CM Storm SF-17 Gaming Notebook Cooler ReviewWesstron - August 5, 2013
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CM Storm SF-17 Gaming Notebook Cooler Testing:
I will be using the Acer Aspire V3-571-6884 as a test system to perform temperature monitoring at different load levels. The variable fan speed of the CM Storm SF-17 Gaming Notebook Cooler is a great feature and I made sure to capture any performance increase - if any - depending on the speed setting. From previous experience, laptop coolers have a mild effect on CPU or GPU temps, so let's see what the SF-17 is capable of.
Temperatures will be recorded at idle and load states. The fan speed on the CM Storm SF-17 Gaming Notebook Cooler will be set respectively to off, 50%, and 100%. The Notepal U2 Plus will be running both fans at 100% for the purpose of this review since it's not possible to control the speeds on this specific cooler without modification. Load state will be reached by running Prime95 for a minimum of 15 minutes. All temperatures are in degrees Celsius; lower is better.
- Acer Aspire V3-571-6884
- CM Storm SF-17 Gaming Notebook Cooler powered through the USB cable provided
- Ambient temperature 24 ºC
- Load temperatures measured after a minimum of 15 minutes running Prime95
- Idle temperatures measured after a minimum of 25 minutes of laptop idle on desktop
- Test system was plugged to the charger and set on High Performance power setting
Looking at the charts, it's clear that the CM Storm SF-17 Gaming Notebook Cooler succeeds at shaving off a few degrees of the CPU temperatures. Which is a great feat; knowing that no matter how much air you blow at the outside of a laptop, it will not change the efficiency of the internal cooler. On the other hand, the bottom of the laptop and the wrist rest felt noticeably cooler than usual, which provides a greater comfort while working or gaming.
The stepless fan speed control came in handy when I wanted to fine tune the RPM. The CM Storm SF-17 Gaming Notebook Cooler is not a silent unit and it's very noticeable over the normal ambient noise at 100%. Dialing it down under 50% makes it a pretty quiet cooler that still performs decently. Also, the unit generates a slight vibration that's consistent no matter the fan speed setting. This shouldn't be a huge issue for most users with powerful gaming laptops, since they usually use external peripherals for gaming.
All four USB ports worked perfectly when used with different USB devices. The build quality is great and reflects a certain standard that I have come to expect from the CM Storm brand. The different materials used fit nicely and the end result feels very sturdy. The height adjustment mechanism is simple yet efficient and should be tough enough to support heavier systems even at the most inclined setting. I felt that the lowest setting was the most comfortable for my typing style, so for this one feature your mileage may vary. Tip of the hat to Cooler Master for the great job with the anti-slip material used here; even at the highest position setting, the effect of gravity was kept in check and the test system didn't really slide. However, I secured the laptop with the retention tabs just in case since they are available.