Vantec 701A HDD Cooler

by Greg King on December 12, 2005 in Cooling

Hard drive a little hot around the collar? We are looking at a great looking cooler from Vantec. It’s not an enclosure, but rather straps to the side of your drive. Let’s take it for a test drive.

We all know the problems that heat can cause. Lock ups, lower performance and even data loss. Can heat really cause data loss? Yes it can. Heat is the enemy of everything in your PC and that includes your hard drive. Heat can lessen the life of your hard drive and when it goes, all your invaluable data can go with it.

Today we are pleased to run the Vantec HDC-701A-BL through the Techgage gauntlet. The 701A is a good looking item designed to keep your hard drive cool and that is what we are going to find out. Let’s take a look at the specs that the Vantec web site offers:

  • Model: HDC-701A-BK (Black), HDC-701A-BL (Blue)
  • Dimension: 114x74x15 mm
  • Weight: 110gm
  • Fan Speed: 2800rpm +/- 10%
  • Air Flow: 22.3 CFM
  • Voltage: DC12V
  • Body Type: 3.5″
  • Noise Level: <26 dBA
  • Package Included: Iceberg HDD Cooler x 1, Screws x 4

The body of the Vantec 701A is made entirely out of aluminum. On the top of the item, there are four small rows of raised “sinks” to aid in the removal of heat from the hard drive. In between the 2 rows of sinks, there is a curved plastic housing with a fan in the middle that sucks the cooler case air into the plastic housing and across the aluminum that makes contact with the actual hard drive. The bottom of the cooler is just flat aluminum with holes on the side to allow you to affix the cooler to your hard drive. There is also 3 arms that cover the bottom of the fan.

Now that you know the premise of the product, let’s get into the performance of the 701A.

I am going to attempt to see how much of a difference the 701A will cause when placed on my WD Raptor 74GB. Here’s the testing machine:

  • Motherboard: – DFI LanParty Ultra-D w/ 704-2BTA BIOS
  • Processor: – AMD 3700+ San Diego 1MB L2
  • Memory: – 512 x 2 Crucial Ballistix
  • Power Supply: – Ultra X-Finity 500W PSU
  • Graphics: – eVGA 7800GT 256MB PCI-E @ 500/1,200
  • Sound: – Creative Audigy ZS2
  • Storage: – 1 WD Raptor 74 GB / Seagate 160 GB
  • Etcetera: – Windows XP Professional SP2, Video Drivers are 81.94BETA

Installation of the 701A is extremely easy. There are holes on the sides of the cooler that will allow you to mount the 701A onto your hard drive. The provided screws allow you to do just that, mount the cooler onto your hard drive. I had the 701A out of the packaging and onto my Raptor in all of 10 minutes. So easy……

On this test, I am testing this in an Asys Freedom Tower case with 2 front 120mm intake fans. One of the 2 front fans blows directly onto the hard drive cage. I am going to test the temperatures on the hard drive with out a fan blowing on it, with the case fan blowing on it and with the Vantec 701A installed and blowing onto the Raptor.

In order to read the temperatures, I used my Ultra Fan Commander and it’s thermal probes. I placed the probe on the bottom of the hard drive near the spindle. This was on the metal casing of the hard drive and should provide an accurate reading on the temperature of the hard drive.

Here are my results:

Well, there you have it. The Vantec 701A performs admirably. I was surprised not only on the drop in temps with the 701A, but also the difference in the temps when direct air is blow onto the hard drive as opposed to across the hard drive as the case fan did. The temps here, while never dangerous, were noticeably higher with out the extra cooling of the Vantec 701A.

I am pleased that this product, no matter how simple the premise, cooled my Raptor far better than would have been possible with out it. The look of the item is impressive as well. The blue color, the nice curved plastic as well as the cooling sinks on the sides all aid in the overall appearance of the 701A and make it actually make your hard drive stand out. All this and a market price under 10 dollars, what are you waiting for?

I am please to give this a solid 8 on the sort of famous Techgage-O-meter. Thanks to Vantec for allowing us to review this item.

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