+ cooling 'by contact' via large heatsink
+ very quiet
- limited air flow over the hard drive
- no HDD activity LED
When you see the CoolDrive cooler just from the outside, you might think: Hey, that's just a face plate with two fans - just like all those other HDD coolers! Wrong - the CoolDrive unit also includes a large heatsink that cools the hard drive by contact. A self-glueing thermal interface material is included, which you can glue on the HDD's chip set, and then install the HDD "inside" the heatsink. A great concept - but the weak point of this cooler are the fans. Unfortunately, there are only two of them, which provide very limited airflow. This is, in part, due to the dust filter - it does a fine job filtering dust, but it also inhibits air flow.
If your case ventilation is already quite good, and you're just looking for something that will cool specifically the HDDs without adding much noise, then the CoolDrive is a good choice. Unlike other HDD coolers which provide more airflow, it will not have any noticable effect on overall case cooling.
The CoolDrive's heatsink
The hard drive is screwed directly on the heatsink, so that the HDD's PCB has direct contact to the cooler. The massive heatsink also has the advantage of providing vibration-free mounting for the HDD, possibly resulting in a lower noise level. The supplied thermoconductive foam pads can easily be removed once the HDD is uninstalled, so there should be no problems if the drive ever needs RMA.
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