Cooler Master Storm SF-19 Strike Force Review (Page 2 of 3)

Page 2 - A Closer Look, Usage

At first glance, I knew the SF-19 Strike Force would be a very powerful laptop cooler. On top of that, it was completely black in color, creating a somewhat subtle look yet retaining a strong presence. Taking a look at the top surface, we can see clearly that it is covered mainly with what Cooler Master claims to be a cold-forged polygon mesh surface. This allows maximum airflow, sucking out the heat from the laptop and dissipating it out from the bottom of the cooler. To be able to quickly remove heat and bring airflow over the bottom of your laptop, two 140 mm fans are situated right under the surface of the SF-19. The fan speed can be adjusted by the user, and they can even be replaced if you really feel the need to do so. I will be going into further detail about the fans in just a moment. We can also see that Cooler Master has implemented rubber corner grips for the obvious purpose of keeping your cooler and your laptop in one place without having it slide around too often, as well as doubles as cabling slots for convenient cable management. These rubber bumpers also prove to be useful as shock absorbers to protect the cooler from unnecessary bumps and bruises from the sides. It would have been nice if Cooler Master made it a little more robust, but since this is such a large cooler, mobility is not much of a concern as most consumers would not be moving it around that much anyways -- making it quite sufficient for its purpose right now. As far as weight is concerned, the SF-19 Strike Force is quite heavy for a cooler. This does not mean it is impossible to be placed on your lap, but it is really not designed for this purpose. Since it measures in at 470 x 354 x 74 mm and weighs nearly 2 kg in addition to your laptop, wouldn't it be better if it was just left on your desk instead? This cooler also gives your laptop an extra bump off the surface it resides on. In my personal preference, I would rather have it situated a bit lower, since I tend to get cold hands after working on my computer after a long period, especially when the keyboard and mouse is quite a bit off the surface of the desk. The extra 7.5 degree tilt does relieve some stress off my wrists and fingers, however.

Here is a closer look of the corner rubber cabling slot in conjunction with the variable fan RPM controller, LED color toggle switch, and the LED on/off switch on the left back-corner of the Cooler Master Storm SF-19 Strike Force laptop cooler. As you can see in our photo above, the cabling slot itself is cut and grooved from the middle to both the top and the bottom, allowing for maximum amount room for cables from the plethora of accessories that are connected to your gaming laptop. The LED color change button allows alternating between seven different colors, including red, dark blue, light blue, green, purple, yellow or white. If you find the lights bothersome and want to turn them off, or simply want to turn it on to impress your friends, a light switch on the side will cater to all your needs. Cooler Master has done a good job at even putting in the minor details in making the buttons unique to fit in with the design theme of the SF-19.

The right back corner reveals yet another rubber corner bumper with its cabling slot lining up with the DC 12V input with a Micro-B USB connector situated between four standard USB 3.0 ports. The Micro-B port connects to your laptop, while the rest of the standard USB connectors are there to accommodate your peripherals and devices. In other words, the Cooler Master SF-19 Strike Force laptop cooler has a built in four port USB hub with USB 3.0 support; given that your laptop has USB 3.0 ports. If your laptop does not feature any USB 3.0 ports, the hub will work at standard USB 2.0 speeds without any issues. The Micro-B connector is implemented just so you know it is an uplink port, and not a device connector.

The Cooler Master Storm SF-19 Strike Force is also equipped with two LED lights on both the bottom right and bottom left side if the cooler. As mentioned earlier, these lights can be toggled between seven different colors, including red, dark blue, light blue, green, purple, yellow or white, depending on your personal preference and mood. The LED lights also look quite unique in fitting in quite nicely -- even though most people may not be looking at them all the time. Turning these pretty lights on makes your semi-portable gaming rig look quite nice. The effect is further accentuated if you turn off the lights in your room, taking fashion and sleekness to a whole new level, especially if the set is situated on a nice glass desk.

On the back side, we can still see two corner rubber bumper corners as described in previous paragraphs, which is also used as the double sided feet of this cooler as aforementioned. A handle can be found at the top for convenient grab-and-go when being transported around (If you ever find that necessary -- this thing is huge!). The bottom side also features yet another pair of rubber bumper corners/feet. In the middle of all this is a well-ventilated trap door to dissipate heat, which can be opened via two tabs located near the top.

Here, we can see the most important feature in any given active laptop cooler, especially in such a monstrous cooler like the CM Storm SF-19 Strike Force. Cooler Master houses two of their very own 140mm fans, labeled as DF1402512SEUN as its model number. These little -- or should I say, big -- guys can run from as low as 1,200 RPM to as high as 2,600 RPM. Fan speed can be variably adjusted by the end user, as mentioned earlier. In this context, these fans can be quite quiet when running on low. On the flip side, this pair of 140mm fans can keep you up all night when set on maximum speed. Of course, having two of them only makes it louder. These fans can be interchanged with different ones fairly easily simply by releasing the clip from the mount that they are on. Because they are powered by an external DC 12V adapter, you can imagine how much power it needs, and how fast they will run!

The four USB ports work quite well. These are self-powered USB ports thanks to the external DC adapter. Just for fun, I stuck in a 2GB Plantronics USB 2.0 thumb drive, 8GB Kingston USB 2.0 thumb drive, Plantronics Discovery 925 flagship earpiece (Yes, it IS the Cerise Limited Collection Bluetooth earpiece, in case you are wondering), and the Sony Ericsson Xperia X10 (Sorry Jonathan, Android phones are always superior, haha). Everything works flawlessly with my Asus G51Vx laptop, but since it does not feature any USB 3.0 ports, I am forced to have them at USB 2.0 performance only.

Page Index
1. Introduction, Packaging, Specification
2. A Closer Look, Usage
3. Testing and Conclusion