Cooler Master Choiix C-HL04-KP Air-Through Stash Notebook Cooler Review



I plan on testing this with a 500GB SATA HDD which I took out of a recently dismantled external enclosure.  For the cooling test, I am going to use my Asus EEE 900a netbook.  Here are the specs on that particular netbook:

  • Asus EEE 900a Netbook
  • Seagate Momentus 7200.4 500GB Hard Drive
  • OS: Windows 7 (other Windows 7 articles here)
  • 8.9” Display
  • 1.6Ghz Intel Atom Processor
  • 1GB DDR2 RAM
  • 4GB SSD

Running Windows 7 is a task in itself for a low power netbook such as the 900a.  On top of that, I am going to be running software to stress the system and heat things up a bit.  I’ll be comparing temperatures with and without the Choiix cooler.  Upon placing my netbook on the Choiix’s surface, I realized that there was no build in grip pad on the cooler.  Were it not for my Asus’ built-in grips, I would be holding it in place the whole time.  Many portable PCs these days don’t have integrated grips, so this might be a problem for some.  Also, the slant of the cooler wasn’t exactly comfortable for my style of typing, causing my wrists to cramp up after less than a minute of using it.  Thank Zeus I’m not writing this review on it or I’d have carpal tunnel.

Top and bottom of the notebook cooler

I stressed my system using Sandra without the use of the cooler.  The resulting temperature was a steady 63 degrees Celsius during full load, without cooling.  I let the netbook cool down and turned on the Choiix.  I immediately noted how loud the fan was.  Not jet engine loud, but louder than an 80mm fan should be.  The most likely cause is a lack of anti-vibration gaskets on a fan that is set in a mostly hollow plastic enclosure.  The result would be like talking putting an ear bud inside an empty peanut butter jar.  It’s going to amplify the sound and bring about an exaggerated amount of noise.

A closeup of the cooling fan and hard drive hood

Anyway, after turning on the fan I started up Sandra again and ran the stress test.  I came away with a temperature drop of three degrees, with a final temp of 60 degrees Celsius.  Not a huge drop, especially with the amount of noise this thing was generating.  I also noticed that, by feel, there wasn’t a lot of air pressure coming from underneath the cooler.  It was flowing, but the pressure was minimal.  I’m sure with a different fan, something more advanced than a standard bearing fan, there would have been a much more impressive temperature drop.