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Evercool That Case

Iíve done a lot of case reviews recently. If youíve read them youíll probably notice Iím one for cooling the interior of a case as much as possible. I sometimes even modify a case while Iím testing it for a review. Why? Iíll test a case in its normal configuration and then find that Iím not satisfied with how hot my components are running. After a few minutes of studying a case I can usually find a way to improve the cooling of a case with a minimal amount of work. Unfortunately, for most of us, itís hard to know exactly how you will cool that case until youíve pulled it out of the box and are staring at it. If I can explain to you in a review the extra steps I took to cool a review unit, and the amount of work that was involved to do it, then I think you can make a more informed purchasing decision.

A couple of weeks ago the folks from Evercool sent me a care package. Inside were a few things that will do wonders to help you cool your case and keep your hard drive happy. When I did the Addtronics 7896A case review I came across the 120-mm Evercool intake fan. I was impressed not only with the volume of air that it moved, but also with how quiet the unit was. That led me to investigate Evercoolís site and I was blown away with the number of cooling products they have. A couple of weeks later I found the Ultimate Hard Drive cooler and a couple of case fans on my doorstep. You may remember the Ultimate Hard Drive Cooler from Olegís harddrive cooler shoot out. It took the blue ribbon there. Coupled with the fans that Evercool sent I had enough products to show how you can cool your case and the harddrive easily. So hereís an easy how-to that can help you with your cooling problems.

Ultimate Hard Drive Cooler: 80-mm case fan: 92-mm case fan:
  • Two 40x20 mm fans
  • A large heatsink that attaches to the harddrive
  • Held on with spring tension
  • Mounts your 3.5" HD in a 5.25" bay
  • An attractive 5.25" grill is provided for your bay
  • High CFM air flow
  • Ball bearing design
  • High CFM air flow
  • Ball bearing design

Installation:

The Ultimate Hard Drive Cooler (UHDC) is quite easy to put together. You simply mount your 3.5" hard drive onto the heatsink, and allow the springs on the heatsink to push the hard drive firmly to it. After that, mount it in a 5.25" bay and plug in the power harness. The last step is to install the grill into the 5.25" bay opening. Thatís it. It makes quite a difference, and should really help 7200-RPM IDE drives and SCSI drives run cooler. Since the Addtronics 7896A case I was using has an area in its top to mount one 5.25" drive I mounted the UHDC there. This mounts the cooler in the rear above the power supply, and even has cooling holes that are drilled in the rear of the case that allow the UHDC to draw air into the case. One benefit of mounting the HD in this area is how little noise gets transmitted through the case, but there was quite a bit less noise than before. This made me suspicious, so I went ahead and mounted the UHDC in a 5.25" bay. There was no discernable HD noise being emitted from the case. So not only does the UHDC do a great job of cooling your drive, it also makes the HD much quieter.

The 80-mm and 92-mm case fans were next. Both were supplied with standard 4-pin power plugs so installation was a snap. I placed the 80-mm fan in the low intake area of the 7896A. The case is already equipped with the Evercool 120-mm case in this area. Installing the 80-mm fan above the 120-mm monster really makes the 80-mm fan look tiny. Does it make a difference? In short, yes. Though it definitely canít pump out the airflow that the larger fan can, it does add to the intake air charge. With a big 120-mm fan doing most of the intake work you wouldnít think that a small 80-mm fan could help the situation much. This is one of those pleasant surprises. I noticed a 1.2 to 1.4 degree F drop in internal case temp. This was also with the help of the 92-mm fan. One great side affect of all this intake air is that now instead of having dust bunnies stick to my clothes they are all stuck on the intake filter of the case.

I placed the 92-mm fan on one of the side intakes of the case (the case will hold four of them). These are mounted onto the framework that holds in the peripheral drives and are designed to use 80-mm fans. That didnít stop me though. With a couple of plastic zip-ties I mounted the fan to the grill opening in the case and plugged in its power connector. It was that easy. Immediately I noticed a 15 degree F drop in temp around my CDRW on top of the drop Iíve already mentioned in general case temp. The CDRW temp drop occurred while burning a couple of CD-R discs. If I decide to mount three more of these fans I wonít have to worry about any of my bay-mounted peripherals getting too hot, not that they do now. Even with only one 92-mm fan mounted in this fashion I noticed that all the components were cooler. Add to that the benefit of more air being pushed onto the UHDCís heatsink and suddenly I felt very good about running a 7200-RPM HD on an out of spec PCI bus.

Pros:
Cons:

  • The UHDC definitely delivers on its promises
  • UHDC = HD muffler
  • The 80 and 92-mm fans are very quiet
  • Many different vendors sell the UHDC under different names

  • You may have some trouble locating Evercoolís case fans

Conclusions:

The 80 and 92-mm case fans are very quiet and they deliver a great amount of airflow. The Ultimate Hard Drive Cooler is a very valuable piece of insurance for fast IDE drives and those who canít do without their SCSI drives. If you run a SCSI or IDE 7200 RPM drive then I highly recommend you make an investment in keeping that hard drive alive. A big bonus is that I havenít heard that drive in a while and anyone with a very loud drive can appreciate that.

I contacted Evercool about a distributor of their products here in the United States and they recommended CWC-Group. If you contact them they should be able to help you with any of these products. When I gave their site a quick lookover I couldnít find these products listed and it looked to me like their site hasnít been updated in some time. I wrote to CWC-Group and asked for their pricing on these items but never heard back from them, so at this point I canít give you their pricing on the case fans or the UHDC, or verify that they carry them for that matter. For a little comparison shopping, the Ultimate Hard Drive Cooler retails for $22 dollars at 3dfxcool. Bart at 3dfxcool calls this unit the hddHO-Fan. I contacted Addtronics to find another vendor for these case fans. Cindy at Addtronics assured me that these case fans also could be bought from Addtronics.

Victor Oshiro
00/03/27






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