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Windows 7: Cooler Master SF 19 - pics/review


20 May 2011   #1

Windows 7 Home Premium x64
 
 
Cooler Master SF 19 - pics/review

I was debating between a laptop docking station and a high-power cooling pad rigged as a docking station. Well, after some searching, I found the Cooler Master SF 19 with USB 3.0, and decided to get it. I've already noticed huge temperature drops while gaming. Whereas my Sandy Bridge i7 would hit 68-70C while gaming, it's now only hitting 58-62C while gaming.

Anyway, here are some pics with a storyline review.


The box itself was a testament to the word "massive", which is what I would use to describe this cooling pad.


Opening the lid of the box, I noticed there are three velcro "tabs," as if the box is meant to be used over and over? Hmmm.. Maybe the words "arming the gaming revolution" were meant to actually mean something?


The cooling surface itself is massive, measuring about 16 inches across. The entire cooling pad, at it's widest, is just over 19 inches wide. The lights, though you can change the color, are more annoying than cool, if you ask me, because they "pulse" and there is no setting for a steady on. Despite weighing over 8lbs, this thing feels extraordinarily flimsy when you're holding it (though I am sure it's actually well-constructed). The raised grey areas are rubber, the mesh is some sort of metal, and the rest is plastic. Off to the right you see the included USB 3.0 A to micro B cable in it's bag.


The SF 19 makes use of two 140mm fans with a stepless speed controller to run them anywhere from 1200rpm to 2600rpm. While it's running hard, it does generate a lot of noise, so I wouldn't recommend running it hard late at night if you have roommates who are sleeping. However, the fans are fully replaceable and moveable. Also, there are hookups for up to 4 fans, so I'm sure that if you were absolutely determined, you could perform mad scientist surgery and somehow squeeze four 80mm fans in there (not sure if you would want to, though). I'm thinking of getting quieter fans that have LEDs built in, for some cooler lighting effects, but I'm not sure if I would be compromising cooling power to do so..



The SF 19 includes a built-in 4-port USB 3.0 hub, with a micro B-cable port for going between the laptop and the hub.


Now I'm ready to set it up like the docking station I want it to be.
Setting the laptop on the pad, I start to hook up cables.


I had a 7-port USB 2.0 hub left over from a while back that I decided to incorporate into my design, just for sake of finding a use for the hub.


Here, the "dock" is complete (at least for now). This totals 5 ports USB 3.0 available, and 8 ports USB 2.0 available. I may include a HDMI splitter at some point, but since I have nothing to hook the HDMI up to, I'm fine for now.



All in all, I'm impressed by the SF 19 so far. I'll see how well it holds up in the long run, but considering it's going to be sitting on my desk permanently, I doubt anything will happen to it. The SF 19 comes in two options: USB 2.0 and USB 3.0. I got USB 3.0, which costs a fair amount extra, because my laptop has USB 3.0 and I wanted to maximize the use of it. Behind the laptop I have a plug strip for powering the cooling pad, laptop, and 7-port USB 2.0 hub. The SF 19 uses a 12V AC adapter that plugs into your wall or plug strip. I find that it elevates the laptop in such a way that is more erganomic for typing as well. Anyway, feel free to add in your own comments to this thread, ask questions, etc.

I would definitely recommend this to anyone who wants a great cooling pad for at home, something they're intending to leave set up in one place. For anyone who is a hardcore gamer, this is your cooler.. and if you don't mind hauling around a beast of a cooling pad to gaming conventions, then this is for you. This won't fit in a messenger bag or backpack unless you go to bigbadbags.com and pay a rather exorbitant amount for one of theirs. If you do get this for home use, I'd recommend also having a smaller cooling pad that you can take with you on the go. (That's what I use my Thermaltake Massive 23 LX for).

Cheers!

Also, if you found this review helpful, please say thanks!


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21 May 2011   #2

Microsoft Windows 7 Ultimate: x64 (SP1)
 
 

Thanks for taking your time for reviewing this kbronski!
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23 May 2011   #3

Windows 7 Home Premium x64
 
 

Anytime. I enjoy buying things and posting reviews. I'll be sure to do review for future purchases.
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23 May 2011   #4

HP Win7 Pro x64 | Custom Win7 Pro x64
 
 

Very nice. A buddy just bought one of Dell's setups, they're kind of copying HP a bit but he's been wanting to game on it, and I've had no idea what to recommend, I'll link him over. He's running identical specs pretty much.

Anyway when he enables 3D in games it gets extremely hot, so he needs something heavy duty.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
24 May 2011   #5

Windows 7 Home Premium x64
 
 

So far this cooler is proving to be pretty heavy-duty. I have yet to find a cooler online with better specs. As long as you keep the area underneath and around the cooler (try to aim for a 8-9 inch radius) clear of debris, it should be able to function at maximum potential (being able to pull air).
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07 Apr 2012   #6

Windows 7 Home Premium x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by kbronski View Post
All in all, I'm impressed by the SF 19 so far. I'll see how well it holds up in the long run
After owning the SF19 for close to a year, it has held up fantastically, and still out-performs any other laptop cooler on the market. Being in a dorm (and thus having no electric bill to pay), I've left it plugged in since late August and none of the electronics have worn out on it as of yet. The fans still work great.

One thing that might serve as cause for complaint, though, is this: sometimes, while my laptop is resting on it and my hands are resting on my laptop, the weight pushing downward causes a lot of metallic vibration. It doesn't appear that there is much clearance between the fans and the cooling surface. However, it hasn't affected the cooling performance at all. It has simply produced noise.

As far as peak cooling goes, I've found that it is not always achieved at 2600RPM... but rather somewhere in the middle, between 1800 and 2200RPM. I have yet to determine the "sweet spot" for optimal cooling in all situations, but I've found that running the fans too hard can actually interfere with the laptop's internal cooling system and thus trap heat inside of it (that is, based on measuring CPU core temps). Being that the cooling surface is relatively stable, if you want maximized cooling efficiency, you can remove the hard drive cover or other cover plates from the bottom of your laptop. This will open it up to increased airflow all the way through it.

As far as the built in 4-port USB 3.0 hub goes, the ports have held up well structurally, but I've noticed some powering issues. I run my 7" USB monitor using two of those ports, and I've found that while I am running the monitor, there is not enough power remaining to power my portable hard drive. That said, I think the ports are not powered by the external AC adapter, but rather by your laptop. I never took it apart to find out, so I could always be wrong.

If you have any other questions, ask and I'll answer!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
08 Apr 2012   #7

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

Thank you for the review kbronski, its really helpful for those who are looking for heavy duty laptop cooler with confirmed tests. and here I would like to add Zalman NC3000 and Cryo LX too. both confirmed to have 10-15C drops.

but If you are planing on getting a drop like 25-30C, I would suggest a custom made one like me and of course it wont cost more than 50$ even if you go for high end finish.
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08 Apr 2012   #8

Windows 7 Home Premium x64
 
 

How do you manage a 25-30C drop? I'd love to see your rig and how you made it.
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08 Apr 2012   #9

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

I managed to keep it under 75 while playing crysis (compared to 95 temp I recorded with AIDA64 and then I stopped playing) by placing a table fan behind the notebook at its full speed directly aiming at the bottom of my notebook and lift it bout 3-4cm from rear by placing thick books.

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sorry this was just made now. and behind it I have a table fan about 350mm running at full speed which kept me cool but now keeps both of us cool

and here's what I'm going to make. before this I confirm of its work without any base just by placing these fans on some cardboard and using couple of books. and without a cover, that means without this base stand( no base means that low pressure on air which blows at notebook), it kept me on 75. and Im pretty much sure after using some gaskets to seal and when Im done with overall finish, it will give me more power. here's a thread I made about asking enough power of the PSU.

http://www.sevenforums.com/overclock...ugh-power.html


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