We all know that the hard drive is one of the most important components in a computer system. The hard drive is where you store 99% of the information needed to run the hardware inside of your computer, not to mention those important data files. Now if we can compare this to society I would say hard drives are not unlike vehicles; they move things, make things work faster, and not having one slows you down?a lot! Well, there are a few different kinds of cars, right? There are fast ones, slow ones, big ones and small ones. You can also modify cars, but I digress. Let's go back to hard drives. Though modifying a hard drive was once thought of as unnecessary, I think the mod we have here today is a must-have product. This product allows a hard drive to run cooler and be much more efficient, and in a more silent manner. The product we have here attaches to the bottom of the hard drive and cools it using a revolutionary new fan idea!
Truly, this is one of the nicest products I?ve used. Since this product comes from IOCOMBO, a reliable company, I jumped at the chance to review it. The unit itself is composed of a large aluminum plate with a fan attached to the top (on the bottom of it when mounted). It has a very streamlined look, and the material that forms the base has a nice brushed texture that catches the light nicely and gives it character! The fan is a very important part, but ever product needs a solid base to build from. The base on this hard drive cooler is aluminum. Aluminum transfers heat well, allowing cooling above and beyond the capabilities of the fan itself. Attaching this product is also quite simple; installation consists of four screws and one Molex connector! This is as simple as it gets, folks. The best part is that there is no worry about damaging hardware or voiding any warranties; the necessary screw holes already exist on the bottom of most of today?s hard drives.
There are few accessories included with this unit. There just isn?t much required to go with it. Only the four mounting screws (to attach the unit to the bottom of the hard drive) and the instruction manual are separate from the cooler itself. There are numerous holes on the bottom of many hard drives, so you simply set the unit on the bottom of the drive and move it until all four holes align. Once the placement is correct, simply secure it using the four screws included. You can screw these in fairly tight without worrying about shorting any electronics because the aluminum base has a slight bevel to the side, which raises the entire unit except for the part that secures to the drive itself. This is a good idea; not only does it prevent you from shorting any electronics, it also allows for greater airflow/exhaust for the fan! The best part about this product is that it?s no taller than 20mm at any point. It?s only as long as the hard drive, so you don?t have to worry about it hanging off or sticking out. Once installed, the product looks very professional! I do, however think that the wire is too long. Even though it?s only six inches at the most, you don?t need that much wire if you're going to connect it in-line between your hard drive and the PSU. That?s the whole point of the 2-way Molex plug, so people should use it!
The fan is covered by a flat, black, plastic housing. The spot at the center, where the wires come out of the housing, is covered by a large white sticker. This oversized sticker is extremely unattractive. At the least, the sticker could have been black, so it would blend in with the black plastic. The fan blades are a squirrel-cage design, which is the most efficient way for such a small fan to still push decent amounts of air. The fan is enclosed on three sides so there is only one place to exhaust; out towards where you plug in your IDE and power cable. You can also flip the unit around to blow the other direction; it?s made for that! I like how it can be flexible in direction and still do its job just as well. You have to make sure that you don?t have a case fan blowing directly into it, however, as that prevents the fan from moving air almost entirely.
It's hard to get an accurate HDD temp. using the standard diode LCD temperature monitor, just about every component on the drive runs at a different temperature. To see if the cooler was doing its job I used an old-school/different method ? Touch senses. Without the cooler installed after about 30 mins of use the HDD was quite warm to the touch, after installing the cooler the drive was only slightly warm to the touch. A significant decrease in temperature was apparent while using this product. Keep in mind that long term exposure to heat helps all electronic components go bad. This product does lower average temperatures, and the reduced thermal stress could increase the life of your drive?especially with those extremely warm running 15,000 rpm SCSI drives. Those drives can reach extreme temperatures under harsh conditions and the manufacturer often encourages external cooling in many of the manuals.
In conclusion, I?d say this product is worth the purchase. It can prolong the life of a hard drive, which can pay for itself over time. If you have a hot system this might be something worth checking into, not only because of the overall increase of airflow inside the case but because it?s ability to cool a drive is necessary with today?s more extreme drives.