Vigor Gaming Monsoon III LT
By: Chris Angelini
Intel’s Core i7 is still brand new, launched less than a month ago. Thus, it’s not surprising that the aftermarket for i7 cooling is still relatively thin. Even though our very own Thomas Soderstrom has Swiftech’s latest LGA-1366 water block in his lab for testing already, there doesn’t seem to be much available for sale just yet. And so we’re forced to go with air cooling in the quest to tune our little i7 920 on MSI’s X58 Eclipse. Not that air is a bad thing. In my Editor’s Corner: Overclocking Core i7 piece, I was able to get the 920 running stably at 3.8 GHz without much effort using Thermalright’s Ultra 120 Extreme.
Like the Extreme, Vigor Gaming’s Monsoon III LT boasts massive copper fins with heatpipes running through them. Unlike the Thermalright cooler, however, Vigor’s design employs two arrays of fins with a space in-between. Another difference is that Vigor uses four pipes, like Thermalright’s Ultra 120. The Extreme ups the number to six. But while our reference Ultra 120 Extreme might have an advantage in raw surface area, Vigor’s Monsoon kicks things up a notch with cooling. Two 120mm fans move a lot of air, quietly. And the shroud attaching the fans to the heatsink does a much better job keeping the fans, heatsink, and power cables attached than the Ultra 120 Extreme’s clip-on fan bracket. Finally, the Monsoon’s fans are of the four-pin variety, controlled by PWM signals from the motherboard.
Sure, $60 is a lot to pay for an air cooler. But if it lets you take your sub-$300 Core i7 920 up to 3.33 GHz without even having to adjust voltage, then it pays for itself as you save $700 from the cost of a 965 Extreme.