C49 dBA1200 rpm42 °C64 dBA2600 rpm68 °C
Zalman CNPS5X SZ23 °C52 dBA2250 rpm38 °C57 dBA2950 rpm69 °C
Thermaltake SlimX321 °C50 dBA2700 rpm46 °C50 dBA2750 rpm99 °C
Cooler Master Hyper 10121 °C50 dBA2600 rpm38 °C57 dBA3300 rpm71 °C
Antec Kühler H2O 62019 °C52 dBA1400 rpm34 °C55 dBA1400 rpm58 °C
Arctic Cooling Freezer 13 Pro20 °C46 dBA1100 rpm36 °C49 dBA1300 rpm62 °C
GlacialTech Siberia22 °C49 dBA1400 rpm34 °C49 dBA1400 rpm61 °C
Evercool Transformer 318 °C46 dBA1800 rpm33 °C51 dBA2250 rpm65 °C
Zalman CNPS11X Extreme20 °C51 dBA1850 rpm34 °C56 dBA2050 rpm61 °C
Thermaltake Frio OCK15 °C44 dBA1000 rpm27 °C64 dBA2200 rpm51 °C

In the graph below, at full load 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 OCK

Main Specifications

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

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

Conclusions

The Thermaltake Frio OCK is a real winner, which has achieved a performance level that equals the best air coolers we have tested so far, including the Thermaltake Frio, which is a completely different cooler, despite its name.

Although it is very loud at full speed, it has a small potentiometer that controls the fans, allowing you to reduce the noise (at the cost of a little performance, of course). The cover that holds the fans is a great idea, being easy to remove and reinstall, which helps a lot if you have the habit of cleaning your system periodically.

Speaking of the fans, they are loud for a reason. They have a big airflow, which can be easily felt just by putting your hand behind the cooler.

The Thermaltake Frio OCK is a great cooler, beautiful, easy to install, costs less than most of its competitors, and shows a stunning performance, deserving the Hardware Secrets Golden Award.

Originally at http://www.hardwaresecrets.com/article/Thermaltake-Frio-OCK-CPU-Cooler-Review/1278


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