Bytecc Aluminum Notebook Cooler Review

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  • Editor's Rating

    Ratings Breakdown (1-10)

      • Software & Support
      • 6
      • Usability
      • 6
      • Design
      • 6
      • Performance
      • 6
      • Features
      • 6
      • Price/Value Rating
      • 6
      • Total Score:
      • 6.00
      • Rating 1 to 10, top score 10

The Bytecc aluminum notebook cooler is a solid and fairly inexpensive way to cool down your laptop if it can benefit from its design.

Choosing a Cooler

There are so many different coolers and all of them claim to dramatically lower temperatures. Some do, some don’t. Some people swear by a certain cooler, while others claim it actually raised temperatures. Here are some general tips and questions to ask when looking at a laptop cooler. When choosing a cooler, with disregard for aesthetics and loudness, there are two main criteria that you need to take into consideration.

  1. The design of the cooler
  2. The design of the cooler compared to the design of your laptop

Do the fans on the cooler blow cool air up onto the back of the laptop or do they attempt to pull hot air away? Which way do the fans on your laptop expel air? Where are the fans relative to the main “hotspots on your laptop?”  This is very important to consider, matching the fans to where your hard drive, fan vents, or GPU are is going to maximize the cooling effect of the pad. Another thing to consider is whether the cooling pad lifts up the laptop to allow air underneath. Also, does the cooler itself have some means by which it tilts or lifts to allow airflow underneath? Some coolers have built in USB ports and double as hubs, others take up a USB port. If your laptop is limited in ports this could be a consideration.

The Bytecc Cooler


Bytecc cooler as pictured on NewEgg.com

Specifications (from NewEgg.com)

  • Supports up to 17″ Notebook
  • Reduces the temperature of your notebook computer for maximum performance.
  • Ergonomic designed angle for easy typing
  • Self-Changeable ball bearing fans with built-in fan guards.
  • Lightweight aluminum housing for thermal heat dissipation
  • Easy Go. No adapter necessary
  • Powered by USB port
  • On/Off switch.
  • Aluminum housing: 13.3″ x 10.3″ x 0.1″ (they don’t list height, it’s 1 1/8″)
  • Fan speed: 3200~3500

I purchased the Bytecc cooler for several reasons, all of which have to do with its excellent features.

1) Elevated back

The elevated back on the cooler has a double function. First of all, it lifts the cooler’s back to allow airflow underneath. Even when it’s off, there is plenty of airflow with just the standard fans that allows for cool air to be drawn in. The elevated back also tilts the laptop at a nice angle for typing and viewing.

2) Aluminum construction

The aluminum metal that it is composed of is itself a good way to dissipate the heat, it is far better than plastic for drawing the heat away.

3) Simple fan set up

The fans are standard desktop style fans that can easily be replaced if they go out. Also, they are reversible, allowing you to make the cooler either pull air away or blow air up into the laptop.

3) USB through cable

Although this cooler does not have a USB port built in, it does have a through cable so that you don’t lose a USB port to the cooler. This is not a concern for me, but it’s helpful to know that I have the option (I used the USB through cable to download the pics off my camera).


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4) The positioning of the fans

In my case, the fans are perfectly aligned with the hard drive and my memory, which have seen the most dramatic temperature drops.

Temperature Results using Cooler and Testing Conditions

Before buying this notebook cooler I had a homemade solution to helping cool the e1705 which involved Altoid tins!  Here is a a picture illustration of my previous set up.

 
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I decided to compare my old setup home grown solution to using this new Bytecc aluminum notebook cooler.

I tested all of these temperatures with my Dell Inspiron 6000 with the following specifications

  • Intel Pentium M 760 (2.0Ghz) undervolted ~ -0.2v
  • 80Gb 5400RPM hard drive
  • 1GB 533MHz DDR2 RAM
  • ATI X300 128MB dedicated memory

In terms of system status during the tests, my wireless card was on, and the following programs/processes worth noting were running

  • AVG free AV
  • Zone Alarm firewall
  • Notebook Hardware Control (with undervolting)
  • ATI Tool
  • Spybot S&D registry monitor
  • I8kfangui
  • Winamp 2.95
  • Media Monkey

All temperatures in the below table were taken using the program with i8kfangui v.3.0 beta 4

Results: (bolded areas indicate best result)

Altoids tin elevated back, laptop fans on high

With cooler fans on, laptop fans on high

Laptop fans off, cooler fans on

Laptop fans on high, cooler fans off (after 10 minutes)

CPU

Normal use 33-35*C

Forced to 2.0Ghz 43- 52*C

Normal use 29*C

Forced to 2.0Ghz post- gaming 40*C

42*C

30*C

GPU

Normal use 43-48*C

Overclocked (+38%,+41%) 52-66*C

Normal use (Oced) 40*C

Oced post gaming 50*C

Normal (10 minutes after downclocking) 40*C

52*C

43*C

Memory

39-49*C

Normal use 32*C

Post gaming 40*C

41*C

38*C

Chipset

43-49*C

Normal use 32*C

Post gaming 45*C

44*C

41*C

Hard Drive

At start up

35-39*C

After all day/gaming

43-49*C

 Normal use 25*C

Post gaming 30*C

33*C

35*C

 

Temperature Conclusion

The greatest cooling is obviously achieved when the laptop fans are on full blast, the laptop is on the cooler, and the cooler’s fans are on. Under these conditions the underside of the case stays just warm to the touch.  The fans blow air on the critical heat producing components, and even the entire surface of the cooler is cool to the touch, contributing to the overall dissipation of heat from the bottom of the case.

Here’s a breakdown/conclusion of the how, why and when the cooler was most effective.

  1. The CPU temperature changes are mostly due to the laptop fans being able to pull more cool air in.
  2. The GPU peak temperatures dropped about 15*C, but the idle temperatures stayed about the same, though slightly cooler. This is most likely due to the laptop fans being able to pull in more air given that the GPU is cooled by a heat pipe connected to a finned piece on the fan exhaust.
  3. The memory temps, which sits directly in between the fans, dropped considerably with the cooler on. This is because of some increased ventilation, but mostly because of the fans which blow almost directly through the vents on the cover.
  4. The chipset overall experiences a similar cooling effect as the memory, mostly benefiting from the fans cooling the entire bottom of the case.
  5. The hard drive cooled down the most overall, never reaching past 30*C, which is cooler than it was even right after startup from being off all night.  Obviously, as with the other components, this is due to the aluminum being cool and the ventilation, but the hard drive benefited most from the fans. The fans constantly blowing on the hard drive area of the bottom and cooling the aluminum surface greatly reduced these temperatures.

Here’s a picture of the cooler with measurements so that you can see how you could best optimize the cooling on your laptop with this cooler by comparing your laptop’s measurements, component positions, vent positions, etc to that of the cooler.


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Here is an image of the underside of my laptop to see just why the cooler was so effective


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Design/Features overview

The cooler has a simple design, it’s a sheet of aluminum that’s bent and then fans are screwed onto it, end of story. There are various holes cut out, supposedly to vent the cooler, who knows if they actually help. There are however, very nice 1cm high rubber nubs that stick up to suspend your laptop so that it has airflow between the cooler surface and the laptop bottom. This obviously allows for the fan blown air to circulate underneath and further cool the laptop.


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The electrical wiring is a bit chintzy, specifically I’m talking about the thin wires, but it’s not a huge problem in my opinion. Also, as mentioned above, you can easily replace the fans with desktop parts or reverse the fans. There’s a hole in the back side that’s supposed to be for the USB cable, but I think it could double as a hole for your laptop lock to go through so that even your cooler is locked down. It should fit with a bit of drilling…


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The front edge has the rubber bumper nubs to keep the cooler’s aluminum from scratching your desk, but the back is unprotected. I just covered the edge with some duct tape, and it’s fine on my dark stained hardwood desk.


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The front stop bumper for the laptop is kind of thin, and I would suggest that those with nicer finishes cover it with some tape.


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Noise wise, the fans are a bit of an annoyance I suppose, but as with most fans, the background noise or your music will generally make it inaudible.

Conclusion

This is pretty much all you can say, the cooler does its job plain and simple. I’m sure there are several vendors that sell it, but I’d just go with NewEgg.com. They’re reliable and have it for $24.98 shipped with 3 day UPS as always.

Pros
  • Depending on the layout of your laptop, very effective
  • Fairly quiet though noticeable in a quiet room (subjective) fans
  • User replaceable/reversible fans
  • Aluminum-dissipates heat with the fans off and still produces very good cooling
  • Tilted and raised back is easier for viewing and typing
  • Rubber nubs on cooling pad top allow for extra ventilation and airflow between pad and laptop
  • $25.00 shipped
Cons
  • No built in anti scratch rubber on the back
  • Front bumper for laptop is a bit smallish, may require tape as well
  • Lack of portability (as seen in the flatter coolers)


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