Posted: January 29, 2004
When you shut down a computer, what happens to the CPU temperatures? Do the temperatures increase enough to cause damage or decrease the processor’s life? We set out to find the answer to these questions with the help of the Evercool Extended Cooling System (Model ECS-01). The Cooling System works by allowing fans to continue running for roughly five minutes after the computer has been shutdown.
Company Profile (taken from company website):
Evercool is one of the top manufacturers of cooling fans in Asia. Headquartered in Taiwan, the company specializes in providing thermal solutions for personal computers. Their main products in development include CPU coolers, heatsinks, and system blowers. Evercool markets these products worldwide with its larger customers including Acer and Hewlett Packard.
The ECS comes packaged on a small cardboard sheet covered in a thin layer of plastic. The packaging is more than adequate to protect the device and the components inside. On the backside are a few notes about the product and a graph that reveals processor temperatures climb within two minutes after a system shutdown.
The Extended Cooling System has a small list of product features noted on the back of the cardboard packaging:
1.LED will be “green” when the computer is on.
2.LED will be “red” when the computer is off.
3.When the computer is off. this device is connected to the 5V connector from the power supply of the computer. Due to this, the RPM of the cooling fan will be slightly slower than usual.
4.Being connected to 5V of the power supply, the device will extend DC fan to operate for 5 additional minutes after computer shutdown.
5.Unlike conventional cooler that will shut off once the computer has been turned off, this device will further reduce CPU temperature.
6.Please make sure that all the cable and joints are properly connected.
You may notice some grammatical errors in the above list (these notes come word-for-word directly from the packaging). Although the mistakes are minor and do not affect the product, it may affect the companies reputation. Therefore we suggest Evercool make an effort to catch these errors before releasing future products.
The ECS appears to be a very simple device, with the primary components including a circuit board and a hard plastic shell. The unit is less than 3.5 inches in length and less than 1.25 inches wide. A small LED protrudes through the top of the plastic exterior and helps the user identify if the computer is “on” (green) or “off” (red). Inside the plastic casing is small circuit board with various connectors for attaching the power and fan wires.
Installing the Cooling System takes less than a minute. A diagram on the back of the packaging depicts the simple procedure. The first step involves getting power to the device. You do so by attaching the provided 20-pin ATX adapter to the power supplies standard 20-pin power connector (this new adapter then plugs as normal into the female plug located on the motherboard). A 2-pin wire connected to this adapter then plugs into the power slot. (labeled in the provided diagram as “P”)
To add a fan to the ECS (it supports 2 DC fans) you plug the fan’s 3-pin cable into the device (in the position labeled either Fan 1/Fan 2) and then use one of the provided 3-pin cables to pass through the ECS and into the motherboard headers that usually power the fans. Keep in mind most CPU fans will work with the ECS, but not all of them. Some CPU cooler manufacturers incorporate a built-in rheobus (some of which can’t connect to the ECS because the rheobus is soldered directly to the fans power cable). As for case fans, most will probably not work without modification because the ECS needs small 3-pin fan cables whereas many case fans use the large 4-pin Molex connectors.
Operation and Use:
Once the Evercool ECS is installed, nothing further is required on the user’s end. When the computer system is powered up, the ECS will continually emit a bright green light indicating it’s working properly. Once the computer is shutdown, the LED changes color and your system fans continue to spin for five additional minutes. During this time the fan is noticeably quieter. Evercool claims this is normal and that users should expect “the RPM of the cooling fan [to] be slightly slower than usual.”
The ECS was tested on a system with an AMD Duron 1.0GHz processor with stock cooling. To prevent case temperatures from affecting the results, all testing was completed in an open case environment. The room temperature was also held at a constant 24º C to normalize results. Once everything was in place, the test system was run for a period of twenty minutes to ensure it reached its idle operating temperature (measured to be 35º C at the center of the heatsink), at which point testing began. The temperatures were taken using a digital thermometer from the center most fin of the heatsink (directly above the center of the CPU core). Then for ten minutes the temperatures were recorded at one-minute intervals. The purpose of this test was to compare Evercool’s suggested effects of a shutdown with and without a fan to our own results.
Performance and Results:
The results exhibit two important conclusions. Most importantly, the ECS does an excellent job at cooling the heatsink after the computer is shutdown. After the first minute with the ECS in use, temperatures dropped 4º C, whereas without an active fan the temperatures decreased but only by 2º C. The ECS ends up keeping the heatsink 8º C cooler in the most extreme, nearly a 20% reduction in temperature.
The fact that both the tests resulted in temperatures that constantly decreased over the first five minutes after shutdown brings us to our second conclusion. Unlike the graph Evercool provides, there was no spike in temperatures during the cooling process. Although our graphs do not match Evercool’s there are many variables that could affect these results (including differing processors, methods of reading temperature, and CPU coolers used during the tests).
The Evercool Extended Cooling System is a unique product that works well. It protects your processor from the possibilities of overheating after the system is shutdown, which will give some users the peace of mind they need. Although our test results didn’t represent a graph similar to Evercool’s, its still very possible with some computer configurations, temperatures could spike after system shutdown. Even if this is the case though, users shouldn’t worry as Evercool’s data shows either way the processor still remains well within its thermal guidelines.
A search of PriceGrabber turns up nothing on the Extended Cooling System, but some sites have the Evercool ECS for less than $15 (US). If you’re north of the border in Canada, try ADPMods, where the price is $17.95 (Canadian).
The ECS operates as promised and without issue, but because our results don’t suggest this device is going to make a huge difference to the after-cooling of a computer system, this device earns 3.5/5 Stars.
Final Rating (out of 5 stars):
• Small and compact with diagnostic on/off LED
• Works as promised, decreasing temps up to 20% vs. using no Extended Cooling System
• Tests did not reveal the temporary increase in CPU temperatures without a fan cooling the computer after shutdown
• Product packaging had some grammatical mistakes (just needs to be noted)
Special thanks to Evercool for providing the Extended Cooling System to BigBruin.Com for review!
Please drop by the BigBruin.Com forum and feel free to discuss this review.
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