- Performance Tested: Model Comparison
- Performance Tested: Temperature Example
- Performance Tested: Throttling Example
- Fundamentals: Cooling Performance
- Fundamentals: Audio Performance
Performance Tested: Model ComparisonSummary
Cooling and noise performance for each SVALT model varies depending on fan speed. The solid bar graphs represent the lowest speed configuration and setting, while the lighter transparent bar graphs show the highest speed configuration and setting.
Cooling performance is approximate for each SVALT model and varies depending on particular laptop model and configuration. The bar graphs represent the approximate performance with the laptop that provides the best match for each SVALT model.
Please note that this is only meant as a general overview of performance. See Laptops to learn what SVALT model is recommended for a particular laptop model.
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Performance Tested: Reduced Temperature Example
DHCR and DHC w/ 2021 MacBook Pro (14-inch M1 Max)
The DHCR and DHC Cooling Dock models were designed, engineered and sculpted from solid aluminum to support and silently cool Apple’s latest laptops such as the 2021 MacBook Pro (M1 Pro/Max) and 2022 MacBook Air (M2) with innovative thermally conductive padded interface, large thermally massive heatsink, cooling fins, open airflow channels, and an optional Cooling Fan Fx to drive cooling airflow into the new 2021 MacBook Pro laptop’s intake vent for direct internal processor cooling.
The DHCR model’s massive 3.2 pound heatsink and 169 square inch cooling surface area with 12 cooling fins help it excel at silently cooling, while adding the Fx drives airflow directly into the laptop’s central intake vent for direct processor cooling to help tackle longer duration intensive tasks.
The DHC model also delivers excellent silent cooling, but with larger air channel openings between the vertical cooling fins, an extra large passthrough opening and an extra large front horizontal vent opening, the DHC model excels at maximizing the Fx’s active airflow to help tackle extra long duration intensive tasks.
Note that these tests were performed with the 1st generation DHCR and DHC models, and the new 2nd generation models include refined air channels for improved cooling performance with the 2021-2022 MacBook Pro (M1 Pro/Max), as well as improve active airflow cooling with the Fx.
Please note that this test is an example of a particular SVALT and laptop model combination that is provided as a general overview of cooling performance when combined with the above Model Comparison section. See Laptops to learn what SVALT model is recommended for a particular laptop model.
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Performance Tested: Reduced Throttling Example
SxG17 w/ 2019 MacBook Pro (16-inch i9 8-core Intel)
The Cooling Stand product line models SRx and Sx were designed for universal support and cooling with Mac and PC laptops. Every dimension and element has been optimized to quietly and efficiently deliver active airflow from the large and powerful cooling fan to help tackle extra long duration intensive tasks.
Please note that this is an example of a particular SVALT and laptop model combination that is provided as a general overview of cooling performance when combined with the above Model Comparison section. See Laptops to learn what SVALT model is recommended for a particular laptop model.
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Fundamentals: Cooling PerformanceThe cooling performance testing results included here are meant to provide a more general assessment of performance potential and to illustrate different combinations of SVALT and laptop models. Approximately one thousand hours of work was required to generate, analyze and present the testing data on this page. The time required to test every combination of SVALT and laptop model would take years of continuous work. As a result, it is not possible to test all combinations, however, tests are regularly conducted during conceptual research, product development and final production proving phases. In total this testing helps to provide a thorough understanding of built-in laptop cooling systems and how they respond to supplemental cooling.
One of the core concepts of cooling performance is understanding how throttling impacts computer performance, and how cooling can in turn reduce throttling for increased performance. Computer processors generate heat which can increase temperatures, spin up internal fans, stress systems, throttling processors and degrade hardware. Supplemental cooling can help to remove heat, reduce internal computer fan speeds, limit other long term potential heat impacts, and increase the computer’s overall cooling capacity. When a system is maxed out and throttling, then supplemental cooling can also help to increase performance. Learn more about throttling and why cooling is important to sustaining peak performance potential on the Throttling page.
For testing, another aspect of throttling needs to be understood: when under throttling conditions, the computer uses throttling to reduce temperatures and reduce heat damage. That means supplemental cooling that effectively improves cooling will allow the computer to run with reduced throttling and increased performance, but that also means that temperatures will typically be higher because of the higher processing power. In short, less throttling means faster and hotter. So if throttling occurs, then it is challenging to simultaneously test temperatures while testing performance. Conversely, if throttling is not occurring, then testing temperatures is feasible while it is impossible to test performance. For this reason, testing is conducted to analyze either temperatures or performance, and not both.
To test supplemental cooling and to accurately measure its influence on temperatures and performance, SVALT tests under strictly controlled conditions so that SVALT supplemental cooling is the only variable influencing the results. Each test session includes two tests, a CONTROL test without supplemental cooling and a SVALT test with supplemental cooling. Conditions are as close to identical as possible for both tests (ambient air temperature, physical placement, non-thermally conductive insulated base, starting laptop temperatures, internal fan speeds, eliminated non-test background activities, and single applied testing workload) and results are based on analysis from direct sensor data logs (component temperatures, processor power and speed, etc). Learn more about SVALT’s rigorous testing process on the Testing page.
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Fundamentals: Audio PerformanceSVALT products are designed to deliver maximum cooling airflow with minimum noise. With each new generation, SVALT products becomes more and more obsessed with delivering cooling performance with the least noise. The new silent thermally conductive heatsink Cooling Dock DHCR and DHC models represent the pinnacle of silent cooling, however, all fan equipped models have been updated with new ultra-quiet B16 or B14 fan models. SVALT doesn’t stop at using an ultra-quiet fan because all cooling systems are fully modular with bolted/snapped assemblies so that fans can be easily accessed and swapped out at any point in the future to meet a users particular needs (see accessories).
SVALT products offer industry leading audio and cooling performance to such an extent that terms like silent and quiet need to be redefined. We have discovered that silent and quiet mean something different for most other products and manufacturers. SVALT defines noise levels as the following:
- Silent: No noise being generated. SVALT offers a full range of silent cooling solutions.
- Ultra-Quiet: Sound generation is low enough to be considered inaudible even in quiet workspaces with minimal background noise, so very nearly silent. All of SVALT models are available with ultra-quiet fan cooling.
- Quiet: Sound generation is low enough to be considered inaudible within a normal workspace and barely audible within a quiet workspace where it could blend into the background noise. All of SVALT models are available with quiet fan cooling. See Compare page for SVALT models specs.
- Moderate: Sound generation is moderate and can be easily heard within a quiet workspace where it could be considered disturbing, but barely audible within a normal workspace where it could blend into the background noise. All of SVALT models are available with moderate fan cooling.
- Loud: Sound generation is loud and can be easily heard within a normal workspace where it could be considered disturbing. No current SVALT models fall into this category, but a prior Cooling Dock B42 fan model exceeded 40 dBA at the highest speed setting.
- See Compare page for SVALT specs, including fan noise ratings.
Fan noise is typically lumped into a single dBA rating, and while useful for preliminary comparison, it does not reflect the full acoustic experience. After a decade of purchasing and testing most of the best fans from the best fan manufacturers, we’ve found that in nearly all cases the dBA rating does not accurately describe the fan noise and so our redefinition requires the following two categories:
- Volume: The first category is the noise quantity or volume, which a dBA rating does a good job of defining. The volume of noise generated comes primarily from a whoosh of air rushing through and around the fan. A lower noise volume and dBA rating is generally preferred, however, a low rating does not mean it is quiet, while on the flip side, a high rating does not mean that it is loud and disturbing. The list above gives you sense of where SVALT models fall within the noise volume category.
- Character: The second category is the noise quality or character. The character of the noise generated has to do with how evenly the noise spreads across the acoustic range and its ability to fade or blend into the background noise. While the fan blade design and resulting airflow patterns contribute to the noise character and ability for the noise to become unobtrusive, in most fans it is the fan motor’s emitting of high-pitched electronic and mechanical pulsing and whirling noises that cut through background noise, grab attention and lead to distraction. Fans with higher volume dBA ratings make more whooshing airflow noise that often masks the fainter fan motor noises, so it is typically with lower volume dBA ratings when the fainter fan motor noises become more of a factor and potential disturbance. SVALT fans are selected by purchasing virtually all high-end fans from the best fan manufactures and then individually testing each. The fan models we use are selected for their low-levels of motor noise and other distracting characteristics, and this is especially important for the ultra-quiet B16 and B14 fan models. Note that the same fan series from the same manufacturer can sometimes have significantly different levels of motor noise depending on 3 vs 4-pin (PWM) configuration, maximum fan speed (RPM) and other features. In all cases we are using the fan that is the quietest, and so we only recommend replacing a fan with the specific model instead of a similar model that in most cases has additional motor noise (see accessories for fan replacements).