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Thermaltake is a thermal & cooling computer peripherals vendor which does not sound strange and in fact they are one of the world leading vendors. Thermaltake always gives us surprise with their new products; either with outstanding design, superb performance or both. Today we will have a look on their latest Frio CPU cooler; Frio OCK after 12 months later of their first Frio CPU cooler.
Started from the passion for the DIY (Do It Yourself) concepts and the desires to realize the goal of "Ideas are originated from humanity; Realizing ideas is our belief." Thermaltake Technology was established in January, 1999 and has been market to the world with "Thermaltake" brand name ever since.
Thermaltake became the number one choice for PC DIY enthusiast worldwide with its innovatively breakthrough product designs. The concept of "Quality", "Performance", and "Reliability" have been incorporated into the design of Thermaltake PC Chassis, Cooler and Power Supply to assure the components meet the highest standard.
Ultimate Overclocking Thermal Structure Design, support up to 240W.
• Dual tower heat-sink with 0.4mm aluminum fins provide large surface for heat dissipation.
• 6 x Ø6 mm-U-shape copper heat pipes for accelerated heat conduction.
• Tower side flow design efficiently optimizes cooling performance.
• Premium thermal grease maximizes heat transfer from the CPU into the cooler copper base for rapid dissipation
Integrated Module for Dual 130mm VR OC Fan and the dazzling Cover.
• Single VR control knob adjusts fan speed from 1200~2100rpm.
• Overclocking efficiency with Starcraft II design.
• Convenient and Tool-less design for dismantle and install the fan module.
Universal Socket Compatibility & Accessory Package.
• All-in-one back-plate design, support all Intel and AMD platform
• Universal socket support :
Intel: LGA1366, LGA1155, LGA1156, LGA775
AMD: AM3, AM2+, AM2
Package & Contents
Thermaltake Frio OCK is having a similar packaging design with Frio but this time it is in vertical form factor. All the specifications and features are well described on the packaging box such as ultimate overclocking thermal structure design up to 240W, integrated module for dual 130mm VR OC fan & dazzling cover, universal socket compatibility and etc.
Thermaltake Frio OCK comes with a neat packaging as all its accessories are packed and arranged nicely in another small container. Two user manuals are provided; one is for Intel platforms while another one is for AMD platforms. These user manuals provide step by step installation guides where even a newbie is able to understand easily.
Other Thermaltake Frio OCK's accessories are back plate, thermal paste, mounting bars, thumb screws, spacers and etc. Do not get shock with such amount of accessories as this is pretty standard for a universal CPU cooler as some other universal CPU coolers do come with additional accessories such as multiple back plates to support different kinds of sockets.
A Closer Exterior Look on Thermaltake Frio OCK
Thermaltake Frio OCK is an improved version of Frio which is not only come with charming design but also greater performance. Thermaltake Frio OCK is able to support any CPU up to 240W TDP which gives additional 20W TDP than Frio. Such TDP is more than enough for any kind of extreme overclocking as the fastest Intel desktop processor i7-970 is only having maximum TDP @ 130W; same for AMD Phenom II 1100T which comes with 125W TDP.
In term of physical dimension and weight, Thermaltake Frio OCK is slightly bulkier and heavier than Frio; 143 x 136.8 x 158.4 mm with 1093 grams vs 139 x 98 x 165 with 1042 grams. Both of these Thermaltake Frio coolers are equipped with dual fans but Frio OCK comes with fan dazzling cover instead of direct mounting. There is not much difference in term of weight between these two Frios but it is still not easy to handle a CPU cooler with such weight.
Here are the physical dimension layouts of Thermaltake Frio OCK and it is advisable to verify the compatibility before getting any of these giant coolers especially if you are having a compact chassis. Once the compatibility is verified then it should be good to go since installation is not a problem for Thermaltake Frio OCK with its simplified fan mounting method.
Thermaltake Frio OCK is a universal CPU cooler which able to support both of the Intel (LGA1366/1155/1156/775) and AMD sockets (AM3/2/2+) as it could be a bad decision to launch a single platform/socket CPU cooler since the price gap betweens them is just too narrow. Besides the design and cost, ease of installation is also one of the important factors when considering a CPU cooler.
Unlike Thermaltake Frio, Thermaltake Frio OCK comes with fan dazzling cover in Starcraft II design instead of usual direct fan mounting method. Two 130mm VR fans are pre-mounted on dazzling cover and such fan mounting method is awesome which really helps to simplify the fan mounting method with a single step of slotting instead of troublesome manual clapping on the aluminum block.
Thermaltake Frio OCK is also equipped with aluminum fins, copper base and copper heat-pipes; pretty standard for a high end CPU cooler. However Thermaltake has replaced the Ø 8mm x 5 heat-pipes of Frio with Ø 6mm x 6 heat-pipes on Frio OCK; smaller diameter but greater quantity. We believe such decision was made in order to keep the size and cost down while slightly boosts up the performance of Thermaltake Frio OCK.
Basically Thermaltake Frio OCK's aluminum block is constructed by two smaller aluminum blocks with high density of 0.4mm quality aluminum fins. The base finishing of Thermaltake Frio OCK is pretty well done but the heat-pipes are not having direct contact with the processor or else its performance could be further enhanced. The mounting holes on the cooler's base are used to be connected with T-mounting bars before the cooler can be mounted on the motherboard with mounting brackets.
Both of the 130mm VR fans are removable from the dazzling cover but the most interesting part of these fans are VR controllable. VR controllable means these fans come with built-in voltage regulator where neither additional fan speed reduction adapter nor 3.5"/5.5"/PCI VR controller is required. Anyway these 130mm fans come with 1200 ~ 2100 RPM fan speed, 21 ~ 48 dBA noise and maximum airflow at 121 CFM.
FYI Thermaltake Frio OCK is having smart thermal management system which is pretty standard for most of the dual-fan CPU cooler where one of the fans will be acting as intake fan while another one will be acting as exhausting fan for delivering best cooling efficiency.
Installation, Testing & Performance
There is no much different in term of installation for Thermaltake Frio OCK and other tower CPU coolers. Before the installation is begun, a drop of thermal paste has to be applied on the processor for greater heat conduction with the cooler and the fan module has to be removed out as well. The back plate has to be secured at the back of the motherboard and this step could be simple if the chassis comes with pre-cut opening at the motherboard plate or else the whole installation has to be done out-of-the-chassis.
Plastic spacer is a common component to ensure the motherboard's PCB is not damaged during installation due to over force. Mounting bars and thumb screws are used to secure the back plate on the motherboard together with plastic spacers before the Thermaltake Frio OCK could be installed on top of it. The mounting bars could be installed either in north-south or east-west direction which depends on the motherboard's layout.
Once the mounting bars have been secured on the motherboard then it is time to mount the Thermaltake Frio OCK on top of it by two spring screws which have to be installed on the cooler's base prior of that. The final step will be the fan installation where Thermaltake Frio OCK comes with a great design by just slotting in the dazzling cover into the aluminum block. That it is for the whole installation which should not take more than 30 minutes for a in-case installation.
Processor: Intel Core 2 Duo E8300 @ 2.83GHz
Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-EP45-DS3/Gigabyte G31M-ES2L
Heatsink: Thermaltake Frio OCK
Memory: Kingston HyperX 4GB DDR2 8500
Hard Drive: 250GB 7200RPM 8MB Seagate
Graphic Card: Galaxy GeForce GTX260+
PCIe: Aten IC320U USB 3.0
Casing: In Win Maelstorm
PSU: OCZ ZX 850W
Optical Drive: HLDS DVD RW +/-
Controller: Aerocool Touch 2000
Monitor: Dell 22" Wide Screen LCD
Speaker: Edifier R501
Mouse: SteelSeries Ikari Laser
Mouse Pad: SteelSeries QcK+
HeadSet: SteelSeries 3H
Router: TRENDnet TEW-639GR
Operating System: Window XP Pro SP2/Win 7 HP
Ambient Temperature: 27 Degree Celsius
In term of testing, we have loaded Thermaltake Frio OCK into our rig which is shown as above and we have tested it with Prime95 for finding out the most accurate reading or the performance. Based on the results above, Thermaltake Frio OCK is definitely performing better than its sister; Frio. The performance gap between Frio OCK and Frio is quite minor but the result could be varied according to the hardware setup and environment. Anyway Thermaltake Frio OCK is able to catch with other world top air CPU coolers at same price range; a real 240W TDP CPU cooler.
No major compatible issue is found on Thermaltake Frio OCK since we have installed it into a full ATX chassis; more than sufficient for in-case installation. However the generated noise of Thermaltake Frio OCK with the original dual-fan setup is louder than other similar performance CPU cookers. This could be a problem if silent is an important factor or else it is not a problem at all since Thermaltake has included an in-cable voltage regulator; an external fan speed controller is much preferrable since the fan speed could be adjusted easily.
Before we move to verdict section, here is the commercial video of Thermaltake Frio OCK; let's have some fun!
There are too many great and interesting CPU coolers in the market but none of them could be defined as the best or the worst; it just depends on your requirements and expectation since different products are designed based on different concepts and functionalities. There is no doubt Frio OCK is another great CPU cooler from Thermaltake with decent performance. Some improvements over Frio are the higher TDP supportability, fan module with dazzling cover and etc. However noise is a side effect of this decent CPU cooler but thanks to the built-in voltage regulator which allows users to reduce the noise when performance is not the first priority. 75USD for Thermaltake Frio OCK is not really cheap but it is priced at the similar price range with other vendors' decent CPU coolers.
+ A quality universal CPU cooler
+ Cool & charming design
+ Decent performance; up to 240W TDP
+ Dual-fan setup
+ Fan module with dazzling cover
+ Fan speed controller
- Loud noise at full speed
- Overweight ~ 1.2KG
- Not cheap
Thanks to Thermaltake for providing this sample for us to review.
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