by Ryan Perry on September 14, 2011 in Air-Cooling
All CPU coolers promise effective CPU cooling, but how each one manages their goal can vary wildly. One may be super-quiet but be the size of a car, while another may be modest-sized but sound like a jet engine. The Frio OCK and Jing from Thermaltake aren’t so extreme, but make a perfect case for noise vs. size vs. cooling performance.
I was thrilled when Thermaltake said it would be sending two coolers for us to test, knowing full well what each is intended for. This gave us a chance to show each side of the cooling story and allow readers the opportunity to decide what’s most important to them.
If space allows, the Jing would be a welcome addition to any system running a medium-high overclock. Our test system is a little light when it comes to generating enough heat to make coolers cry uncle, however we do see a good degree of scaling based on the capabilities of the coolers themselves. As mentioned before, mileage will vary depending on the amount of overclocking being done but turning in numbers as it did, the Jing should be able to keep higher overclocked CPUs well within the thermal specifications.
I’m a reviewer but first and foremost I’m a consumer. Finding only three screws with which to mount the T-bars onto the cooler really upsets me considering if I were to buy one and found this same problem it would mean either contacting Thermaltake and waiting for a simple screw to be sent out or heading back to the store for an exchange. Toys like this should be ready to play with right out of the box and this calls quality control into question.
The Frio OCK is the biggest and meanest boy in Thermaltake’s bunch of coolers and proves this by besting all of the air coolers that we have tested to date as well as several liquid coolers but while making considerably more noise. This may not be an issue for some but for me it was excessive. Luckily, cooling performance isn’t impacted much when the fans are run at the minimum speed, which keeps sound levels well in check.
Possibly the biggest limiting factor with the Frio OCK will be clearance. Simply put, it’s big. Really, really big. So big that it blocks off a DIMM slot, limiting the type of memory that can be used and will get into a scuffling match with GPUs that have back plates. It wasn’t an issue with our test system that thankfully has several PCIe slots, but some may not have this luxury.
The Jing retails for ~$65 and the Frio OCK comes in at $71 at the time this review was published and if I had to pick a favorite, it would be the Jing. It cools well, adds almost no additional noise to a system and in my opinion looks great. One would be mighty nice paired up with a GIGABYTE G1 board and wrapped in a BitFenix Colossus Venom.
With all of this said, both coolers will walk away with an Editor’s Choice award although I went back and forth on whether or not to slap one on the Frio OCK simply because of the clearance issues. Regular readers will remember that these same problems are why the NZXT HAVIK 140 failed to win an award, however it also failed to cool as well as the Frio OCK, even with the fans running at the maximum speed.
It will be interesting to see where air cooling goes from here but until next time, today’s episode has been brought to you by the letters T, and G and by the number 2.
Thermaltake Frio OCK & Jing CPU Coolers
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