Sytrin; a fairly unknown company who produce some highly original products, including air conditioned cases. Today however, I have their HDD cooler; the KuFormula SHF1 Ultra.
KuFormula SHF1 Ultra
- Smart design for various free cooling playing – HDD & Case cooling
- Ultimate integration of DC fans, aluminium front panel and heat sink cover (SHF1 Ultra) for maximum cooling performance
- Multi-functional bracket design for extra fan / HDD mounting
- Blue LED DC fan built-in
- Anti-shock protection design to reduce hard drive noise and vibration
- Fits any 5.25” drive bay and any brand name hard drive
- Application for 3.5″ HDD of IDE, SCSI, SATA, SAS interface
- Available for DIY applications, RAID towers, severs and industrial PC
The SHF1 comes in simple packaging with odd tag lines, such as ‘Free Cooling Playing’ and ‘Excellent Cooling Brand’. Other that these oddities , the packaging is colourful and informative.
Popping open the box shows the SHF1 in two foam rings, stopping any damage during transit. All of the screws, brackets and other accessories are in a box the same size of a HDD in the unit.
You get a vast array of bits and bobs with the cooler as the picture below shows. Of special interest is the thermal pad that you stick to the top of your HDD and then onto the large heatsink of the SHF1. The thermal pad is quite thick meaning that your, more often than not, uneven hard disc surface won’t effect cooling significantly.
The SHF1 comes with two 40mm fans at the front of the unit, which pull cool air from the front of your case and blow it over the chosen HDD. These fans are also equipped with blue LEDs, adding aesthetic appeal to the unit. The left fan is upside down to make sure that the wires run down the center of the unit.
The front of the Sytrin cooler is surrounded by red painted metal (also available in black and yellow). The middle of the facia is a black mesh grill freely allowing inbound air to pass.
Inside the SHF1 you can see the rubber mounts for holding your HDD in place. The rubber mounts with mean that the vibration caused by your HDD won’t be passed on and then amplified by your case creating unwanted noise. The heatsink that is screwed onto the top of your HDD also has rubber o-rings to futher reduce vibration.
Running down the bottom side of the cooler are the fan leads which terminate in the standard 3-pin fan connectors. They also have RPM sensors on so you could watch the speed and hence control the RPM of the fans if you find that they are too noisy.
To make sure that you can connect the fan leads to your power supply, Sytrin provide you with a molex to three 3-pin fan sockets. This means that you can not only connect the two 40mm fans, but also another fan which links with the ‘Free Cooling Playing’ slogan. Essentially, ‘Free Cooling Playing’ means that there are several ways of connecting fans to the SHF1. You can put a 80mm fan at the front, a 60 – 120mm fan on the top of the heatsink (with the included brackets), or you could have the front 80mm fan and then put another hard disc on the top, again using the including brackets.
Installing the hard disc in the SHF1 was easy. You simply have to force the hard disc into the cradle into the rubber mounts. Once in place, you screw the disc into place, and then stick the thermal pad to the top of the hard disc. Peel off the other side of the thermal pad and then screw the heat sink on top.
After connecting the molex to 3-pin converter to the 40mm fans, you can to insert into a spare 5.25” bay. Job done.
To test the hard disc cooler, I’ll be using a SATA I 80gb Western Digital drive.
I started up the test rig and let it idle for half an hour without the SHF1 installed. Then I ran a full low-level hard disc scan to fully stress the hard disc and to make sure that the maximum temperature was reached.
Once this was completed, I installed the SHF1 and let the PC idle for 30 minutes. Then I ran the same scan. The results are below.
With SHF1 / C
Without SHF1 / C
The difference with the SHF1 installed is incredible. 46C to 36C is a major change. While most people aren’t worried about the temperature of their hard discs, it will definitely extend the life of your drive, when you consider a 20% temperature drop at load and 30% at idle.
Add to the temperature drop the almost silent operation, this product has been thought through and the results speak for themselves.
In server environments, hard disc stability is a prime concern and hence and a hard drive cooler capable of cooling by 25% is a sound choice. Also, in a server environment SCSI is still widely used and these drives run at a much higher temperature which is where the SHF1 would shine.
My mis-matched case…
The KuFormula SHF1 is a nicely designed product, which cools well and looks damn good whilst doing it. If you are looking for a way to add a little flair to your case, and to sensibly cool your hard disc; the KuFormula SHF1 is a wise investment.
|Near silent operation|
|Extend your HDD lifespan|