Antec V-Cool Review

The Antec V-Cool is a graphics card cooling fan which is designed to be placed above the GPU, utilizing 2 expansion slots in your case for ventilation. It has a 3-speed fan control switch which can be accessed from the outside of the PC, above the V-Cool’s vents. It is made of light blue tinted clear plastic, with blue LEDs which are always on, and do not change intensity with the fan speed. Included is an extender which, if used, moves the fan further from the expansion slots, which can be useful depending on the design of your graphics card. The fan sucks air from the surface of the GPU and blows it up, off of the card. Although some air is taken in from the vents on the back, most of the circulated air comes right from the GPU. This begs the question of whether or not it really needs to take up two expansion slots. Very little air is circulated through the outside vents, and it definitely could accomplish the same airflow using only one slot. However, if you have the room, it’s no problem. In fact, the polished chrome vents look a lot better than the crummy blanks that would be there otherwise.

If your case has front-accessible fan control knobs as mine does, you can plug the V-Cool in with your other system fans and control it likewise; just leave the fan speed on the V-Cool on “High”. I was lucky enough to already have a blue LED-themed case, but if you have a case with, say, RED LEDs, you might have to do some surgery on this product to make it match, as only blue V-Cools are available. The real question, however, is whether or not it keeps the card cooler. I recorded the idle (non-gaming) temperature of the GPU with and without the V-Cool, and the temperatures after playing one level of Half-Life 2. On average, it only decreases the idle temperature by 2-5 degrees Celsius, but during gameplay, it reduced GPU temperature by 8-11 degrees, with the fan on high. This may not seem like a lot, but it can easily make the difference between overheating or running smoothly.

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In my case, I had the free expansion slots for installation, and a blue LED themed case, so I really had an ideal installation. It’s sturdy and functional, and the only real problems are the lack of color choice and the assumption that the buyer has 2 available expansion slots above their card. If you have the room, I’d say it’s definitely worth your $20USD for the cooling Antec’s V-Cool provides.

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