Coolermaster CoolDrive LiteMar 22nd, 2005 | By Archive
Coolermaster CoolDrive Lite
: 03/22/05 – 01:47:40 AM
Page 1 : Introduction
Overclockers Online recently reviewed the award winning Cooler Master Wave Master LE. We now bring you the continuing thrive by CoolerMaster to create the ultimatly cooled case.
Today we bring to you the CoolDrive Lite. This slimmed down version of the CoolDrive series brings to you exactly what you need – keep your hard drive cool, without all the flamboyant extras.
Page 2 : Specifications/Package
We'll dive right into this review by looking at a short list of numbers about the CoolDrive.
- 150 x 43 x 203 mm
- 44mm blower fan, 3000 RPM+/-10%, 23dBA
- 12V/ 1.5A +/- 5%
Inside of the box we have our instruction booklet, a thermal pad, and some screws for installation.
So you have the numbers, and you've seen the box, let's move on and take a look at the actual CoolDrive and see what it can do.
Page 3 : Product Details
CoolerMaster states some of the CoolDrive's key features on their website:
- All aluminum case with heat sink bottom and high performance thermal pad for maximum cooling efficiency.
- Integrated 44mm blower, bottom and front panel venting for total HDD cooling.
- Reduce hard drive surface temperature and noise.
- Fits any 5.25" drive bay and any brand name hard drive.
- Supports both IDE; SCSI & SATA standard.
- Designed for DIY applications, can also be used for RAID towers, severs, industrial PCs.
Let us first take a closer look at what we're working with here.
The CoolDrive series of hard drive coolers includes anything from the CoolDrive Lite, a CoolDrive 3, CoolDrive 4, CoolDrive 5, and even a CoolDrive 6! Now they all have their set of features. But today we're talking about the slimmed down version, the CoolDrive Lite.
The entire CoolDrive is made up of a solid aluminum construction, save of course the front grille. The majority of the perimeter of the CoolDrive is just the casing, however the bottom is molded into it's own heatsink.
The CoolDrive itself has a fair amount of weight to it, but it is by no means heavy because it is only solid aluminum, and aluminum is a fairly lightweight material. But add more than two of these devices to your case for two drives and you will notice the weight gain if you're taking your rig to a LAN Party.
So now that you've had the grand tour of the CoolDrive, let's see what it can do.
Page 4 : Installation
So we'd like to see what this CoolDrive can actually do for you, but first we have to put our drive in it. This procedure is not difficult at all.
The first step is to lay the thermal pad onto the hard drive, we lay this on the side with the electronics, as those are what heat up!
Once the thermal pad is in place, the hard drive is positioned into the bottom half of the CoolDrive, and attached with provided screws.
Once the drive is secured to the bottom of the CoolDrive, the next step is to attach that entire unit to the rest of the CoolDrive. Again the provided screws will hold this in place.
Once the screws are in place, you are ready to go! The CoolDrive will slide right into your 5.25" bay drive, and you can use the screws provided to hold it in place.
And another shot from inside the case, you can see that the back of the hard drive is fully exposed so access to all of the connectors are not restricted.
After installing comes the exciting part, does this really cool our hard drive up to 41%?
Page 5 : Testing
For our testing, we will be using the Western Digital Raptor 36.7gb 10,000 RPM hard drive. This drive is known to run loud and hot. So it will be a perfect test subject.
Once the CoolDrive was installed as per the instructions in the previous section, I slid it right into place in my 5.25" bay, attached my SATA and power cable, the blower power, and was ready to go. I sarted out by letting the hard drive idle within Windows, and recorded temperatures. I then stressed the hard drive, by duplicating a 2gb file onto the same drive. This was a fairly quick process with the raptor, but the temperatures maxed out which is what we were looking for. To get the temperatures, I used software called SpeedFan which can monitor the S.M.A.R.T data from my hard drive, including temperature. Also, during the test, the room temperature averaged right at 68F, or 20c, and the case temperature was almost exactly the same.
And the results are in:
During the test the hard drive light on the front of my system was on solid, showing plenty activity, but the noise coming from the drive was definitly surpressed. Although the drive was never abnoxiously loud to begin with, it was definitly muted further. The blower on the CoolDrive is rated at 23db, and during the test could barely be heard, unless you stuck your ear to the front of the case of course.
Page 6 : Conclusion
Overall I really like the CoolDrive. With more people moving towards a watercooled or other fanless systems, components like your hard drive are simply left to bake. The CoolDrive offers a quiet solution to keep your hard drive from going into a meltdown state. If you're looking for something with some more features on it, look no further than one of the other 4 models of the CoolDrive offered by CoolerMaster. With cooling in my case between 5% and 13% (or temperatures dropping about 10C), this would be a great addition to a watercooled system with minimal noise added! It's the perfect solution for those looking to keep their hard drives cool, but aren't quite ready to add that hard drive waterblock yet.
One of the features that CoolerMaster stated, was keeping the hard drive quiet. It has been a while since I have ran across what I would call a "loud" hard drive, but if you have a loud drive, the thermal pad, and plenty of aluminum on the CoolDrive would most likely insulate and of course easily protect your drive from shock or vibrations. For a hard drive cooler with a very competitive price and great cooling, check out CoolerMaster's CoolDrive to keep your hard drive cool and you happy.
- Quiet efficient cooling
- Variety of models tailored to exactly what you are looking for
- Very affordable
- Great companion for fanless cooling systems
- Won't work if you don't have a 5.25" bay available
- Not necessarily "full of features" as some of the other models may be
Thanks to Cooler Master for making this review possible!