Thermaltake FRIO Extreme CPU Cooler

Posted by on Friday, May 4, 2012 - 3:02pm

Thermaltake Frio ExtremeThe Frio Extreme follows a trend that we are seeing around here regularly. And that is using two towers of fins to add to the overall surface of the cooler to better perform on an overclocked processor. Just recently we tested the Phanteks TC14PE which was an outstanding cooler but we really wanted to see if the Frio Extreme could take it down as one of the best coolers we have tested this year.

Introduction to the Thermaltake FRIO Extreme CPU Cooler

For a long time we have had the pleasure of reviewing almost everything that Thermaltake has to offer. With that being said not often do I have to ask for items from them for reviewing it mostly just shows up at the door. Thanks Ramsom. But when I saw the Frio Extreme on the website and haven’t seen it on my doorstep yet, I just had to ask for it. I just love reviewing large cooler for some reason.

The Frio Extreme follows a trend that we are seeing around here regularly. And that is using two towers of fins to add to the overall surface of the cooler to better perform on an overclocked processor. Just recently we tested the Phanteks TC14PE which was an outstanding cooler but we really wanted to see if the Frio Extreme could take it down as one of the best coolers we have tested this year.

Thermaltake’s take on the Frio Extreme

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.” Today will be releasing the long anticipated Frio Extreme CPU air cooler who made its debut earlier this year at the world second largest IT exhibition, Computex Taipei. Frio Extreme is determined to be the highest standard of Frio series that could offer to overclockers and enthusiasts.



148.2(L) x 151(W) x 160(H) mm (2 Fans)


Aluminum Fins
Aluminum & Copper Base


6mm x 6 PCS

Fan Dimension

140(L) x 140(H) x 25(W) mm

Rated Voltage

12 V

Rated Current

0.5 A

Power Input

7.2 W

Fan Speed

1200 ~ 1800 RPM

Max. Air Flow

106.2 CFM

Max. Air Pressure

2.34 mmH2O


18 dBA

Life Expectancy

100,000 Hours


4 Pin

Power Input





LGA 2011
LGA 1366
Core i7
LGA 1155/1156
Core i7 / Core i5 / Corei3
LGA 775
Core 2 Extreme / Core 2 Quad / Core 2 Duo / Pentium D / Pentium 4/Pentium / Celeron D / Celeron

AM3+ / AM3
Phenom II / Athlon II / Athlon / Sempron series
AM2+ / AM2
Phenom II / Phenom / Athlon / Sempron series




10 Years


Ultimate Over-clocking Design Structure, support up to 250W

  • Dual tower heat-sink with 0.4mm aluminum fins provide large surface for heat dissipation.
  • 6 x Ø6 mm-U-shape copper heat pipes accelerate heat conductivity.
  • Mirror-finished copper base, provide perfect contact with CPU.
  • Premium thermal grease maximizes heat transfer from the CPU onto the copper base for faster dissipation.

The Combination of VR and PWM Control Function Fan

  • Dual 14cm high performance blue blade designed fans, spins from 1,200 to 1,800RPM.
  • Combination of VR and PWM functions, switchable upon user’s preferences.
  • Tool-less and Easy installation design for quicker disassemble and assemble the fan module.

Universal Socket Compatibility & Accessory Package

  • All-in-one back-plate design, support all Intel and AMD platform
  • Universal socket support :
    Intel: LGA 2011, 1366, 1155, 1156, 775
    AMD: FM1, AM3+, AM3, AM2+, AM2

Closer look

With the new Frio Extreme Thermaltake has taking the same approach as many of the other top cooler manufacturers have taken. And that has been to use the dual tower approach to add more surface area to help with dissipate of heat. A many overclockers and gamers have love the fact companies have embraced this concept. But before actually implementing such a cooler one most research is the cooler would fit in their PC environment.

Research is definitely the case if you plan on using the Frio Extreme. This cooler measure 6.3” tall and sits 6” wide. Meaning you will have to be careful with case selection which most of the time isn’t a problem but you will have to think about ram selection as this cooler will overlap some of the DIMM slots on some mainboards.

But this isn’t the just of it as the cooler weighs 2.7 pounds or 1230 grams. That is quite about of weight to add to a motherboard. We have seen many coolers in the same weight range and we did feel comfortable with having them in the PC standing vertically.

All of the aluminum fins are made in the same shape but not symmetrical. So flipping every other fin over and mating them together leaves and alternating edging effect at the corners.  

Six 6mm heat pipe make their way from the top of one set of fins and down into the base and ending at the opposite tower of fins. The Frio Extreme does not share the HDT feature the Frio Advance does. So no exposed heat pipes at the base of this cooler.

The base of the Extreme is one of the cleanest we have seen in a long time. So clean and shiny that it was difficult to get a good image of it. The shine is not due to the base being manufactured this way but due to the fact a nice layer of Nickel plating is used.

The cooler use two 135mm cooling fans that read as followings: 19 – 39 dBA which is quieter than the Advanced we tested, 1200 to 1800 RPM and a max of 106.2 CFM of air being moved.

The supporting cast including all the accessories to connect it to any motherboard from the AMD 754 forward and Intel 775 and present.

Mounting Images

Testing Methodology

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

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




Thermaltake has once again shown why they make some of the best coolers around. The Frio Extreme performed pretty well on our test bench and was not as loud as that of the Frio Advance which we test just last week. The dual tower heat sinks has once again top the charts of being the best technology to get the best cooling performance.

The larger than life 140mm cooling fan is a large part of why we like the cooler so much. They are pretty quiet, push a lot of air and are very easy to attach to the cooler. Yes, you may have issues with them when it comes to ram selection. But honestly if you look back over the past year or two, ram heat spreaders are getting short ending the trend that big heat spreaders are the best type of coolers for ram. It just doesn't matter anymore.

On the Intel socket 2011 it took us just a couple of minutes to get the cooler mounted to the motherboard and up and running.

The only thing we believe that would have made the Frio Extreme perform just a tad bit better would maybe upgrade the 6mm heat pipes to 8mm ones.

Now the shocker. The Frio Extreme will set you back almost $100 from what we saw online. That is in the price range of the Noctua D14, Phanteks TC14PE and other great coolers. And we can't leave out all-in-one water-cooling kits. A lot of tough competition.

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