Monsoon II CPU Cooler Review

shoes

Limp Gawd
Joined
Jan 8, 2005
Messages
405
Well right now I am running a Core 2 Extreme overclocked to 3.6 at 1.525 volts on full load (2x f@h)and the diode reads 64C and the front display reads 37C (front display reading is taken from the middle of the hot/cold plates). chip surface temp reads 47C with logysis fan controller (cant remember the model number of it). ambient is 26C right now I believe, my thermometer stopped working.

doesnt seem too impressive, but when u compare to 73C diode, 55C surface and 26C ambient with the big typhoon under same conditions, its pretty good.

With kyle's permission i will post a link to our full review once it is published
 

Bloodgod42

Gawd
Joined
Nov 20, 2005
Messages
592
Thats right about what Im getting too but the Amanda wont break 44c w/1.5v regardless of room temp (to some degree that is - up to 28c at least is all I know).

AMD64 4000+ @ 2.85GHz w/1.5v
Room- 26c
Idle- 32c
load- 44c

I personally like it alot.
 
Joined
Apr 28, 2005
Messages
585
shoes said:
I have 3 issues with this article.

Let me preface by saying that I run my own hardware review site and I have actually been using/reviewing the Monsoon II Cooler for about a month. Also, I have personally visited the Vigor Gaming office twice in the last month and have seen everything in action.

Issue #1: One of your major points in the article, though I am not sure if this contributed to your overall opinion of the cooler, is that the cooler could not be mounted correctly on the the Asus M2N32-SLI. First of all, the mounting method on the AMD version of the Monsoon II allows it to be mounted in any direction. The little screw in plates can easily be moved to whichever opposite sides of the bracket the user deems necessary for the best fit. Due to this fact alone there is no good reason you could not have correctly mounted the cooler. The one arguement you could possibly have against this point is that the odd-shaped heatsinks on that particular motherboard disallow the positioning of the cooler in front-to-back direction due to clearence issues. Normally I would have no way of telling if this was the case or not, but on a recent visit to the Vigor Gaming office, I saw the cooler mounted on THAT EXACT SAME MOTHERBOARD in the correct way with PLENTY of clearence.

Isuue #2: Your results themselves are undoubtedly skewed due to the aforementioned improper mounting orientation. Not only is the cooler drawing in somewhat warmer air from the powersupply area, it is shooting out some significantly warmer air towards your video card. In addition, the natural air flow in your case (front to back) is being impeded by the side walls of the cooler and not being used to cool the processor AT ALL. The reason the fan was cycling so much is that the TEC would switch on to cool off the processor and get the heatsink warm, which would then cause the fan speed to increase because the heatsink is not being cooled effectively by the air flow in your case. All of these increased temperatures are A) going to make the cooler seem less effective than it is and B) going to limit the performance increase of your system by making pretty much all of your components, besides the processor, hotter.

Issue #3: As others are saying, you did not test this cooler against any other notably good coolers. Comparing this system against something like a Zalman 9500 or Thermaltake Big Typhoon would paint a good picture of what this thing can do versus top-notch air cooling. I don't know how realistic the whole water cooling setup for $150 is, but using some sort of kit could have been an option as well. Stock cooling? I agree the stock cooler on those AM2's is pretty decent, but really now, did you not expect a negative community response from this decision?

I don't mean this as a personal attack towards the writer, editor, or anyone at HardOCP, I just think that this review was somwhat lacking and presented some false information in several areas.

Thank you for reading if you did.

-shoes
thanks for the feedback.
re: #1 the cooler we received was a review sample that had been used previously. For some reason the mounting bracket was permanently attached with an epoxy or glue in the reviewed orientation. Had we been able to mount it in this manner it just would have blocked one of our 5 1/4" bays and made the one above that difficult to run wires too with a normal length ROM. This would have allowed us to use the primary PCI-e slot but we weren't testing the VGA system anyway.
If you look at the conclusion we did not ding it for mounting incompatablility we dinged it for being huge and a PITA to install among other things.

re: #2 the cooler was not pulling the air downwards.... look at the pics the cooler was pushing air up towards the PSU. The only part affected by this is the PSU. The cooler was performing as it should. I cannot stress this enough. the only difference if mounted so that it exhausted out teh back rather than the PSU would be PSU temp which is not relevant to the review.

re: #3 we are using the same equipment for all of our reviews. While we added a case to the testbed this time the results from the Corsair Nautilus 500 review(a $150 WC Kit) are directly comparable as that is an external kit tested in the same ambient temperatures, in the same manner, on the same equipment. We will continue to use this testbed to build a database of coolers that are all directly comparable. It is going to take time to do so but the end result will be exactly what you guys are asking for.
 

Zero82z

Fully [H]
Joined
Jan 20, 2004
Messages
27,897
Justin_Diduch said:
thanks for the feedback.
re: #2 the cooler was not pulling the air downwards.... look at the pics the cooler was pushing air up towards the PSU. The only part affected by this is the PSU. The cooler was performing as it should. I cannot stress this enough. the only difference if mounted so that it exhausted out teh back rather than the PSU would be PSU temp which is not relevant to the review.
This may be true, however the orientation also affected the air that was going INTO the cooler, since instead of coming from the front of the case where the air is cool, the cooler was getting its airflow from above the GFX card, therefore the heat produced by the card may be influencing temps. It's probably a minimal difference, but everything needs to be taken into account to have the most accurate review possible.
Justin_Diduch said:
re: #3 we are using the same equipment for all of our reviews. While we added a case to the testbed this time the results from the Corsair Nautilus 500 review(a $150 WC Kit) are directly comparable as that is an external kit tested in the same ambient temperatures, in the same manner, on the same equipment. We will continue to use this testbed to build a database of coolers that are all directly comparable. It is going to take time to do so but the end result will be exactly what you guys are asking for.
I see where you're coming from, however you did not have the comparison temps of the Nautilus cooler included in the article, which would force people to actively look for the old article to compare temps. For the people who weren't aware of the other review at all, they wouldn't be able to compare the temps since they wouldn't be aware of the other review in the first place. You have done other cooling reviews with this testbed, so why didn't you include the results from those reviews in the actual article for comparison?
 
Joined
Apr 28, 2005
Messages
585
Zero82z said:
This may be true, however the orientation also affected the air that was going INTO the cooler, since instead of coming from the front of the case where the air is cool, the cooler was getting its airflow from above the GFX card, therefore the heat produced by the card may be influencing temps. It's probably a minimal difference, but everything needs to be taken into account to have the most accurate review possible.

I see where you're coming from, however you did not have the comparison temps of the Nautilus cooler included in the article, which would force people to actively look for the old article to compare temps. For the people who weren't aware of the other review at all, they wouldn't be able to compare the temps since they wouldn't be aware of the other review in the first place. You have done other cooling reviews with this testbed, so why didn't you include the results from those reviews in the actual article for comparison?
Mounted the way it is in the review the cooler is actually closer to the intake fan and more directly in the path of the incoming air. Either way there would be very little difference.
I agree that we could have included the Nautilus 500 temperatures along with the retested AMD 4 heatpipe cooler. I will do this in future articles. I cannot include the temperatures from the AM2 roundup however as that testing was done on an open testbed. I am going to be doing all future testing in the current setup with the case so that all the numbers will be comparable. In fact now that I think of it I am going to make a database thread here in the OC&C forum.
 

JohnleMVP

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
May 20, 2001
Messages
5,251
Can the fan throttling be disabled on this unit? Can you replace the fans? Is condensation still an issue with this unit?
 

hortus

Limp Gawd
Joined
Feb 22, 2004
Messages
192
I don't think the fan throttling can be disabled on this model. I have one and must say it is pretty impressive thus far. I am not overclocking as of yet (I have other issues to work out before I start), but on an e6600 I am seeing readouts on the front control unit of 23-24c at idle. I have not had enough time to play with it and tune the system (it is brand new) to get a good feel for it.

As for the installation, I used a piece of a bamboo skewer as a dowel guide in one of the bottom holes, and held the motherbaord on its end with the heatsink on my left, and the bottom of the board on my right. It was pretty easy to slide the plate into position and get a screw started using a piece of tape to hold the screw on the screwdriver. Then it was just a matter of getting the other screws started and then torquing them down. I would agree that I think they would be well served to rethink their mounting system to something that feels more secure. The screws could be made of titanium for all I know, but it seems like a pretty small screw to trust my processor to. It would also be nice to be able to remove the unit withuot having to pull the whole system down.

Mine fit easily on the board with the intake coming from the front of the case and the exhaust vented directly out the back of the case fan (Thermaltake Mozart). It seems to work pretty well. I may consider ducting the intake directly to the exterior of the case. That is dependent on how ghetto that would look.
 

Bloodgod42

Gawd
Joined
Nov 20, 2005
Messages
592
hortus said:
Mine fit easily on the board with the intake coming from the front of the case and the exhaust vented directly out the back of the case fan (Thermaltake Mozart). It seems to work pretty well. I may consider ducting the intake directly to the exterior of the case. That is dependent on how ghetto that would look.
I am considering doing the same thing, although with the air flow in my case, I dont know if I would gain much, it's a pretty open aired case even with the side on. Let me know the results if you do it.
 

zipdrive

Limp Gawd
Joined
Jul 8, 2004
Messages
150
I've tried air and water. Got the Monsoon 2 cause I could'nt find the Amanda anywhere. It was fairly easy to install and got me an instant increse in my overclock. I'm glad I got it.
zipdrive said:
Trying something new. Replaced my North/Southbridge coolers with active coolers.
Something different for the database. I'm now using a Monsoon 2 Tec cooler. I tried Zalman 9500, Arctic feezer pro, and Koollance Exos watercooler, but so far Ive achieved my greatest overclock/heat combo with this ThermalElectric Cooler.

 

M@iden

n00b
Joined
Dec 24, 2004
Messages
44
Nice seting you have there Zipdrive

I have the same motherboard (Asus p5b Deluxe) same NB cooler (Spirit II) same video card (I think) same cpu (6600) but with a Zalman 9500 and I have to turn the NB cooler towards the graphics card because it is the only way that it would fit

Seeing that picture with the NB cooler pointing in the right direction makes me want to try it out.

I only go to 3375 MHZ because to go higher I need more vcore (1.45, 1.5 or higher) and my temps reach over 75 at load, I can boot at 3.6 into windows but the temp is way too high.

How loud is it at load?, what are your idle and load temps and at what voltage?

I wish I could find the Amanda, seems cheaper and not as loud, even do I like the look of the vigor and the LCD vs the PCI card better


Thanks,

M@iden
 

zipdrive

Limp Gawd
Joined
Jul 8, 2004
Messages
150
M@iden said:
Nice seting you have there Zipdrive

I have the same motherboard (Asus p5b Deluxe) same NB cooler (Spirit II) same video card (I think) same cpu (6600) but with a Zalman 9500 and I have to turn the NB cooler towards the graphics card because it is the only way that it would fit

Seeing that picture with the NB cooler pointing in the right direction makes me want to try it out.

I only go to 3375 MHZ because to go higher I need more vcore (1.45, 1.5 or higher) and my temps reach over 75 at load, I can boot at 3.6 into windows but the temp is way too high.

How loud is it at load?, what are your idle and load temps and at what voltage?

I wish I could find the Amanda, seems cheaper and not as loud, even do I like the look of the vigor and the LCD vs the PCI card better


Thanks,

M@iden
I don't really notice how loud it is, but not very, I think. Idle temps are 30c, load goes, so far, up to 48 c.
A flaw I can see is there really is no way to tell if the TEC is working or not. I suppose that if it were not, the heatsink itself would be enuff to keep temps under control.
 
Joined
Aug 4, 2006
Messages
5
Hi guys,

I had posed that question to the people at Vigor. They told me that in the front of the LCD unit, you will see a man shoveling, that means the TEC is activated. When the man stop, then, the TEC is not activated.
 

M@iden

n00b
Joined
Dec 24, 2004
Messages
44
Zipdrive what are you doing with the rear regulators? (the ones that the original heatpipe cools behing the CPU). Do you just have them naked or with some ram sinks maybe?


Thanks,

M@iden
 

zipdrive

Limp Gawd
Joined
Jul 8, 2004
Messages
150
left them bare naked. It does not seem to affect the overclocking...I've had it up to 4ghz (as a quick experiment), but did'nt leave it there. It booted ok, ran windows fine, but temps went over 60c, even with the Monsoon2. I'd like to try to get a high overclock with Orthos for 4 hours (for the database), but I'm scared of temps too far over 60c.
I'm wondering what the people with the high oc's are getting for temps.
Think it's safe to run it at 60-70c for a couple of hours?
 

M@iden

n00b
Joined
Dec 24, 2004
Messages
44
That depends on your comfort spot but I would not want anything running past 65 C but if it's between 60 and 65 and at load I would not mind it to much, again you are the one that has to feel comfortable running the system at those temperatures.

Also more important; at what voltage? Some people suggest up to 1.5 for air and 1.6 max for water and I would not want to exceed that even with this cooling.

Let's see what other people think about this.


M@iden
 

shoes

Limp Gawd
Joined
Jan 8, 2005
Messages
405
I have temps of 40-45C (depending on ambient and according to the display) under 100% load on an x6800 at 3.68. what voltage are you giving the chip?
 

mikeohara

Limp Gawd
Joined
Dec 24, 2002
Messages
368
Both reviews were nicely done ([H}'s as well as PCPerspective). I've always had an certain unease about TEC's and watercooling, but this might help unease the fears, plus building a new system is a definite bonus :D
 

ericeash

n00b
Joined
Dec 5, 2006
Messages
51
quick tests yesterday and today with the monsoon 2 prove it is an amazing cooler. problem is my opty 165. before, i could hit 2.6 w/ stock cooler @1.5. full load, temps around 50C - 55C. yesterday i popped the IHS off the opty, lapped the vigor base and modded it so it would contact the core, used some new zalman grease, and mounted it. i'm now at 2.75, 1.6v, full load temps maxing out at 41C using smart guardian on a dfi expert. vigor lcd shows 32C. idle is 24C on vigor and 22C smart guardian. can't go any higher than that because of my core 1. i think my core 0 could hit 3.0 on air, core 1 just sucks. can't complain with almost 1.0 OC. vigor is not designed for no IHS. be careful modding. also, i have 4 hdds, and 7 120mm fans running, and the vigor is by far the loudest thing in my case. cycles on and off, really annoying. thinking about replacing the fan. anyone know how much cfm the fan moves at full on? overall, big rec for great cooling!
 

Jasonxxx

n00b
Joined
Jun 16, 2004
Messages
62
I got the Monsoon today, and went to install it, and ran into a small problem. The pegs that are sopposed to slide through the mounting holes in the mother board are to big (in radius), so I had to lift the mounting mechism a little (~3mm) by using small washers.
I will post some pictures later.
Anyway, the best part about this is that I'm prime stable @ 3.0GHZ (w/ small FFT's) with a opty 170
My idle temp reads 32C and the load(prime) temp reads 42C in smart guardian @ 3.0GHZ
I changed out the fan with a push and pull configuration using SilenX fans. They are very quiet. (I aslo just plugged the fans into the motherboard so they wouldn't cycle so much).

I have not tried higher clocks yet, but I will.

UPDATE:
I did run into some bios issues, but that is behind me now. I have since been testing and looking for problems.
I ended up remounting and changing the mounting mech a little more.
I changed from AS5 to the Liquid metal thermal interface material.
Results, I have not tried a higher frequency, but haw worked in reducing temps.
I now show ~30C idle temps, and about ~40C on both cores loaded in smart guardian
In CoreTemp it shows ~32C idle and loaded it shows 49C on Core #0 and 58C on Core #1.

From what I'm have been reading, if I remove the IHS I should see the difference between the Core 0 & 1 reduced close to zero.
I have been looking at modding the tec voltage to ~13v and removing the IHS and changing the mounting mech. again to account for the missing IHS.
I will post some pics the next time I have it apart.

I have completed a some 3dmark benchmarks @ 3100MHZ and no errors, but I'm sure if primed it would fail. I will definately test before I go any further. I just need the time.
 

officermartinez

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Jan 21, 2006
Messages
2,012
Hey... I have the Monsoon II and I ran into a problem as well.. My Abit IN9 32X-MAX board would post ERRORS on every single attempt to boot. It would give me two different errors.. The first error was "check CPU fan speed" and the second error was check CPU core voltage. I used the Vigor Gaming supplied thermal paste and didn't feel it was adequate. Extremely unspreadable in my opinion. So, I completely dismantled my system and re-installed the Monsoon II with Arctic Silver 5 instead. Upon boot up, once again, I got the same errors... After clearing the CMOS no less than 50 times, I gave up. I was wondering if the THERMAL ELECTRIC portion of the cooler was causing the error. So, I unplugged the Black / Red Wire that plugs directly into the back of the 5.25" bay interface unit, and VIOLA... It worked perfectly and booted into bios (and ready to install my OS ~ Windows XP).

I am wondering.. is this an issue with all Monsoon II's upon initial installs? I am assuming that the BLACK / RED wire is the "power / ground" wires for the TEC. Is there a "short" I wonder? Is anyone else having this same issue? When I was installing the TEC for the first time, I saw a blue film covering the bottom that reminds you to use thermal paste. So, I pealed off the blue film and saw a clear film that was still stuck to the bottom of the TEC. It appeared that it just seperated from the blue film so I removed it as well..

Is that clear film actually supposed to stay on the bottom of the TEC? I found NO instructions regarding a clear film.. So right now, the TEC is pretty much not even being utilized. Any help would be greatly appreciated!
 

Jasonxxx

n00b
Joined
Jun 16, 2004
Messages
62
So let me understand your situation, when you unplug the tec unit, your system works fine, but when your tec is plugged in it gives you two errors, "check CPU fan speed" & "check CPU core voltage"?
I going to assume that the errors were being displayed on the Monsoon LCD?

It sounds like the tec might be installed backward, meaning the cold side on the top and the hot side on the bottom, and the bay interface unit is seeing high temps, which it thinks that either the CPU is producing to much heat, or the fan speed is so low that it is not removing the heat. This is just my educated guess.

I personally cut the original fan out, and plugged the new fans into the motherboard, so I know that it does not monitor the fan speed, so I believe it only monitors the lower plate temp.
Yes you are correct to remove the film, it is just to protect from oxidation and guard from scratches.
 

officermartinez

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Jan 21, 2006
Messages
2,012
Thanks for the reply.. The errors I was receiving was from my new 680i Abit IN9 32X-MAX motherboard. Did you connect the little yellow wire (3 pin style fan connector) to your motherboards CPU fan slot (where the normal HSF connector goes plugged in)?

I've gotten the system to power up now.. but the little "stick figure" on the 5.25" display is snoring... Also it shows my temps as 0c. Something isn't obviously right (LMAO, I am assuming it's operator error). When I manually check my CPU temps, they are sitting right around 40c.. Also, it looks like the Blue LED Monsoon fan pulses and is slow to start up, upon turning my system on.. It has to be something simple that I am just missing here..
 

jcll2002

2[H]4U
Joined
Jan 28, 2006
Messages
3,656
would it be a bad idea to hook up a tec pad to my wc system? All I want is like 10c drop in temps. Im getting like 30c idle and 43c load with 22c ambient temps.

If so, can you guys recommend one so that I wont have to deal with condensation?

Can i use one with my PSU? (dont want to overload it)
 

officermartinez

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Jan 21, 2006
Messages
2,012
Well I just got my TEC back online today.. My temp shows to be 29c-30c on the TEC's LCD display but I haven't pushed it any. I've heard a few peeps using TEC's in conjunction with a H20 setup but a few voiced their concerns about condensation..

The two most common TEC's I believe are: Vigor Gaming Monsoon II and the Titan Amanda..
 

officermartinez

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Jan 21, 2006
Messages
2,012
Well just wanted to do a little update.. So far, the Monsoon II has allowed me to overclock my e6600 from 2.4ghz to 3.6ghz! I think I can go further.. I would just love it, if I could hit 4ghz! My LED display shows 41c idle and now, I can't get it to go any higher than 45c under full load.. Initially, I hit 47c under full load but I think my AS5 is starting to settle in a little.. I did a test benchmark on 3dmark06 and here are my results:










 
Top