mCubed Vertical Silence Passive HDD Cooler and fanAmp Fan Controller Review - Page 1 of 3
Review by Kyle Kerley -December 6, 2005
With all of the advances in computer technology, CPUs have been reaching ridiculously high temperatures, video cards idle at 60°C and higher--and sometimes we've got two of them--computer cases are getting hotter and hotter. There isn't always a lot of room in there, either and with cables, one can be looking at quite the heater. Arguably the most critical item in a computer, the hard drive is just as susceptible to overheating as any other component and keeping your data safe should be of utmost importance. The people at Austria-based mCubed know that and have come up with world's first hard disk cooler that features vertical heatsinks to offer the best cooling for your personal data possible. As described on their site:
“Vertical Silence is a hard disc cooler, which is designed especially for passive cooling. It is the first hard disk cooler with vertical heatsinks, which allows an natural air convection, without an active fan cooler.”
Excited by the claims and impressed with the mass and look of the Vertical Silence, I quickly took my computer down and went about setting it up.
mCubed Veritcal Silence box and contents
Click Image to Enlarge
For starters, the Vertical Silence came in a simple white cardboard box with a picture of the product inside on top--as shown above; ignore the gray, patterned box. Inside, the cooler is protected by a sheet of bubblewrap and while packed very well, my sample was not free from damage. A chunk from the top right corner of the back plastic faceplate was broken upon arrival. It was merely a cosmetic defect, however. The picture below shows this broken corner (in the bottom left of the picture).
Besides the actual cooler, there was also a baggie with mounting screws and an "instructions" card included in the box.
Top-down view of the Vertical Silence
Click Image to Enlarge
The Vertical Silence converts a 3.5" HDD into a unit that fits into any open 5.25" bay.
The chassis is black and has a good weight to it. It feels solid and reliable. The inside consists of copper heat conductors/spreaders and a foam-like padding material that used to cover the drive.
The clear-plastic front and back panels are secured by four screws and have an anti-scratch plastic coating covering them. The only way to get the coating off completely required that the screws be removed and the plastic peeled off. This was mildly annoying as it took over five minutes to do. The plastic is thin and does not do much to protect (as seen by the shattered corner).
Installing my 60GB ATA133 Maxtor Diamondmax 9 hard drive into the Vertical Silence was a snap—no thanks to the included instructions sheet however. The sheet is small and quite vague, leaving most of the work up to intuition and going with what looked right. The website just had a copy of the same useless instruction sheet with no further explanation. With seven years of German under my belt, I figured the native language instructions would be better. They were not. They said the exact same thing the English translation said.
It took mere seconds to get the drive in between the copper heat spreaders. However, the foam rubber was much too long requiring that I bunch it up in the front of the drive where there was a little extra room, in order to allow the IDE and power connectors to remain uncovered.
The Veritcal Silence closes by sliding a piece of metal over the top through a slot carved out in the back plastic faceplate. Because of the foam padding being bunched up, what resulted was a 5+ minute struggle to get the Vertical Silence closed because there was too much foam at the front of it sticking up out of the cooler.
Finally, the cooler was closed and was put into my case. The cables were reattached with little problem and the drive was ready to go in my 5.25" bay.
Now, the big test: just how well will this passive cooler work?