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Review: Vantec HDCS

by Craig Ball on 27 September 2004, 00:00

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As hard drives grow in capacity they are also getting faster which creates more heat. Hard drive coolers have been on the scene for a few years now but they are becoming more popular with the launch of new products from large companies such as Cooler Master and Vantec. Today I have received the latest hard drive cooling solution from Vantec. The Vantec Vortex Hard Drive Cooling System helps to reduce hard disk temperature to prevent read errors, reduced life cycles and loss of data. Some hard drive coolers basically screw onto the bottom of your hard disk drive which I suppose is a good cooling solution but there are better solutions available. Hard Drive Coolers such as the Cooler Master Cool Drive 3 and the Vantec Vortex HDCS are 5¼ inch devices which are positioned in a drive bay and act as a large heatsink for your hard disk drive. In theory any heat generated by the 3½ inch hard disk is transferred to the larger aluminium surround. The heat is spread over a larger area and can be cooled more effectively. The Cool Drive 3 has a 40mm fan positioned at the front of the hard drive cooler. All Shuttle XPC owners know that 40mm fans are generally very noisy, since the fan has to spin at such a high RPM to create any decent airflow, as seen in the Shuttle PSU’s. The Vantec Vortex uses a unique cooling system.

The Vortex is basically a large aluminium heatsink with a crossflow blower located at the front of the cooler. The crossflow blower is a unique design of cooling fan that is located horizontally across the device. A large grill on the front of the hard drive cooler allows the cool air to enter the case, cooling the hard drive. Since this grill is the full width of the 5¼ inch drive bay it means the crossflow blower can efficiently blow air equally across the hard drive instead of having dead spots like other hard drive cooling systems.

*Above picture taken from Vantec's Website

The Cooler Master Cool Drive 4 has a 40mm fan located to the left hand side of the 5¼ inch drive bay which means the right hand side of the hard drive isn’t receiving any active cooling from the intake fan. Vantec also provides 3 filters which helps keep dirt and dust out of your computer case. These are easily replaced by pulling down the flap on the front of the device.