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Thermaltake Frio Extreme Cooler Review

Today to test this cooler we have set our Digital Sound Level Noise Decibel Meter Style 2 one meter away from our case. The room rates as 25dBa before powering on the system.

We then removed the discrete graphics card, and temporarily turned all other case fans off. This leaves us with only the CPU cooler fans and very little noise from the power supply fan.

As this can be a little confusing for people, here are various dBa ratings in with real world situations to help describe the various levels.

KitGuru noise guide
10dBA – Normal Breathing/Rustling Leaves
20-25dBA – Whisper
30dBA – High Quality Computer fan
40dBA – A Bubbling Brook, or a Refrigerator
50dBA – Normal Conversation
60dBA – Laughter
70dBA – Vacuum Cleaner or Hairdryer
80dBA – City Traffic or a Garbage Disposal
90dBA – Motorcycle or Lawnmower
100dBA – MP3 player at maximum output
110dBA – Orchestra
120dBA – Front row rock concert/Jet Engine
130dBA – Threshold of Pain
140dBA – Military Jet takeoff/Gunshot (close range)
160dBA – Instant Perforation of eardrum

We used the Thermaltake fan controller and measured the fan rotation speeds via software. Our software measured 1,900 rpm at full controller settings, although the Thermaltake site claims a 1,800 rpm maximum speed from these fans. Regardless of the accuracy of the speeds below, the results do indicate noise parameters.

The 140mm fans are not the quietest we have tested in the last year, although they are an improvement when compared to those supplied with previous Thermaltake coolers … the original FRIO was painful at anything above the lowest setting.

At a mid way point these fans are audible, although the volume is unobtrusive. At full speed they are clearly noticeable and may offend a portion of the enthusiast audience.

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