If you use a laptop as your only games machine (as I now do) you’ll already know how difficult it is to keep the CPU and graphics card cool inside a cramped case.
Finding a decent laptop cooler is an essential if you want to keep your machine stable. I invested in a Canyon laptop cooler a few months ago, which has proven to be reasonably effective, but I recently discovered the Cooler Master SF-19 (thanks for the tip, Johnny!) and I’m now seriously considering an upgrade.
Cooler Master made their name by building an excellent range of CPU heatsinks and fans. With the SF-19 they bring their cooling expertise to the laptop market, and straight away they’re doing the right thing by designing a cooler that can handle laptops of anything up to 19-inches in size. As I found there aren’t many good coolers out there for larger laptops, so it’s nice to have a new choice from an established name.
In order to securely hold larger laptops the SF-19 has to have a large surface area, and this forms an essential part of the cooling process. Made up of a steel mesh, the metal itself transfers some heat while the holes in the mesh allow cooling air to be pushed through by a pair of 140mm fans. The fans spin at between 1,200 and 2,600rpm and can be positioned where most required, so you can customise the cooling effect to suit your own laptop.
Looking much more stylish than my own Canyon cooler, the XF-19 features LED backlighting from a choice of 7 different colours, complete with ‘breathing effect’. Not an important feature, but it makes it look
On the left side are buttons to switch the backlighting on/off, change the colours and adjust the fan speed. On the right side is a five-port USB 3.0 hub, a really useful feature for most PC users.
But it doesn’t matter what features the SF-19 offers if the cooling isn’t up to scratch. As it turns out the cooling effect of those two fans is very powerful – Pro-Clockers.com reported a 10c drop in CPU and 5c drop in GPU temperature on a Sony Vaio, and at full load that increased to a 13c drop on both CPU and GPU. That’s hugely impressive, and would make a massive difference to the long-term health of your laptop’s internals.
Any downsides to the SF19? Measuring 500x340x75 mm the Cooler Master SF-19 is Big (with a capital B) but then it’s designed to cope with the biggest laptops on the market. And anyway, a laptop cooler isn’t meant to be portable so size doesn’t really matter. The idea is that when you get home you’ve got a powerful cooler waiting to chill your laptop while you undergo a late night dungeon raid or fragging session, something you’re unlikely to be doing while on the train or in a cafe.
Price is also a bit high at $90, but then this is probably the best-specced and most capable laptop cooler currently available. If you do want to save some money but get the same cooling power there is a cheaper model that comes with a USB 2.0 hub.
I really am considering upgrading to this laptop cooler, and if you’re serious about gaming on a laptop then you really should be thinking of buying one too.
|Material||Anti-slip Rubber / ABS Plastic / Steel Mesh Structure|
|Dimensions||500 x 340 x 75 mm|
|Fan Dimensions||140 x 140 x 25 mm|
|Fan Life Expectancy||25,000 hours|
|Fan Speed||1,200 to 2,600 RPM|
|Compatibility||up to 19-inch laptop|
|USB Port||USB 3.0 x 4 with Micro – B x 1 (for power in)|
|Controllers||Fan speed dial / Switch for LED light colour / LED on/off|
|Power||DC 12V / 2.5A adapter|