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The bulk of the Cooldrive 6 is made from extruded aluminum with a series
of fins on the bottom and light grooves on the top of the unit. The front
of the Cooldrive 6 sports a sleek well laid out front panel. According to Cooler Master, the buttons can control every feature
of the drive without using the software interface. The LCD sports a blue backlight
and is very bright. The LCD brightness is not adjustable nor can be it disabled.
The Cooldrive 6 comes prewired with four temperature probes,
24" in length, and three 3 pin 10" fan leads. Each fan lead is
rated for 18W, enough for even
the largest of case fans. The built in blower fan is prewired to the
unit. The long temperature probe tails could
be trouble those wanting to tuck them out of the way. The
fan leads could certainly be longer; 10" may not be enough to reach distant
rear case fans.
A thermal pad is included for the HDD.
Differentiating the Cooldrive 6 from the MX-411 is the HDD mounting option.
Installing the hard drive into the unit is fairly straight forward. First
the thermal pad is attached to the underside of the hard drive. Depending
on the drive, the pad may need to be cut to size in order to avoid obstructions.
The pad has a peel and stick side, and applied to the PCB underside of the
hard drive. This thermal pad serves two purposes: 1. to be a transfer medium
from the hard drive itself and aluminum cage it is mounted in. 2. it provides
some degree of decoupling between the hard drive and the aluminum cage of
the unit. The top of the cage has a preapplied thermal pad attached at the
factory to draw heat from the top of the drive to the extruded aluminum shell.
Securing the hard drive to the sled reveals a welcome surpise: Very large (and fairly soft) rubber isolation washers, which help decouple the drive from the aluminum cage. The cage is then screwed
into the main housing, slid into a free 5.25" bay.
Once assembled, hard drive is bathed in airflow from the small
internal fan. Image courtesy of Cooler Master.
The Cooldrive 6 physical installation took about 5 minutes from start to
finish. Without the HDD to worry about, the MX-411 is even simpler: just mount
in a pair of vacant bays and run the cables. Once the units are installed,
all that is left to do is install the software and configure them.
The faceplate of the MX-411 is available in black and silver and a wide range
of LCD colors. The display occupies a pair of 5.25" bays. This could make installation an annoyance if you don't have two free optical drive bays. The oversizing
of the display seems to be driven more by the PCB behind it than by actual
need, it could be easily redesigned to only accommodate one 5.25. Unlike
the controls of the Cooldrive, all of the buttons on the MX-411 can be customized
to perform a variety of functions.
The backside of the MX-411 reveals its inner workings. The PCB is tightly
packed with jumpers, power plugs, USB connections, four 3 pin fan connection
points capable of 12 watts per fan, and 6 thermal probes. If the PCB where
rotated 90 degrees it would allow again for the entire unit to occupy only
one 5.25" bay.
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