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VGA cooling overkill?

Product : 2 Cool PC
Price : $25.00 for 2 Cool PC, $35.00 for 2 Cool PC PLUS (price excludes postage)
Available from : 2 Cool PC
Related reviews : Globalwin CAF12

2 Cool PC is a product that many misunderstand the full use of. Many think this cooler is here to replace your case fan, however it is not here to that, but to compliment it. It's a simple concept, it feeds air from a 92mm fan situated at the front of the plastic ducting. The air is channeled by the plastic ducting over your VGA card and quarter is channelled to your PCI cards. There are two flavours available, the 2 Cool PC and the 2 Cool PC Plus. The difference between the two is that the Plus version has a high quality ball bearing fan, which pushes out 50 CFM of air. The 2 Cool PC has a sleeve bearing fan which pushes out a very creditable 42 CFM.

Moving away from the two versions, we have been running these two in two different rigs to see how they adapt. We tried the 2 Cool PC Plus in our dual celeron rig, which has 5 Sunon 80mm fans, but no case fan, and we were surprised to see the result in there. We also fitted the 2 Cool PC onto our Athlon rig where there was no case fan, but 1 80mm exhaust and 1 80mm sucker (technical term used there). In the second system we were quite surprised at the result it had on our VGA card.

However before we go much further here are the complete specifications of the two coolers :-

2 Cool PC 2 Cool PC Plus
42 CFM 92x92x25 mm Sleeve Fan
Runs at 2150 RPM
.2 Amp Power draw 24,000 Hour life expectancy
Y Style Molex Power Connection
50 CFM 92x92x25 mm Double ball bearing fan
Runs at 2450 RPM
.3 Amp Power Draw. 65,000 Hour life expectancy
Y Style Molex Power Connection

From the outside there is little difference between the two products, however because of the higher specification, and more reliable fan in our tests the 2 Cool PC Plus did do a little better. Even though we tried the products on two of our rigs we used only one for the actual results below, to save confusion. The system we used was :-

Athlon 550 @ 700Mhz
Guillemot MAXI Gamer Xentor 32 running at 183/183
Various other PCI cards (Ethernet, SCSI, etc)

The Xentor already had a beefy fan and heatsink on it, but it was still quite hot. We recorded temperatures near 38C, and if the 2 Cool PC could bring down this temperature, it would be a result. We also looked at the case temperature as a whole.

Xentor 32 2 Cool PC 2 Cool PC Plus
Before 38C 38C
After 35C 33 - 34C

Case temperature 2 Cool PC 2 Cool PC Plus
Before 34C 34C
After 33C 32 - 33C

So from the results we see that it has quite an affect on the VGA card. The temperature drop was good, but we still couldn't get the card to run any higher. Since this product isn't meant to replace your case fan, there was very little difference in the overall case temperature.

There is a small feature we haven't mentioned yet. The cooler sits above the PCI/AGP slots, but it has a very neat way of staying in place. Supplied is 3 little pieces of velcro which means that you can the 2 Cool PC off and place it back again. The velcro does a good job of holding it in place, and is quite a neat little trick.

Overall, the 2 Cool PC and the Plus version are pretty good products. The plastic shell is of quite high quality, and the fans aren't as loud as you might expect them to be. If you compliment it with a good case fan. like Globalwin's CAF12 (review can be found here), then you could be onto a winner. However I am still wondering if having a cooler like the CAF12 and using the 2 Cool PC would be worth the hasstle. We fixed up our Globalwin CAF12 and put the 2 Cool PC Plus in as well and saw no difference in the temperature.

We would certainly recommend the 2 Cool PC if you don't have a cooler like the CAF12, but if you do, then you might considering just leaving it as it is. In some cases it is not possible to fit the CAF12 and the 2 Cool PC together, either. However for the price, the 2 Cool PC isn't a bad buy, but we'd urge you to consider the CAF12 as well.