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Reviewed by: Carl Nelson [04.03.02]
Manufactured by: Thermaltake
Price: $TBA (Est ~$20)

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The Test

I was actually pretty fortunate to have such an effective test system for comparing hard drive temperatures.  I am currently running a pair of Maxtor ATA133 7200 RPM 40GB drives in a RAID0 configuration.  This is an excellent scenario, because the drives are absolutely identical, and I was able to get temperature readings from both drives simultaneously.  They should both produce the exact same amount of heat as well.

I went ahead and applied the thermistors to the backs of each hard drive, directly in the center of the drive.  I didn't want to put them on top, because there is a fan blowing over one of them which would disrupt  the testing variables.  This method should give a pretty accurate drive temperature reading.

Unlike CPU's and Video Cards, hard drives are not required to run at any sort of working levels to get their temperatures high.  As long as the PC doesn't go into standby mode, or power saving mode shutting off the hard drives, they will always spin at 7200 RPM.  Therefore, I simply ran the PC like normal for a few hours, and waited for the temperatures to settle down.  Here are the results:

The reading on the left is the drive on which the Hardcano II is installed.  The reading on the right is for the identical drive installed in a regular 3.5" bay.  No other 3.5" peripherals were installed.

To test the effectiveness of the puny little fan (it pretty much makes almost no noise whatsoever), I also ran the system with it turned off.  After another hour of use, the Hardcano-installed hard drive rose in temperature by about 6-7 degrees!.  I am actually quite surprised that this puny little fan did anything for the temperatures, but you can clearly see that it did offer a major benefit.  The combination of the drive being installed by itself near the top of the case, and the quite little fan work together seems to have given us a nice measurable drop in drive temperature.  Good job!

If you're running a multi-hard drive setup in a regular sized case, or if you have a drive that runs hot enough to make you uncomfortable, The Hardcano 2 is definitely something you could consider.  Moving the drive to a cooler part of the case along with a nearly silent fan  blowing on it is enough to provide temperature drop of nearly 10 degrees! Add to that a handy pair of temperature gauges that can be used to measure the temperature of anything from your CPU to your video card, to the ambient system temp, and you have yourself a pretty useful little part that should only be around $20.

One request I have would be for a backlit display, and maybe a high temperature alarm.  This is an entry level unit however, so only the basics are provided.  I think we'll see some more advanced features in the Hardcano lineup in the future.

  • Effectively helps lower HDD temperatures
  • Makes room for another hard drive
  • Handy temperatures gauges with two thin thermistors
  • Would look good on an aluminum case

  • Thermaltake unwisely suggests that you put wires underneath your CPU - I don't think this is a good idea, and it's apparent that Thermaltake might agree, because they have a pretty visible disclaimer in their manual!
  • A backlit LCD should have been used, even on the entry level unit
  • Looks are a subjective thing, but I personally don't like how it looks on my rig.

Final Score: 86%