Date: October 12, 2005
Author(s): Rob Williams
You have expensive toys, and want to prolong the life of them as much as possible. One of the best ways to do this is to take extra steps to keep your components cool. Antec has a solution for your video card, a double slot cooler. They say that use of the VCool can decrease your GPU’s temperature between 5°C and 15°C!
If you have a nice video card, you are likely already aware how much heat they can generate. In fact, I believe my GPU is one of the reasons my room is so hot all the time. Antec comes to us with a solution, one that does not even require you to modify your card whatsoever. Instead, this is a double slot solution that implements a very basic idea. Before we go further, let’s quickly check out a quick bio of Antec:
So what can Antec do for you? That depends on who you are. If you’re a computer user, and you’d like to upgrade your existing computer or build a new one yourself, we’ve got the computer cases, power supplies, cooling fans, lighting components, and accessories that you need. If you’re a system builder or VAR, we’ll help you deliver reliable and cost-effective systems to your customers. And if you’re a retailer, we’ll help you reach an explosively growing market: namely, do-it-yourself computer users who enjoy building and upgrading their own computers.
Installation of the VCool is extremely simple, all you require are two open slots in your computer. Because of the ‘easy’ design of the slots in the Titan Robela, I had to mod a little to get the VCool to fit. If your computer uses the standard screw premise to install your cards, you will have zero issues.
The basic idea of the the cooler is to suck cold air in from the outside, and blow it down towards your card. If you use the fan in reverse, it could be used to suck warm air away from the card, which may benefit you depending on your setup.
The design is one that I like.. it’s very customizable. You can face the fan up and down, depending on where you place it in your computer. You can also extend the entire unit with the included piece. To go along with the cool blue theme, the VCool also includes a bright blue LED.
The molex connector is also dual sided, so that you will not lose an available molex when installing this. Another feature is the ability to control fan speed from the back of the unit, which include the standard Low, Medium and High. Here are the specs for the unit, and also the fan speeds:
Since my system is currently being water cooled, that will definitely have an affect towards the guarantee of the product. It’s meant to be used with air set-ups, so there is no way my results will be as good as it would be if I were on air. Please bear that in mind.
I first installed the VCool above the video card, so that it blows cool air against the back. I didn’t expect this to do much good, but it was worth a try. After that, I turned the fan around, and then mounted it to blow air up at the card, which targeted the block and memory heatsinks.
As I expected, the fan pointing at the back of the card didn’t do much, but I’m certainly happy with a 3ÂºC decrease in temperature. I had also figured, that on high speed the card would actually remain the same temp or hotter, which it did. The card rose 1ÂºC with the fan on high, for whatever reason.
I didn’t expect much to happen with the fan blowing upwards either, due to the water cooling. I was surprised though, when I seen an even bigger decrease in temps, than the other way. Even with a water block there, it helped keep it even cooler than before! One thing is for sure.. the fan definitely helps keep the memory heatsinks cool, which is another huge plus. If the VCool was used with an air set-up like it’s meant to be, I could see this going real far.
Overall, the VCool is a great product, especially since it’s very inexpensive. Using the cooler underneath, blowing air up at my card ended up taking off 4ÂºC off the load temps. Nothing major, but my 7800GT hits a max load of 47Â°C! This is a good showing from Antec, and well deserves our 9/10 and an Editors Choice award. The only reason it did not get a perfect score, is because this is a two slot cooler, that was hard to install in my case. If you have a similar case, with easy pull slots, it will be difficult to install. This would have been made much simpler if the large metal piece had a notch in the middle of it, to emulate two separate cards.
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