Vizo Propeller System Cooler Review
Reviewed by: Propane
Reviewed on: April 25, 2008
Price: USD 18.99
All computers since the beginning of their history have had to face the problem of heat. This heat can force computers to run at a slower speed or less efficiently than they otherwise might, and in extreme cases, could cause the computers to stop functioning all together. Knowing this, people who build computers, and even more so people who overclock computers, need to be conscious of this heat and take steps to reduce the heat in their systems. Many products have been made to help with this.
One of these products is the Vizo Propeller. The idea with the Propeller is not a new one but is still a pretty cool idea. It works by occupying an empty expansion slot in your case and then uses a turbine style fan to expel air out of the case. The design is very similar to a scaled down version of what is seen now on high end video cards.
The Vizo Propeller comes in a plastic casing that allows you to see the product through the case. This case lists some of what the product can do, and has the name large and in top center. Also, the case is easily opened by just peeling the two sides apart which is very nice compared to the style of casing that needs scissors to open.
Opening the package reveals the actual product, as simple as it is. The plastic casing, which acts as a chute for the air to leave the case through, is colored blue and is not very long. The product name and Propeller, is also placed on the plastic.
As you can see, the fan is not a traditional fan with large blades, but the “turbine” type which shoots air out in a radial fashion, which should allow the Propeller to shoot more air out of the case faster. On the fan’s center, Vizo is stamped.
Included with the Vizo Propeller is a small set of screws. These screws aren’t quite large enough to allow you to screw the device into an expansion slot, but are the right size to attach the plastic part to the metal bracket part. I’m not sure why Vizo decided to include these screws since the bracket is the only one included and comes attached, but they do.
- Fit in an expansion slot
- Blower fan provides the maximum airflow and air pressure
- Exhaust hot air out of your PC chassis and keep your system components / VGA card cool
- Make your system / VGA card work with excellent performance
- Low dBA level
- Easy to install
- Dimensions : 131.7 x 87.4 x 22.5 mm
- Fan Dimensions : 65 x 65 x 15 mm
- Speed : 1500 R.P.M.
- Bearing Type : Long-Life Bearing
- Noise Level : < 20 dBA
- Max Air Flow : 5.34 CFM
- Rated Voltage : DC 12 V
- Weight : 120g
- Life Time : 40,000 Hours
Lets take a look at how the Vizo Propeller performs in a real world application.
Installing the Vizo Propeller in my computer was very easy. All I had to do was take out one of the expansion slot blanks that protect the inside of the case from dust and drop the Propeller in. Screwing in the fan was a little difficult because the hole in the case and the hole in the Propeller didn’t exactly line up, requiring me to screw the screw in slightly sideways.
When all of that is set up, the final step is to plug the fan into the molex connecter from your power supply. If you don’t do this, your fan won’t spin and, depending on how your current air flow is set up, might cause the propeller to act as an intake, sucking in dust and other debris. Just be sure to plug in the fan so you avoid sucking things in and get the entire benefit of this product.
As the installation pictures show, the Vizo Propeller will have a limited effect on the temperatures inside my case. In fact, the only component that the Propeller will really affect the airflow around at all is the video card. To test the Propeller’s effectiveness, I will use an IR thermometer to measure the temperature on the front and back of the card. In addition I will use the temperature readings from Nvidia's own ntune utility for additional temperature verification to see if the Propeller does provide a benefit. These temperatures will then be reported in the graphs bellow.
- Processor: Intel Core2Duo E6600 Processor
- Motherboard: Gigabyte GA EX38-DQ6 Motherboard
- Ram: 2048MB G.Skill HZ RAM
- Video Card: eVGA 8800GTS 640MB Video Card
- Power Supply: GameXtreme 700w Power Supply
- Hard Drive: Western Digital 74GB Raptor
- Hard Drive: Western Digital 500GB Caviar
- Optical Drive: Sony Optical Drive
- Case: Antec Sonata II Mid-tower Case
- Primary Testing OS: Windows Vista Ultimate
- Mouse: Saitek GM3200 Laser Mouse
As the results indicate, the Propeller did not have much of an effect on the idle temperatures of the video card, however the load temperatures were slightly improved. An explanation for this is that the Propeller was causing more air to flow through it than the 8800GTS’s cooling system. Then, when the video card started to heat up, it’s cooling system started to run faster, pulling more air.
While increasing the cooling capacity of your computer is a very important thing to do, the Vizo Propeller is not a one size fits all solution. The expansion slot type of cooling fan has been around for quite a while. Is the Vizo Propeller an improvement over the many that have come before it? Well it does the same thing but it blows out instead of bringing in cool air to cool a component. The Propeller does provide a small benefit by increasing air flow through a part of the case that rarely is ventilated properly. At stock loads there is no benefit to the Propeller. Measured with the IR thermometer the outside of the card was slightly warmer with the Propeller than without it. The Load testing had mixed results. The front of the card was warmer while the temperature of the rear of the video card decreased. Monitoring the GPU temperatures in ntune showed a decease of 2 degrees Celsius. While small, there is a benefit and temperature decrease with the use of the Propeller during heavy GPU usage. While it does allow a fan to be placed in your case where a traditional fan might not, a well ventilated case may not see a decrease in expansion card operating temperatures. Pushing only 5.3 CFM there is not a whole lot of airflow there fore cooling improvement to be had. In the cases that the vast majority of the non high performance computing crowd uses the benefit could very well make the Vizo propeller a worthwhile investment.
- Allows access to hard to reach areas
- Molex only power connector
- Not a lot of airflow