I have to say that the results dropped my preconceptions like they were a bad habit. For a cooler that even while still in the box, I can hold in one hand, I wouldn't have expected these sorts of numbers. The email I first received said Cooler Master was making no compromises to make an effective cooling solution. To some extent that is true, at least it's true as far as the Vortex Plus goes; I'm just not sold on the hardware.
I was able to make both the AMD "bars" and the Intel push pin set up work, I really despise the lack of pressure that these push pins offer. I know I may have knocked Cooler Master before about the big and bulky nut and bolt system they used for years on their bigger coolers and to be honest, I missed it this time around. I understand that things need to be done to keep costs down, and still offer an affordable solution to both cooling and mounting concerns. I would have taken a brown box, or maybe cheaper foam packaging over push pins, though.
Even with the mounting foibles, I can't really say much else bad about the Vortex Plus, other than Cooler Master needing to get this on shelves soon. Do I think it can cool an i7? At stock it should be able to handle things well, but I wouldn't plan to overclock too much. For an i5 or i3 I think it would handle them well. For any other processor, it should do just dandy.
For those looking to build an HTPC, most CPUs in there are stock runners anyways and the Vortex Plus offers terrific cooling for the size it takes up, or rather doesn't take up. If I were in the HTPC building game, or looking to replace the factory cooler in any SFF build, I would definitely make sure I looked at the Vortex Plus when they hit shelves.
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