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Re-Printed From SLCentral

Vantec Ultimate Harddrive Cooler
Author: Mike Kitchenman
Date Posted: June 22nd, 2001
URL: http://www.slcentral.com/reviews/hardware/cooling/vantec/uhdc

Introduction

Your hard drive. What are the things you think about with it? Size? Probably. Speed? Likely. RPM? Definitely. Temperature? Not usually. Well, neither did I until recently. After using a cheap and noisy 3 fan bay cooler for a hard drive, I wanted something a little quieter. I found the answer in "The Ultimate Hard Drive Cooler" by Vantec.

The numbers for the cooler seemed decent, and they said it'd be a lot quieter than my old POS cooler (which has been scrapped for parts since then), so I tried it out. Lets see what it was like.

Stuffs

The cooler itself was packaged simply enough, with a cardboard backed plastic bubble, it didn't fight me when getting into it. Cool thing was, unlike a lot of these things, it was set up and ready to go. Screw in the hard drive and your off, it couldn't be easier, or so the directions on the back make it seem.

Attaching the drive to the Heat sink, was more difficult than they let on, at least with my IBM Deskstar, as the screws wouldn't line up with the screw holes till I fought with it a bit. I needed to manually compress the springs on it more than the screws would to make the slots line up. However, the bonus was once I got it on, it was completely secure. The drive wasn't moving. Mounting in the PC, however, was easy as pie, slide it in the drive bay and screw it in. Same went for the little optional grille for the fans.

Testing

Well, I'd say it looks cool enough to justify owning this toy, but I'm sure some of you will want to see some hard numbers on how this thing actually worked. Well, I guess I can provide some testing for that part there. Here ya go:

I Ran 3 independent tests on the victim; my IBM Deskstar 75GXP, 30 GB, 7200 RPM. ATA-100 drive.

The 3 different tests were these:
Test 1: Bare Drive, no cooling, sitting in a 5.25" bay (on top of my CD-RW drive)
Test 2: Drive In the HDD Cooler, no thermal compound
Test 3: Drive in the HDD Cooler, Thermal compound on the drive and cooler. (generic Radio Shack thermal paste)

For fairness a temp probe was taped to the top of the drive and was not moved during any of the tests.

All Temps Are Peak Room Temp Starting Drive Temp Boot Into Windows Win2K Scandisk Torture Test Temp
Bare Drive Uncooled 22.6 C 22.8 C 24.5 C 34.5 C 39.3 C
Ultimate HDD Cooler 22.9 C 23.1 C 23.5 C 24.5 C 24.9 C
HDD Cooler W/ Compound 22.9 C 23.2 C 23.3 C 24.35 C 24.6 C

There you have it, cold hard numbers on how this thing cools for ya. I was duly impressed with the results of this thing, nearly a 15C drop? Wow.

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Cools extremely well
  • Virtually 0 maintenance once installed
  • Fans are reasonably quiet

Cons

  • Could be tough to install HDD
  • Does not cool the underside of the drive
  • Takes up a 5.25" Drive Bay

Conclusion

I'd have to say that this toy lives up to all of its promises. Once installed the drive ran flawlessly, ran cool, and did everything it was supposed to. I'd say for anyone who cares for their stuff, or has a fast SCSI HDD, I'd say this is a must have.

As far as this drive cooler goes, I'd have to say its a top notch piece of equipment. The way they rigged the drive mount ensures that the drive will be held flat against the heat sink as much as possible, allowing for a LOT of surface contact. Although installing the drive was a bit of a trick for me, once I had it mounted, system installation was idiot proof. Once again a top notch cooling unit from the boys up at Vantec.

Check it out at 3DCool

Rating: 9/10 SystemLogistics

Re-Printed From SLCentral