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May 06, 2016

Unboxing & Review: Cooler Master SF-19 V2 USB 3.0 Gaming Laptop Cooler


Notebook cooler works like a charm back in the days when most laptop comes with a flat base which pretty much limits the amount of air reaching to inner compartments. With modern laptops, the issue has pretty much been fixed now so many doubted the existence and the purpose of notebook coolers.

Today, we have the SF-19 V2 USB 3.0 gaming laptop cooler from Cooler Master, a seemingly popular notebook cooler among the few gaming notebooks community that we've come across. This unit retails at SGD 179 (approx MYR516), a rather high price but let's see just what kind of cooling performance it can deliver for gaming notebook users!

Specifications




Unboxing

Our first look at the packaging, it looks like Cooler Master has gone with its usual black colored background with a big image of the actual product printed on, accompanied by the reflective fonts for the product name and description to get the end user's attention - they've never failed to do so. At the bottom right of the front of the box, you'll find 2 little images of the SF-19 V2 with 2 labels of USB 2.0 and USB 3.0 where the white little dot indicates that the SF-19 V2 in this box is the USB 3.0 model, which is much preferred nowadays. 


At the back of the box, you'll find some highlighted features such as the 7 colored LED, 2 pieces of 135mm Silencio fans, large meshed surface,etc, along with the specifications of the SF-19 V2. 


The accessories included are, 1 x USB 3.0 A Male to Micro B Male Cable, quick start guide, and a DC adapter.


The SF-19 V2 is undoubtedly huge, taking an appearance that resembles an alien spacecraft. It consists a large meshed surface which meant to provide maximum airflow, something which is not commonly seen on traditional laptop cooler.


At the bottom, you'll find 2 pieces of translucent material on both sides of the SF-19 V2 for the selectable 7 color LED of your choice, mesh frame for air intake, as well as to hold both pieces of 135mm Silencio fans.


The fans can be moved slightly to position for the optimal cooling effect, though it doesn't seem to do too much different judging by how much you can actually position the fans.



At the left side of the cooler, you'll find the switch to turn on / off the LEDs at the bottom of the cooler, button to adjust the color of the LEDs and a switch to adjust the fan speed.


As for the right side of the cooler, you'll find 4 x USB 3.0 ports, mini USB 3.0 port, and DC adapter port. This is basically a built-in USB 3.0 hub that is powered by the DC adapter to ensure the best transfer speed you can get. 





Having the USB cable dangling just like that can be a pain but here's what you can do!



The large rubber pads at the back of the SF-19 V2 acts not only as a vibration dampener and to tilt the cooler for better air intake, but also allows you to route the cable through the available routing path.

Cooling Test
We're using an MSI Gaming Notebook that comes with a turbo fan design where the cooling fan speed can be adjusted to the max for more cooling performance. We've conducted the test using the Furmark GPU stressing software and Prime95 CPU stressing software for maximum heat output from each and the result is populated in the graph below:


  
The difference in terms of temperature isn't that much but it definitely did help, just a little. If you own a gaming laptop that comes with the same fan speed adjustment as the MSI gaming notebook we used for this test, you might just wanna stick with the notebook built-in cooler to save you some cash.

USB 3.0 Speed Test
Moving on to the USB 3.0 speed test, what makes the SF-19 V2 special isn't just the overall design and the Silencio fans, but the built-in USB 3.0 hub as well. We've done a series of test by copying a 5GB MKV file from the attached USB 3.0 device to the laptop storage and vice versa. The final result of the test is what you'll be seeing in the graph below:



The transfer speed does seem to be lower compared to the result where the storage device is attached directly to the laptop USB 3.0 port, but what makes it different here is that the USB keyboard and mouse attached to the USB 3.0 hub didn't lose its functional at all. We've tried doing so with several low-cost USB 3.0 hub and USB keyboard and mouse attached loses its function the moment we started our file transfer due to the lack of power. 

Final Thoughts
Honestly, the SF-19 V2 isn't really delivering the cooling performance as what we're expecting for. Still, there are several features of the SF-19 V2 that we believe could possibly explain why the notebook cooler is popular among the few gaming notebooks community - cable management friendly design, adjustable LEDs and the USB 3.0 hub.

Gaming peripherals are definitely something that a gamer will get, regardless of the system they're using. What the SF-19 V2 offers here is that it allows users to route the excessive cables on the desk through the rubber pads, increase the amount of usable USB 3.0 ports for their daily needs as well as to lit the gaming mood with the fancy LEDs at the bottom of the cooler.

So here's the question: Is the SF-19 V2 something that is worth paying SGD 179 for? Well, that will depend on whether you're the kind of user who really need those features. From the point of view as an enthusiast ourselves, the SF-19 V2 is a good piece of tool to have and it'll definitely be something that is worth getting if the price can be lowered just a little more.

Pros

  • The aesthetics element
  • Cable management feature for tidier desk space
  • USB 3.0 hub that is powered by a DC adapter to provide enough power for the hub to actually have all of its USB 3.0 ports functional

Cons

  • Costly
  • The Silencio fans could do better with more power 

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