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Coolit Vantage A.L.C. CPU Cooler E-mail
Reviews - Featured Reviews: Cooling
Written by David Ramsey   
Sunday, 27 February 2011
Table of Contents: Page Index
Coolit Vantage A.L.C. CPU Cooler
Closer Look: Coolit Vantage
Vantage A.L.C. Detailed Features
Heatsink Test Methodology
Testing and Results
Final Thoughts and Conclusion

Liquid Cooler Final Thoughts

After Corsair's H50 hit the market, its success led to many other companies offering their own variations on the theme, if by "variations" you mean "label". Even Corsair's own H70, with its double-thickness radiator, is simply a version of Asetek's LC570 OEM cooler.

Coolit Systems manufacturers their own coolers, which gives them a competitive advantage in the marketplace. The Vantage A.L.C. was the first all-in-one liquid cooler that could control its own fan, and is still the only one with the display feature and audible alarms that warn of overheating, or fan or pump failure. But although the Vantage beat the first-generation water coolers in the stock fan test, its performance advantage was small, and Corsair's H70 easily beat it even with its fans on low. (Granted, the H70's MSRP is significantly more expensive). High-end air coolers and new-generation water coolers provided much better performance than the Vantage.

Still, the Vantage's extra features like the PWM-controlled fan, visible status panel, and audible alarms for pump or fan failure offer some consolation. The Vantage was to be the first beneficiary of Coolit's "Maestro" software control suite, originally announced at CES 2010. But Maestro never appeared and Coolit has said that work on that project has ceased.

At this point it may all be moot: Coolit Systems has entered a partnership with Corsair, who will take over retail marketing and support of Coolit products. While some Coolit Vantage A.L.C. systems are still available in the retail channel, they're no longer available on Coolit's web site, and Corsair has no equivalent product (yet).

coolit_vantage_alc_purple.jpg

Should you come across a Vantage A.L.C., should you consider it? Sure. The Vantage offers much better performance than any stock heat sink, is quiet even in "Extreme" mode, and the display and alarms are features that no competitor offers. It's not designed to cool heavily overclocked systems like the overvolted Core i7-950 I tested with, and if that's the kind of rig you're running, there are better choices available.

Coolit Vantage A.L.C. Conclusion

Please remember that these test results reflect our experience with each cooler on a specific motherboard, with a specific processor, BIOS revision, BCLK and voltage settings, and test programs. The results of this test cannot be directly compared to other tests since many factors will have changed.

I've tested a lot of all-in-one water coolers recently, and the Vantage A.L.C. is the only one that has any visual appeal at all. The adjustable-color display not only provides useful information, but looks great, too, and begs for a windowed case to display it.

The quality of construction was up to Coolit's usual high standards. After dealing with the somewhat fiddly "retaining ring" used on Asetek cooler variants, Coolit's simple back plate and thumbscrew mounting system is a breath of fresh air, although the "springy" coolant hoses exert enough tension on the pump to make lining up the thumbscrews with the backplate an operation that requires some concentration.

Performance-wise, the Coolit Vantage A.L.C. outperformed first generation all-in-one water coolers, but couldn't keep up with newer water cooling units or less expensive high-end air coolers. While its performance is much better than stock air coolers, it's not intended for heavily overclocked systems.

The Vantage A.L.C. introduces useful new features such as the status display and the audible alarms. The alarms especially are important features for a water cooling system and I hope to see them become more common.

The Coolit Vantage A.L.C. doesn't offer top-end performance, but will quietly keep most systems cool, and its display and safety features make it worth consideration. The Vantage A.L.C. is available for $114.99 at FrozenCPU.com.

Pros:

+ Informative display
+ Pump and fan failure alarms
+ Easy to mount
+ Quiet, even at "Extreme" setting
+ PWM-controlled fan

Cons:

- Can't compete with the latest water coolers or high-end air coolers
- Unit's availability is in doubt
- Cannot drive high-current fans
- May require direct connection to power supply

Ratings:

  • Performance: 7.50
  • Appearance: 9.25
  • Construction: 9.00
  • Functionality: 9.50
  • Value: 8.25

Final Score: 8.7 out of 10.

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Comments 

 
# Overrated value.Olle P 2011-02-28 05:39
At least here in Sweden the Vantage is about 40% higher priced than Antec Kühler H2O 620 (but slightly cheaper than Corsair H70).
In your own test, as well as by the conclusions I've drawn based on more reviews, the Antec cooler is better.

The main (only?) advantage of the Vantage is that it displays the temperature.

Therefore I think the price tag set the value closer to (and possibly below) an average 5 than it is to an 8.25.

Cheers
Olle
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# RE: Overrated value.David Ramsey 2011-02-28 12:38
The performance of the Vantage was similar to that of other first-generation Asetek coolers like the Corsair H50. Its higher price pays for the display, programmability, and fan control. Since it doesn't seem to be a current product any more, it's probably moot unless you happen to find one still on the shelves (real or virtual).
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# Is the Corsair H60 in your testing pipeline?Ken Clark 2011-03-03 05:58
David,

I am looking for a liquid cooling solution for a Sandy Bridge (moderately overclocked 2600k) system. One of my most important factors will be a quiet system. Therefore I am looking at the Antec Kuhler 620 and the Corsair H60. Are you planning to test the Corsair H60 and will you be incorporating some ambient noise readings to help me compare models? Naturally, I would expect the noise to be measured with the stock (OEM) fans. I have read your test article on the Antec 620 and I believe it a quiet system, regardless of fan speed. But it would be nice to see some relative comparison of noise levels amongst these models.
Really appreciate your articles, as it helps all of us make informed purchasing decisions.
Thanks
Ken
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# RE: Is the Corsair H60 in your testing pipeline?David Ramsey 2011-03-03 06:14
Glad you like the reviews, Ken. The stock Intel cooler for the 2600K-- the new tower design Intel first shipped with the 980X-- is a pretty quiet cooler and can easily handle moderate overclocks, since the Sandy Bridge processors just don't generate that much heat. If you want to go with liquid coolers, the Vantage and the Kühler are the quietest ones I've personally tested, although this is based on simply listening to the cooler fans (I don't have any sound-measuring equipment). The advantage both of these coolers have is that they control their fan speeds directly. I hope to be able to test a Corsair H60 soon.
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# RE: Is the Corsair H60 in your testing pipeline?Ken Clark 2011-03-03 14:31
Thanks David for your quick response and suggestions. Looking very much forward to a comparison between the Antec Kuhler 620 and the Corsair H60, as they are both at the same relative price point / target market. My case will not have a display window, so the real time status display Coolit Vantage is not a feature I can take advantage of. And I am still interested in a closed system liquid cooling solution (as opposed to the stock Intel fan) as this technology may afford more cooling potential, especially if I wish to get more aggressive with my overclock strategy. Keep up the good work - we "novices" appreciate your testing insight!
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# The test is done.Olle P 2011-03-04 06:48
The Swedish site Sweclockers.com has done a comparative test between those two coolers.

Using the stock fans the H60 (blowing heated air into the case) provides slightly more CPU cooling. (At the same time the Antec is quieter.)
Using the same fans on both coolers (2x Scythe Gentle Typhoon) the Antec performs slightly better than H60.

You can see the test results here: ##sweclockers.com/recension/13538-antec-kuhler-h2o-620-och-corsair-h60/5#pagehead
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# Fan runs flat out all the timePobinr 2012-04-22 02:08
Hi
I set my Vantage to quiet but fan still running flat out!
Any ideas ?
Thanks
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# RE: Fan runs flat out all the timeDavid Ramsey 2012-04-22 14:52
My only guess would be that you have the fan plugged into the motherboard instead of the cooler's pump unit. If you have the fan plugged into the pump unit and it's still running full speed all the time, then I guess it's a problem with the cooler.
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# Compabilitytomtentp 2012-05-01 16:56
Will this work with the new Intel Ivy Bridge CPU?
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# RE: CompabilityDavid Ramsey 2012-05-01 17:12
It will if you can find one still on the store shelves. Coolit was purchased by Corsair a couple of years ago and the Vantage ALC is no longer made.
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# ThanksTomtentp 2012-05-02 03:40
Thank you for the info!!
I did manage to find one and I really dig the display.
Main reason why I chose this one actually ^^
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# Extra Fan?Tom 2012-07-17 09:35
Couldn't you just replace the extra spacer with a motherboard wired fan. Like, just mount the vantage to the rear fan of your case?
I'm not sure of the spacing, I found one on eBay but I haven't recieved mine yet.
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# RE: Extra Fan?David Ramsey 2012-07-17 09:51
Yes, you could easily do that.
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# RE: Coolit Vantage A.L.C. CPU CoolerTom 2012-07-17 09:57
Oh well thats good then, as surely that would improve the radiators cooling dramatically and so improve its over all heat shift?
Also just curious, would it be possible to replace the tubing for transparent jobbies? Or would it be too much hassle to be worth it? haha
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# RE: RE: Coolit Vantage A.L.C. CPU CoolerDavid Ramsey 2012-07-17 10:00
Remember the additional fan would not be under the control of the control unit, so it would run at a constant speed.

Replacing the tubing would be almost impossible, since it's a sealed unit with no way to bleed it.
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# RE: RE: RE: Coolit Vantage A.L.C. CPU CoolerTom 2012-07-17 10:07
Yes I know it would only be constant, but couldn't that fan just run off the Q-Fan system on my motherboard and so respond to temperatures anyway?

And yeah, I guessed the tubing change would probably not work. Just a thought! ;)
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# Two Fan SetupTom 2012-07-19 11:38
Hi I found an article on the ECO version of the CoolIt. A guy managed to fit a second fan in a push pull setup using a PWM 4-Pin fan Y-Splitter. Do you think this would work on the Vantage and still be ok with the temp controls?
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# RE: Two Fan SetupDavid Ramsey 2012-07-19 12:43
Probably, but you'll just have to try it and see. You could ask Coolit, but they're gone now...
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# UpdateTom 2012-09-25 15:58
Hi, I know it been a while but thought this might be of use to you.
I wrote to CoolIT and they replied with this:

Thank you for contacting Technical Support concerning your wish to add a second fan for your Vantage ALC. I have created an account and opened a support case on your behalf.

I understand your wish to add a second fan to the product to create a Push / Pull for the air flow.

I will caution you that just adding a second fan, using a four pin Y splitter could cause a failure of the control card inside the pump head. This will not be deemed a warranty failure.


The maximum amperage draw through the control card is 1.3 amps. The specs for the Vantage ALC fan is 125 CFM@ 2700 RPM (0.66 amps).

Finding a PWM (four pin) Y splitter is very rare, although they are some available. If you are able to find one, you will need to remove the third TACH wire from one of the fan connectors. Otherwise the Vantage ALC will see both fans, add the two fans' rpm values together and attempt to lower the voltage.

I believe that this should give you some insight.

Thank you for your question,

Andrew Wildgoose


Service and Support Manager
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# SO TIRED OF BEEPING!TM B 2012-10-29 20:09
I love the idea about the CoolIt Vantage, it's a very nice setup and on paper just perfect.
But the bloody beeping below 19.5 degrees celsius is bull#, I live in Norway and the winter temperatures does of course send it below 15 degrees from a startup.
It beeps like a bus backing up, with no means of adjusting this temperature alarm or simply kill it.
It's going out of my computer tomorrow for a traditional fan and cooling. I bought it to get a silent machine, and this thing is about as loud as the back up alarm on my truck - if even for a few minutes, those minutes annoy too much.
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# FixableBruce 2012-10-29 21:06
A little silicone in the right spot (the buzzer diaphragm) would fix this.......
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# Beep beep!adVantage19.5 2013-11-11 01:25
I'm using this cooler for some time now, works fine except for the beeping. Every year now during Fall I will know when to put on a winter jacket because it'll beep briefly on boot. The time it beeps of course gets longer every day as it gets colder and the only way to quickly get it to shut up is to run something like Prime95. Afaik you can't change the alarm threshold and everybody just /shrugs when you ask about a solution. A classic case of: What were they thinking?!?
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