Companies are always trying to get consumers to buy new products aimed at the current “point of concern.” These days, it seems as though cooling and noise is the focal point. Our cases are no longer 1 fan cases that suffer from poor air circulation, our video cards have MONSTER heatsinks on them, our CPU’s are adorned in copper and CFM’s, but our hard drives remain naked; dressed in nothing but their simple enclosures. Hard drives have never really been a focus of cooling for many until recently. This is evident with the introduction of SATA and hard drives that spin upwards of 10,000 RPM’s. Vantec, along with a slew of other companies, claim that their products can improve hard drive cooling over the simple mounting in most cases.
Simple mounting in most computer enclosures place the hard drive at the front lower area of the case. Nine times out of ten this is where the intake fans are located in properly cooled cases. With this configuration in place the intake fans not only feed cool air into the computer, but they also provide cooling for the hard drives placed in front of them. Many cases today do not put top notch fans in these areas, and in even more cases most people do not populate them with fans that give you improved performance at less noise. A good example of intake fans cooling hard drives would be to look at the Lian Li series of cases, the Chieftec series, Cooler Master, and even most inexpensive cases. Most of the Lian Li line uses dual 80mm cooling fans up front. We will see if this Vantec Vortex can match up against standard cooling situations in REAL WORLD USAGE.
To clarify, I use the terms real world usage. This, to me, means what the average user will experience in day to day computing. This also means that I will not be copying 4 gig files back and forth to keep the hard drive spinning at all times. It simply means that I will play games, watch movies, download music (yeah? I support them too), defragment, boot, shutdown, and in simpler words; JUST USE THE DAMNED MACHINE.
Now, Vantec has chosen to distribute this product in two different colors. They offer the Vortex in black and silver. Obviously these are the two primary colors of most high end cases, but why does everyone leave out the beige bombers? Well, aside from the lack of respect for the beige bombers, the black and silver will match most cases without any noticeable color differential.
Included in the nicely decorated box are your very well packaged Vantec Vortex, a user manual, and a package containing 2 sets of screws, and 2 more filters. There is one filter already in place in the unit.
In the front of the unit you are greeted with your LCD and filter door. Located right below your LCD is the button that controls all the functions that your Vortex has to offer. Simply pressing the button switches the fan from its default speed of off to high or low, depending on what your preferences are. If you wish to view your temps in Fahrenheit instead of the default Celsius you will have to hold the button down for approximately 5 seconds. The simple fact that you can control every function of the unit from one button is a great idea, especially for those of us that hate trying to find which button you want to hit.