We measured the amount of noise produced by the coolers throughout the speed range of their fans. You can view the results in the following diagram:
Unfortunately, the Frio Extreme is extremely loud. It can barely hold beneath the comfortable level of 36 dBA even at its minimum 800 RPM. At the minimum specified speed of 1200 RPM it is as loud as 42 dBA even with only one fan. This is a disappointing result which is incomparable to what the Thermalright TRUE Spirit 140 can offer, for example. We can only add that the fans of our Frio Extreme worked smoothly at any speed, producing no rattle or anything.
The Frio Extreme couldn’t bring the temperature of our overclocked six-core CPU down to an extremely low level. It didn’t even prove to be superior to a cooler that cost only half as much. And it also turned out to be inferior to every other air cooler in terms of acoustic performance. The reasons for these results are obvious: press-fitted (rather than soldered) fins and a convex base. Without these shortcomings its performance could have been much higher.
Besides that, we don’t understand why Thermaltake set such a high lower limit for the cooler fans. It is 1200 RPM and 140mm fans just can’t be quiet at such speed. And of course, we can’t understand the high price of this product which doesn’t match its performance and noise level.
Yes, the Frio Extreme is compatible with all modern platforms, can be assembled and installed easily, has a handy fan controller, comes with a 10-year warranty in robust and informative packaging, and just looks good. But it’s up to you to decide if these advantages outweigh its shortcomings.