CM Storm SF-19 Strike Force Review

Propane - 2010-10-20 10:16:43 in Mobile
Category: Mobile
Reviewed by: Propane   
Reviewed on: October 25, 2010
Price: $89.99 USD

Introduction:

As more and more people switch to laptops as their primary (or only computer), more and more games are being played on them. Since laptop chassis are often cramped, heat can become a major issue whenever hardware is pushed to the limit, which is often the case in gaming. To combat this, you can't just add a new heatsink or get a new water cooling system for obvious reasons. But, you can get a laptop cooler which is a device that helps move air around the outside of the laptop chassis by allowing the laptop to sit at an angle and by providing positive airflow by means of fans. The CM Storm SF-19 Strike Force from Cooler Master is one of the newest laptop coolers and it looks very promising. With almost everything on it being customizable, as well as support for 19" laptops and a USB hub, it might make the perfect laptop cooler for gaming.

Closer Look:

The packaging that the SF-19 comes in is pretty unique in that it unfolds to show you the product. On the front of the box is a picture of the cooler, as well as a large text that lets you know that the USB hub is USB 3.0. The back of the box lists the specifications of the cooler.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Opening the top flap shows the features on the flap part and on the bottom part you can see the actual product through a small window.

 

 

Opening the final flap lets you pull the cooler out. Under the cooler is a pamphlet and the wires for USB and power. The included pamphlet shows you the instructions to swap out fans, if you so wish.

 

Closer Look:

The way that the SF-19 Strike Force gets power is via a wall adapter. The wall adapter has an interesting design where the actual plugs that go in the wall can be switched. The only included adapter with the version I received was for North American outlets.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The USB cable that I had included with the SF-19 was blue and about 2 feet long so it should be able to stretch to any USB port on your laptop. The cooler itself has a metallic mesh top and rubber around the top and bottom to help keep the laptop from sliding when it's sitting on the cooler.

 

 

The left side of the cooler has some controls that can be used to turn the LED lighting on and off, change the LED lighting and control the speed of the fans. On the right side is where the USB hub is, as well as where you plug in the power.

 

 

The bottom of the laptop cooler has a trap door design so that you can open it up and replace the 140mm fans with your own if you so desire. The two included fans are pretty good though, so unless they fail or you want something softer or something that will move more air, there isn't much reason to be opening this trap door up. Also, around the edge of the cooler, in the rubber parts, is a groove that can be used to tuck cables away.

 

 

My 15" MacBook Pro sits comfortably on the SF-19 and doesn't slide around. As you can see, the cooler can accommodate much larger laptops, so the claim it can fit up to 19" laptops stands up.

 

Specifications:

Color: Black
Material: Reinforced Anti-slip Rubber / ABS Plastic / Enhanced Mesh Structure
Weight: 1.98 kgs
Dimension: 490x354x74 mm
Fan Dimension: 140x140x25 mm
Fan Life: 25,000 hours
Fan Speed: 1,200 ~ 2,600 RPM
Compatibility: up to 19' laptop
USB Port: Advance USB 3.0 x 4 & Micro-B x 1
Controller: Stepless fan speed controller, Color switchable led light, Led on/off
Operation Degree: 7.5 degree
Power: DC 12V / 2.5A adapter

 

Features:

All information courtesy of Cooler Master

Testing:

The CM Storm SF-19 Strike Force was tested in the same manner as all the other coolers I have tested (listed below and also compared in the graphs). I used it in conjunction with my Macbook Pro while I let the laptop run in an idle state while running a temperature monitoring application (iStat Pro). This allowed me to get both my CPU and GPU temperatures. I then repeated the test with the cooler and with the laptop straight on my desk. To get load temperatures, I chose to run Civilization IV: Beyond the Sword, which stresses the hardware of my Macbook Pro, generating heat. Again, this was repeated on the cooler and on the desk. The results from this testing will be specific to a Macbook Pro, but other laptops with rear vents should provide similar results.

Testing Setup:

 

Comparison Coolers:

 

The results below show that the SF-19 Strike Force did an excellent job moving additional air around my MacBook Pro.

 

 

Lower numbers are better.

As the graphs show, the SF-19 Strike Force was one of the best coolers I've tested in terms of cooling ability!

Conclusion:

The CM Storm SF-19 Strike Force is one of the best laptop coolers that I have reviewed. While it isn't the most mobile, it still makes an effort to be able to be totted around to LAN parties or wherever by way of a handle in the rubber edging. Also, the impressively large cooling surface and the replaceable fans really allow you to get the best cooling for your laptop while still letting you customize the fans to make the SF-19 your own. One thing I always look for when reviewing a laptop cooler is a USB hub. This is a great feature to have and the SF-19 is one of the few coolers I have reviewed that includes one. Not to mention that it's the first cooler that I have reviewed with a USB 3.0 hub. This will allow you to keep using the hub for the foreseeable future. Finally, by using the SF-19 you'll earn the thanks of your hands since the tilt that it puts your laptop at helps ergonomically. Overall, the SF-19 Strike Force is one of the best laptop coolers that I have reviewed and I would recommend it to anyone who wants the best performance for their system.

 

Pros:

 

Cons: