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Old March 14, 2009, 06:44 PM
Exmortis's Avatar
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Default Enermax Aeolus Review

Good day all, Today I will be giving a short web review of my new notebook cooler:

The Aeolus CP001-B from Enermax
http://www.enermaxusa.com/catalog/pr...2f7fc53d2ef0ec

I picked this baby up at the local Canada Computers store, new to Ottawa, for 46 plus the Harper fees. I have done alot of web research on note book coolers and learned there are not enough reviews, tests or people posting their findings. There are alot of claims out there and not alot of follow through. I also learned that 17' laptops do not get alot of support in this area either. It is also available in Silver.

Short Blurb on the unit:
ModelCP001-B
Material Brushed aluminum and steel mesh
Fan Dimension 220x220x17mm (8.66"x8.66"x0.66")
Fan SpeedLow (650R.P.M) High (850 R.P.M)
Noise Level17dBa (low) to 20dBa (high)
LED Indicator5 blue
LEDs with ON/OFF switch
Power SourceUSB power +5V
Cable Length500mm/19.68"
ColorsBlack
Dimensions (DxWxH)L350 x W330 x H45.5 mm(L13.78 x W13 x H1.8)Weight1.3kgs/2.86lbs



My test laptop for this today is the MSI GX735 purchased from NewEgg Canada.
MSI Notebook Official Website
A review will be coming soon on that puppy as I have more time for it. This laptop is a good candidate for active external cooling as it is outfitted with 4GB RAM, AMD Turion64 Ultra dual core running at 2.2GHz and ATI HD3850 512VRAM running at 450MHz.

For the simple testing I used 3D Mark 2005, I own all of the 3d Mark products.
I will not be giving performance testing numbers, I ran each test with 3D Mark 05 running in a 3 loop test to give a approximate idea of what 30minutes of straight system load would generate in heat. I am not here to champion the laptop or software product nor the latop's performance. Just the cool or not so cool facts jack.

I used Speed Fan and GPUz to record the temperatures. SpeedFan gave me the CPU temp and the ambient board temp, GPUz gave me....wait for it....the GPU temp.

First off lets take a look at the packing:

Here is a picture of the front of the box, pretty standard stuff. The box has a nice picture and some basic information.

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Here is the back side of the box, another smaller pic, some specs and a wild claim of 22 degrees worth of cooling. Yeah we will see. Also note, the unit is cooled by a massive 250mm fan, thats one honken unit!! Impressive over the normal pair of 80mm fans you see, that alone should remove the "hot spots", and cool the entire underside of the unit. But the question still remains, can this unit handle a real notebook? Not some mainstream system that can barely bring up PowerPoint? read on oh ye unfaithful. Also notice my assistant as well inspecting the features list.

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Every reviewer worth his salt will test the strength and quality of the packing to ensure a safe transport. Here my assistant reviewer LOKI inspects and tests the strength of the box when a heavy weight is sitting on it.

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Here is the open box, with the unit packed in. You can see the plastic wrapped around the Aeolus and the two foam inserts holding it firmly in place. Very good packing job, inside as well is the simple USB cable to power the unit. It was taped under the unit in box.

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Now we can look at the unit its self.

Here we can see the Unit, its a very simple design. The unit is 100% aluminum (except Mesh), if you were wondering. The only plastic to be found is the Fan, its mount and the units control box located underneath hiding all the electronic stuffs. Its very solid, and feels like it would never break or bend easily. Its heavy, 1.3Kgs, thats over 2.5lbs for our southern friends. Not a light unit, but you cannot have solid and light. Notice the Mesh, the fan can be seen as a shadow beneath, a little look the behemoth of a fan here.

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A quick glance at the side profile and you can reall get a feel for its design. The front acts like a wrist rest, though not a huge help, it isn't in your way either. If you wanted more support you could tack on something, like a gel pack. But I think it was designed to be neutral. The slight raising of the back of the unit is seen here, giving a nice ergonomic feel to it. You can also see the nice Diamond cut edges, very smooth. Also you can see the very pleasing brushed aluminum look, I think its rather sexy.

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The back pic reveals the small but complete control panel. You have a USB port for the units to power it self. I would have liked a passthrough USB port here, your giving up a valuable connection to power the unit, would have been nice for Enermax see to it your able to connect all your toys regardless of using their cooler. The LED on/off switch, which I am grateful for. I am not much for bling, and giving us the choice? thats called thinking ahead, cudos to Enermax. Also you can see the on/low/high switch. Giving us two speeds is great, but with a monster 25cm fan, will there be a need for a low setting? I mean how much noise will it make? Had me wondering.

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Now we come to the Geek Porn Pic, the under side. The Real Deal, the Nude shot, the Nakkid assesment of what this baby has got. Notice right away the fan Dominates the landscape. You can barely see the little plastic housing of the control box. It really is simple. And that my friends is a good thing. Why complicate things beyond what is needed, one bejeezus mother of a fan and thats it.

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Here is a quick pic of the cable that comes with the unit. Notice it is a standard USB cable, no fancy shmancy cable you will pay out your nose to replace if you lose it. Cudos again Enermax.

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So now your thinking, Cool Scotto my man, it all looks very sexy and dude I want to run out now and buy it!!!! But does it work? I mean is it just another stupid geek toy like my USB coke cooler or my USB rocket Launcher? Will women want to touch it and squeeze it like little Buger King Burgers? Good questions me bros, lets find out.

Um well no on that last part, but the rest? I think I have given a good indication, read on.


Ok first things first, lets see a quick pic of the laptop, so you can see what it looks like alone on the desk. Its a pretty sexy laptop, and for the record one of the big selling points of the Enermax unit for me was it is brushed Black aluminum, and so is the lid of my laptop as well as the inside top. So it is a very cool looking duo.

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Ok now we take a serious look at this bad boy all setup. Keep in mind that this is a 17' laptop, with a slightly larger then normal size. The screen is not edge to edge, and it has a full keyboard (though shrunk a bit) and it really not a small beast.

Here is the laptop on the unit itself. Now here is the one VERY important piece I must mention. If your laptop has front connectors, buttons or other such stuff, you could be out of luck. The lip of the Aeolus rides high on the laptop, as a base to keep it from sliding down, but could interfere with anything you may want access to there. My laptiop has no such issues, nothing but LEDS at the leading edge of the front, which you can see, so no such problem here. Keep that in mind when buying this or any other notebook cooler.

Notice also, its kinda hard in this view, but the laptop is substancially bigger then the unit itself. In fact it hangs over about 1cm on both side and the rear. while not substancial, it is a factor, a big factor as you will soon find out.

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Here is a side view of the laptop on the unit. Looks good, but again with the size of my laptop the first and the most serious issue I found arises. The rubber feet do not sit on the unit, they hang over the side. The laptop is sitting directly on the mesh, this in testing posed a serious issue.

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Here is a close up of the issue, and the crux of the numbers I first experienced when testing the unit. Again notice the rear rubber feet, its important. Notice also the USB cable for powering the device is plugged in here, as is my G5 mouse.

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OK it was time to test the unit. But before any reviewer can test a unit he must have it inspected by an appropriate authority, and today that authority is LOKI.

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Now that we are ready for testing, here is what I did.

Testing Methodology:

I used 3D Mark 2005 running on default settings looped to give me 30minutes of heatup time really working the unit. I turned sounds off, and let it run uninterrupted and used SpeedFan to record temps and GPUz. I know they may not be accurate, but they will give a delta between the two tests.

I ran the unit first on a wood surface, to simulate any desk. I did not move the unit, I made sure nothing impeded air flow around the unit either. I made no mods, or adjustments, just plunked it down, connected the G5 mouse and ran the benchmark.

I waited almost 30minutes between tests to ensure a return to normal operating temps.

The second test was simply setting the laptop on the cooling unit, dead centre, well as good as I can get it. And ran the same tests.

I do not know the Ambient temps in my apartment, but there are not really needed. I am not here to show max cooling potential of the cooler in a best case never could use senario. But show the average joe what they might expect as a real world performance of the unit if they were to buy it.

All tests were performed with the cooler on HIGH speed setting.

TEST #1 Laptop on desk:

The temps recorded for a 30 minute run of 3 Mark 2005 were:

Ambient Board: 39 degress
Core (both): 65 degrees
GPU: 63 degrees

I have to say, I was rather impressed. Thats a lot cooler then I expected, and the fan though spun up a few times, maintaining a faster spin each time, it never got overly noisey and would not have been a big deal gaming at all.


Test #2 Laptop on Cooler:

OK I stopped this test after the first run of 3D mark, since I was watching I was able to see the temps after each pass, and after the 1st one the CPU core was 67, the board was 65 and the GPU was 59. Obviously this did not work, the cooler actually heated up two of the temps a lot, thats less then 10 minutes of use (each test was 9m 57s). This is not a review sample but my own unit, sorry all I was not going to continue Test 2.


So, I was sitting there thinking what could be done? I had seen some user reviews and the unit performed well, so I looked up the Dell and the HP 17' laptops peeps used and I was pretty sure I saw the issue right away, the feet on those laptops appeared to be closer tegether. Meaning that unlike my laptop, the feet actually made contact with, and sat on the cooler raising it up. So, why not buy some rubber feet and stick em on the cooler? So a quick trip to Home Depot netted me these Vinyl feet.

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So here is the Modded unit:

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Now a shot of the laptop on the modded unit. Now it is very hard to see, but the laptop is now raised off the cooler mesh, and almost the same height as it would have been if the laptops own feet had been able to make contact.

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So lets now test again shall we.

TEST # 3 Modded Cooler:

The temps recorded for a 30 minute run of 3 Mark 2005 were:

Ambient Board: 44 degress DELTA +5 degrees
Core (both): 51 degrees DELTA -14 degrees
GPU: 52 degrees DELTA -11 degrees


Conclusion:

So now we have the temps. The Ambient board temp did go up, my laptop has a vent for intake under it, near the battery. I think the air from the fan actually stifled the laptops intake of air here. It may be more of a passive ventalation and the moving air actually interrupts the flow. The CPU temp was dropped a whopping 14 degrees, thats pretty substancial. The GPU temp was dropped 11 degrees, not as much as the CPU but still a very nice drop indeed. I would have to say thats a success. Though no where near the advertised numbers, they are likely best case senario. I have to admit, I did not expect this kind of performance over all, the ambient board temp aside, thats a sweet reduction.

The accoustics of the unit are nothing short of incredible, in fact I nearly cut my finger on the unit testing to see if the fan was even running on low, it is nearly silent even at high speeds, and is no where near as loud as my laptop fan which is actually very good in itself.

The laptop doesn't quite fit the cooler, here is where it lacks in its design. It specifys 17' laptops but that isn't quite true, there are some laptops with feet close to their edges then mine, and thus would suffer the same issue of blocking air flow rather then getting it. I think a 15' would be great and even 16' would be perfect. But 17' laptop owners beware, you may be in the market for vinyl feet!!

The unit is heavy, and not the most portable device. But if you travel less, and do want full power gaming while travelling to LAN games, parties or vacation it may be worth the extra weight. For me it fits in the MSI backpack that came with my laptop, but is noticable for sure. I would say this is the units biggest down fall, it is well constructed and thats why its heavy. But it is not portable, and isn't the point of a laptop to be portable? So this is not for the everyday traveller, but its good for a person like me who travels every 6ish weeks to friends place where we do a lot of gaming together, or for the lake on holidays when it rains (egads it rained alot last year, freaken weather, The bass are waiten!!!! while im sitting inside!!!).


Final Verdict

8.5 out of 10 LOKI APPROVED

The unit does what it is intended to do, offer a solution to cool down those high end mobile gamer rigs. Those with smaller laptops, or slightly different designs may see more of the cooling potential then I did, but regardless that 250mm fan is the key to this units performance.

Enermax has yet again produced a quality, solidly built product worthy of anyones green back. At under 50 spacebucks this is not a wallet breaker and for its intended purpose could result in a LAN game win, rather then a reboot disqualification from over heating.

I would like to thank my VISA card for the laptop and notebook cooler purchase, providing me with the equipment possible to produce this review.

Also thanks to my approval authority and assistant, LOKI the cat.

Cheers everyone

Exmortis
AKA Scott

PS I am not a professional review, just a geek, and this is my first ever web review post.
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Last edited by Exmortis; March 14, 2009 at 06:55 PM.
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Old March 14, 2009, 07:20 PM
Babrbarossa's Avatar
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Nice review! thanks for sharing. I was quite surprised to read that it was a very quiet cooler- wouldn't have guessed by looking at it.

(Loki rocks)
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Old March 14, 2009, 09:16 PM
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Thanks for this Exmortis! Some good work there figuring out what was going on with the rubber stand-offs.

BTW my cat always has to sit on any boxes I bring in the house too! They are indeed very thorough inspectors!
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