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


A Real Workout

First off, let me say that if you're allergic to a little bit of work, stop reading now and go look for a different cooler. No doubt the Vortex TX has one of the most labor intensive installations around. Since the retention mechanism requires a motherboard back plate to be installed, there is no way to get around having to remove your entire motherboard from your case before beginning.

For our P4 Socket 478 installation, the first thing we had to do was remove the standard plastic retention mechanism and then place four rubber washers over each of the mounting holes.

Then up was to screw on the proper socket 478 retention bracket and apply the tiny amount of thermal paste provided.

Finally, the entire unit is fastened securely onto the motherboard using the included screws/rubber washers/motherboard back plate.

The good news is that although the installation time in increased, the coolers footprint is not. With dimensions that fit pretty much within a standard P4 mechanism, running into transistors shouldn't be a problem.

Good to Go

A quick pic of the cooler installed before placement inside the case.

The Testing

The put the Vortex TX through its paces we matched it up against our reigning universal champion the Gigabyte 3D Rocket Cooler. All heatsinks were installed using the respective manufacturer's thermal compound that came with each cooler sample. CPU temperature readings were taken using the processor's built in thermal diodes and read using Abit's uGuru control panel. Ambient temperatures throughout testing were a constant 22-degree Celsius.

Testing on an Abit AI7 motherboard with the Vortex and stock cooler running at constant rpms, and the Gigabyte cooler running both at low (2000/2500 rpm) and high (4500/4000 rpm) speeds. Due to relatively high temperatures at stock speeds, overclocking testing was not completed.

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