Vigor's Monsoon II TEC CPU Cooler

Component Design And Installation

Available in both AMD socket 754/939/940/AM2 and Intel LGA775 versions, the two kits are differentiated by mounting hardware. The LGA775 mounting kit includes one custom socket support plate with four spring-tension mounting screws.

Included with either kit are the cooler, thermal paste, a case badge, a speed controller, cables and an installation guide. The Monsoon II Lite uses a PCI slot card for power, while an alternative upscale version provides a 5.25" drive bay control panel with LCD display.

Flipping the cooling unit over shows that it’s actually two coolers acting in series. The front cooler connects directly to the CPU plate, while the rear cooler connects to the hot side of the TEC. This allows the unit to operate with the TEC off under low heat loads and on as things heat up. This split sink design also prevents the hot TEC cooler from working against itself.

The mounting screws are meant to be tight, but screw slots are inaccessible with ordinary tools. Depending on your particular motherboard design, the screw gripping surface may also be difficult to reach.

The Monsoon II cooler stands tall enough to insert most memory modules after installation, but exceptionally tall DIMMs such as this Corsair Dominator part won’t fit. The Dominator module is shown mounted in the second slot, since the Monsoon II’s cooling fan blocked it from entering the first slot. An alternative for people who wish to use these parts together would be to rotate the cooler so its intake fan faces the back of the case. However, doing so would also require changing direction of any "exhaust" case fan behind it and cause hot air to be blown over the RAM and into the case. So it’s best to leave the cooler mounted in this direction and forget about using Dominator memory.

Thomas Soderstrom
Thomas Soderstrom is a Senior Staff Editor at Tom's Hardware US. He tests and reviews cases, cooling, memory and motherboards.