Page 3 - Testing and Conclusion
Dell Inspiron 6400
Intel Core 2 Duo T7400 (2.16GHz, 4MB Cache - SpeedStep enabled)
Intel i945PM + Intel ICH7M
Super Talent T667SB1G/S PC2-5300 2x1GB @ 5-5-5-13
Hitachi 160GB SATA PMR 5400RPM 8MB Cache
Toshiba-Samsung 8x DVD Burner
ATI Radeon X1400 256MB HyperMemory
15.4" LCD @ 1440x900
Microsoft Windows Vista Home Premium
I was going to work on some graphs for this review. However, after hours of Orthos and 3DMark06 Professional loop testing, I noticed virtually no difference in CPU recorded temperature, whether I used the Thermaltake iXoft or not.
In reality, I don't think there should be besides a 1-2 degree difference. Architecturally, the Dell Inspiron 6400's cooling system is built as the following:
CPU Cooling:  Screws;  Heatpipe
Since my laptop is built on a horizontal chassis, heat transferring up on the CPU will be applied to the heatpipe and exerting the heat out the back of the top left corner on the Inspiron 6400. Temperature controlled fans are implemented to activate when the CPU hits a certain temperature.
The temperature controlled fan on the Inspiron 6400 is very effective though. Once activated on an idling CPU, it can actually bring down 25 degrees in a matter of a minute or two -- quite amazing in my opinion.
What this means is that the temperature sensing diodes in the CPU cores itself or the motherboard sensor probably won't detect anything as the Thermaltake iXoft is not directly drawing air and heat away from the laptop, but rather absorbing thermal energy after heat has already been created and carried out via natural means on the system.
Therefore, I personally won't be creating any graphs as the temperature difference is quite arguable at best, but on the subjective side, I think the Thermaltake iXoft does make a difference.
There are two things that I would take into account. Firstly, is there a lot of heat that is exerted out the bottom of your laptop? Whether it's the battery, or the vents of the memory modules, or hard drive, and heck, even graphics card, my unit sure releases its share. It heats up enough to cause the Sodium Sulfate Decahydrate in the Thermaltake iXoft to turn into a liquid state -- and the iXoft spreads the heat around a larger surface area of the pad. Those are the areas in which temperature is not recorded by any sensors on the computer.
Secondly, and most importantly, does the Thermaltake iXoft properly 'absorb' heat as per the theory? Well, I tried sitting on it, and although it's not quite the feeling you get like sitting on a patch of ice, to an extent you can still feel the transfer of heat energy from one location to another. I am not going to go too literal here, haha.
In general, the Thermaltake iXoft is definitely a one of its kind implementation using Sodium Sulfate Decahydrate inside. As a type of heat dissipator and spreader, it does its job well in absorbing heat from the bottom of your laptop and moving it around to prevent it from being concentrated in one location (Your lap, and if you are male, it also includes that proprietary component). I wouldn't expect miracles and suddenly see your CPU drop 10 degrees automatically, because personally I don't think it's designed for this purpose.
But, it's light, and it's physically flexible, and easy for transportation. If you use your laptop on your lap all the time and want to prevent skin burns, the Thermaltake iXoft may not be a bad thing to carry with you all the time. Otherwise, if your laptop is generating too much heat that it starts overheating, well, obviously your laptop has defects. Unless, of course, you have a Prescott core CPU inside. On the other hand, last time I checked, mobile space heaters don't need cooling ;)
Special thanks to Peter over at Thermaltake for making this review possible.
- The rating 7/10 means "Great product with many advantages and certain insignificant drawbacks; but should be considered before purchasing".
- More information in our Review Focus.
Male laptop users who like to use their mobile computers on their laps should consider the Thermaltake iXoft.
1. Introduction, Packaging, Specification
2. A Closer Look, Usage
3. Testing and Conclusion