In conjunction with the review, I was able to set up a brief Q&A with 3DCool.com. Here are the results.
nV News: 3DCool, how did you decide to start the company? Was it a hobby that went full-time?
3DCool.com: 3DCOOL's initial aspiration was to satisfy the need of PC cooling as manifested by the gaming industry. Since then, we have grown to become a recognized supplier of leading edge PC cooling and computer technology. Our current focus is on both the increasing demands of SLI technology coupled with the needs of silent PC solutions.
nV News: You are very proud of your family owned status. Is it easier to "be the boss" with family as fellow employees?
3DCool.com: We find the family owned business to be very challenging as each of us is very critical of ourselves so as to not let the others down. We have a model that can be best depicted by a three legged stool. Each member has specific critical skills (technical, marketing & sales, overall business acumen) that allow us to function as a close knit team.
nV News: How much does work carry over into the time away from the office? Is business a constant topic and how do you and the family separate the two?
3DCool.com: Being an e-commerce business requires us to be involved on a 24/7/365 basis. Subsequently, this places a great deal of demand on all of us. Actually, we all maintain a well balanced personal life with our families, as well as with our business.
nV News: Best part about living in the Rochester area? Worst part?
3DCool.com: Rochester is an ever changing technology area. While companies such as Kodak and Xerox are downsizing, others are growing with a shift towards more entrepreneurial venture companies. We also have a strong "incubator" for local start-ups sponsored by local industry and universities such as the Rochester Institute of Technology and the University of Rochester.
nV News: How do you see the case modification market progressing? What is the next big thing?
3DCool.com: There will always be a need for case modifications as it allows individuals to differentiate their rig. The case modification market continues to move in the direction of commodity status with more case manufacturers incorporating out of the box mods. PSU manufactures are adding sleeving and modularity, as well as lighting. Monitoring and control devices utilize eye catching effects. This makes it difficult to differentiate in this arena. Price and selection become driving factors.
From an overall market, we see a movement towards larger cases to meet the ever increasing need for cooling (thermal management), as well as wire dressing and management.
The next big technology thing appears to be dual core (a dual core processor is two processor cores on one die essentially like having a dual processor system in one processor), dual-GPU board and nano technology (continued miniaturization with increased functionality).
nV News: Since this article focuses on quieting SLI, what special measures have you taken and will you be taking to support the SLI system builder?
3DCool.com: Cooling with an SLI system is an issue. The heat generated by the dual video cards and the increasing demands on the PSU and chipset dramatically increase heat and noise within the case. We are aggressively testing ways to keep the system cool while balancing this with noise. The core alignment with new and innovative technologies from SilenX Corporation, mCubed technologies, etc. is positioning 3DCOOL to lead the support for the SLI system builder.
3DCOOL prides itself in building systems with the latest computing and cooling technologies allowing us to act as a technical advisor to our global customers.
nV News: What do you see as the limits for system wattage before we need to consider more efficient means of powering a PC? Is the escalation of power requirements an inevitable side effect of Moore's law?
3DCool.com: The power consumption of current systems is immensely high, especially SLI. In addition to the CPU, the power supply will have to be powerful enough to feed the video card (two x16 slots with 75 Watts each in an SLI configuration), hard drives, optical drives, etc. that also draw power. We strongly recommend a minimum quality power supply rated at 500 Watts for standard systems and a minimum of 550 Watts for an SLI configured rig.
As technology continues to push the boundaries of computing power, the need for pure power becomes increasingly important. Extremely stable rail voltages, as well as frequency noise suppression, line conditioning, noise and ripple suppression, fail-safe protection / quiet operation become inevitable.