Thermaltake Massive23 LX Notebook Cooler

Author
Logan King
Editor
Aron Schatz
Posted
September 28, 2010
Manufacturer
Thermaltake
Product Page
Massive23 LX
Views
49640
Thermaltake Massive23 LX Notebook Cooler
The Massive23 LX has a nice looking, lightweight design and the cooling performance to back it up. Being available for a price point usually reserved for the cheaper plastic coolers and passive laptop pads makes it a pretty good bargain, as well.

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Page 1
Introduction

Desktop replacement notebooks usually have components that suck up more power and put out more heat than the more common sizes do. Even though many 17" and up laptops have active cooling systems, the more powerful models usually end up running pretty hot when in use. Despite this, the product selection for notebook coolers are generally much more limited in the larger sizes of laptops. Hoping to combat this trend, Thermaltake has developed notebook coolers for several notebook sizes. Today, ASE Labs has their new entry-level product for full-size notebook cooling, the Massive23 LX, on the test bench.

About Thermaltake

Quote

Since the beginning of Thermaltake in 1999, it has been at the forefront of creating new and exciting products at a time where most computer users were provided little to no choices for components that may seem irrelevant, but in reality crucial to the performance of a PC.

Thermaltake Server Series solutions, with years of thermal experience and industry leadership, sets its goal on reforming total thermal management in server segment by formulating the perfect mixture of versatility, efficiency and thermal management with each respective server product category: Rackmount Chassis, Server Fixed & Redundant Power Supply and Server CPU Cooling Management Solutions.

With its comprehensive line of products available, it enables Thermaltake's core customers to enjoy a one-stop-shop experience, reduce product design-in evaluation period and most important of all, flawless integration process. Each of Thermaltake's strengths enables its customer to focus on their core business while taking advantage of the skills and efficiency of a single thermal management solution partner.

http://www.thermaltakeusa.com/About.aspx


Packaging

The box for the Massive23 has a pretty straightforward design. It has a matte gray finish and basically just has a large picture of the notebook cooler on it. The box also mentions how Thermaltake was a hardware sponsor of this year's WCG competition. One thing to note about this packaging is the grab handle located on the top of the box which makes the box similar to a small travel case. The intention seems to be so you can transport the cooler in the box when traveling. It is a nice touch.

Box Front


The rear of the box has more detailed technical specifications, an air flow diagram, and some more pictures of the cooler itself.

Box Rear
Page 2
Specifications

  • Model - CLN0015
  • Net Weight - 900 g / 1.98 lb
  • Dimension (H*W*D) - 376 x 300 x 51.5 mm (14.8 x 11.81 x 2.03 inch )
  • Cooling System - 200 x 200 x 20 mm blue LED fan, 600rpm, 17dBA
  • Material - Aluminum and Plastic
  • Color - Black
  • Power Connector - USB
  • Rated Voltage - 5 V
  • Started Voltage - 3.5 V
  • Rated Current - 0.21 A
  • Notebooks Supported - 10"-17"
  • Newegg Link, Amazon Link


The obvious thing to note about the Massive23 is the fan. Most laptop coolers, if they have fans at all, make due with a single 80mm. Seeing a large 200mm fan is pretty noteworthy.

Marketing Summary

Quote

The Thermaltake Massive23 LX notebook cooler is an ideal combination of high-performance cooling, ergonomic comfort and convenient functionality in a light-weight and stylish design. It offers dual USB ports, built-in cable management, an LED control switch and an oversize 23cm silent performance fan.


Package Contents

The box is opened with a flip top design that reveals the notebook cooler, a warranty card, and an instruction manual. The Massive23 is packaged in soft foam sheets rather than molded hard foam like most peripherals. It is wrapped in a plastic bag to prevent scratches.

Box Opened


Removing the Massive23 from the box gives you a good indication of just how light it is despite the physical dimensions. Nearly 2 pounds may not seem light for a notebook cooler, but the partially-aluminum construction makes it lighter than several of the completely plastic coolers on the market.

Packaging Contents
Page 3
Massive23 LX

The Massive23 exudes a nice amount of flair from its design. Dominating the front is the 200mm fan and the honeycomb enclosure it sits under, but looking more closely reveals some other nifty details. For example, while this is a hybrid notebook cooler, the integration of the plastic parts into the frame is flawless. On each end of the cooler is a large plastic grab handle which is accessible even when a laptop is placed on it. Between the handle and the fan area are a pair of painted brushed aluminum panels.

Massive23 LX Front


While the top of the Massive23 is mostly made of aluminum. The bottom of the cooler is made almost entirely of plastic. Also of note is how much space the 200mm fan takes up of the bottom of the cooler.

Massive23 LX Underside


For traction, the Massive23 has four large rubber feet at each corner of the cooler. There is a set on the bottom for holding the cooler in place.

Massive23 LX Rubber Feet


And a set on the top for holding the laptop in place on the cooler.

Massive23 LX Front Logo


The fan and LED controls as well as the USB ports are located on the left side of the rear of the case. There is a small green power LED that lights up when the cooler is plugged in to tell you if it is receiving power, and both the fan and LED can be turned on or off separately.

Massive23 LX Rear Logo


Finally, at the rear of the cooler, right behind the fan area, is the storage bay. The bay is pretty healthy in size, covering the entire width of the honeycomb portion on the top of the cooler. When not in use, it is covered by a spring-loaded door. The bay is also where the USB power cord is located when you take the Massive23 out of the box for the first time.

Storage Door
Page 4
Testing

In order to get a good idea of how effective the Massive23 was at cooling, we put it through a series of tests. Each test was using Avidemux to transcode an AVI/MP3 movie into a MP4/AAC movie. Each test was run with the priority set to maximum. What this basically means is that the CPU was running at 100% for about 50 minutes in each test. The test system was a Dell XPS M1710 laptop with an Intel Core 2 Duo T7200 CPU, 4GB of RAM, an nVidia GeForce 7950 GTX, and Windows 7 Professional 32-bit. The M1710 has five different settings for the internal fans: Both fans off; one fan on "low" (around 1500RPM), one off; both fans on "low;" one fan on "high" (around 3600 RPM), one on "low"; and both fans on "high."

Temperatures were recorded with I8kfanGUI, a third party program designed to read the GPU, CPU, chipset and RAM temperatures of Dell Inspiron laptops, and used as an alternative fan controller to the one built into the BIOS. While there were thoughts of testing the temperatures that occurred during gaming, the notion was dismissed due to the lack of consistency in the testing variables. Finally, because this cooler has the ability to shut the fan off, we also tested how well the Massive23 works as a passive cooler.

Temperature Testing Results (all numbers in °C)

Name
Value
Percentage
CPU Temperature At Idle
Laptop Flat On Desk 
44
 
Laptop on Massive23: Fan Off 
38
 
Laptop on Massive23: Fan On 
50
 
CPU Temperature Average During Full Load
Laptop Flat On Desk 
76
 
Laptop on Massive23: Fan Off 
71
 
Laptop on Massive23: Fan On 
52
 
CPU Temperature Max During Full Load
Laptop Flat On Desk 
78
 
Laptop on Massive23: Fan Off 
75
 
Laptop on Massive23: Fan On 
68
 


First, some explanations of the numbers are in order. In regards to the discrepancy of the idle speeds (namely, how the idle temperature is higher with the cooler fan on than it is without the cooler), the M1710 is perfectly capable of idling with both fans off, but when using the High Performance power setting in Windows 7 with Bluetooth and Wi-Fi enabled, it idles on the second setting instead (one fan on "low," the other off). The laptop idles this way both on the desk and on the Massive23 with the fan off (though the idle temperature is lower on the latter). The tests were conducted this way because this is how most people tend to use desktop replacement laptops anyways.

The problem is that with the fan on the Massive23 enabled, the M1710 stays cool enough that the internal fans never turn on, so the CPU temperature rises as a result. For example, during the cool-down period after the Full Load tests, the test system quickly dropped to around 40°C in CPU temperature, and then the internal fans shut off completely. After that happens, the CPU temperature slowly rose back up to around 50°C and stayed there. Strictly speaking, this isn't really a problem at all, because the Massive23 fan is quieter than the internal fans are, and the cooler keeps the bottom of the laptop cool.

A similar situation occurs with the other temperatures achieved in the tests. With the laptop simply sitting on a desk, the temperature shoots up to 78°C rather quickly. After that, the fans switch from the second setting to the 4th setting (one fan on "high," one on "low") and the temperature drops down to 76°C (where it stays). Basically the same thing happens with the laptop on the Massive23 with the fan off, though it takes a little longer to heat up to the (lower) temperature peak, and the internal fans drop the temperature down lower as well.
With the Massive23 fan turned on, however, none of the internal fans turn on at all until the CPU reaches 68°C (which takes longer then it does for either of the other test conditions to even reach). Another difference is that when the fans turn on, they only go to the third speed setting (both fans on "low"), and then the temperature drops like a stone to around 52°C.

To sum up, not only does the Massive23 keep the test system considerably cooler at idle (6°C cooler at idle without the fan even on, and cool enough that the internal fans never turn on with the cooler fan turned on), but it also makes it so it takes considerably longer for the test system to get hotter when under load. Furthermore, with the fan turned on it even keeps the internal fans completely off until they are absolutely necessary (it actually took a little over seven minutes for the M1710 to reach the peak temperature with the Massive23 turned on), and when they do turn on the Massive23 greatly helps them with the internal cooling.
Page 5
Use

One particularly great thing about the design of the Massive23 is how functional it is. The grab handles built into the ends of the cooler assist quite a bit in transporting the cooler, but their specific location on the cooler also make them great for grabbing onto even when a laptop is mounted.

Massive23 LX In Use


The angle of the cooler is another nice thing about it. While it isn't nearly as steep as most laptop coolers are, the angle that it does contain was just about perfect in our testing. Remember, too much incline when typing is bad for your wrists anyways. That being said, it would be nice if there was some kind of adjustability allowed by the design.

Massive23 LX In Use Side View


The fan on the Massive23 is virtually silent. As mentioned in the testing section, the effectiveness of the fan caused some problems for our test system while idling, but the Massive23's 200mm fan was quieter in use than the test systems internal cooling was even on the lowest setting, so it is a worthy trade-off. The fan also didn't use that much power. We were able to use the remaining port on the cooler for things like flash drives, game controllers and even a portable hard drive.

Finally, while some may express disappointment at the amount of plastic in this cooler, you should remember that plastic is more resistant to heat than metals are. Having the plastic only in the spots where the laptop will regularly come in contact with skin (the handles, the bottom) and aluminum everywhere where the laptop itself touches the cooler is actually a pretty good design idea. It is also likely the reason that the cooler is able to be made as inexpensive as it is.

Conclusion

The Thermaltake Massive23 LX is a fantastic laptop cooler. The design is well thought-out, stylish and very functional; and while your mileage may vary with regards to how effective it is with whatever laptop you use it with, we think the performance it showed under our test conditions really speaks for itself. Best of all, with a street price of only $30 (Newegg Link, Amazon Link), the amount of value is so good it seems like stealing. ASE Labs can easily recommend the Thermaltake Massive23 LX notebook cooler.

ASE Labs would like to thank to Thermaltake for making this review possible.

Comments

images/siteimages/upload/2010/09/09/4185mji.jpg Box Front images/siteimages/upload/2010/09/09/4186mss.jpg Box Rear images/siteimages/upload/2010/09/09/4187m0x.jpg Box Opened images/siteimages/upload/2010/09/09/4188m5x.jpg Packaging Contents images/siteimages/upload/2010/09/09/4189mgn.jpg Massive23 LX Front images/siteimages/upload/2010/09/09/4190m8s.jpg Massive23 LX Front Logo images/siteimages/upload/2010/09/09/4191mux.jpg Massive23 LX Rear Logo images/siteimages/upload/2010/09/09/4192mxs.jpg Storage Door images/siteimages/upload/2010/09/09/4193m58.jpg Massive23 LX Underside images/siteimages/upload/2010/09/09/4194mkx.jpg Massive23 LX Rubber Feet images/siteimages/upload/2010/09/09/4195mux.jpg Massive23 LX In Use images/siteimages/upload/2010/09/09/4196mss.jpg Massive23 LX In Use Side View

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