Specifications, Availability and Pricing
This all-in-one water cooler is built with the CPU water block and pump in one unit and the heat is driven to the 120mm radiator to be removed from the chassis via two anti-evaporative tubes. The head unit (pump and block assembly) comes with thermal compound pre-applied and out of the box this cooler is ready for any Intel installation since LGA 775. If you have an AMD system, you will need to remove four little screws and swap the Intel mounting for the included AMD mounting. With CoolIT's ingenious thumbscrew and Phillip's head screw combination screws, mounting by hand is a breeze. If you choose to install it with a screwdriver, there is a lip on the plastic thumbscrew part that will keep the screwdriver from slipping off the screws and causing accidental damage to the motherboard.
On the opposite end of the cooling, you will find the same 120mm radiator found on the ECO, as well as an included fan. The fan is controlled on the Vantage via the head unit, unlike the ECO that was strictly PWM or fan controller controlled. The Vantage gets plugged into the CPU header on the motherboard, but this time the fan plugs into the head unit. This allows CoolIT to incorporate three stages of control. The controls for the fan are labeled Quiet, Performance, and Extreme. This will allow the end user to get the perfect balance of noise versus performance. In Quiet mode the fan stays closer to the 1100 RPM mark of the fan, while in extreme mode you can make a ton of noise with the 2500 RPM fan and get better numbers to show for the increased noise levels. One last addition to this end of the kit is that CoolIT offers a spacer on one side. This plastic spacer will not only help the air flow and pressure of the included fan and make mounting in a chassis a bit easier, but it also doubles as a shroud for those looking to assemble a push/pull setup.
The last of the cool tricks I can show at this point in development is the LCD screen. This is a handy little feature that was found in the Domino of the older series of coolers. With this LCD, not only can I see my fan speed, pump speed, and the temperature of the coolant traveling inside the unit, but there is also quite the choice in lighting. If I counted right there are nine different modes from off, the many colors, a pulse mode, and a temperature mode. It doesn't stop there. CoolIT also realized that the head unit isn't always going to be positioned in the same orientation, so to aid us end users the LCD can turn in 90° increments so that it shows right side up inside the case. If you don't care for the information at hand, you can simply set the CoolIT logo and run the PC as usual.
Looking around to try to locate this unit, I can only find two e-tailers currently carrying the Vantage ALC. I know the product is brand spanking new, but the lack of availability will be seen in the final numbers. The Vantage can be found at AVAdirect and also at a place called A-power. The latter is the cheaper of the two at $129.98, while the AVAdirect price is some $15 more. Put that price next to an extreme air cooler and it is asking a bit much, but when you consider it cost $200-300 to build this all in pieces shopping retail that price isn't bad at all. Basically the breakdown looks like this. Take the $80 ECO, add LED lighting, a LCD panel, and potential for software control down the line. Of course, such a product is going to demand a higher price to cover the new features, but with all these added features, for around $50 more let's get to it and see if it is worth its weight.