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Product Application:

Hard Drive Cooler
Product Provided by: Ultra

Available at:

TigerDirect.com

Estimated Online Price:

$19.99

Availability:

Now

Review by:

Darren

Edited by:

Scott

Review date:

January 19th, 2008

Crucial System Scanner
 

     Less heat and reduced noise are two phrases that always perk up the ears of any PC enthusiast.  It doesn't matter if you are stretching for that next benchmark or just trying to get down to the next dB for your HTPC, heat and the associated noise of cooling a high end build is always a factor.  With the Ultra Aluminum Hard Drive Cooler, Ultra is bringing the same heat pipe solution found in may top heatsinks to your high performance hard drive.  Lets see how this cooler measures up here at the Club.

box

     Ultra packages the Aluminum Hard Drive Cooler in the same eye catching box we have seen in most of their products this year.  The box is simple and showcases both the product and the key specifications.

oobe

     The heatsink packaging includes mounting hardware, a simple full color guide and a registration card.  Registration is required to activate the Ultra 3-Year warranty.  The actual heatsink is an attractive blue aluminum with polished fittings and pipes.

Specifications:

  • Heatpipe Material: Sintered Powder Heatpipe
  • Heatsink Material: Aluminum
  • Grounding: Wire Grounding
  • Dimensions: 143 x 122 x 42mm
  • Weight: 402g

Features:

  • Passive Thermal solution for Hard Drives
  • High performance sintered powder heatpipe dissipates heat efficiently
  • Rubber dampers reduce HDD noise and vibration
  • Top heatsink fins provide an outstanding cooling surface area
  • Fan-less operation
  • 3-Year Warranty

front

     The compact size of the Hard Drive Cooler is designed to fit into your 5.25' drive bay with room for the heat pipes to dissipate heat around the drive.

corner

     Flush mounted screws will hold the drive in place and the top heatsink is held tight against the top surface by the four spring mounted screws on the top of the unit.  Four rubber mounting screws will hold the assembled drive in place to reduce vibration.

The install:

drive

     For today's installation I chose one of my Western Digital 74 GB Raptor drives.  These drives are still some of the fastest on the market and have a reputation for both noise and heat.  Normally I run a set of these drives in a RAID 0 for maximum performance so a successful test may mean a set of these drive coolers will find a permanent home in my gaming build.

side

     Installing the drive is quite simple; simply insert the drive into the drive cooler and apply gentle pressure to line up the screws, shown here at the far right, then screw on the rubber coated dampeners.  Install the included grounding cable on one of the mounts and you are ready for the case.

corner

     Here is a closer look at the installed drive.  Notice the top heatsink is held tightly against the top surface for maximum heat dissipation.  The sides hold solidly along almost the entire length of the Raptor providing the heatpipes with the rest of the cooling duty.

installed

     I installed the Ultra Drive Cooler into the front bays on my Tagan El Diablo case.  This meant using a set of the supplied rails to hold the drive assembly in place.  As you can see here, the drive fits nicely into a single bay slot even using the rails.

Performance:

     With any hard drive reducing heat and vibration will result in a more dependable and longer life of the drive.  With a street price of over $40, I want to see a measurable performance boost.  I formatted the Raptor for testing and measured the heat both at idle and during hard drive benchmarking with HDTach.  Ambient room temperature was measured at 72 Degrees F during testing.  All of the temperatures were recorded from the center of the top surface and the leading edge with the higher score recorded.

chart

     Here you  can see the results.  With the Stock setup the Raptor Idled at 88 and load temperatures reached almost 100 degrees.  With the Ultra Hard Drive Cooler installed the temperature dropped 2 degrees at idle and an impressive 11 degrees at load.

Conculsion:

     As you can see, the temperature difference between a stock Raptor and the Raptor equipped with the Ultra Hard Drive Cooler is quite measurable.  The Aluminum Hard Drive Cooler keeps the temperature from climbing more than 2 degrees.  The 11 degree difference at load is definitely a noticeable amount.  You may be thinking that the difference is not going to effect you system performance enough to justify adding a hard drive cooler, but remember that's potentially 11 extra degrees added to your system at load.  11 extra degrees every other system component has to deal with making each of your other cooling solutions work that much harder to keep things cool. 

     The Ultra Aluminum Hard Drive Cooler is a nice looking product that makes a measurable difference in your system heat level potentially adding to your overall performance and extending the life of your hard drive.  Is it worth the $20 dollars to you?  With drive prices at historic low levels you can get a pretty good drive for not much more, but protecting your data may also be a factor over time.  If you are serious about cooling to reduce heat and sound levels this may be the product you have been looking for, but its overkill for most systems.

Note: Club Overclocker is now using a new rating system based on a score of 1 to 5.
Please go to our rating system page for more information.

Performance: 4 out of 5

Innovation:

4 out of 5

Quality:

5 out of 5

Stability:

N/A
Aesthetics: 4 out of 5

Software/Drivers Pack:

N/A

Overclocking:

N/A
Value: 4 out of 5

4.0

Project Skill Level
(5 being most difficult)

2 out of 5




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