Cooler Master Cooldrive 4

Aron Schatz
September 21, 2005
Cooler Master Cooldrive 4
Quality control seems to be a problem with Cooler Master. The Cooldrive 4 looked to be a nice product on its surface, but when tested, fell flat on its face. Read why...
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It may seem like most modding accessories today provide more form over function, but there are some products that try to give an actual sense of usability while adding something superfluous at the same time. A fanbus is an extremely useful accessory if you have a case with many fans, or just want to quiet down your louder fans when not stressing the system. The Cooler Master Cooldrive 4 combines temperature readings, a fanbus controller, and a nice LCD display. It is the quality control that isn't up to the task in this company.


<center>Box Shot</center>

Yes, it is a box. Flashy as any modding accessory should be.



The Cooldrive 4 comes with the needed wires and manual as well as the unit itself. The unit comes in either black or silver. I opted for the silver since I was going to install it in my silver »X-Turbine case.



The front is nice and polished-looking. To the left, is a small fan for hard drive cooling. In this case, the name of the product is a good indication of its function. You are able to mount a hard drive in this caddy and the Cooldrive will keep airflow over the drive. The Cooldrive is also a big metal case and acts as a heatsink would when the drive is screwed in. The is a great feature in a modding accessory. The center features the LCD screen that may or may not work. To the right are the control buttons and the variable resistor controller for adjusting fan speeds for four different channels. There is a ring of light that also accents the fan controller to make it easier to use in the dark. There are different light colors to choose from as well.


The inside of the unit has the various connectors for the fans and to power the actual unit. One channel for the fanbus is already taken up by the hard drive fan in the unit. Power for the unit is delivered by a normal floppy drive Molex connector.

<b>The Quality</b>:

I'm glad you have read this far into the review. This is the point that things go wrong. When I buy a product, I expect it to work. When it doesn't, I usually give the company another chance. This is the second product that I »purchased from Cooler Master that has not worked correctly. Let's take a peek at what I'm complaining about:


As you can see, the LCD screen is nice and bright. The ring of light is also very well-lit. Don't pay attention to the fact that the LCD isn't displaying all the things it should. The bottom of the numbers are cut off and the temperature display and fan display are nonexistent. This is not what I would call a desirable outcome for a purchased product. If you would like to see what the LCD should be showing, check <a href="">Cooler Master's website</a>.


<center>Fast Slow</center>

I did test the functionality of the unit and it does work as expected (other than the LCD). I hooked up the CompUSA Cold Cathode fan to really demonstrate the different fan speeds. As you can see, the slow speed cuts the voltage down to a very low amount. The fanbus can go lower than the fan can handle, and it is up to you to check the RPM reading of the fan to make sure it is spinning. Each channel worked as expected.


Strike two, Cooler Master. I have read reviews of this unit and I have seen many sites give it "editor's choice" awards. Sadly, this is not a product I would recommend to anyone given my experience with this company's quality control. You are better off <a href="">purchasing something from a different company</a>. I hear that Cooler Master's <a href="">cases are good</a>, but their modding accessories are certainly not.


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