On a technical level, I feel that even though the SF-17 was only able to reduce the temperature of the CPU in my Lenovo by two degrees, there is much more to like about this over most others. The thick, chunky, and even heavy design by comparison to others is definitely what I need for my specific situation. Since I always have a laptop running next to my main rig, I need a stand that will keep my laptop where I left it.
Another thing I like that builds from there, is that on may coolers, you have to give up stability to use the tiny flip out feet - not with this SF-17, the base is solid as it was out of the box in any orientation. Also, there are many users out there that require more than the five to 15 degrees that other coolers offer. This is again where the SF-17 comes in, you can get the screen way up in the air and the keys at a much better angle, the whole time allowing your neck and back some stress relief from the better posture you are in while using this cooler.
When you look at it from the aspect of a gaming laptop base and cooler, in this instance, you really need something very solid under that investment. Not only did you spend a ton of money on the gaming laptop, but they tend to be much heavier than the rest of the laptops out there. You don't want to depend on some flimsy POS to hold and cool it. You are going to look for a product that is worthy of the trust of holding your laptop, and CMStorm is stepping up to take on that challenge and do it with no issues that I found in my few weeks of use up until this point. Then, of course, there is the cool red bar of light running across the front matching the CMStorm theme of colors, but it also will likely go well with the backlit keyboard or illuminated logo on your gaming laptop.
Considering there are gaming laptops out there that can skyrocket in price to well over $1000, what is another $60, when you get something as versatile as what the SF-17 Gaming Notebook Cooler has to offer? They claimed the 180mm fan is silent in operation, and I cannot hear it even when the fan inside of my Lenovo is in an off cycle, so they definitely hit the mark there. It also offers more ergonomic modularity than many other coolers we see here at TweakTown, and just getting the laptop more than 15 degrees off the table can make everything much more enjoyable to use, and what is something like this worth?
The bottom line for me, it that even though the Thermaltake we last looked at performed much better, I much more enjoy using the SF-17 on my desk, and I'm assuming it will be here for a long time to come. I gave away my older SF-19 and even the U-Stand I had, but getting the SF-17 to test made me realize what I had been missing all this time; increased angle support, a solid foundation, expandability and lighting.
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