Many PC components are constrained by specifications to be a certain shape and size; this is usually a good thing. A disk drive that doesn’t conform to the spec for 5.25″ drive bays won’t fit in your computer, after all. One of the areas where things are less rigidly defined is in CPU coolers. Intel and AMD provide dimensions for socket clearances, mounting holes, etc, and standard case dimensions put an upper limit on size. Other than that, manufacturers are free to make their coolers whatever shape and size they please.
This relative freedom, combined with the razor’s-edge balance between performance and heat output that CPU manufacturers are ever playing with, means that coolers have generally gotten bigger and heavier. Fin size, spacing, shape, number of heatpipes, size and placement of fans; all of these are in flux as heatsink designers seek to eke out ever more performance while keeping costs in check.
Thermaltake has been in the business of producing CPU heatsinks and their related accessories for quite a while now. As we’ve seen in past reviews, Thermaltake’s engineers generally know what they’re doing. Today we’ll be taking a look at their Frio OCK CPU cooler, a souped-up version of the Frio cooler already reviewed here.