Setting The Stage For Testing
Here's the test, to find out how the Vantec cooler holds up against some other coolers out there. Here are the entrants into the test facilities.
- Vantec FCE - 62540D
- Thermosonic Thermoengine w/ Delta Black Label fan
- Global Win FOP-32
Why those 3 coolers? Well, for one, I've got them here, so that's a bonus. But aside from that, they're also 2 of the more popular coolers around. The Thermoengine is popular because it's been the best cooler available for a while, and then the FOP-32 is popular because it's reasonably quiet and a solid cooler to boot.
When I got the Vantec cooler my first impression was "it's the FOP-32 again", which it REALLY does resemble extremely closely. Only the Vantec is a LOT heftier in both dimensions and mass. This should help it out in cooling, but the numbers coming up shall show there.
When I got around to testing these heat sinks, It was an EXTREMELY hot day in town, and since we hadn't been running the air conditioner in the house for some reason, it was extremely hot inside the room. (Over 26C to be somewhat precise, and for those of you who dislike the metric system, that translates to a room temp of 82F or so.) The higher temps meant that the system would have readings that were that much higher, and meaning that the heat sinks would be tested that much harder.
The Test Bed:
- Asus A7V Motherboard
- Tbird 800 (blue-core) @ 1GHz 1.85V
- 256MB RAM
- All Heat sinks were tested with Arctic Silver 1 on them and the core, and the CPU was cleaned thoroughly between tests.
- Some more stuff not really that critical to the CPU testing areas.
- Thermosonic Thermoengine Black version with Delta Black Label fan
- Vantec FCE - 62540D with Delta Black Label fan
- Global Win FOP-32 (plain silver version) With YS Tech 26 cfm fan
Thermoengine: It is a toughie to install, as has been stated by many people. A screwdriver is necessary to aid installation and un-installs as well. Care must be taken, as this is a HEAVY Cooler, and with the design, could damage a Tbirds core.
Vantec: Was the easiest to install, and went on without too much work. The cooler was notably lighter than the Thermoengine, but a fair bit heavier than the FOP32. If any care is taken during installs, I don't see this cooler hurting too may Tbird cores.
FOP-32: Well, most people are familiar with the Global Win clip of infamy. It's not the greatest. But I used it for 6 months straight, so I have gotten used to attaching it. It was by far the lightest of the bunch, and was not that much of a risk to use.
IDLE: install the heat sink, let windows boot and let it sit till temps stabilize.
HOT: After IDLE temps are reached, crank up some CPU intensive applications to see just how hot it can get. Final temperatures were taken after stabilization, usually around 1 hour into the test. (application: Prime95)
Motherboard: Temp was taken from motherboard monitor, and it was taken at the same time as the CPU temp was.
Room: Taken with a standalone temp monitor, from about 5' from the tower. Used to make sure ambient temps didn't change that much during the tests.
|Vantec W/ Delta 38
|FOP 32-1 (YS Tech 26cfm fan)
Well, as I Was expecting, the Thermoengine still won the test against the Vantec. So the Thermoengine is the better cooler than the Vantec, but it didn't surpass it by that much. The Vantec was awfully close at only 1C off. However, this does NOT come without some caveats.
The Vantec cooler is going for around $20 from many locations online, and that's with the delta black label fan, whereas the Thermoengine is going for closer to 30$ with their stock 16 cfm fan. It comes in at more like $35-$40 with a delta fan installed on it. Making a much more expensive solution for cooling.
As for the installs, I found the Vantec to be a much more workable unit, and went on easier (and much easier to take off later) than the Thermoengine was, not to mention the clip was easier to work with by hand. The FOP was more cumbersome to work with than the others, due to clip design, but was a softer feel to it.
One last thing with any performance heat sink is noise concerns. Since both of these better coolers use the Delta fan on them, well, they sound a lot like a hair dryer in your case. They work VERY well, but they're loud as hell by any standards. The FOP-32 is the only cooler I used that didn't have the delta on it; it came with a YS Tech 26 cfm fan onboard. While not that quiet a fan, it would seem to be silent when you're used to a delta sitting next to you. I had forgotten what a quiet case was, as I had gotten used to the loud whirr of the delta next to me, as soon as I popped the FOP back into my case I wondered if it was working, because it wasn't deafening me.
The results of the test?
Well, there's no clear-cut winner.
All out power: Thermoengine. It had the best temps of all the heat sinks.
Best Bargain: Vantec. It costs about half of what the Thermoengine costs, and its really close in performance.
Installation: Vantec. The clip was a lot easier to use than the other two, and the large flat base made installation easier than the Thermoengine.
Noise: Well, the FOP had this from the beginning. It is SO much quieter than the other two contestants. It doesn't even play fair, It probably cheats.
Value: Vantec. Its about the same pricing level as the FOP-32, and half of what the Thermoengine runs. Then it performs almost as well as the Thermoengine. It is definitely the winner here.