Review: Small, good but very noisy
This article is also available in German.
Next week Cooler Master will release the new Vortex Plus Cooler. We got a chance to test this cooler before it enters the market.
The package states the cooler is fit for any recent socket, such as all AMD sockets and Intel since 775. Due to its very small design we doubt it's really able to handle CPUs with a TDP higher than 95W. Our tests will reveal, if we are correct. With its height of only 84mm (116 x 100 x 84 mm) this cooler will at least fit in small cases, but we doubt it's any competition to Scythe Shuriken which has only a height of 64mm.
The cooler has four 6mm heatpipes and are built in such way so they have direct contact with the CPU. Due to its small size you can't expect miracles, but for any-dual core CPU it will suffice.
MSI 790GX-GD70 (provided by MSI)
MSI P55-GD65 (provided by MSI)
AMD Phenom II X4 965 Black Edition (provided by AMD)
Intel Core i5 750 (provided by Intel)
Cooler Master Vortex Plus (provided by Cooler Master)
G.Skill 4GB Kit PC3-12800 (provided by G.Skill)
1333MHz CL7-7-7-21 CR1T 1.35V
MSI R4850-2D1G-OC (provided by MSI)
PC Power & Cooling Silencer 500W (provided by PC Power & Cooling)
Samsung F1 1000GB RAID-Edition (provided by Ditech)
Cooler Master Stacker 831 Lite (provided by Cooler Master)
Enviromental temperature: 21°C
As expected the fan is extremely loud when spinning with the maximum speed, which resulted in 2890rpm in our testbeds. On some boards the max. power consumption of 3.12W may also cause troubles. Setting the fan-speed to 50% inside the BIOS makes the fan almost inaudible. But at ~1500rpm you are limited to two cores or energy efficient CPUs.
The fan is specified with 35dB(A). We don't have a noise-proof soundbox to test the real noise-level, but our audio-meter showed about 50dB(A) in about 1m distance from the cooler.
As expected in the 790FX testbed with the Phenom II X4 965 Black Edition the temperatures under Prime95 exceed the maximum temperature specified by AMD. The i7-900 series is as hot as this CPU, so it would be wise not to use this cooler for such CPUs. Running just games, where the CPU cores are not at 100% load, the cooler is able to cool the CPU, but you have no headroom left for overclocking. If your board is able to reduce the VCore at 1.25V the cooler does well. The i5-750 gets not that hot, so even a nice overclock to 3.6GHz is possible. Still we do recommend not to use this cooler for CPUs with a TDP higher than 95W.
For such a small cooler the results are good. The only downside is the noisy fan. Cooler Master should do something about it and invest some resources to get the fan at lower noise-levels. The same cooler design with a 12cm fan would have faired much better. The cooler is not on the market yet, but the recommended retail price is €24,90 sounds like a bit too much. Similar products from Scythe and Arctic Cooling are available for about €15,-. If you need a small cooler for a small chassis to replace the box cooler, you may consider this cooler and change the fan, otherwise go with a cooler with a 12cm fan, which will provide better performance and lower noise.