AzenX X-Cruzer Flexible 70mm Fan Review

Sagittaria - 2006-12-30 23:47:40 in Cooling
Category: Cooling
Reviewed by: Sagittaria   
Reviewed on: February 26, 2007
AzenX
AzenX
Price: $20

Introduction:

    Today's high-speed computer hardware produces more heat than ever before, but how do you target a specific component while also looking good? This is where the AzenX X-Cruzer comes in with its highly adjustable neck and 360 degree rotational 70mm fan, allowing it to attack the heat at its source no matter where it's at.  All the while looking pretty neat with blinking LEDs and maintaining functionality with a built-in fan controller.

As far as AzenX goes, it is a new company with extensive ties to Dynatron, a highly respected cooling manufacturer. Ever since its founding, AzenX has been releasing unique cooling products never seen before, the flexible X-Cruzer being one of them.

Closer Look:

    The fans showed up in the usual annoying thick plastic packaging. Here you can take your first look at its unique design and concept.

 

After ripping apart the package, I found these:



On the left is the fan. As you can see, the fan is mounted on a spindle which in turn is on a flexible neck, thus allowing it to twist, turn, and spin to point at virtually anything in your case. The neck is the kind you would find on a desk lamp and is approximately 6 inches long. It uses a standard female to male molex connector so that it will not eat your valuable connections. The fan is hooked up by an extremely thin cable so that it will not get in the way.

Lastly, on the right are three 3M sticky pads. Their purpose will be explained later in the review.

Closer Look Continued:


    Let's take a closer look at the base itself.

 


The base is nothing spectacular. The back of the base has a knob which allows you to control fan speed. The entire base is a translucent blue, and on the bottom you can see 3 small magnets. This can obviously be useful on steel cases, as all you have to do to mount it is just slap it on somewhere. However, some cases are aluminum, so the magnets may not work. This is why AzenX included those sticky pads mentioned earlier, which unfortunately, you may have to use.

But having magnets near sensitive computer equipment is bad right? Nope. As long as you don't slap it directly onto your motherboard, hard drive or any other sensitive components, you'll be just fine.



This is the actual fan. It is fairly thin, and as you can see, you can spin the entire fan around, giving it even more room to point. This, combined with the goose neck, gives it all kinds of flexibility and choice! And of course, the fan grill. I never understood why they put it there. Granted, it does somewhat work, but it is more of a nuisance than anything. It's thin, plastic, and will easily snap. I ended up removing it.

Let's install it!

Installation:

    Installing this thing is a no-brainer. Simply stick it where you want and voila! That is, if you have a nice steel case. If you don't, you'll have to use the sticky pads that are included, which I had to use. I placed the fan next to my eVGA 8800GTS, which is, by far, the hottest component in my rig.



Looks like I was wrong. The neck is so long that it makes it extremely difficult to get it underneath anything without putting it into extremely awkward positions. There just isn't any room to route the thing anywhere, even in a full-tower case! It is just too big! My next gripe are the sticky pads. They are just not very sticky. Take the fan off a few times and they just aren't sticky anymore.

The fan itself spins inside the spindle right? This means that it just sits on two plastic pins. Don't get me wrong, the pins are fairly thick, but they are also short, so it will come apart very, very easily, a huge annoyance! I also found out that the touted 360 degree fan rotation was actually false. It's more along the lines of 320 degrees as there is a pin which stops the fan from spinning too far and thus twisting the wire into the fan.

So far as trying to cool a TV tuner card or any other miscellaneous card, that's pretty much impossible as there is no place to mount it, even in my full tower! You cannot mount it on the bottom and the sides of the case, as both the neck and base are far too big, and the neck just is not flexible enough to route through a computer. Once again, the sticky pads aren't the greatest, so I had all kinds of fun just trying to keep the fan from falling over.

To sum the installation up, the fan is far too big to make any real good use of it.

Specifications:

Key Features

  • Unique flexible goose neck fan body
  • Special designed 70mm fan profile rotated at 360°
  • Internal fan speed controller for desired system performance
  • A crescent-shaped UV fan frame with 3 blue LEDs and 2 multi-colors blinking LEDs
  • Best fan curve performance at low dBA noise
  • Reduce CPU and case temperature steadily and dramatically
  • Stylish cooler base with either magnet and double side tape attachment
  • Fits in most mid and full tower cases
  • Patent Pending

Applications

  • Hard Drive
  • Memory Module
  • Graphic Card
  • TV Tuner Card Chipsets
  • DVD-ROM

Specifications

 

Model No.

XC-MF70

Fan Dimension

70 x 70 x 15mm

Fan Speed

1500 ~ 3000 rpm

Fan Air Flow

9.104 ~ 21.594 cfm

Fan Noise Level

21.3 ~ 29.6 dBA

Fan Bearing Type

Fluid Bearing

Weight

150 g

Height (Max.)

258 mm


Next is testing!

Testing:

Testing Setup
CPU: Intel Core 2 Duo e6600 @ 3.6ghz
Mother Board: eVGA 680i SLI
RAM: Crucial Ballistix 2x1GB 1000mhz @ 1100mhz
Video Card: eVGA 8800GTS 640MB PCI-E
Power Supply: Etasis 850watt
CD/DVD: NEC 3550A & Pioneer A06
Case: Apevia X-Pleasure Full Tower
CPU Heat Sink: Thermal Right Si-128 w/ 120mm Silverstone
OS: Windows XP SP2

Lights
    I started up my computer and the first thing I noticed was the somewhat unique lighting AzenX decided to use.



Am I the only one here who thinks it is just plain cheesy and annoying? There are 3 center LEDs which are a solid blue, and on both ends are tri-color LEDs which flash and blink between red, blue, and green. Wow, it lit my case up like a Christmas tree. AzenX certainly went over the top here. They're awful bright too! The lights alone just wanted me to rip it out!

Cooling
I tried every combination I could think of to see how much I could reduce temperatures on any component. I tried blowing on the video card, the memory, the chip set, and the CPU. From what I could tell, it did nothing to the temperatures. As I thought, simply having a fan blowing on something alone will not reduce temperatures. Just goes to show that having good heat sink and fan combos, with some decent case fans, will be just fine. However, it does put out a good amount of air!

Noise
I tried turning up the fan to full blast, and I could not hear anything. You will not be able to hear this thing!

Power
Using my trusty Kill A Watt power meter, I found that the fan uses approximately 2 watts on its lowest setting, and 3 watts on its highest. How did I find this? The power monitor can monitor AC draw. I just set it on watts and plugged in a generic 400w power supply with nothing on it. It used 10 watts. I plugged in the fan and read the numbers, 12 and 13, and I simply subtracted 10 from each.

Next is the Conclusion!

Conclusion:

    Well, I found this fan sort of annoying and useless. The Christmas lights, poor fan mounting, annoying construction and the fact that it's just too big to point it where you want it to! Not to mention the fact that it pretty much has no real cooling ability. In my opinion, just get a few good heat sinks and decent case fans and that'll do worlds better than putting this thing in. Good concept, bad implementation, and poor real world results.

Pros

Cons