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Benchmarks

It seemed natural to compare at least one other product that I had available. So, I re-tested my trusty old Global Win FKP-32, which is similar to the Vantec in spirit. After a breeze easy installation using the 62540D and a smidgen of Arctic Silver grease, I anxiously awaited the results. Below is the test rig specs.

Hardware
CPU
Intel Pentium 3 700 @ 980MHz
Heatsink & Fan
Vantec FCE-62540D & Global Win FKP-32
Motherboard
Asus CUSL2 rev 1.02 w/1002 BIOS (provided by AD of K)
Memory
Mushkin 128MB CAS2 PC133 (256MB total)
Hard Drive
IBM 15.3GB 75GXP 7200 RPM ATA100

CD-ROM

Plextor 12-10-32 SCSI CD-RW
Sound Card
SB Live! Value
Video Cards
Creative GeForce GTS 32MB
Case
InWin S500 w/PowerMan 300W Supply

It should be noted that the excellent S500 ATX case was used for testing. What's so exciting about this arrangement isn't necessarily the super mid tower setup with a horizontally mounted power supply, but its fantastic air flow characteristics. Without the aid of any other case fans, the S500 manages to hold the inside temperature at the ambient outside temperature.

Temperature Comparison
Unit
Idle
3DMark2001
RPM
Vantec
85ºF
91ºF
6770
G.W.
87ºF
95ºF
4900

The Vantec plainly bests the aging Global Win, which was a very respectable product nearly a year ago. At idle, the 2º difference is negligible. It may seem like a 4º drop when running wide-open might be equally insignificant, but it's not. I glanced at my temperature sensor for the GF GTS and it plummeted over 15 degrees Fahrenheit from my mainstay FKP-32. Geeeeez, that's some fan!

And that fan is a double edged sword. Back in the 90's, bragging rights were held by many who had a half dozen fans and a peltier or two. When an unsuspecting visitor pushed the power button, they were greeted by a whoosh that sounded more at home on an airport runway than in a home. Those days have long passed and now a growing trend is to save our collective ears. Nearing the seven grand mark when cranked up, the fan is obnoxious. The whine produced could easily annoy even the casual web surfer, it certainly did me. When I sit down, I might not leave my office for 3-5 hours and any howling sound, beit from a fan or unruly dogs is not welcome. Rather than continue with this rant, have a listen for yourself.

The last test I could perform involved a brief power and noise check.

Power & Noise
Vantec
Noise
Power
Voltage
Current
Rated
46.5dBA@???
3.84W
12V
320mA
Tested
56.0dBA@1m
4.80W
12V
400mA

The dBA tests confirmed the ludicrous noise level. While you don't have to shout over the whoosh and whine, its din over time could create quite the headache for some. The power drain was enormous for a three pin motherboard header. Almost touching the 5 watt mark, you'll have to check your MB manufacturer to see if the current drain (400mA) will exceed recommended specs.

Conclusions

If you're contemplating building a high end server or are deaf or don't care about possibly becoming deaf, buy the FCE-62540D. The heatsink design maximizes motherboard compatibility and heat dissipation. It's the largest heatsink/fan arrangement that I can use on a wide variety of Mobo's. I swapped the Vantec for my aging G.W. FKP-32. I also swapped fans...

If Vantec could find a supplier of high CFM fans that run at under 4000 rpm, we would have the combo to buy, hands down, no reservations. Of course, you could do what I did, switch out the high whine unit for a more docile one.

William Yaple
03/26/01

 





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