Thermaltake Frio Advanced & Extreme Coolers
Author: Zahn Funk
Editor: Shawn Knight
Date: 09-28-2012
Provided by: Thermaltake

I'm installing the coolers with the following set of hardware:

AMD Phenom II 1090T X6 BE
ASUS Sabertooth 990FX
2x2Gb Crucial Ballistix Tracer DDR3-1600
60Gb OCZ Agility 2 SSD
1Tb WD Caviar Black
ASUS EAH5870 V2 1G
Zalman VF3000A Cooler
Optiarc 24x DVD+/-RW
Thermaltake Armor Revo

The installation procedure of the Advanced and Extreme coolers is very similar, in fact they share much of the same mounting hardware. Both Intel and AMD socket types must begin with removing the factory retention bracket. Then the universal backing plate is attached using hex-head screws and threaded plastic standoffs through each of the mounting holes.

At this point, installation will differ from Intel to AMD. For AMD sockets there are two sets of bars so that the cooler can be oriented with airflow either horizontal or vertical. Note that due to the different mounting method for each cooler, the long bars to mount the Advanced blowing horizontal would orient the Extreme blowing vertical, and vice versa for the short bars. This won't be an issue for most users unless like me you happen to have both coolers on hand.

Spring loaded screw plates are attached to the Advanced base on either side, which then must be threaded into the bars. The fans must be removed from the Advanced temporarily in order to access the screws during installation. The plastic fan shrouds simply unclip from the fins and then can be reattached after tightening the screws.

Unfortunately as I discovered, regardless of which mounting orientation I used, the taller heatspreaders of my OCZ Platinum memory interfered with reinstalling the fans. And in the case of vertical airflow installation, the bottom fins came in contact with the memory. To resolve this I ended up removing the OCZ memory sticks and using standard height Crucial RAM instead.

The Extreme installation differs from the Advanced in that it uses a single tension plate across the top of the base between both banks of fins. Because this plate is not attached to the Extreme, only dimpled to align the center position, and installation takes place in the narrow gap between the banks of fins, I found the Extreme installation to be much more difficult than the Advanced. To further complicate matters, the fan clips must be inserted into the fins prior to mounting the cooler, but the fans must be left out in order to access the screws, which makes installing the fans after the fact more difficult simply due to limited access. I also ran into interference problems with the front fan even using standard height memory sticks which caused this fan to sit half an inch higher above the top of the fins. Turning the cooler 90 would cause airflow problems due to the proximity of the video card and/or top case fan.

Now we'll test out the cooling ability of the Frio Advanced and Extreme.

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