Vantec HDC-502A HD Cooler
Date Reviewed: April 25, 2002
Reviewed By: Vinny D.
eXtreme PC Gear
Every overclocker is always looking for something new to make
their computer run as
cold as possible. We have all tried many different ways to shave a degree or two off
our temps, with some things more successful than others. Today we are going to
be taking a look at a new HDD cooler from eXtreme
PC Gear, I'm sure everyone is anxious to see how well it works.
The first thing that is noticeable when taking the cooler out of the box
was how nice it looks and how sturdy it is. It is actually a bit heavy and would
take some serious work to bend one of the fins. The cooler is made out of
Aluminum and has been anodized for the cool blue color. Lets take a look at the specs:
|Fan Speed / Airflow:
||5000RPM / 24CFM
||110.0mm x 101.8mm x 12.2mm
Installation was very basic and easy. Just put four screws in, plug the fan
power into the hard drive power and viola. One issue that I have with this
that the power connector fits very tightly into the drive and is EXTREMELY hard
to remove. I was almost worried that I would damage the drive when I was trying
to get the power connector out. Some people might want to play it safe and plug
it into an extra power connector if you have one in your system.
In most case configurations you better plan on kissing the 3 1/2 slot below
the drive goodbye. The cooler is just large enough to prohibit you from mounting
a drive directly below it if your drive bays are meant for 1" drives (which
I sat down before testing and decided which tests would give me the best
ranges of temperature. The following three tests are the ones that I decided to
System Idle - Windows Booted & Sitting Idle for 10 minutes
Normal Use -
Outlook Open, Winamp playing music, Browsing the web for 10 minutes &
Heavy Load - Running SiSoft Sandra HDD Benchmark for 10
The hottest place on the drive is obviously the drive motor, so that is where
I decided to mount the probe for these tests. I ran through each test twice,
with and without the cooler.
I made every attempt to keep room temperature as stable as possible while
taking these measurements, and used my other thermometer to continuously monitor
the ambient temperature.
|74°F / 23°C
||79.7°F / 26.5°C
||77.1°F / 25C
|Under Normal Use:
||85.7°F / 29.8°C
||82.9°F / 28.2°C
|Under Heavy Load:
||88.1°F / 31.1°C
||84.1°F / 28.9°C
In my opinion 88.1°F is not too hot at all for the drive, and from the testing
it did not look like the temp was going to go up any more. The cooler does knock
off 4°F though and that is always a plus. I don't have a SCSI drive to
test this cooler, but generally SCSI drives get a LOT hotter than IDE drives.
For a SCSI drive this would definitely be a worthwhile investment since active
cooling is a requirement on all 10K & 15K RPM drives..
One thing to note however, today's 5400 & 7200 RPM IDE drives are meant
to function just fine without being actively cooled. So while a hard drive
cooler isn't a requirement, it is still a good investment. Cooler components
will function more reliably, and last longer, this is true for just about every
component in your PC.
I personally have used a HD cooler for quite some time and I believe that one can
never have too much good cooling. This is definitely an item for those like me
who like knowing that everything is nice and cold.
A big thanks goes out to eXtreme
PC Gear for sending the unit to review.
Extremely simple installation
Very quiet and uses very little power
Very sturdy construction
Definitely looks nice
Takes up the 3.5 drive bay below it
Power connector is very difficult to remove after it is mounted.
For the Normal User: 4 of 10
For the Extreme Gamer: 5 of 10
For the Extreme
Overclocker: 8 of 10
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