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Thermaltake Frio Extreme Cooler Review

Intel recently released their third generation of Core processors, so we decided to use a Gigabyte Z77 LGA1155 motherboard to highlight the installation procedure.

We installed an Intel Core i7 3770k into the Gigabyte Z77 UD5H motherboard.

Thermaltake include a backplate for the Intel platform. Four screws are pushed through from the rear as shown above.

The four screws are held in place with plastic stoppers. Thankfully these are screwed tightly by hand into place meaning that the backplate no longer has to be held in position. The top part of each screw will be visible above the plastic stopper.

Two supporting brackets are then positioned over the screws, as shown above.

Four metal flat heads are then screwed into place to hold the supporting brackets firmly.

The cooler without fans is then positioned roughly into place.

A thick metal rod is then installed across the base of the cooler, into the two supporting brackets on either side of the processor. These are screwed into place.

The cooler is just as big as the Noctua NH D14 and will cause problems for memory with oversized heatspreaders in the nearest slot.

The long standing ‘Frio’ plastic shroud is gone now and Thermaltake have opted for a fiddly fan mounting procedure, which involves four metal clips. The only real downside of the new design.

Due to the physical size of the 140mm fans, we experienced a few, minor, installation issues. The fan nearest the rear had to be raised a little as the motherboard heatsink was in the way. Obviously, one of the fans could be mounted on the other side of the cooler, but this would interfere further with the memory slots. It is a lesser of two evils.

Both fans can be hooked to the Thermaltake controller module, which can be seen above. This controller in turn can be attached to a single header on the motherboard for either PWM or manual control.

The whole process only took around 10 minutes the first time, but would be slightly quicker for subsequent installations.

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