Straightforward install; fan mount ridiculously easy to use.
Noisy, noisy, noisy; no PWM control.
We have to hand it to Thermaltake: Nearly everything about the Frio OCK is well thought out. The two 13cm fans are secured in a black, red, and blue cowling that clips on and off of the heatsink with ease, eliminating many of the installation frustrations inherent in two-fan (or one-fan) heatsinks. The mounting system—a standard universal backplate, tall posts, plastic spacers, crossbars, and spring-screw mounting clips—is packaged in a little box with all parts clearly labeled, something we hope becomes a trend.
The six heat pipes go up into two separate stacks of cooling fins, which rise (with fans attached) 6 inches high and more than 5.5 inches wide and deep. The sides of the cooling fins are crimped down around the edges to form a tunnel, maximizing cool airflow over the heat fins. The Frio OCK’s two 13cm fans are mounted to a plastic shroud that slips over the cooling fins and clips into place, making the pair of fans easy to install and remove. This greatly increases ease of use, and we wonder why more cooler manufacturers don’t include this sort of thing as a standard feature.
The fans on the Frio OCK are connected to a single 3-pin connector and a variable speed dial, rather than being motherboard-controlled, so you can only control them by opening up the chassis. At full bore, they’re incredibly effective, cooling our overclocked processor to within a degree of the Prolimatech Armageddon. They’re also incredibly loud, to the point where we didn’t really want to be in the room with our PC at all. That’s a pity, because otherwise this cooler is solid: The install process isn’t terrible, the performance is great, and the fan shroud is, frankly, the best we’ve seen.
If you’re not rocking an over-the-top overclock, and can therefore set the Frio OCK’s fans to somewhere below full blast, you’ll find it a fine choice. But it’s just too loud to run at full volume all the time.
|NZXT Havik 140||EVGA Superclock||Thermaltake Frio OCK||Promlimatech Armageddon||Hyper 212 Plus|
|Ambient (C) ||24.1||24||23.8||23.2||23.2|
|Idle (C) ||42||43.5||41.75||41.5*||44.75|
|100% Burn (C)||73.75*||81.75||75.5||74.5||92|
Asterisk (*) denotes best score. Ambient represents ambient air temperature in the Lab at time of testing. All coolers tested with a Core i7-930 overclocked to 3.9GHz on an Asus P6X58D Premium motherboard in a Corsair 800D chassis with stock fan, 6GB DDR3 RAM, and a Radeon HD 5850 GPU. Clock frequencies measured with TMonitor; temps with HWMonitor. Stress tests performed with Intel's internal testing utility running at 70 percent load.