Vizo Orbiter HDD Cooler Review

Introduction

Vizo, a company well regarded company for their hard drive enclosures; have today sent us a slightly different product from the cooling world. Coolers have evolved greatly over recent times and can now be found to fix onto almost every component in order to lower temperatures for maximum performance. Today, I have a circular HDD cooler; introducing the Vizo Orbiter.

Company Background – Vizo

VIZO Technology Corporation is a leading global manufacturer and designer of computer peripheral products serving customers around the world. Established in Taiwan in 1992, VIZO has expanded and now operates in the market completely reorganized and prepared to meet the demand for high quality products which are “Made in Taiwan”.

Features

  • Easy to install for 3.5″ HDD
  • Single fan provides the maximum airflow and pressure
  • Reduce hard disk drive temperature
  • Vogue design to decorate your PC
  • Extend hard disk drive lifetime
  • Blue LED light effect
  • Low dBA level

Specification

  • Dimensions : 101.6 x 94.6 x 17.8 mm
  • DC Fan Dimensions : 60 x 60 x 15 mm ( 1 pcs )
  • Bearing Type : Sleeve Bearing
  • Speed : 3200 RPM
  • Noise Level : 20 dBA
  • Max Air Flow : 11.6 CFM
  • Rated Voltage : DC 12 V
  • Operating Voltage : DC 7 V ~ DC 13.2 V
  • Starting Voltage : DC 7 V
  • Rated Current : 0.17 A
  • Compatibility : 3.5″ Bay
  • Weight : 50 g

Contents & Packaging

The packaging for the orbiter is very unique and kind of looks like a flying saucer but does tie in nicely with the ‘orbital’ theme.

It consists of a clear centre which displays the whole of the cooler, surrounding this is an orange circle with the Vizo logo and product name.

Finally, it is sealed around the edges with a layer of plastic.

The rear is very simple with the black plastic giving rise to an orange sticker which contains the full list of features and specifications along with a short product description.In terms of accessories there are just two accompanying screws in order to secure the cooler to the hard drive disk.

The Product – Vizo Orbiter HCL-101

Right let’s look at the product itself. The cooler is very small so as to fit in most hard drive cages without using up too much room. It’s completely black except the fan located in the centre which has blue translucent blades – nine in total.

The fan is a 60mm construction with a red and black Vizo logo sticker in the middle of the impeller. It does look pretty attractive especially with the contrast of the rest of the product being black.

The product is held together with a four screws located in each of the corners all of which are kept very low profile so as not to interfere with mounting.

In regards to mounting the cooler on the HDD, there are three holes on each side so you have an option as to how to attach the Orbiter.

Flipping over the cooler reveals the underside. This just shows the back of the bearing on the fan along with the four LEDs.

Finally, the cooler is powered by a 4-pin molex so it just attaches straight to the power supply bypassing the motherboard – a bonus for those which few fan connectors on their mainboard.

Installation

The Test Setup:

ProcessorIntel C2D E5550 Dual Core 2.33GHz
MotherboardGigabyte S-Series GA-73PVM-S2H
Graphics CardXFX 8600GT
MemoryCorsair XMS2 PC6400 (2x 1GB)
Hard DriveHitachi HDT7250 (250GB)
Power SupplyTuniq Potency 650W
OSWindows XP Pro 32bit

Installation is very simple for this product; flip the hard drive over, select the hole you are going to use to mount the cooler and then do up the screws.

Testing

Methodology

To test the Vizo Orbiter, I simply left the hard drive at idle state and then recorded the temperatures using Speedfan which uses the computer’s own diode. Then I booted to the hard drive up to load state by putting it under as much stress as possible and again took a temperature reading. This process was completed with the Orbiter mounted along with the hard drive left on its own (no cooler). Ambient temperature was 17 degrees.

Results

Cooling

Evidently, the Orbiter reduces the temperature of the hard drive by several degrees, up to 8 degrees when in load state. This is very good performance for a cooler the size of the Orbiter and would be very useful for enthusiasts putting lots of strain on their HDDs. 

Noise 

The fan is quite quiet and you can’t hear much whirring. However, the problem is with the sleeve bearing which seems to vibrate quite heavily as the fan spins and so users without good case insulation could find a problem here. Cost The Orbiter is about £6, a very competitive price indeed.

Conclusion

To sum it up, a very good little compact cooler that gives pretty good performance considering it only has a 60mm fan. The colours work well giving it nice aesthetics. On the down side, it does vibrate quite a bit due to the bearing but nothing major that some good case insulation can’t sort out. Also, for small HDD cages and users with multiple hard drives, it could be a problem as it does take up extra space. Overall, not a bad product especially when you consider its only £6 – for this price it’s very impressive.

Pros

  • Compact
  • Good performance
  • Looks good
  • Great price point

Cons

  • Vibrates a little
  • Problem for users with multiple HDDs

80

Thanks go to Vizo for providing the cooler for review.

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