Posted by Eric Barr on Apr 20, 2009

Review – NZXT Cryo LX

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When most people think about PC gaming, they envision a sweet desktop with the latest and greatest components. However, not everyone chooses to go the desktop route. Unfortunately for those that do go with a laptop, heat becomes a major issue. There’s nothing quite like having your game interrupted because your computer shut down to prevent overheating. There are quite a few different solutions on the market today, but I’m going to show you the Cryo LX Notebook Cooler from NZXT.

The last time we took a look at something from NZXT we were impressed, so I had high hopes when I dug into this Cryo LX cooler. If I were to judge this simply based on weight, it would definitely win an award. It’s made from solid aluminum, so the weight doesn’t come as too much of a surprise. You certainly don’t have to worry about it moving around on you while you’re gaming. Surprisingly it does fold up partially to make it easier for transporting.

There doesn’t seem to be much to this cooler. It’s got a full brushed aluminum frame, a set of rubber pads to both hold the laptop away from the frame and keep it in place. Three 120mm fans keep air circulating to your notebook, and a set of USB ports makes it easy to connect any extra peripherals to your computer. It pulls its power not from a standard outlet, but from the USB ports of your laptop. This is great for most people, since it’s always a hassle trying to find a free outlet. Some computers might have trouble powering this from their USB ports, but chances are that you won’t be doing serious gaming on those machines anyway.

Setting up this cooler doesn’t take any sort of real effort. Pick it up, unfold it and set it back down on your desk. Now place your notebook on top and plug in the USB cords. If you’re feeling particularly daring, you can even adjust the speed of the fans with the control wheel on the side. That’s really all there is to it.

It looks good, it’s sturdy and easy to setup; all the makings of a decent cooler. Of course the real test is how it performs. I decided to put this to the test using my Late 2008 Unibody MacBook Pro. Trust me when I tell you that this thing needs extra cooling when you’re gaming on it. I decided to check the temperatures of the CPU and GPU. To get a real world feel, I tested it by setting it on my desk, and the Cryo LX while idle and under load.

The CPU stayed a nice 4 degrees cooler both at idle and under full load.

The Nvidia 8600 is what really makes this particular MacBook shine in the gaming department, but it also likes to run pretty hot. Once again the Cryo made a good impact by dropping the temperature by a good 3 degrees.

Overall, I have to say that I am pleased with the Cryo LX. I don’t do a of gaming on my laptop, but when we’ve got four people over to play some Left 4 Dead and only 3 desktops, it’s nice to be able to bust it out. I’ve always been a bit concerned with the temperatures before, but the Cryo did a great job of keeping everything nice and cool. It’s going to set you back around $70, but if you’re going to game on a laptop, this is definitely worth checking out.

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