CoolIT Vantage Advanced Liquid Cooler Reviewccokeman - August 15, 2010
Category: CPU Cooling
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In this day and age we can get just about anything you can imagine to cool a processor in our systems. The gamut runs from the stock cooling solution, all the way up to the slightly more exotic high-end air cooling, to water cooling, all the way up to super cooled liquid gases, such as nitrogen and helium. There is a solution for everyone in this wide range of products. You have the person who buys a pre-built computer that doesn't care or doesn't have any idea what the temperatures in that mundane box are, just so long as it works. That really is not the audience we are after. Again, the guys at the top end of the overclocking world are all about how much colder can the chip stay when searching for that last MHz. Again, probably not who's looking at the mid to high-end solutions. Then you have the ever growing field of enthusiasts that look for the best temperatures they can get for their performance dollar or someone just looking for better temperatures without breaking the bank.
In this middle ground, we have a cooling solution from CoolIT, the Vantage ALC (Advanced Liquid Cooling). This model looks to be a step up from the ECO A.L.C. we looked at just recently with added functionality and programmable performance modes instead of just a connection to the motherboard. The ECO A.L.C. was a great introduction to liquid cooling and I am curious to see if CoolIT has made improvements that allow the Vantage ALC exceed the performance of the ECO with the similar build up. Let's take a look at the Vantage and see.
Having just recently taken a look at CoolIT's ECO ALC cooling solution, the packaging on the Vantage is a major leap forward when it comes to shelf visibility and visual appeal. The ECO was simple and straight forward black and white while the Vantage has a cool blue and black theme with illustrations of the cooling solution and its functionality across all four panels. The front shows a shot of the Vantage with information about its ability to be upgraded, low noise signature, the six LED colors of the control panel and the universal retention mechanism. The rear shows the performance curves of settings, a picture illustrating the Vantage installed and both the AMD and Intel logos as the Vantage is compatible with both manufacturers latest sockets.The bottom panel lists the specifications and talks about the design elements that make the Vantage a superior cooling product.
Popping open the packaging shows the Vantage ALC is encased in a split foam block that easily protects it from the rigors of the current shipping environment. One side of the block contains the mounting system for AMD sockets and the back plates for use with Intel's latest sockets. Splitting the foam block yields the first glimpse of the Vantage ALC. The radiator and liquid transfer lines are wrapped in plastic.
The accessory bundle that comes with the CoolIT Vantage ALC is what you would expect with a higher-end cooling solution. You get the mounting hardware for all of the compatible sockets from both AMD and Intel, a set of screws to mount the radiator, a comprehensive manual and a tube of CoolIT's own proprietary thermal paste, 'PRO A.T.C.'. The Intel hardware comes pre-installed with the AMD hardware included. Swapping the hardware is a simple task that should take no more than a few minutes.
The packaging is only a prelude to looking at the CoolIT Vantage ALC.