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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

Testing and Results

For this test, I used the following heat sinks in addition to the Coolit Vantage A.L.C.:

  • Thermalright Venomous X
  • Cooler Master V6 GT
  • Prolimatech Super Mega
  • Corsair Hydro Series H50
  • Corsair Hydro Series H70
  • Coolit ECO A.L.C.
  • Antec Kühler H2O 620

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

Heat Sink

Thermal Difference
(degrees Celsius)
from Vantage
Coolit Vantage A.L.C. (silent) FAIL
Coolit ECO A.L.C. 75.2 +2.2
Corsair H50 73.1 +0.1
Coolit Vantage A.L.C. (extreme) 73.0 +0.0
Corsair H70 (low) 67.7 -5.3
Prolimatech Super Mega 67.2 -5.8
Antec Kühler H2O 620 65.9 -7.1
Corsair H70 (high) 65.3 -7.7
Thermalright Venomous X 63.0 -10.0
Cooler Master V6 GT 61.2 -11.8

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

Heat Sink

Thermal Difference
(degrees Celsius)
from Vantage
Corsair H50 68.1 +0.3
Coolit Vantage A.L.C. 67.8 +0.0
Corsair H70 64.7 -3.1
Coolit ECO A.L.C. 64.3 -3.5
Cooler Master V6 GT 59.5 -8.3
Prolimatech Super Mega 59.4 -8.4
Antec Kühler H2O 620 58.7 -9.1
Thermalright Venomous X 58.0 -9.8

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.



# 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.

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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

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.
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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 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:
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# Fan runs flat out all the timePobinr 2012-04-22 02:08
I set my Vantage to quiet but fan still running flat out!
Any ideas ?
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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 [email protected] 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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