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Cooling Efficiency and Acoustic Performance

Cooling Efficiency Tests

Before we evaluate the freezing potential of Thermaltake Frío cooler, let’s check out the dependence of its heatsink cooling efficiency on the rotation speed of the default fan and the number of fans:

Click to enlarge

Our tests showed that the cooling efficiency of Thermaltake Frío is highly dependent on the rotation speed of the default fans and the number of fans involved. The temperature drops most aggressively in the interval between 800 and 1400 RPM. Note that the maximum temperature graph drops down almost identically in case of one and two fans. Of course, with two fans attached Thermaltake Frío cools the CPU better and this value varies between 2-4°C depending on the fan(s) speed. If Frío is equipped with one fan only, then the CPU temperature can start going down even in the interval between 1600 and 2000 RPM; and with two fans the heatsink gets “saturated” 400 RPM sooner. Nevertheless, if you are trying to squeeze all the juices out of your processor, then you can shave off another 2°C off the CPu temperature by speeding the fans up to 2500 RPM.

The results of our comparative testing are available on the diagram as well as in the following table:

I have to admit that the results of Thermaltake Frío are not too impressive. The new cooler working with one default fan at minimal rotation speed (according to the specs) of 1250 RPM manages to yield to a lighter and cheaper Zalman CNPS10X Performa with the default fan at the minimal speed of 1100 RPM. And that all is despite the fact that the heatpipes of the Zalman cooler are only 6 mm in diameter instead of 8 mm as by Frío. The heatsinks of these two coolers are of the same effective size, they have identical plate thickness and gaps between the plates, but Thermaltake is nevertheless losing. Frío is also defeated by Zalman CNPS10X Performa during the tests with two fans in two different speed modes. Although the difference in this case is minor (1-3°C), Zalman is still ahead of the new Thermaltake cooler.

As for the comparison between Thermaltake  and Zalman CNPS10X Performa against Noctua NH-D14, they have to make quite a bit of noise in order to catch up with the today’s cooling king. Amazingly, but even with two fans working at 2500 RPM Frío can’t outperform Noctua NH-D14 with a pair of 140 mm fans working at the moderate speed of 1230 RPM. As for the Zalman cooler, it managed to succeed and leave Thermaltake Frío 2°C behind.

Besides the comparative test session, we also checked out maximum CPU overclocking with Thermaltake Frío cooler when it was running with two default fans at the minimal speed of 1250 RPM and maximum speed of 2500 RPM:

Thermaltake Frio (2x1250 RPM)

Thermaltake Frio (2x2500 RPM)

As we can see, Thermaltake product with its fans at minimal rotation speed can cope with a quad-core CPU overclocked to 3970 MHz at 1.3625 V Vcore when the peak temperature of the hottest core reaches 87°C. Not bad, but still far from the record. At maximum fan speed the CPU remains stable at 4030 MHz with 1.375 V Vcore and 79°C on the hottest core. I would also like to add that during the same overclocking, Noctua NH-D14 with two fans working at 1230 RPM doesn’t allow the CPU to exceed 76°C temperature.

I would like to remind you that the room temperature during this test session was very high: +28°C.

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