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Thermaltake Frio OCK Cooler Review – better than Noctua D14?

The Frio OCK launch has been marred by the company themselves. Instead of focusing on the excellent cooling performance and the improvements on the original design, Thermaltake have been highlighting an apparent 7c benefit over the class leading Noctua NH D14. We can categorically state that this is utter nonsense.

As we move past the PR launch hype, we can see that the Frio OCK is certainly designed for the hardcore overclocker and we love the fitting implementation, it is pain free and can be accomplished in the space of a few minutes. The size of the OCK is a plus point, it is much smaller than the Noctua NH D14, and the shroud fitting can be removed easily from within a chassis for cleaning or fan replacement.

The new fans are slightly bigger than before and can move a whopping 121 cfm of air at the highest setting. No one will be using the highest setting however as it is extremely loud and in my view unbearable for 24/7 operation. A mid way point is ideal for overclocked systems, and the easily accessible adjustment knob means that fine tuning the ‘cooling to noise ratio’ is straightforward, even when the system is running.

The price point isn’t as good as the original Frio which was selling for £38 inc vat. The OCK will probably be closer to £50, which means this is clearly marketed towards the hardcore enthusiast. For £50 it is a reasonably solid purchase, but the strongest competitor is actually the Antec Kuhler, which offers similar performance and is widely available in the UK for under £40. The Antec Kuhler is smaller, quieter and offers better value for money.

The Frio OCK is a great cooler, but the pre launch antics by Thermaltake have caused them more damage than good, you can’t claim to be outperforming the worlds best heatsink by 7 degrees when in fact the reality is very different. The Noctua NH D14 is still the best performing air cooling solution available.

Pros:

  • Installation is simple
  • Shroud design is fantastic
  • Much smaller than NH D14
  • Can handle the hottest processors

Cons:

  • pre launch performance hype was nonsense
  • fans are loud at high settings
  • £50 puts it up against some serious competition.

KitGuru says: Recommended, but it isn’t a ‘must have’ as the competition is intense within this sector.

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Rating: 8.5.

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