Page 2 – A Closer Look, Usage
Doing a quick Google search will find that there were past generations of the Multi Core product line, such as the X4 and the X6 (Which is not the same as the M6). All of them were capable of changing which fans would be utilized, depending on what the user saw fit. The X4 was designed like a blue butterfly; beautiful and almost child-like. The X6 was more like a “black butterfly” with blockier edges, cubic in shape, but still very bug-like. Now, it seems as if the butterfly has passed on in the coming of the X8, as gone is the vertical and horizontal symmetry and here to stay are the industrial edges. Naming wise, I do not understand what X8 is derived from. The X4 is really the only one that makes sense in terms of a name, since it had four fans. But the X8 does not have eight fans! Maybe it is just me being a tad OCD, but at least pick a name that is somewhat relevant. Just sayin'.
Luckily, there are more changes than just the shape. From the X4 to the X6, the two most notable differences were color and fan sizes. The original X4 was available in only blue and utilized four 10 cm fans. The X6 came in black and implemented two 14cm and two 10 cm fans, making the cooler somewhat top heavy. The new X8 has kept the black color, and reverted to having all fans the same size at 10 cm. For all of the Multi Core models, they offer the same four operation modes, but more on this later. The speed does not vary, going at approximately 1300 rpm. As well, the surface is quite different on the Multi Core X8, compared to past generations. Rather than a standard mesh surface, Deepcool has used straight-lined aluminum ripples, designed to draw air out. As well, this maximizes the surface area of the cooler, which allows for better heat dissipation.
If there is any single word to sum up the looks of the Multi Core X8, I can only think of this: Clean. The Deepcool Multi Core X8 is a clean and cool (No pun intended) device. No flashing LEDs, no blaring sirens, not even a streak of color; this device is almost meant to be hidden. There are several conservative edges they have added, such as several filled in gaps to add pronounced lines, and a “Deepcool” badge in the center. There is something to be liked about this design. It is basic, yet refined. Utilizing aluminum, which is cool to the touch, proves they did not skimp out on build quality. Sure, the underside is still all plastic, but this reduces on the total weight. Anyways, it is not like anyone will be flipping this cooler over just to look at the bottom -- ironically, I will be doing that soon, haha. There is one thing I would suggest as to change: Color choice. Yes, black is the all-encompassing color, but with the number of laptops out there offered in silver and white, I would be looking for a lighter colored option. I do have to mention that when I first received this item, there were a few loose screws on the back of the fans, so I did have to slightly tighten it. Honestly speaking, this product has a solid build quality. The cooler weighs in at 1.29 kg, and feels quite light. Measuring in at 381 x 268 x 29mm, I do not see how the cooler can actually fit a 17” notebook computer, since my 14.1” laptop is already filling up majority of the space.
Looking at the left side -- and all the sides, for that matter -- of the cooler, there are only two things to be noted. One is the single extra USB port the cooler offers. This is granted, since the cooler requires a USB plugin to power itself. The feature list deceptive when they say there are two USB ports, especially when only one is usable for external devices. Deepcool should have at least thrown in a few more USB ports, even if it was only USB 2.0, because having extra USB ports is always handy for laptop users. The other thing is the switch. As mentioned previously, all Multi Core models have four different fan modes: Off, front two fans on, back two fans on, and all on. This is a cool feature (Again, no pun intended), and probably simpler to implement compared to a fan speed adjustment. As well, this allows users to vary the fans based on where it actually needs to be applied. A few questions could pop up such as, “What if only my left side of my laptop needs to be cooled?” or “My CPU and GPU are diagonally from each other! What now?” While both of these are unlikely, any laptop manufacturer could do this, meaning the cooler only has two modes: On and off. As well, the difference between the front two fans being on and the back two fans being on is not marked by anything other than dots, so the only way to know which ones are on are by feeling it.
Now we look at the underside (I told you I would be doing it). The entire bottom is made of plastic, with two retractable feet near the back. These plastic feet allow for two different inclining modes: flat and at a seven degree increase. While the actual number is not big, it is noticeable, and it lifts the laptop nicely off for a better viewing experience. Due to my setup, I like the laptop at a higher elevation, since it places the screen closer to eye level. As well, this tilt reduces strain from the wrists and the fingers while typing. There are also four rubber nibs for feet, which grip the cooler in place. Unfortunately, the retractable feet are not rubber gripped, so when the cooler is inclined, there is no back grip. Otherwise, the rest of this is quite standard, with four fans and their vents displayed on the back.
At this point, I would open up the laptop cooler to look at the fans inside, as well as what is under that aluminum grille. However, after removing all of the screws, and even checking for screws underneath the rubber nibs, I was unable to actually pry the grille off. It was almost as if there were other items such as clips holding the whole thing together. Because I did not want to break the cooler, I left this cooler alone. The only consolation is that this affirms the solidity of the Deepcool Multi Core X8; it simply would not open. This could be an issue should some small unwanted object or debris fall into the fan, but hopefully it would also leave out the bottom side.
The single USB 2.0 port on the Multi Core X8 is fully functional, and works as any other USB port should. I plugged in my 1 GB Kingston USB flash drive without difficulty. Spacing-wise, the USB area is slightly tight, and could cause issues with larger USB plugins, but for any USB drive or small wireless receiver, this works just fine. Plugging in more power-heavy devices proved to be without challenge too, as the worked as they should have, since there was only a single USB port. I will say that because the USB port is on the side, rather than the front, the ease of use varies from user to user. I was forced to use my USB 3.0 slot for the device, since the cable provided was not long enough to reach the USB 2.0 ports on the other side. However, not all laptops have ports on both sides, and this could affect some users more than others.
1. Introduction, Packaging, Specifications
2. A Closer Look, Usage
3. Testing and Conclusion