Overclocking a computers CPU and RAM has become a popular way to extend its life or to save money by buying slower parts and making them faster. Overclocking also heats up the parts that you overclocked and that could cause them to wear out faster. Because of this a lot of companies have started offering extra cooling options. CoolIT has a line of products specifically made to cool a computers various parts. The RAM fan is the one we are looking at today.
- Simply clips onto all standard DIMMs
- Plugs into any available fan header
- Eliminates any risk of your RAM overheating.
- Provides direct airflow across the motherboard to cool heat sensitive components like the chipsets and voltage regulators.
You already have to be an enthusiast if you want to overclock your computer, so you probably already know the benefits and consequences of the process. Using the RAM fan in addition to a CPU, and possibly a GPU cooler, can help to alleviate some of the negative side effects of overclocking.
The RAM fans most notable feature is that it is designed to not need any additional hardware to attach it to the motherboard. In fact, it does not attach to the motherboard because it attaches directly to the RAM DIMMs.
The fan in the RAM fan is a small 60mm fan which means it is not going to move a lot of air. In order to keep the RAM cool it will have to spin fast, and like all fans, the faster it goes the more noise it is going to make.
Like I mentioned above, the most notable aspect of the design is that the RAM fan does not need to be attached to the motherboard. It can easily be added to and removed from just about any system with ease.
The RAM fan is really just a stamped piece of aluminum that is bent into shape and has a fan glued to it. This simple design makes it very light weight. This is good because you don’t want a lot of weight putting strain on your RAM DIMMs.
One thing you may notice is that the fan connector only has two wires. Most fans have 3 wires because the extra wire allows the speed of the fan to be monitored and controlled by the motherboard or software on the system. Without that 3rd wire the RAM fan will run at only one speed all the time. You may ask why would I want the fan to run slower? During times of low use and low temperatures the fan could run slower to reduce the noise levels. You could cheat this and still get the fan to run slower if you have a motherboard that allows you to adjust the voltage to the power plug. This will let the fan run slower, but it will still only run at one speed.
Installing the RAM fan is really easy. You simply clamp it on your DIMMs. Because the top and bottom of the RAM fan are interchangeable you don’t have to worry about installing it upside down. The only thing you need to worry about is if the metal of the RAM fan scratches the DIMM, the fan could damage the DIMM and then you would have to by a new one. Since the RAM fan really only touches the top and bottom of the DIMM, and there is nothing sensitive on the top or bottom of a DIMM, you really have nothing to worry about. To get power to the fan you can use any of the standard 3-pin fan power headers that can be found on just about any motherboard.
As you can see from my pictures I have 4 DIMMs in my computer and they all have heat spreaders. This made the fit a little tighter, but I was still able to squeeze the RAM fan on. Actually my oversized CPU heatsink and fan got in the way more than the heat spreaders did. Before you buy the RAM fan you will want to check that you have plenty of clearance from the DIMMs so it will fit.
I did not notice any increase in the amount of noise coming out of the computer. My computer is normally not very loud, so extra noise would be noticeable. I do have three 120mm fans in the case currently so they could be masking some of the noise from the RAM fan.
The blue lights on the RAM fan matched nicely with my other lights. Unfortunately, if you have a different color of light in your case you cannot turn off the lights or purchase a different color of lights without potentially damaging the RAM fan.
Warranty and Support
The RAM fan comes with a one year warranty from CoolIT. This is a weak warranty, but for under $20 you can just buy a new one.
The RAM fan performs really well. The extra movement of air is nice and until someone invents a way to cool RAM with liqued, then this is the only way to cool RAM. It would be nice is CoolIT could make the RAM fan quieter. A lot of computers will not have as many fans as I do so the extra noise of the RAM fan will be more noticeable. Also, with only a two wire connection the RAM fan speed cannot be monitored from the motherboard or software. You can easily find the RAM fan for under $20, so it will be one of the less expensive parts you put in your computer. As always compare prices before purchasing.
|JusTech'n editors' rating|