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Reviewed by: Trevor Flynn [03.01.04]
Manufactured by: Vantec

Available Soon
MSRP: $24.99

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Houston We Have A Problem

Well actually make that problems. Right out of the box I could tell you that the Aeroflow 2, although new, is far from improved. The original P4 model never performed up to par with its Socket A counterpart because of one main reason; a reason that has not been rectified with the newer version. The copper core on the bottom of the Aeroflow is slightly raised as compared to the rest of the heatsink.  As the core is smaller than the top of the P4's heat spreader, only the very center of the core has any contact made with it.

Since socket A chips have a smaller raised core this is not an issue with the socket A version. It is however a HUGE issue with the P4 model. Now if that wasn't bad enough though, Vantec has actually made this problem worse with their newest model. As seen below, the "enhance 4-way aluminum fin design" is a little too enhanced, as it's to the point that it extends right into the CPU contact area.

The white square outline represents where a P4 CPU would make contact with the bottom of the heatsink. Now mind you, the area outside of the copper slug wasn't going to make much for contact without a nice layer of thermal paste anyway, but with the extension of the fins inwards Vantec has virtually guaranteed that there are going to be parts of the core without any type of heatskink contact at all. Geoff is starting to get antsy already!

But wait...that's not all! Now factor into the mix the huge motor on the 70mm fan which all but prevents any air from being pushed directly down onto the copper slug.  Add to that the large fan grill which, although pretty, makes it difficult to see any light coming through the bottom of the fan, let alone cool air. This seems to go directly against the engineering that made the original Aeroflow so popular.

But enough of my bitching. Let's let the numbers do the talking. We put the Aeroflow 2 up to task against it sibling the original Aeroflow. Now keep in mind that the original was seen as a bit of a failure for its poor performance, but worked well as a stock cooler. We've tested both coolers at idle and full load, both at stock settings and in an overclocked environment, because let's face it, why else are you considering an aftermarket cooler other than to overclock?

Testing was done using a P4 3.0C on a DFI Infinity I865 motherboard. Overclocked testing was done with the FSB raised to 250mhz (12x250) and the Vcore upped from 1.55V to 1.70V. Note that each heatsink was installed using a thin layer of the white thermal paste included by Vantec. Results may be slightly improved when using a quality aftermarket thermal compound.

Well there you have it.  With the Aeroflow 2, Vantec has basically taken a great socket A heatsink design, removed one of it's most innovative features, slapped a on a P4 retention mechanism and then played it off as new and improved. Hitting above 60C on a P4 at stock settings is just insane! The stock Intel cooler would do a better job than this thing. And then there's the overclocking...oh the humanity. Geoff has had to occupy himself with the Show Off Your Rig section as of late as we haven't been having much luck finding crap hardware to feed him. But no fears, the boy will not starve. I could no sooner get this sucker out of my test setup than it went straight down his gullet. Chow down old boy...chow down.

Fans of the Originl Aeroflow do not dispair. Thankfully, the Original Socket A Aeroflow is still one of the best coolers on the market, as long as you don't happen to be among the many who run into problems with their fan.

  • Not the absolute worst cooler I've ever seen
  • Simple and easy to install retention clips

  • Copper slug is raised and too small for a P4
  • Fins extend into CPU contact area
  • Large grill hampers airflow
  • 60C for a P4 running stock!!
  • It made the original socket A Aeroflow Cry out of shame...

Final Score: 45%