Patriot Memory’s Vortex Cooling System

Overall Score

Overclocking is a way of life for many of the readers of XCPUS.com.  Why else would you be a part of a community whose website has xtreme in it?  We are always looking for ways to push our hardware to the max.  But, at the same time, most of us are not looking to void the warranties that go along with our precious gear.

Cooling the CPU, GPU’s and chipsets is a no brainer.  You either invest in a watercooling setup or move for strictly aircooling.  Either way, you never really void your warranty.  When it comes to RAM you have the same options, water or air.  If you’re going to go the water route, you must remove the RAMsinks installed by the factory in order to accomplish this task.  That will usually void your warranty and that is something that most of do not want to do. 

So, that leaves you with aircooling.  With air cooling you will run into the same problems, removing the heat spreaders.  Other active RAM coolers offer a mounting module and fans and can be somewhat large and often tacky.  That’s where we run into Patriot Memory’s Vortex.

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Patriot Memory gives you all the information you want to know about their new active RAM coolers.  The Vortex cooling solution comes with 2 40mm fans with blue leds and a 4-pin molex connector.  It offers up to 30% cooling performance and comes with a 3 year warranty.  On the next page we’ll take a closer look at just what you get.

 

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The first thing I noticed right away was the small form factor that the Vortex RAM cooler carried.  Compared to the OCZ XTC cooler seen below, it is much smaller and a lot easier to fit in tighter places.

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Moving on, here are some different angle shots of the Vortex memory cooler.

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Unlike the XTC RAM cooler from OCZ, the Patriot Memory Vortex cooler does not get in the way of some larger graphics cards when mounted in certain motherboards.  For example, in my Striker II Extreme, I could not use the bottom screw to firmly mount the XTC cooler in place.  So it literally just hung off the top of the ram mounting lockdown slots.

The only negative with the Vortex RAM cooler is that it renders one of the memory slots useless.  It’s innovative memory slot mounting bracket creates no vibration and allows for tool less mounting and unmounting. 

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But, as you can see in the picture below, it can cover up to three RAM modules allowing for up to 6GB of RAM installed.  This will be very important with the upcoming X58 motherboards and their triple-channel memory support.

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Even installed in my cramped case, the Vortex RAM coolers did not obstruct any tubing.  I managed to fit it behind the tubing and install it without removing any part of my water loop.  That is really convenient for me, as well as many of others out there.

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The Vortex comes with blue led lights.  They matched up with the tubing and lighting effects I chose for my case rather well.

 

I tested the Vortex RAM cooler in my Silverstone TJ09 case which houses an Asus Striker II Extreme, a QX9650 and a custom watercooling setup.  The memory used was also from Patriot Memory and part of their Viper Series EPP 2.0 ready Low Latency DDR3 line.  The stock memory specifications are a 4GB kit (2GBx2) at 1600MHz with 7-7-7-20 timings at 1.9v.  Overclocked values for the Viper RAM were 1800MHz with 7-7-7-20 timings at 2.1v. 

I first ran the memory at stock settings with the cpu at stock as well.  Results were taken with one of the temp probes that comes bundled with the Striker II Extreme.  I mounted the probe in the center of the RAM sitting right on top of the heatspreaders.  The first run was done without the active RAM cooler installed.  The second run was done with the Vortex mounted in my case.

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In the stock settings comparison you can see that the Vortex memory cooler offers a difference of 2C at idle and a 1C difference at load.

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Once the RAM was overclocked, the difference grew between no cooling and with the Vortex installed.  At idle you are presented with a 3C difference while at load you get the same 3C.  When comparing the two load results with the memory overclocked, you get a difference of 7%.  That’s not as high as Patriot claims(up to 30%), but then again, they do say "up to".  So, with the right conditions it should be possible to see that large of a difference.

These results may not look too impressive, but you must remember that the Vortex cooler runs virtually silent.  I mean, you can not hear it.  The 40mm fans spin at 5000rpm and direct air onto the heatspreaders.  I tested the Vortex with a set of Corsair modules that have the Domminator heatspreaders installed and it fits perfectly above those as well.  So, you are not limited by just using Patriot Memory, although the Viper Series they sent me rocks!

I highly recommend you take a look at Patriot Memory’s Vortex especially because it will only run you $13.99 off of Newegg.com.  Remember, the only con I found with this unit is that it eats up a memory slot on your motherboard.  But, with X58 motherboards launching soon and 6 memory slots, I think you will be ok.  That is, unless, you are someone who requires as much memory as you can pack onto a motherboard.  In that case, you should steer clear of the Vortex.

It is with great pleasure that XCPUS.com awards Patriot Memory’s Vortex cooling system the Gold Award for ultra quiet performance with significant results.  Thanks goes to Patriot for supplying XCPUS with the Vortex cooling solution and the Viper Series RAM.  Come back soon for a DDR3 4GB kit shootout!

On a related note, the Vortex cooling solution will be used in XCPUS Ultimate Rig to be unveiled next month!

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