Articles: Cooling

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Design and Functionality

The Frio Extreme has a tower-design heatsink consisting of two sections. Each tower is pierced by six nickel-plated copper heat pipes, 6 millimeters in diameter.



The heatsink measures 160x145x120 millimeters but the attached fans expand this to 160x151x148.2 millimeters.

The Frio Extreme weighs 1230 grams.

We’d tell you about the new cooler’s special features if it had any. Well, it’s got fins of varying width which alternate to reduce the resistance to the air as it goes in and out of the heatsink.



The fins with the Tt logo are press-fitted on two straight rows of heat pipes. Press-fitting is cheap but not as efficient as soldering and the top fins wobble on the ends of the pipes, indicating that the contact isn’t tight. There’s nothing else we can note about this heatsink. The aluminum fins are 0.4 millimeters thick and 2.0 millimeters apart from each other. There’s a 36-millimeter gap between the two heatsink sections.

The cooler’s 42x40mm sole is polished to a mirror shine.

The surface isn’t flat, though. It’s convex along both axes, especially the longitudinal one.


As a result, the thermal grease imprints on the heat-spreader of our LGA2011 processor and the cooler’s base are far from perfect:


They are not much better when the cooler is turned around by 90 degrees:


This poor contact is going to lower the cooler’s efficiency, but it’s not our job to make the cooler’s sole flat.

The Frio Extreme is equipped with two 140mm fans with 11-blade impellers.

The aggressive profile of the blades, small motor (43 millimeters in diameter) and high maximum speed of 1800 RPM allow the manufacturer to claim an air flow of 106.2 CFM for each fan. This is a high value, especially as the Frio Extreme comes with not one but two such fans! The bottom speed is 1200 RPM, which is unusually high for a top-end CPU cooler.

The fans run on sleeve bearings with a specified service life of 50,000 hours (which doesn’t agree with the 10-year warranty period of the Frio Extreme, by the way).

According to the specs, the PLA14025S12H fan is not economical and can consume up to 7.2 watts at the maximum speed. But according to our measurements, the peak power draw of one such fan was 4.8 watts and its startup voltage was 3.1 volts (instead of the specified 6 volts). The fans have 300mm cables.

There’s a rheobus included into the box to help you regulate the fans:

It can be used to enable PWM-based regulation or manually adjust the speed of the fans. It’s a simple and handy tool Thermaltake gets our thanks for.

The fans are fastened on the heatsink with wire brackets inserted into the openings in the heatsink sections.


Equipped with two 140mm fans, the Frio Extreme looks massive and promising, like a regular super-cooler. We’ll learn shortly if its performance is up to the mark.

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