Quiet, affordable, and very easy to install, this is a fantastic AIO cooler for the money, and the RGB lighting looks great as well.
If you don’t want software control or huge radiators inflating the price of your CPU cooler, but still want RGB lighting, low noise and great cooling, the Antec Vortex 240 ARGB looks like it fits the bill. The 240mm AIO cooler market is crowded, though, so this Antec cooler needs to perform well, be easy to install, and look great too.
At a price of just $85 (£81), the Antec Vortex 240 ARGB offers stunning value for what’s on offer. It even includes an RGB controller if you prefer not to use your motherboard’s RGB software. The ARGB lighting looks great too, with vibrant rings on the fans and a very funky holographic ring design on the pump.
Out of the box, the Vortex 240 ARGB is compatible with Intel LGA1700 and AMD Socket AM5 CPU sockets, so there’s no need to purchase additional compatibility kits. It’s simple to install too. A backplate, thumbscrews, and pins are used for Intel motherboards, while owners of AMD Socket AM4 and AM5 boards will make use of the standard socket mounting clips for an even quicker installation.
The pump is powered by a 3-pin fan connector and it’s super-quiet, even when it’s running flat out. As such, we recommend making sure it’s running at full speed, even if it means a quick trip to your motherboard’s EFI. The fans, meanwhile, can make use of an included splitter cable to occupy just one 4-pin fan header on your motherboard.
There’s no Antec control software, but there is a small RGB controller that cycles through colors and lighting modes for the pump and fans. You’ll need to manually connect these using their 3-pin connectors, but the controller can also act as a hub and rely on an external input such as your motherboard. You’ll need a spare SATA power connector too.
Antec Vortex 240 ARGB Intel LGA1700 temperature
With the fans and pump at full speed, we recorded an average temperature of 89°C across the P-cores on our Core i7-13700K test CPU, which was 2°C warmer than the Noctua NH-D15 and 3°C warmer than the NZXT Kraken Elite 360 RGB in its silent mode.
With the much larger and more expensive NZXT cooler in performance mode, it was 9°C cooler than the Antec Vortex 240 ARGB and it also produced less fan noise. However, bear in mind that the Antec costs less than a third of the price of the NZXT cooler. Importantly, this cheap AIO CPU cooler can keep a high-end CPU in check. The Antec Vortex 240 ARGB cooling power isn’t stellar, but it’s surprisingly good for the price.
Antec Vortex 240 ARGB AMD Socket AM5 temperature
We focus on frequencies rather than temperatures in our Socket AM5 system, as our Ryzen 9 7900X test CPU hits 90°C easily under load at stock settings. The Antec Vortex 240 ARGB performed very well here, keeping most cores at around 5.35GHz and the CPU temperature sitting at 95°C. This was a slightly better result than the Noctua NH-D15, which saw slightly lower frequencies after a minute in our stress test, while the NZXT Kraken Elite 360 RGB managed a similar result in terms of temperature and frequency.
Antec Vortex 240 ARGB noise level
The Antec Vortex 240 pump was inaudible above other components in our test system, and at full speed it was much quieter than the one included with the NZXT Kraken Elite 360 RGB. The fans did spin up to reasonable noise levels at full speed, but in our medium load test, which is based on our Intel system using our motherboard’s fan speed control, the noise level of 35dBA was only slightly louder than the system’s idle noise level of 31dBA, with the fans spinning up after 20 seconds or so of moderate load.
Antec Vortex 240 ARGB Pros and cons
- Very quiet pump
- RGB lighting looks great
- Easy to install
- Great value
- Fans are a little noisy at full speed
- Cooling abilities aren’t stellar
- No Antec control software
Antec Vortex 240 ARGB price
Decent cooling, snazzy RGB lighting, and simple installation make the price of the Antec Vortex 240 ARGB extremely competitive.
Price: Expect to pay $85 (£81).
Antec Vortex 240 ARGB specs
The Antec Vortex 240 ARGB specs list is:
|Intel sockets supported
|LGA1700, LGA115x, LGA1200, LGA2011, LGA2066
|AMD sockets supported
|Socket AM5, Socket AM4, Socket AM3
|Dimensions with fans (mm)
|277 x 120 x 52 (W x D x H)
|2 x 120mm
Antec Vortex 240 ARGB review conclusion
With a price of just $85, the Antec Vortex 240 ARGB offers fantastic value for an AIO cooler. It’s cheaper than the likes of the Noctua NH-D15, as well as lots of competing 140mm AIO coolers with RGB lighting, and it still has decent cooling power.
It can tame the likes of the Core i7-13700K and Ryzen 9 7900X, it has great RGB lighting, and it also has a very quiet pump. Its noise is also unobtrusive at low to medium CPU loads, with its fans only becoming noticeable in extreme situations. If you don’t have a huge amount of money to spend on your CPU cooler, this is a great and very good-looking option.
If the Antec Vortex 240 ARGB isn’t quite right for your needs, make sure you read our full guide to the best CPU cooler, where we take you through all the best options at a range of prices, from sub-$50 air coolers to $300 360mm premium models.