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By: Trevor Flynn [04.18.05]
Manufactured by: Cooler Master


Noise Versus Performance

Ever since processor chips began producing more heat than what could be dissipated by a passive heatsink solution there has been the trade off which has to be made between cooler noise and cooler performance. As a rule the higher performing the cooler, the larger amount of noise it produces. The introduction of the Prescott processor has upped the ante even more by producing enough heat to bring older "performance" coolers to their knees.

In order to manage the increased performance needs of a Prescott chip while still keeping noise levels to a minimum, most manufacturers have been subscribing to the "bigger is better" theory.

The Little Cooler That Could?

The Vortex TX from Coolermaster that we will be looking at today attempts to offer a Prescott-ready, cooling solution that is not only silent, but also isn't a risk to rip your motherboard right out of its standoffs.

Before we get into the nitty gritty, here's a quick rundown of the Vortex TX's specs.  A complete listing can be found on Coolermasters website

Model No.: RR-UMR-P9U1
CPU Socket: A/370/462/478/754/939/940/LG775 ('s Universal)
Heatsink Dimensions: 88x88x35 mm
Fan Dimensions: 92x92x25mm
Fan Speed: 1800 ~ 3200 RPM (Controlled by PWM)
Airflow: 28.17 ~ 46.82 CFM
Air Pressure: 2.21 ~ 5.76 mmH2O
Noise Level: 26 ~ 36 dB(A)
Bearing Type: Rifle Bearing
Weight: 440 g (Without Fan)
Life Time: 40,000hrs

Some things to note here. First off is the fact that this cooler is absolutely universal. Secondly, the fan speed is controllable, but only if you have a motherboard with 4 pin PWM support. Otherwise it will run at a constant 2500 RPM when connected to a regular 3 pin fan header.

Deeeep Woods

The round 92mm fan is taller than most at 25mm which helps it to push more air at lower rpms.

Coolermaster squared off the sides of the all copper cooler's fins along the two outside edges which goes along way to help ensure that it will fit on virtually any motherboard no matter how tight some transistors may be.

The Bundle

The Vortex comes shipped with everything needed for you to install it on any available CPU socket. The only motherboards on which the Vortex will not work is older Socket A motherboards which do not include mounting holes.

Also included in the bundle is a Cooler Master "Gear" case badge as well as a very minimal instruction manual. Also the thermal paste comes in this nice little baggie and is just barely enough to cover the entire underside of the heatsink.

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