|Coolit Vantage A.L.C. CPU Cooler|
|Reviews - Featured Reviews: Cooling|
|Written by David Ramsey|
|Sunday, 27 February 2011|
Page 5 of 6
Testing and Results
For this test, I used the following heat sinks in addition to the Coolit Vantage A.L.C.:
For heat sinks without a stock fan, I used a Thermalright TR-FDB-12-1600 fan, which puts out 63.7CFM at 28dBa according to Thermalright. This mid-range fan provides good air flow and reasonable noise levels. For "apples to apples" testing, where each heat sink is tested with the same fan, I used a Delta AFC1212D. This high-performance PWM fan is rated at 113CFM at a claimed 46.5dBa at full speed...which means that while it moves quite a bit of air, it's very loud.
The Intel Core i7-950 I used in this test runs much hotter than the Core i7-920 I'd used previously. At 1.35 volts, with a BCLK of 175Mhz, the 4,025Mhz CPU pumped out enough heat to stress the very best heat sinks. AIDA64 would report throttling once any single core reached 100 degrees Celsius; any throttling resulted in cancelling the test and recording a "FAIL". Although this overclocked and overvolted Core i7-950 represents an extreme, these are expensive, high-end heat sinks.
The chart below summarizes the results with the stock fans (hotter temperatures towards the top of the chart, and cooler temperatures towards the bottom). The twin-fan Cooler Master V6 GT and Corsair H70 have a real advantage here, since their dual fans move more air than the stock single fan of any of the other units. The first thing we see is that the Vantage's "Silent" setting is not appropriate for the volcanic heat put out by the overclocked Core i7-950 processor, since CPU temperature soared past 100 degrees Celsius and throttling occurred.
Stock Fan Tests
Set to "Extreme" mode, the Vantage A.L.C. was able to better the performance of the ECO A.L.C. and (just barely) Corsair's H50. That's about it for the good news, though, as it was soundly beaten by every other cooler in this test. The large gap between it and the Corsair H70 (fans on low) divides the chart into "lower performance" and "higher performance" coolers. With its dual, high performance fans (aggregate airflow of over 180CFM) the Cooler Master V6 GT takes the lead here, keeping the blistering hot Core i7-950 almost 12 degrees Celsius cooler than the Vantage A.L.C.
Delta High Speed Fan Tests
With the Delta high-speed fan, our lineup changes. Showing what a difference a change of fan can make, the Coolit ECO A.L.C. moves from the bottom to the chart to mid-pack, improving by almost 11 degrees. The Antec Kühler improves by 7.2 degrees, putting it- amazingly- between the mighty Prolimatech Super Mega and the Thermalright Venomous X. The Vantage A.L.C.'s performance improves by over 5 degrees, but it's not enough to help its overall standing, and (oddly) even the ECO A.L.C. manages to beat it by 3.5 degrees. And remember that you'd never run the Vantage A.L.C. with a separately-powered fan in the real world, because the continuous beeping of the fan speed alarm would become annoying.
Vantage Fan and Power Notes
After this test, I tried connecting the Delta fan (which has a 4-pin PWM connector) directly to the Vantage. That didn't work: about half the time, the fan wouldn't start, indicating that the Vantage couldn't supply the startup current needed. The Delta AFC 1212D fan draws 0.80 amps at 12 volts, which is much more than most fans do (the Thermalright fan used for "stock fan" tests only draws 0.20 amps). The stock fan is (as usual) unlabeled, so its current requirements and the limits of what the Vantage can supply are unknown, but if you plan to replace the fan for this unit, I'd suggest a PWM fan that draws 0.40 amps or less.
The Vantage needs a fair amount of power to run its pump and the fan; if the motherboard header you use can't supply enough power, the fan will run at full speed (yes, I know that's odd, but that's what happens). On an ASUS Crosshair IV motherboard, it took me a while to figure out why the Vantage's fan always ran at full speed; connecting the pump's power connector directly to the power supply fixed that problem.