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Frio OCK beats Noctua NH D14? Check these pics!

One of the biggest surprises of 2010 was the CPU cooling launches by Thermaltake. While the company has created some of the neatest looking coolers you're likely to see (think V1), the cooling capability was not always there (think V1). The Contac29 and Frio changed that dramatically in 2010, but is Thermaltake sitting back or continuing to evolve its designs ? KitGuru sneaks a look inside Tt's lab.

Without doubt, Zardon's favourite air cooler is the Noctua NH D14. He even calls it ‘The Austrian Sandwich', this beast of a cooler has been the yardstick for CPU chilling technology since it launched in November 2009.

Having got as far as the Frio, it now seems that Thermaltake's engineers have an eye on the prize and they're going for in on the CPU cooling front. It's a tough job, can they do it?

Initial testing inside the Thermaltake lab seems to indicate that they're on the right track.

Let's just say this nice and loud up front – what's been seen/photographed/reported was entirely prepared by the company making the product. Don't change any of your purchasing plans until the KitGuru labs have had hands on with the new kit (watch this space).

OK, product warning out of the way, let's have a look at some of the snaps.

The old and new Frio product boxes side by side show that the OC KING does in fact use less packaging.

Old Frio box is bigger... and who said that size mattered?
Test bench set up explained while a videographer watches on in HD
Thermaltake Techo Guru Dino explains the set up and features in detail
Technician checks again that both systems have the same set up
Noctua in situ - fairly standard looking set up
Core i7 chip clocked at 4GHz and left to run Prime for 15 minutes
In this test, the NH D14 scored 83 degrees
This Frio OC King set up showed it 7 degrees south of that, at just 76 degrees

So there you have it. Exclusive pics from inside the bunker – and they're definitely showing more than a few heatpipes and fins, but what exactly are they telling us?

No indication on price, but we'd be surprised if it was much more than £10 over the Frio – even with the additional heatpipes and improved fan system – which would still put it way under the NH D14 in terms of wallet-pain.

KitGuru says: We've heard that the internal video that Thermaltake were shooting in these snaps will be available soon. Once we've seen it in HD-action, we can give you some more details. Only truly believe this remarkable demonstration once Zardon's put the new Frio OC King under the ‘microscope of enduring holy truth' in the KitGuru Lab.

Chit chat below – full blown bellow in the KitGuru forum.

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  1. Well if this is right thats a hell of a good looking job from TT

  2. Well no offense, but ill believe this when you guys test it properly. in the TT lab they could be doing anything. ie not enough clamping pressure or poor application of paste. who knows

  3. I wanted a close up of the new frio 🙁

  4. It looks rather ordinary compared to the NH D14. Wow, if this is true, the whole game has changed. Whats so different about the new frio ? more info !

  5. I was interested until the whole 7’C cooler than the Noctua solution, then i knew it must have been staged.

    Is it possible to get better temps than an NH D14 without using exotics anyway?

  6. thats not even a minor temperature reduction? I was expecting maybe 1-2 c max, but 7c? surely this isn’t right?

  7. Zardon? have you played with it yet? 7c? wtf. Has to be faked by thermaltake, that is impossible. NH D14 is as good as it gets.

  8. Wow. Just wow. I agree however. if it was 1-2c then maybe, maybe. but 7c? this puts this cooler way in advance of even watercooling kits. the NH D14 could beat coolers like the H70 from corsair etc.

  9. Hey Jules have you got the HD video, id love to hear their procedure, is the NH D14 even mounted to the motherboard? :p (maybe its just resting on the cpu).

  10. this has to be bullshit, no other answer for it. The frio was closely matched to the NH D14, probably 2-3 worse. there is no way that cooler design has improved upon the old one by 10c. thats just impossible,. unless the fans are lifted from a Boeing plane.

  11. big fan of the frio here, and while it looks dubious in their labs, I would be curious to see this in action. I will wait until the kitguru gets the cooler himself, rather than some dodgy oriental dudes in sweaters.

  12. If this is a PR scam from TT then they havent done it very well. 2-3c better than NH D14 would be tough to believe, but 7c? Cant wait to see this getting tested so we can all laugh 🙂

  13. Nice to see inside the TT base but unless they have just invented some new radical heat sapping technology im calling bs.

  14. I like the new thermaltake coolers, but I do find this rather hard to swallow. I got a 7c reduction when moving from a reference intel cooler to a £20 cooler. If this is right they will sell out of them in a few hours.

    When is the proper test being planned?

  15. There really isnt enough information to make an educated guess if it could be true. I also can’t see TT taking a long time mounting the NH D14 right. Its a little like saying Macintosh OS is better at multitasking than Windows 7 and finding out the guy testing both platforms is Steve Jobs.

    It looks very like the frio with better heatsink/pipe technology, but logically I see no way for such an improved core base reduction, the size often helps which is part of the reason why the NH D14 is such a success. This Frio V2 looks the same dimensions as the first one. the image of the box even shows 20W better thermal loading. that would in no way translate to these figures.

    Id love to be wrong tho as Thermaltake are normally quite cheap.

  16. Utter nonsense.

  17. so 10c better than the last one? If it is ill whip out my manhood and walk around town whistling showtunes.

  18. This doesnt seem possible………..

  19. 7c………. with air cooling? The design sjust seems like an update rather than a totally new design. Id hate to think this is a scam by the TT compahy to get attention, but it looks that way.

  20. What material are they using? it might have a huge impact, but I doubt they have suddenly discovered something new,. these figures would indicate they would need some new materials.

  21. Whats with the god worship of the D14? its a stunning cooler, but what about the size and price? the frio was often only a few C worse. It is perfectly feasible they worked out a new heatpipe design to improve temperatures to beat the D14.

  22. Even with active liquid materials passing heat from the core to the fins, it seems unlikely this could be possible. Nice pictures though, thank for sharing.

  23. doubters ! it is possible. with new heatpipe technology.

    from an alien civiilsation.

  24. Well im glad this isnt claimed to be tested here because id need more info to believe the figures.

    TT are really good lately, but this will redefine cooling, if its possible.

  25. Will believe it when Zardon says so.

  26. waiting on Z to test it before saying anything, right now my right eyebrow is touching my reciding hairline.

  27. Holy smokes. anyone got their order in already?

  28. Such a tease of an article. no close ups, no info. no base shots. no fan shots. nothing. just two dudes showing temps 🙁 Tough to believe, did you see the systems being built, or did they ask you in afterwards?

  29. Really cool to see their work room. Did they show you the systems being built or did you just get there to take pictures after the prime testing started?

    Only thing I can say would be that the clamping pressure on the NH D14 is off and its helping the other one look good.

  30. NH D14 is oversized anyway, if this is even close id go for it.

  31. I normally dont post much, but read the site daily (like many id assume).

    It would be weird of TT to go to all this length, if the cooler sucked, cause reviewers will get them soon enough. THey will only look really really stupid.

  32. In what reality does a 4ghz i7 870 run at 83c on a NH D14? They must be putting stupid voltage through it.

  33. Frederick Guenther

    my NH D14 under load hovers around 75c with a 980x at 4.3ghz. 83c for a 870? I hope the voltage is the same on both systems or this is the biggest con ever from TT.

  34. Is Zardon about? what do you think about this?

  35. If it was accurate Thermaltake will be making a fortune from us !

  36. Biggest thermaltake fan in the world here, and I love this site. Can we have more info on the cooler please Jules? im really interested, even if its not 100% accurate, its clearly better than the original frio, which had pretty poor fans but still performed well for its modest size.

  37. glad to see they changed the fans at least. anything above lowest on the first one and it sounded like a helicopter. Hopefully these are quality units with good CFM and low dBa (and tunable).

  38. 7c better than the noctua with the same air and settings? lol. come on, thats just not possible.

  39. Hardc0re munchman

    Read this over on another forum, and I had to make my own comment.

    ‘surely not’, is all I can say. If it is true however, and its a big ‘if’ then they clearly have some new technology inside the cooler which no one knows about, because its just not possible to get that big an improvement on the defacto industry leading air cooler.

  40. Air cooling can only achieve a certain amount of effectiveness. there is no liquid involved in the frio, unless i missed the information. and even if there was, I assume this is pretty much impossible. The NH D14 could easily beat Corsair H70 and Coolit products, so this frio is just getting into the high end watercooling area, which isnt possible.

  41. Until I see some real world testing from review sites I can trust, like Kitguru then this is just a fantasy…..

  42. If it does a better job than the Noctua with a nice margin.. i wouldn’t care what the price was

  43. We agree. If the number for the Frio OCK had been 1-2 degrees ahead of the Noctua, then it would still have been a stunning result – and ‘acceptable’. As it turns out, the gap shown is huge. Until Zardon’s tested it, we WON’T be able to give you a definitive on this, but here’s some additional background that you might find useful.
    The test was not planned. Having been shown the new cooler in the lab, the technicians were asked if they were up for a side by side comparison with the Noctua (they had all of the major coolers to hand, but this is the comparison that people would actually want to see). They agreed and started to set up both rigs. The cameras were not there all throughout the next hour or so, but were wandering around and the whole R&D areas has a glass side.
    The set-ups appear similar when scanned and the ambient was obviously the same for both.
    Looking at the Frio OCK compared to last year’s original Frio, there are several differences, so here’s a 1-2-3-4 that we noticed:-
    1) The new cooler is bigger than the old one. The packaging is smaller, but the actual unit size is bigger
    2) The fans are better quality than the originals and they spin several hundred RPM faster than the Noctua
    3) There are more heatpipes packed into the Frio OCK (they could also be ‘better’ – but we can’t comment on that)
    4) Each cooler was set up with the thermal paste that it is supplied with. We know that Thermaltake has been working on this area as well

    Taken together, the faster/better fans, increased number/quality of heatpipes, bigger surface area and improved TIM would give it an advantage of the original Frio.

    Can it really stuff the Noctua? Let’s wait and see what Zardon says.

  44. Its not possible, not with currently commercially available materials. even with water, those improvements are hard over a noctua NH D14. Has to be a voltage setting.

  45. 1-2c better, possible. 7c? hardly likely.

  46. As much as I would like it to be true, I have seen pictures of the naked heatsink and it looks similar to another third party product already on the market. cant see it being possible at all.

  47. many people are already saying its a megahalem with a custom shroud and some minor modifications. Im calling a the ‘bullshit’ card on the 7c less temperature deal. id be surprised if its any better than the D14.

  48. Different FANS used on these heatsinks, makes comparison completely VOID.

  49. Not really, if thats what they are both sold with, and they are.

    Not defending the frio here, but its a fair test on THAT level, if nothing else !

  50. Yeah, yeah! I really doubt it can beat NH-D14. I think only Thermalright Silver Arrow can compete Noctua. And who knows, what RPMs they’ve set to NH-D14, and which ones for Frio. 7 degrees- it will make a noise like a jet engine even at 2 degrees difference. It was tweaked anyway, and even then, I’m sure it was noisy like in Eye-Of-Terror.

  51. they have psu pull ait away on the bottom pic and also looks like the changed out video cards to help reduce heat on the bottom one

  52. frio is cheating with the psu and what looks to be a diffrent video card

  53. sorry for double post

  54. This is indeed impossible if you think about it in terms of temperature rise over ambient. The Noctua averages 11.2 degrees celcius over ambient when cooling a 125W heat load (the original Frio was almost exactly the same). This means on a 125W load, the OCK would only allow a rise over ambient of less than 4 degrees. I mean that’s on par or better than most liquid cooling solutions.

  55. Things change quite abit when u put those inside a case and they dont have access to fresh air. show me those results in a few different size cases and then we will see who fairs the best