Thermaltake Frio Advanced CPU Cooler

Posted by on Wednesday, May 2, 2012 - 3:14pm

Thermaltake Frio AdvanceOut of the entire Frio series the Frio Advanced is the smallest of the lineup. It is targeted at an individual looking for great cooling potential in a smaller form factor cooler. It is able to accomplish this with a combination of two 120mm cooling fans in a push-pull configuration and using a direct touch base. But is this enough to make you fork out your hard earned loot? Check out the rest of the review to find out.

Introduction to the Thermaltake Frio Advanced CPU Cooler

Thermaltake has been taunting the Frio line as their high performance CPU cooler for well over two years now. The series has elevated from the first Frio to the Frio Extreme (stay tuned). The series has a look of its own due to the plastic shroud that attaches the fan to the rest of the cooler.  Despite the fact the entire series is developed around the tower design.

Out of the entire series the Frio Advanced is the smallest of the lineup. It is targeted at an individual looking for great cooling potential in a smaller form factor cooler. It is able to accomplish this with a combination of two 120mm cooling fans in a push-pull configuration and using a direct touch base. But is this enough to make you fork out your hard earned loot? Check out the rest of the review to find out.

Thermaltake’s take on the Frio Advance

Thermaltake, the leader and pioneer in PC thermal solutions, a worldwide designer and supplier of high-performance components to the PC gaming hardware market, with "delivering the perfect user experiences" as our mission and carrying the corporate vision of "building Thermaltake Technology into a cultural brand for the enjoyment of entertainment, e-Sports, technology and lifestyle." This October, featuring the Thermaltake Frio Advanced CPU cooler - a CPU cooler that incorporated some of the most up-to-date CPU cooler technologies and persevered the greatness from its predecessors of Frio and Frio OCK which not only creating a new phenomenon for overclockers but also set another signature for the Frio Series.


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

Bearing Type

 

Noise Level

21 ~ 44 dBA

Max. Air Flow

88.77 CFM

Max. Air Pressure

2.7 mmH2O

LED Fan

 

Power Connector

4 Pin (PWM)

Rated Voltage

12 V

Started Voltage

6 V

Rated Current

0.5 A

Power Input

6 W

MTBF

50,000 Hrs @ 40℃

Weight

954 g

Features

 

Heat-pipe Direct Touch Technology, Supports 230W Cooling Performance
• 5 x Ø6 mm heat-pipes direct touch CPU surface increasing heat conductivity.
• High density Aluminum fins allow larger surface area to quick dissipate heat.
• Premium thermal grease maximizes heat transfer from the CPU into the cooler base for rapid dissipation.

 

Dual 13cm Over-clocking Fan, PWM function with 800~2,100 RPM Speed
• A pair of high performance red bladed fans generate excellent cooling power.
• Tool-less fan installation provides great convenience for users.
• Vibration-absorbent gaskets decrease noise during operation.
• Fan speed at the lowest RPM provides good performance and very low noise.

 

Universal Socket Compatibility & Accessory Package
• All-in-one back-plate design, offers support for all Intel and AMD platforms
• Universal socket support :
Intel: LGA 2011, LGA1366, LGA1156, LGA1155, LGA775
AMD: FM1, AM3+, AM3, AM2+, AM2


Closer look

Thermaltake has been producing CPU coolers for some time now and they have become pretty good at it. Must of the coolers lately have been geared towards to the overclocker and alike. This could be due to the fact a lot of coolers getting the most press lately has been the bigger and larger units. And when the reviews rate these coolers as better than satisfactory they tend to sale well even purchased by those who are not overclocking.

The Frio Advanced is slightly less heavy than the two older models which would include the original Frio and the Frio OCK. The Advance weighs in at 954 grams while the others are 1042 and 1093 grams respectively. As far as the height is concerned it falls between the two at 165mm tall.

On the outside the cooler has a striking red and black theme going on. This color combination lately has been the most used due to many cases and motherboards are currently offered in this combo or in all black. The silver color of the fins and the copper color of the heat pipes kind of throw the whole theme off. A nice black Nickel coating would change all that. What makes up the red and black coloring scheme is the black fans and shrouds and red plastic bridge across the top of the cooler.

For now we will remove the all the plastic to reveal the cooler itself. Once removed we see that the cooler does resemble that of the typical style cooler. The array of fins are not as densely populated as some of the cooler we have seen but it does allow quite a bit of air to flow through. There are a total of 41 of these aluminum made fins.

The fins are supported by five copper liquid filled heat pipes. As usually the heat pipes stand and ends at the top of the cooler. The pipes enter the array in a W-style pattern allowing the heat from the CPU to enter the array at different points. For those caring the pipes measure 6mm in diameter.

The Frio Advance uses the HDT or Heat pipe Direct Touch Technology to efficiently cooler the CPU. This tech has proven to work for some coolers and not so well for others. Whatever the case we will find out today. Often when HDT is being used you will not see a very shiny base and this goes for the Frio Advanced as the base shows a lot of evidence of machining.

The fans of the Frio Advanced are two dual 13cm blowers that are PWM controlled. The information received from TT stated they spin between 800 and 2000 RPM. The max airflow is rated at 88.77 CFM. The noise level is between 21 and 44 dBA making this cooler not the quietest we ever seen but livable.

The fans are held in place by these two plastic shrouds. Honestly, I am a big fan of this method of securing the fans to the cooler but doesn’t all ways look the best. I think the reason I am a fan is because it is so easy to remove and replace the fan when needed. Yes, the fans here are 130mm but the hole pattern match those of a 120mm fan so any 120mm can be used on this cooler.

Lastly, we have a shot of the accessories that comes with the cooler. From the looks of it this procedure shouldn’t be a big problem and not too time consuming.


Mounting Images


Testing Methodology
For our testing we will be using the following procedures and parameters to acquire the necessary data:

  1. Thermal compound used is Arctic Silver 5
  2. Idle temperatures are recorded after the system has been allowed to idle for thirty minutes from the point Windows has finished loading.
  3. Load temperatures are recorded by running OCCT for twenty minutes on all available threads.
  4. Real Temp is used for the recording of all temperature sensor reading.
  5. PWM function is disabled via BIOS to allow the fans to run at full speed.
  6. CPU model and overclock speed used for testing are outlined below in "Test Hardware".
  7. Each cooler is first tested with one fan supplied from the manufacturer.
  8. Each cooler is then tested again with a second fan attached if provided by the manufacturer.

Test Hardware:

Motherboard: ASUS X79 Deluxe
Processor: Intel Core i7 3930K @ 4.6GHz w/ 1.4 voltages
Ram: Crucial 2133 16GB Dual Channel (9-9-9-24)
Video Card: ASUS Radeon HD 5870
HDD: Hitachi 1TB
Power: Thermaltake Tough Power XT 850 (Sponsored by Thermaltake)
Case: Open air
Cooling: Thermaltake Frio Advanced

Results

 


Conclusion

The Thermaltake Frio Advanced is a nice addition to the Frio line of CPU coolers. It falls right in place with the other as it shared the same black and red theme. But that is all that it shares with the other models. The Advance's size isn’t bigger than the previous unit so this isn’t how it manages to outperform them. It was the change in structure build and some pretty high spinning fans.

The Frio Advanced did beat out the dual tower coolers we recently tested. We feel that says a lot as many of you know dual tower coolers are the best on the market today in some cases. But in order for this to happen the fans had to be run on high to do so. And with that being the case, you had to suffer through the noise production.

At high speed the fans of the Frio Advanced is loud. It easily beat out everything on the bench when it came to its audible levels. But at aid of the fan controller the user can adjust accordingly. Stock to mild overclocking setting this should not be a problem. If you are cranking up the voltage then you may have to deal with the noise.

The assembly is a no-brainer especially on the AMD socket and the Intel 2011 socket. When dealing with Intel sockets 775 to 1366 it gets a little time consuming but nothing major at all.

Online we found the Thermaltake Frio Advancde selling for just about $60, making it a pretty decent value.

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