Testing and Results
To test CPU coolers we boot the PC up to Windows and measure temperatures under idle and load state, using professional software.
For idle testing, we simply let the rig sit doing absolutely nothing for 30 minutes and take the most representative temperature of the last 10 minutes. The same is used for the load testing, but instead of letting the PC do nothing; we load all cores to 100% using multiple instances of SuperPi2004 and let the program(s) run for at least 15 minutes.
The whole system was setup for optimal air flow with multiple 120mm intake and exhaust fans, as is recommended for any system
The results on this cooler are quite extensive so let me break them down for you.
First of all, the performance difference between the different fan presets (Quiet, Performance, Extreme) isn’t big. Roughly 4 degrees Celcius for the 4.0GHz Dual Core and 5 degrees Celcius for 3.8GHz Quad Core.
Second, all temperatures are neatly within bounds but I can’t recommend the ‘Quiet’ preset for quad cor
overclocking, since I consider anything above 65 degrees Celcius too hot for a CPU.
Third, the fan noise curve:
Fan noise curve (RPM):
1600-2000 barely audible
2000+ audible up to loud
Stressing the quad core at ‘Extreme’ preset results in the fan going wild and producing a jet-like sound. Loading four cores to 100% virtually never happens on any system, so you can expect the cooler to stay within reasonable noise bounds as long as you have a normal room temperature (ca. 20c) and don’t do extreme overclocking, since this cooler is still aimed at a wide consumer market and not specifically die-hard overclockers.
Pricing and Availability
Here comes the interesting part, the performance of a cooler has to justify its price tag; let’s see if CoolIT can hold up.
CoolIT retails the Vantage A.L.C. on their website for $99.99. In the Netherlands this product available at all and in Germany the cooler retails for about €95.-; this is quite some money for a CPU cooler. You may remember my Prolimatech Super Mega review. This cooler retails for €65.- but outperforms the Vantage A.L.C. It’s hard choosing if you want the best of the best; for €100.- you won’t get a decent watercooling set but that money will easily get you the best air cooler which may not have an LCD screen, but cools better!