Marking the return of the big-boy CPU coolers is Thermaltake's monstrous Frio cooler.

Tagged as 'designed for overclocking' you can see why; not only is the heatsink chunky, but there is the option to slot twin fans either side for optimum cooling.

But when you're dropping £50 on an air-cooled CPU chiller you're going to want something special. So how special is the Frio?

Well, as an all-round package it's special indeed. The compatibility list is extensive, covering the gamut from AM2, through LGA 775 Celerons right up to Socket 1366 Core i7 Extreme chips. When you can support CPUs with TDPs going right up to 220W you've got all your bases covered.

It's also a doddle to fit. True, you will have to uproot your mobo (unless you've got a fancy smancy case with access to the back plate) but all it takes is tweaking a few nuts. It also fits remarkably well on a mobo, sitting snugly in the square between chipset heatsinks, RAM slots and the power regulator blocks.

Chilly performance

In performance terms it is mighty impressive, keeping our idling Core i7 860 down around 19°C and when fully loaded it still only gets up to a fairly balmy 49°C.

Another bonus of the twin turbines sitting alongside the heatsink is that each has its own fan speed control. Turn them both up to maximum and you can shave several degrees off that temperature.

But I'll always keep coming back to the price; for that sort of money you're into closed-loop watercooling territory. Setups like Corsair's H50-1 and CoolIT's range of chillers are perfectly positioned for overclocked chips and this turbine is just a little bit too pricey to compete effectively.

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