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[nextpage title=”Introduction”]

Today we are benchmarking Cooler Master Vortex Plus CPU cooler, which has a horizontal heatsink, four heatipes and a 92-mm fan. Let’s check out its performance!

Vortex Plus seems to be an evolution of Vortex 752 from the same manufacturer, using four heatpipes instead of only two. This new cooler also seems to use the same fan found on Cooler Master Hyper TX3.

The box of the cooler is relatively small and uses the same color pattern used on newer cooler models from this brand.

Cooler Master Vortex PlusFigure 1: Box.

Inside the box we found the heatsink, fan, user manual, installation hardware and a tube of thermal compound.

Cooler Master Vortex PlusFigure 2: Box contents.

In Figure 3 you can have a general view of Vortex Plus heatsink, which does not come with the fan installed.

Cooler Master Vortex PlusFigure 3: Vortex Plus.

In the next pages we will analyse this cooler in detail.

[nextpage title=”Cooler Master Vortex Plus”]

In Figure 4, you can see the front of the cooler. Note it has two independent heatsinks, one at the base and one on the top, which is connected to the base through four heatpipes.

Cooler Master Vortex PlusFigure 4: Front view.

In Figure 5 you have a side view of the cooler, where you can check the shape of the heatpipes.

Cooler Master Vortex PlusFigure 5: Side view.

In Figure 6, you can see the back of the cooler. We did not like the position of the heatpipes at the base: they don’t pass by the center of the base, which is the are from the CPU where most of the heat is generated.

Cooler Master Vortex PlusFigure 6: Rear view.

[nextpage title=”Cooler Master Vortex Plus (Cont’d)”]

In Figure 7, you can see the base of the cooler, with a smooth but not mirror-like finishing. As we said before, there is no reason for the heatpipes be closer to the edges of the base rather than on its center.

Cooler Master Vortex PlusFigure 7: Base.

The 92-mm fan is the same model used on Hyper TX3, with automatic PWM speed control.

Cooler Master Vortex PlusFigure 8: Fan.

[nextpage title=”Installation”]

Installation of Vortex Plus is relatively simple, because there is no need to remove the motherboard from the case. First, you need to attach two clips to the motheboard, using pegs similar to Intel stock cooler’s. In Figure 9, you can see these clips in place.

Cooler Master Vortex PlusFigure 9: Clips installed on the motherboard.

Then put the cooler in place and attach it to the clip, using only one screw.

Cooler Master Vortex PlusFigure 10: Coolr installed on the motherboard.

After that you need to install the fan on the cooler, as you can check in Figure 11.

Cooler Master Vortex PlusFigure 11: Fan installed.

In Figure 12, you can see the cooler installed in our case.

Cooler Master Vortex PlusFigure 12: Installed in our case.

[nextpage title=”How We Tested”]

We are adopting the following methodology for our CPU cooler reviews.

First, we chose the CPU with the highest TDP (Thermal Design Power) we had available, a Core 2 Extreme QX6850, which has a 130 W TDP. The choice for a CPU with a high TDP is obvious. To measure the efficiency of the tested cooler, we need a processor that gets very hot. This CPU works by default at 3.0 GHz, but we overclocked it to 3.33 GHz, in order to heat it as much as possible.

We took noise and temperature measurements with the CPU idle and under full load. In order to achieve 100% CPU load on the four processing cores we ran Prime95 with the "In-place Large FFTs" option, and three instances of the StressCPU program, all at the same time.

We also compared the reviewed cooler to the Intel stock cooler (with copper base), which comes with the processor we used, and also with some other coolers we have tested using the same methodology.

Temperature measurements were taken with a digital thermometer, with the sensor touching the base of the cooler, and also with the core temperature reading (given by the CPU thermal sensor) from the from the SpeedFan progra
m, using an arithmetic average of the four core temperature readings.

The sound pressure level (SPL) was measured with a digital noise meter, with its sensor placed 4" (10 cm) from the fan. We turned off the video board cooler so it wouldn’t interfere with the results, but this measurement is only for comparative purposes, because a precise SPL measurement needs to be made inside an acoustically insulated room with no other noise sources, which is not the case here.

Hardware Configuration

  • Processor: Core 2 Extreme QX6850
  • Motherboard: Gigabyte EP45-UD3L
  • Memory: 4 GB G.Skill F2-6400CL5S-2GBNY (DDR2-800/PC2-6400 with 5-5-5-15 timings), configured at 800 MHz
  • Hard drive: 1 TB Seagate Barracuda 7200.12 (ST31000528AS, SATA-300, 7200 rpm, 32 MB buffer)
  • Video card: PNY Verto Geforce 9600 GT
  • Video resolution: 1680×1050
  • Video monitor: Samsung Syncmaster 2232BW Plus
  • Power supply required: Seventeam ST-350BKV
  • Case: 3RSystem K100

Software Configuration

  • Windows XP Professional SP3

Software Used

Error Margin

We adopted a 2 °C error margin, i.e., temperature differences below 2 °C are considered irrelevant.

[nextpage title=”Our Tests”]

On the tables below you can see our results. We ran the same tests with the coolers shown on below tables. Each test ran with the CPU idle and then with the CPU fully loaded. On BigTyp 14Pro, TMG IA1, NH-U12P and ISGC-300 the tests were done with the fan at full speed and at minimum speed. The other coolers were connected directly to the motherboard and it controls the fan speed based on CPU load level and temperature on PWM models. ISGC-400, iCEAGE Prima Boss, Megahalems Rev. B, Thermaltake SpinQ VT, Zalman CNPS10X Flex, Tuniq Tower 120 Extreme, Tuniq Propeller 120 and Zalman VF2000 LED were tested at minimum speed on idle test and at maximum speed on full load test.

CPU Idle

Cooler Room Temp. Noise Fan Speed Base Temp. Core Temp.
Intel stock 14 °C 44 dBA 1000 rpm 31 °C 42 °C
BigTyp 14Pro (min) 17 °C 47 dBA 880 rpm 29 °C 36 °C
BigTyp 14Pro (max) 17 °C 59 dBA 1500 rpm 26 °C 34 °C
Akasa Nero 18 °C 41 dBA 500 rpm 26 °C 35 °C
Cooler Master V10 14 °C 44 dBA 1200 rpm 21 °C 26 °C
TMG IA1 (max) 16 °C 47 dBA 1500 rpm 22 °C 30 °C
TMG IA1 (min) 16 °C 57 dBA 2250 rpm 21 °C 30 °C
Zalman CNPS10X Extreme 16 °C 44 dBA 1200 rpm 21 °C 29 °C
Thermaltake ISGC-100 18 °C 44 dBA 1450 rpm 35 °C 49 °C
Noctua NH-U12P (low) 15 °C 42 dBA 1000 rpm 20 °C 30 °C
Noctua NH-U12P 15 °C 46 dBA 1400 rpm 20 °C 28 °C
Noctua NH-C12P 17 °C 46 dBA 1400 rpm 23 °C 28 °C
Thermaltake ISGC-200 21 °C 43 dBA 1100 rpm 31 °C 35 °C
Schythe Kabuto 22 °C 42 dBA 800 rpm 29 °C 34 °C
Arctic Cooling Alpine 11 Pro 20 °C 43 dBA 1500 rpm 32 °C 39 °C
ISGC-300 (min) 18 °C 42 dBA 800 rpm 26 °C 30 °C
ISGC-300 (max) 18 °C 46 dBA 1400 rpm 24 °C 26 °C
SilverStone NT06-E 21 °C 66 dBA 2600 rpm 30 °C 41 °C
Zalman CNPS9700 NT 22 °C 48 dBA 1700 rpm 28 °C 35 °C
Scythe Mugen-2 17 °C 41 dBA 700 rpm 25 °C 30 °C
ISGC-400 (min) 17 °C 44 dBA 850 rpm 24 °C 30 °C
Cooler Master Vortex 752 20 °C 48 dBA 1700 rpm 32 °C 44 °C
iCEAGE Prima Boss (min) 22 °C 42 dBA 1000 rpm 29 °C 36 °C
Evercool Buffalo 17 °C 51 dBA 1850 rpm 22 °C 29 °C
Scythe Big Shuriken 20 °C 42 dBA 900 rpm 31 °C 39 °C
Cooler Master Hyper TX3 21 °C 44 dBA 1700 rpm 30 °C 39 °C
Titan Skalli 20 °C 43 dBA 1200 rpm 27 °C 34 °C
Prolimatech Megahalems Rev. B 21 °C 40 dBA 800 rpm 28 °C 32 °C
Zalman CNPS9900 NT 23 °C 45 dBA 900 rpm 30 °C 34 °C
Cooler Master Hyper N620 21 °C 44 dBA 1200 rpm 28 °C 34 °C
Nexus LOW-7000 R2 23 °C 46 dBA 1400 rpm 33 °C 42 °C
Evercool HPK-10025EA 20 °C 54 dBA 1900 rpm 27 °C 34 °C
Evercool HPH-9525EA 23 °C 50 dBA 1900 rpm 38 °C 49 °C
iCEAGE Prima Boss II 23 °C 42 dBA 1000 rpm 29 °C 35 °C
Thermaltake SpinQ VT 24 °C 45 dBA 950 rpm 32 °C 39 °C
Titan Fenrir 21 °C 42 dBA 950 rpm 29 °C 35 °C
Zalman CNPS 10 Flex 23 °C 40 dBA 800 rpm 32 °C 39 °C
Tuniq Tower 120 Extreme 24 °C 43 dBA 1100 rpm 30 °C 37 °C
Gelid Tranquillo 22 °C 41 dBA 850 rpm 29 °C 36 °C
Cooler Master Hyper 212 Plus 20 °C 45 dBA 1200 rpm 27 °C 35 °C
Spire TherMax Eclipse 20 °C 58 dBA 2300 rpm 25 °C 34 °C
Tuniq Propeller 120 20 °C 43 dBA 1050 rpm 24 °C 33 °C
Nexus VCT-9000 20 °C 44 dBA 600 rpm 28 °C 37 °C
Coolink Corator DS 19 °C 45 dBA 1050 rpm 25 °C 32 °C
CoolIT ECO 17 °C 43 dBA 900 rpm 32 °C
Zalman VF2000 LED 17 °C 43 dBA 1300 rpm 28 °C 36 °C
Cooler Master Vortex Plus 17 °C 45 dBA 1400 rpm 23 °C 34 °C

CPU Fully Loaded

Cooler Room Temp. Noise Fan Speed Base Temp. Core Temp.
Intel stock 14 °C 48 dBA 1740 rpm 42 °C 100 °C
BigTyp 14Pro (min) 17 °C 47 dBA 880 rpm 43 °C 77 °C
BigTyp 14Pro (max) 17 °C 59 dBA 1500 rpm 35 °C 70 °C
Akasa Nero 18 °C 48 dBA 1500 rpm 34 °C 68 °C
Cooler Master V10 14 °C 54 dBA 1900 rpm 24 °C 52 °C
TMG IA1 (max) 16 °C 47 dBA 1500 rpm 27 °C 63 °C
TMG IA1 (min) 16 °C 57 dBA 2250 rpm 25 °C 60 °C
Zalman CNPS10X Extreme 16 °C 51 dBA 1900 rpm 24 °C 50 °C
Thermaltake ISG-100 18 °C 50 dBA 1800 rpm 58 °C 93 °C
Noctua NH-U12P (low) 15 °C 42 dBA 1000 rpm 28 °C 59 °C
Noctua NH-U12P 15 °C 46 dBA 1400 rpm 25 °C 54 °C
Noctua NH-C12P 17 °C 46 dBA 1400 rpm 37 °C 76 °C
Thermaltake ISGC-200 21 °C 48 dBA 1900 rpm 42 °C 68 °C
Scythe Kabuto 22 °C 47 dBA 1200 rpm 38 °C 63 °C
Arctic Cooling Alpine 11 Pro 20 °C 51 dBA 2300 rpm 49 °C 85 °C
ISGC-300 (min) 18 °C 42 dBA 800 rpm 36 °C 64 °C
ISGC-300 (max) 18 °C 46 dBA 1400 rpm 31 °C 56 °C
SilverStone NT06-E 21 °C 66 dBA 2600 rpm 39 °C 96 °C
Zalman CNPS9700 NT 22 °C 56 dBA 2600 rpm 34 °C 63 °C
Scythe Mugen-2 17 °C 46 dBA 1300 rpm 28 °C 54 °C
ISGC-400 (max) 17 °C 47 dBA 1400 rpm 36 °C 69 °C
Cooler Master Vortex 752 20 °C 55 dBA 2300 rpm 48 °C 92 °C
iCEAGE Prima Boss (max) 22 °C 53 dBA 2000 rpm 35 °C 59 °C
Evercool Buffalo 17 °C 51 dBA 1850 rpm 32 °C 67 °C
Scythe Big Shuriken 20 °C 50 dBA 1500 rpm 51 °C 85 °C
Cooler Master Hyper TX3 21 °C 53 dBA 2700 rpm 39 °C 66 °C
Titan Skalli 20 °C 47 dBA 1550 rpm 37 °C 69 °C
Prolimatech Megahalems Rev. B 21 °C 61 dBA 2600 rpm 30 °C 51 °C
Zalman CNPS9900 NT 23 °C 56 dBA 2000 rpm 34 °C 54 °C
Cooler Master Hyper N620 21 °C 50 dBA 1650 rpm 32 °C 56 °C
Nexus LOW-7000 R2 23 °C 53 dBA 1900 rpm 45 °C 74 °C
Evercool HPK-10025EA 20 °C 54 dBA 1900 rpm 39 °C 69 °C
Evercool HPH-9525EA 23 °C 50 dBA 1900 rpm 58 °C 100 °C
iCEAGE Prima Boss II 23 °C 56 dBA 2100 rpm 32 °C 56 °C
Thermaltake SpinQ VT 24 °C 52 dBA 1500 rpm 40 °C 68 °C
Titan Fenrir 21 °C 50 dBA 1600 rpm 33 °C 58 °C
Zalman CNPS 10 Flex 23 °C 61 dBA 2600 rpm 33 °C 59 °C
Tuniq Tower 120 Extreme 24 °C 56 dBA 1900 rpm 35 °C 60 °C
Gelid Tranquillo 22 °C 46 dBA 1450 rpm 31 °C 60 °C
Cooler Master Hyper 212 Plus 20 °C 52 dBA 1900 rpm 32 °C 64 °C
Spire TherMax Eclipse 20 °C 58 dBA 2300 rpm 29 °C 73 °C
Tuniq Propeller 120 20 °C 55 dBA 1900 rpm 36 °C 68 °C
Nexus VCT-9000 20 °C 50 dBA 850 rpm 43 °C 88 °C
Coolink Corator DS 19 °C 56 dBA 1800 rpm 32 °C 62 °C
CoolIT ECO 17 °C 54 dBA 1850 rpm 62 °C
Zalman NF2000 LED 17 °C 51 dBA 2200 rpm 43 °C 97 °C
Cooler Master Vortex Plus 17 °C 57 dBA 2700 rpm 33 °C 78 °C

The next graph shows how many degrees Celsius the CPU core was hotter than room temperature during our idle tests.

 Cooler Master Vortex Plus

The next graph gives you an idea on how many degrees Celsius the CPU core was hotter than room temperature during our full load tests.

 Cooler Master Vortex Plus

[nextpage title=”Main Specifications”]

Cooler Master Vortex Plus main features are:

  • Application: Socket LGA775, 1156, 1366, AM3, AM2+, AM2, 940, 939 and 754 processors.
  • Fins: Aluminum.
  • Base: Aluminum, with heatpipes touching the CPU.
  • Heat-pipes: Four copper heat-pipes.
  • Fan: 92 mm.
  • Nominal fan speed: 2,800 rpm.
  • Fan air flow: 54.8 cfm.
  • Maximum power consumption: 3.12 W.
  • Nominal noise level: 35 dBA.
  • Weight: 15.7 oz (445 g).
  • More information: https://www.coolermaster.com
  • Average price in the US*: USD 30.00

* Researched at Newegg.com on the day we published this review.

[nextpage title=”Conclusions”]

Vortex Plus is not a cooler targeted to overclockers and enthusiasts. Its main audience are computers mounted in SFF or HTPC (Home Theater PC) cases. It is relatively inexpensive if compared to top notch coolers.

With this in mind the conclusion we get is that it is a mid-range cooler compared to other products with the same target-audience. It is important to consider, however, that Vortex Plus achieved better performance than its predecessor, Vortex 752.

It was noisy when our CPU was under full load, but since it will probably be used with lower TDP processors this may not be a problem (its noise level when the CPU was idle was low).

In summary, if you need a relatively inexpensive CPU cooler to use in an SFF case you can think about Vortex Plus. If this is not your case, look for another option.