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Reviewed By: Brad Pfau [08.21.00]
Manufactured by: The Card Cooler
Suggested Price: $34 USD



As in "Extremely HUGE!" That was my first impression of this monster of a card cooler from The Card Cooler. The word overkill also came to mind. I know there are tons of other things out there that might be considered overkill when it comes to keeping your system cool such as water cooling and peltiers, but this thing was so big the word overkill kept repeating itself over and over again in my consciousness. Check out the size of this bad boy. It totally dwarfs the two 80mm fans on the side of my case.

"I know I'm a cool guy, but how cool can I get?" Was my second thought.  I already have a good cooling solution in my case.  First of all I have a Tornado 1000 case from  It comes complete with three 80mm intake fans and 2 80mm exhaust fans (including the PS fan.) Lets not forget about the Alpha Pep66 (check out our review on that here) on the CPU and my recently modified Voodoo 3 complete with fan and ram sinks.  I didn't see much room for improvement but decided to give it a shot nonetheless.

I had a few other thoughts while doing this review that I thought I'd point out. The first being that you should already have a case with at least 2 fans. One for fresh air intake and one for hot air exhaust. If your case doesn't fit this criteria, the card cooler may not work well for you. After all, all it will be doing is pushing hot air in a circle inside your case. If your case meets or exceeds this, read on...

The Specs

Before I delve into the actual benchmarks let me tell you a few good things about this card cooler. The XT features 2 120mm Sunon Fans that push an incredible 138 cubic feet per minute of airflow across all your components.  With that in mind, I must say that they should rename this thing the board cooler XT since that's actually what it does. Everything within it's proximity gets cooled really well. (AGP, PCI, Ram, North Bridge, everything!) Each fan has it's own grill to lessen the chances of losing a finger and add to the overall nice look of the card cooler.

What really astounded me about this cooler is that even with the size and output of the fans, it was quieter than the two 80mm intake fans on the side of my case.  I was expecting the sound a jumbo jet makes when taking off from the airport. Amazing.


As far as installation goes, this was a no-brainer. A simple blue anodized bracket is all that's needed to mount the XT in your case. Simply unscrew one of the screws that hold your PCI devices in place, slide one bracket underneath, rescrew, and repeat for the other side of the bracket. I found that the bracket could have been made a little tougher than it was. It wiggled quite a bit when moving the case around. It still did a decent job of holding the unit in place but it was a little too flimsy in my opinion. The Card Cooler XT's connectors come in two varieties, the 4 pin for the average user and the 3 pin for those who like to check the rpm's of their fans. (Like me!)

One point worth mentioning is that small cases will have serious problems installing the XT.  Since it occupies such a large amount of case real estate, be sure to measure your case before ordering one. You will need at least 242mm of vertical space to adequately house this in your case.  Oh and don't forget the width of the case as well.  The XT needs at least 25 to 30 mm of space horizontally between the side panel and motherboard.  I found this out when trying to put my case completely back together. The fans I already had on my case protruded inwardly too far to close the case completely.

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