The Spot Cool is basically an intelligently caged 80mm fan with a bendable gooseneck. You screw the end of the gooseneck into something solid like the motherboard or the computer chassis, then bend the gooseneck and position the fan so that it's blowing air at the desired component.
The fan has three speeds -- 2000, 2500, and 3000RPM, which move anywhere between 15 and 22CFM (cubic feet per minute) of air. The speed is adjustable through a manual switch, and the fan is powered through a motherboard 3-pin connector (no Molex power connector adapter is included, but if you have one, it will probably work).
|The Antec Spot Cool|
Cosmetically the Spot Cool is a bit of a monster. Until you take it out of the package and install it, it's hard to tell exactly what it is and how it works. Once connected, a bright blue LED (one of Antec's signature high-end product features) illuminates the inside of your chassis.
Putting it to the test
At first I thought it would be a challenge to find a good place to mount the Spot Cool, but once I opened up the sidepanel and took a look at the motherboard screws, I found the perfect spot almost instantly -- close to the motherboard's spare fan power connector, between the CPU and the RAM. The gooseneck and power cable are long enough that you can mount the Spot Cool in a number of possible places and reach just about any position that you would reasonably need to. In my test system, I aimed the Spot Cool at my RAM, though it could have reasonably reached the top side of the video card from there as well.
No matter what level I set the switch to, I couldn't hear the Spot Cool's fan over the CPU fan, and I couldn't tell at a distance whether the Spot Cool was plugged in or not. So don't worry about noise; even if you have a relatively quiet-running system, the Spot Cool shouldn't add any significant background noise.
I couldn't detect a significant difference in component temperature with my RAM, but it wasn't running all that warmly to begin with, and I'm not sure how accurate the internal motherboard temperature sensors are.
I wish I could say that the Spot Cool solved some kind of problem for me, but I don't have any problems with heat in any of my test machines (Core 2 Duo, Athlon 64 X2, dual Opteron), and I don't overclock. If you do have such problems and can't use or are already using an on-chip heatsink and fan for your chipsets and video processor, or if you have heatsinks on your RAM that you need to help cool down, the Spot Cool can be a great asset. In other words, this is something relegated to the high-end "overclocker" market. In that, I believe it's a unique, affordable, and useful solution for removing warm air from specific areas of your system.
|Device||Internal cooling fan|
|Device support||Works with standard motherboard, peripheral card, or chassis screws.|
|Market||Overclockers, high-performance enthusiasts, anyone who has internal computer heat problems|
|Price (retail)||U.S. ~$18 (Buy one from Amazon.com)|
|Product Web site||Click here|