Cooler Master Vortex Plus Reviewccokeman - April 19, 2010
Category: CPU Cooling
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Everyone remembers the story about Goldilocks and the three bears right? If not the story, at least we remember the underlying theme about how you have one item to big, one to small, and one that fits juuuuust right! When it comes time to choose a cooler for your CPU, you can run into the the same issues if you are not careful with the combination of parts you choose. For instance, you wouldn't want to slap a mammoth heatsink such as the NH-D14 or TRUE into a low profile HTPC case that is already challenged with space constraints now would you? Nor would you put a small undersized heat sink in a large chassis and expect it to deliver excellent cooling for your fire-breathing, overclocked processor! Each of these applications would need to have the correct heat sink to maximize the the cooling performance and "fit" so you end up with a solution that's just right.
Cooler Master has long been known as a company that caters to the market. The introduction of the Vortex Plus CPU cooler is another example of this. The Vortex Plus is a cooler that is designed for the HTPC and Compact Lan Box crowd. The Vortex Plus is able to fit just about any current platform for both the AMD and Intel sides of the fence. The low profile design features Direct Contact Heat pipe construction that is all the rage today and comes with a 92mm PWM fan to address both noise and cooling performance concerns. Lets see if the Vortex Plus can deliver performance worthy of your system.
The packaging is traditional Cooler Master with the purple and white color scheme. The front panel shows a picture of the Vortex Plus that illustrates the design of the cooler and shows support for the latest AMD and Intel platforms, keeping a wide audience in mind for this application. The right side directs you to the Cooler Master website for more information on the Vortex Plus. The left side lists the full specification sheet so you know just what you are getting and what it will work on. The rear panel shows the features of the Vortex Plus that includes a technical drawing of the cooler and several views of the cooler and how it fits into mid tower chassis.
Opening up the package, you can see that the Vortex Plus is well packed with both foam and cardboard to protect it during transit. The 92mm fan is housed in a box, while the heat sink is in a foam enclosure.
The contents of the package includes the Vortex Plus heat sink, 92mm PWM controlled fan, instructions, mounting hardware for all of the supported socket types and a tube of Cooler Masters thermal paste. The AMD sockets are covered with a two piece mounting system that latches to the socket much the same way a stock AMD heat sink does. The Intel bracketry is a bit more complex, but includes a non-captured push pin mounting system. This system is pretty unique and is easy enough to use so if you built your computer on a budget and want to upgrade your cooling, you will not have to pull the motherboard. A plus in anybody's book I think.
Time to dig a little deeper under the skin to see what the Vortex Plus is all about.