Thermaltake covers high-end CPU cooler with 10-year warranty

A decade is an eternity in the PC industry. Ten years ago, the Pentium 4 was trading blows with the Athlon XP, hard drives were still connected with IDE ribbons, and 512MB was an awful lot of RAM. Given the rapid pace of innovation, Thermaltake’s new 10-year warranty for its Frio Extreme CPU cooler is perhaps a little excessive. We’re not about to complain, though. Thermaltake is applying the warranty retroactively, so anyone who bought the cooler this year is eligible for coverage.

The Frio Extreme costs nearly $100, so it’s definitely a premium offering. And it very much looks the part, with dual radiator towers, six heatpipes, and a pair of 140-mm fans. Thermaltake says the beast can dissipate up to 250W, 30W more than the single-tower Frio. The Extreme also comes with a nifty fan controller that can be switched between PWM and DC modes to accommodate different motherboard-based speed control mechanisms.

The whole package, including the fans and the controller, is covered by the 10-year warranty. It’s unlikely Thermaltake will have any spare Frio parts in stock a decade from now, but the company pledges to offer an equivalent model as a replacement. Whether the new coolers a decade from now will support today’s sockets remains to be seen. The Frio Extreme is compatible with the LGA775 socket that hosted the Prescott-era Pentium 4, though.

Comments closed
    • riviera74
    • 7 years ago

    I would like my next build to be relatively quiet, so I have this question. These large air-cooled HSFs: are they quieter than water cooling (say, the Corsair water coolers) and still have the same cooling performance?

    • Bensam123
    • 7 years ago

    While I’m all for long warranties, this is pretty much useless. I haven’t had a CPU cooler to date that has went bad. The only thing that can really go bad on one is the fan and those are usually pretty decent quality if you buy a good heatsink to begin with. I still have the same Zalman in my case from when I bought it with my case years almost 10 years ago. Each time a new socket comes out they’d release a new retention mechanism and it works without err.

    • Trident Troll
    • 7 years ago

    An Alpha ought to be enough for anybody.

      • Sam125
      • 7 years ago

      What? I can’t hear you.

      • Oberon
      • 7 years ago

      Speaking of Alpha designs, does anyone also remember the Swiftech “screw-flower” (no other way to describe them) coolers?

        • Trident Troll
        • 7 years ago

        I never saw one in person. I’ve never heard of anyone who owned one.
        But now that you’ve reminded me, I must away to ebay to claim one for myself.

        • Waco
        • 7 years ago

        Those things were hideous but they worked well to keep those hot Prescotts cool. One of my LAN buddies in high school had one.

    • xeridea
    • 7 years ago

    Whats with these dual fan coolers? Copper dissipates heat, fans make noise. They almost have more fan than copper, and 1/3 of it is wasted space making it an oversized monster. The other Frio that had optional second fan had nearly identical cooling properties with second fan on the small radiator, so 2 fans on this is just making it near impossible to fit in a system.

      • ludi
      • 7 years ago

      Those are 140mm fans, which should tell you just how large those cooling arrays already are. Surface area only counts if air can move efficiently across it; making the array larger and denser does not automatically mean more dissipation.

      The fan support hardware is composed solely of those wire clips, and you’ll notice there are pre-drilled holes on both sides of both cooler arrays. The idea is that you can mix-and-match as needed to fit your system requirements and space limitations.

        • Duck
        • 7 years ago

        [quote<]making a larger and denser array might actually result in worse performance[/quote<] +1. So few people seem to get this.

          • Goty
          • 7 years ago

          Adding more heat dissipating elements while holding all other aspects constant ([i<]including[/i<] fin spacing) should never result in a decrease in efficiency. i.e. increasing the size of the dissipating region won't make it perform worse.

            • Duck
            • 7 years ago

            How can you hold all other aspects constant? What about size, mass?

            • Goty
            • 7 years ago

            It’s called a theoretical situation, but since you ask, increasing the size and mass of the cooler would only help its efficiency. Increasing the mass would increase the heat capacity of the cooler and increasing the size would either increase the dissipating area (if you keep fin spacing constant) or reduce the restriction of the air flowing through (if you keep dissipating area constant).

            Hooray basic thermodynamics (and a little bit of fluid dynamics thrown in just for good measure)!

            • ludi
            • 7 years ago

            An absolute decrease, no. Diminishing marginal returns, possibly.

      • Goty
      • 7 years ago

      Copper functions well because of its large (specific) heat capacity, but the purpose of a computer’s HSF is not to gather heat and then not do anything with it. More copper (or aluminum, for the dissipating surfaces) means you can draw more heat away from the CPU while maintaining a higher delta-T between the HSF and the air, but you need to remove that heat efficiently or the system stops working.

      (Realized I made a stupid mistake here. Let’s see if anyone can find it.)

        • chuckula
        • 7 years ago

        Your mistake: The high delta-T is not between the HSF and air, but between the HSF cooling surface (like the radiator fins) and the temp of the CPU itself.

        For a crazy illustrative example: The surface temp of the fins in a giant HSF unit will be practically at room temperature (e.g. the same temperature as the ambient air). If you were to rip out the giant HSF and slap on one of those tiny heatsinks they used to use on the chipset, the temperature differential of the heatsink to the air would quickly shoot up as the tiny heatsink heats to nearly the same temperature as the CPU.

          • Goty
          • 7 years ago

          One internet to chuckula!

      • Bensam123
      • 7 years ago

      Yeah, what I was thinking too. Two fans is only helpful if there is a declining in airflow, but the heatsink isn’t long enough (fin wise) so that there is a drop in airflow. So really it’s like having a second fan that doesn’t really do anything. Heck Geoff pretty much proved that in his review.

      ‘Tis just stupid. I’m sure it gets more people to buy them as they think it’s helpful though.

      • rrr
      • 7 years ago

      NH-D14, Silver Arrow, IFX-14 and Phanteks all utilize that form factor. It’s the most effective way AC has to offer so far. At the cost of size, of course.

    • Jakubgt
    • 7 years ago

    The Corsair H100 is currently going for $100 after rebates on newegg right now. At those prices I’d be looking into a water cooling setup.

      • Duck
      • 7 years ago

      Closed loop, low end water coolers are quite easily beaten by high end tower coolers (at least in low noise performance).

        • internetsandman
        • 7 years ago

        Stick two Noctua NF-F12’s onto an H100 and the noise levels drop to damn near inaudible, and temps only rise about two or three degrees. Not only that, but an H100 is incredibly nicer to look at than any massive air cooler, and it’s much easier to transport the system when you don’t have all the weight hanging off of the motherboard

    • ludi
    • 7 years ago

    For whatever it’s worth, I still have a 7yo ThermalTake Sonic Tower that started out in an AthlonXP and is still running on an old Skt939 system, and there’s no reason it wouldn’t work with a Sandy/Ivy Bridge or Bulldozer CPU for another 3+ years assuming an appropriate retention bracket were provided.

    Who knows, someone might still be using a Frio Extreme ten years hence, assuming desktop CPUs are still sold in some sort of socketed form.

    • Phishy714
    • 7 years ago

    Does this also include 10 year’s worth of hardware necessary to install this cooler on 10 year’s worth of new sockets from AMD and Intel?

      • Chrispy_
      • 7 years ago

      If you bought a Noctua, yes it does.
      I’m on my third socket type now and free mounting brackets are still sent to me for little more effort than filling in a 1-page online form.

        • stdRaichu
        • 7 years ago

        I had no idea HSF manufacturers did such a thing; thanks for the tip.

          • Farting Bob
          • 7 years ago

          Noctua is one of the only ones, although you can often find retention brackets for pennies on ebay, amazon. Or for about twenty times as much from official sites..

    • flip-mode
    • 7 years ago

    10,000mm^2 of fins to cool 160mm^2 of chip.

      • Prion
      • 7 years ago

      Well, if you could effectively cool it with 160mm^2 of surface area, you wouldn’t need a heatsink at all

        • Goty
        • 7 years ago

        As one of my friends likes to say: Boom, science.

          • Arclight
          • 7 years ago

          ^^
          Oh i’m so using that from now on.

        • flip-mode
        • 7 years ago

        I’m not sure how to respond to that.

        • rrr
        • 7 years ago

        But you’d still need a fan. And a mounting system (quite an elaborate one in fact, if you wanted decently sized fan)

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