by Rob Williams on January 27, 2006 in Air-Cooling
Keeping your hard drive at a healthy temperature is essential in prolonging it’s life, and in keeping your data safe. We are taking a look at another Vantec HDD cooler called the Vortex 2, and I have high hopes for this one.
To test the Vortex 2, I used both HD Tach and HD Tune. HD Tach was run to benchmark the hard drive, putting a lot of stress on it to help heat it up. At the same time, I ran the disk benchmarking tool in HD Tune. HD Tune is also how I grabbed the temperatures.
By the design of this cooler, you’d expect that it would work best in a case that is open in the front, so that it can grab cool air to suck in. The case I currently use has a door on it, and I usually keep it shut. I have taken temperatures with the door open and closed, to give you a general idea of what to expect with your case.
Intel Test bed
- CPU: Pentium D 820 @ 2.8GHz
- Motherboard: ASUS P5WD2 Premium w/ 0606 BIOS
- Memory: OCZ 1GB Gold PC2-5400 XTC
- Video: eVGA 7800GT 256MB PCI-E
- Sound: Realtek HD Audio
- Storage: WD 200GB 7200 8MB
- Odds and Ends: D-Link WiFi PCI Card
- Etcetera: Windows XP Professional SP2, Windows x64 Professional SP1, NVIDIA 81.98 Drivers
“Normal Case Cooling” is not really cooling at all, as the HDD is installed with no fans aiding in the temperature. 54°C is a little high for my liking, and that’s what my HDD hit prior to installing the cooler. With the cooler installed and the lowest fan setting in action, the highest temp I could make it reach matched the idle temp without the cooler.. nice!
Testing with the blower at the highest speed, it didn’t really make a difference whether the door was open or closed, which is good. Since the absolute high was 37°C, that cuts 17°C off the highest temp without the cooler. It’s clearly evident how much of a difference this cooler makes.
Most times when I complete a review, I usually pull the hardware out next time I’m in the PC, because I hate extra stuff getting in the way. This one is a huge exception because it works so well. Not only is it a superb looking cooler, it knocked 17°C off of our previous high! After straining my brain (not hard to do) trying to find a fault in the Vortex 2, I came up empty handed. The price for the Vortex 2 is $29.99US, which is slightly higher than expected, but that is due to this including a crossflow blower instead of a mini-fan.
The noise level from the cooler is nothing to worry about at the low fan setting. When you bump it up all the way though, it’s as loud as you’d expect, with a very audible whirring. Paired with this ultra-loud stock Intel cooler I’m using, it’s not so bad :)
I am awarding the Vortex 2 a well deserved 9/10 and our Editors Choice award.