The CoolIT Systems RAM Fan ReviewSun, Mar 04, 2007 - 12:00 AM
Final Thoughts & Conclusions
The CoolIT RAM Fan does a great job at cooling memory modules, but has a couple things that could be improved on to make the product even better. The use of a two tail 3-pin fan makes monitoring the fan speed from the BIOS or desktop impossible. I’m not sure why CoolIT didn’t use a 3-pin fan as the additional cost would have been pennies on the dollar and then the users could monitor and adjust the fan speed via a number of software utilities on the desktop. It also would be nice to have a sleeved fan tail, as it would make the RAM Fan look nicer when it is installed.
The CoolIT RAM Fan is not the only memory cooler on the market, so it has to be competitive with the others in terms of both performance and price to get the thumbs up from us. The CoolIT RAM Fan can be found between $11.49 and $24.99 on Froogle and directly competes with the OCZ XTC Cooler ($18.95) and Corsair AIRFLOW ($19.99), which both have a set of 3-pin fans that can be speed adjusted. In a previous article I noted that the Corsair AIRFLOW had a three decibel difference between running and not. Compare that to the 16dB difference on the Ram Fan, so in terms of noise the CoolIT RAM Fan is by no means stellar. If the motherboard BIOS allows you to adjust the fan speed by a percentage it can be slowed down, but by doing so it will lower the performance level. By lowering the fan speed down to 50% it could not be heard over any of the other fans, but at 75% the fan noise was again noticeable. At 100% load on the Corsair XMS2 memory kit the temps were 25C/30C and when we reduced the fan speed down to 50% the temperatures increased to 30C/34C compared to 28C/33C with the fan at 75%. Obviously, running the fan faster will improve airflow and improve the cooling performance.
It would be nice to see CoolIT to start using a 3-pin fan for easier fan speed adjustment and monitoring as right out of the box it is loud. Just for fun I removed the CoolIT sticker covering the fan and found that the Zhi Da Electric branded PCB has a solder point to make it into a 3-pin fan. I wonder if the drive motor supports a 3-pin header, because the PCB looks like it does!
If you’ve made it this far I hope you figured out the take home message from this article – Active Ram Cooling Is Needed! The temperature difference observed with and without a cooling fan is amazing and seeing DDR2 modules running 60C (140F) is too high for my tastes. By placing a fan over the modules the load temperatures on the inside modules was cut by more than half!
Legit Bottom Line: The CoolIt RAM Fan is about as basic as you can get when it comes to memory cooling, but it works and will not break the piggy bank in the process.