Cooling Dock DHCx
Cooling Dock DHCx
The DHCx’s heatsink is carved from solid 6061 aluminum to create five cooling fins with four air channels cut to an incredible two inch depth, which provides the heatsink with a large surface area for improved heat transfer. The DHCx’s heatsink is made from continuous material with deep cooling fins to improve heat transfer, as well as improving heat flow within the heatsink mass. Compared to typical low-cost bolted or cast heatsinks, creating the DHCx’s heatsink requires higher precision, longer CNC milling times and higher costs.
The machined heatsink is then painstakingly finished by hand with sanding, bead-blasting and anodize to create a non-glossy matte finish with extra course texture for increased surface area, greater heat transfer and improved heatsink cooling efficiency. The heatsink’s laptop coupling plate has a specially prepared finish to produce a flat surface for improved heat transfer through a thermally conductive interface that couples with the laptop to efficiently extract heat while protecting the laptop’s finish. Edge pads wrap around all four sides of the heatsink’s coupling plate to protect the laptop from impact without heat transfer interference. The coupling system and padding is installed by hand onto the heatsink, and is made from the highest-quality and best performing materials to simultaneously transfer heat and protect the laptop. The heatsink can also be configured without the thermally conductive material overlay for direct metal-to-metal coupling between the laptop and heatsink.
The DHCx not only achieves high levels of heatsink cooling efficiency, but has a design tailor made for optimal performance with the latest generation of Apple laptops, such as the 2021-2023 MacBook Pro. The DHCx’s heatsink is positioned at the laptop processor location to extract heat at the heat source. The overall support cradle width, heatsink coupling plate width and air channel locations match the laptop’s processor and built-in cooling system layout. The heatsink’s extra large central through-hole connects to a horizontal air channel with curving ends to supply cool air to the laptop’s center intake vent and flush out hot exhaust air for more efficient operation of the laptop’s built-in cooling system. The extra large through hole creates an open air space below the five vertical air channels to generate a passive current of cool air that continuously rises up to cool the six vertical cooling fins.
The DHCx’s air channels support silent passive cooling airflow, while a built-in cooling fan boosts heatsink cooling performance. The vertical air channels send cooling airflow upward to cool the laptop enclosure, and the internal angle guides cooling airflow down through the central through hole and front horizontal channel to flush out hot air and internally cool processors on laptops with a center intake vent, such as the 2021-2023 MacBook Pros (M2/M1 Pro/Max), 2012-2015 MacBook Pros (Intel Retina) and 2010-2017 MacBook Airs (Intel non-Retina).
The DHCx and all Cooling Dock models feature a unique and stable leaning configuration for easy closed-screen clamshell setup while the laptop remains connected to cables and safely in a padded cradle with adjustable / replaceable laptop support pads. All SVALT products are made with enduring metal construction milled from solid aluminum in the Pacific Northwest. All SVALT cooling systems use modular bolted / snapped cooling system assemblies and ship with the tools required for right-to-repair servicing, exchanging and upgrading.
The DHCx is based on the new 3rd gen DHC design’s deeper and angled cooling fin air channels, thinner laptop coupling plate, thinner laptop thermally conductive materials, and front horizontal channel with curving ends. The DHC model was designed for silent passive airflow or optional active airflow with the use of a separate Fx Cooling Fan accessory, while the new DHCx model has been designed with a built-in cooling fan to provide a more compact and conveniently single item configuration.
Laptop Coupling Interface
The DHCx is available with two different configurations for the laptop’s thermally conductive coupling interface. The “thin overlay” configuration is recommended for most customers as it offers lower impedance and improves heat transfer while protecting the laptop finish. The “bare metal” configuration is offered for customers that want metal-to-metal contact between laptop and heatsink for direct heat transfer. The “bare metal” configuration includes the edge bumper pads to provide edge impact protection but the laptop will directly contact the heatsink’s anodized aluminum coupling plate that extends slightly beyond the pads to achieve proper surface-to-surface contact, and as a result, customers that select the “bare metal” configuration need to take care when placing the laptop on the dock (customers assume full responsibility for the care and condition of their device).
Aluminum Color and Finish
The DHCx’s aluminum heatsink is available in gray, black and silver anodize colors (as shown in the above photo). There are different strategies for color selection, such as selecting the color that matches a laptop or selecting a darker color for improved heat transfer. Each selection strategy is valid and depends on the customer’s priorities. For customers that prioritize performance and select the "bare metal" configuration, then selecting black is recommended to further improve performance.
All colors are finished by hand with a heavy DA-sanding and heavy bead-blasting to produce a more even and consistent surface with a deeply textured matte finish optimized for increased surface area, improved heat transfer to passive/active airflows, and improved radiant heat transfer. The heatsink's coupling plate differs from the rest of the heatsink to produce a flatter and smoother surface finish optimized for improved conductive heat transfer from the laptop. For customers that select the “bare metal” configuration, then the coupling plate surface prioritizes functional performance and may not have a finish that is as cosmetically even as the rest of the heatsink.
Aluminum docks are anodized in weekly batches by model and color, so the listed “est. build lead time” can fluctuate and might differ between colors based on the anodize schedule and based on estimated order build lead time.
Built-in Fan Cooling System
The B16 is recommended for baseline always-on ultra-quiet cooling. The W20 is recommended for more aggressive cooling that can be used in less noise sensitive environments or switched on/off as needed. The R17 falls between the B16 and W20, and is recommended as a good balance between audio and cooling performance. All three B16, R17 and W20 fans can be order bundled together with the R17 pre-installed and the B16 and W20 ready to quickly and easily exchange. The B22 option includes a Noctua NF-A8 PWM chromax.black.swap fan, Noctua NA-FC1 PWM dial viable-speed controller, and Noctua accessories. All of the above fan configurations include front and back black metal fan screen, mounting fasteners, fan 2/3/4-pin fan adapter with on/off switch, 12 volt power supply (fixed for North America and multi-plug for other locations) and hex key for right-to-repair disassembly. There also a DIY option that is the Cooling Dock without the fan cooling system or associated fan accessories so that the user can setup a cooling system as they prefer. See the Specifications section below for additional details.
The cooling system’s bolt and snap modular system allows for easy and quick fan exchange through accessories, and the cooling system will work with most any standard 80x80x25mm fan (see specs). We also offer a variety of upgrade options to our customers.
- Active and passive airflow cooling.
- Thermally conductive heatsink cooling.
- Specially engineered laptop coupling interface.
- Edge protection padding around conductive interface.
- Cooling fins transfer heat to airflow.
- Externally cools laptop enclosure at processors.
- Internally cools laptops with center intake vent.
- Exchangeable bolt-in modular fan cooling system.
- Ultra-quiet active airflow cooling system (B16).
- Clamshell setup with laptop safely in padded cradle.
- Replaceable user installed laptop retention pad.
- Works with a wide variety of metal enclosure laptops.
- Made from solid aluminum in Portland, Oregon.
Thermally Conductive Heatsink Cooling Features
- 9 square inch thermally conductive interface couples with the laptop’s aluminum enclosure to silently extract heat at processor location. The thermally conductive interface uses multiple layers of specially engineered low-thermal impedance materials and durable edge bumper padding with a special assembly system to protect the laptop surface finish while still achieving high levels of conductive heat transfer and cooling.
- 27 square inch of cooling fin surface area, which is the surface area of dedicated cooling fins that are primarily responsible for transferring heat from the heatsink to surrounding passive or active cooling airflows. There are 5 cooling fins with 4 vertical cooling air channels. The DHCx has 3.5 times more cooling fin surface area than the Dx for improved heatsink cooling efficiency.
- 67 square inch of heatsink cooling surface area, which is the total surface area of the product that is or can be exposed to passive and/or active cooing airflow for potential heat transfer.
- 2.0 lbs heatsink milled from solid 6061 aluminum absorbs heat from the thermally conductive interface to the cooling surface areas, with the heatsink’s continuous solid construction increasing heat flow and cooling efficiency.
- Dock width, front horizontal air channel with curving ends and central passthrough air hole align with laptop vents for improved operation of the laptop’s built-in cooling system.
- Air channels support silent passive cooling airflow and quiet active airflow with the integrated fan to transfer heat from thermally conductive heatsink to passive and active cooling airflow.
- Angled vertical air channels guide cooling airflow through the central hole and front horizontal channel to boost heatsink cooling performance, flush out hot air, and internally cool processors on laptops with a center intake vent, such as the 2021-2023 MacBook Pros (M2/M1 Pro/Max), 2012-2015 MacBook Pros (Intel Retina) and 2010-2017 MacBook Airs (Intel non-Retina).
- External outlet power supply for increased power with reduced internal laptop heat gain.
- 80x80x25mm 12-volt fan for powerful yet quiet cooling.
- Compact product footprint for more open desktop.
- Heavy mass for increased stability.
- Non-slip feet for stable workstation placement.
- Two threaded underside holes for securing dock to media carts or for theft prevention.
Clamshell Mode Features
- Leaning vertical closed-screen clamshell mode support for easy and secure clamshell mode setup with access to power, Touch ID and keyboard while safely held within padded cradle and connected to cables.
- Disables laptop screen to optimize graphics for improved external display performance.
- Reduces laptop screen, keyboard, trackpad and battery use for increased lifespan.
- Uses external display, keyboard and trackpad / mouse for improved ergonomics.
Device Compatibility Features
- Edge protection pads located around all four sides of the thermally conductive coupling interface.
- Leaning support for compatibility with a wide range of laptops, tablets and other devices.
- Angled lower support shelf and non-slip padding for holding device in place.
- Optional user installed laptop retention pad locks device in place.
- Support system designed for universal Mac and PC laptop fit.
- Optimized fit and active airflow cooling with a wide variety of laptops.
Right-to-Repair Modularity Features
- Modular bolt/snap assembly for customer servicing, replacement, exchange or upgrade.
- Bolt-on fan with standard 3/4-pin fan connection for customer servicing, replacement, exchange or upgrade with nearly any 80x80x25mm fan.
- Snap-on accessories using standard 3/4-pin fan connection for customer servicing, replacement, exchange or upgrade with nearly any 80x80x25mm fan.
- Product ships with all of the tools required for disassembly.
- Packaging system works with all Cooling Dock models.
- High-quality 6061 aluminum structure for extra strength and durability.
- Anodized aluminum finish for matching Mac laptop finishes.
- Metal construction for long life span and end-of-life recyclability.
- High-quality fans with long life performance.
- High-quality components over-specced for increased performance and life.
- Minimal use of plastic for reduced environmental impact.
- Biodegradable package cushioning for reduced impact.
- Designed and crafted with care in and around Portland, OR, USA.
- Design driven by a passion to make best-in-class products.
- Innovative design with patents issued and/or pending.
- Support and trade-ins for anyone with a SVALT product.
- B16 Cooling System: Ultra-quiet single-speed Arctic 80x80x25mm 3-pin 12-volt case fan with 5 black blades and a long life fluid dynamic bearing. The fan runs at approximately 1600 RPM and produces approximately 21 CFM airflow and 13 dB(A) noise level.
- R17 Cooling System: Single-speed SilenX 80x80x25mm 3-pin 12-volt case fan with 7 red blades and a long life ball bearing. The fan runs at approximately 1700 RPM and produces approximately 31 CFM airflow and 18 dB(A) noise level.
- W20 Cooling System: Single-speed Arctic 80x80x25mm 3-pin 12-volt case fan with 9 white blades and a long life fluid dynamic bearing. The fan runs at approximately 2000 RPM and produces approximately 41 CFM airflow and 23 dB(A) noise level.
- B22 Cooling System: Variable-speed Noctua NF-A8 PWM chromax.black.swap 80x80x25mm 4-pin 12-volt case fan with 7 black blades and a premium-grade SSO2 bearing. The fan runs at approximately up to 2200 RPM and produces approximately 0 up to 32.6 CFM airflow and 0 up to 18 dB(A) noise level. This Noctua fan option comes bundled with Noctua’s NA-FC1 PWM speed controller, and Noctua’s included accessories.
- DIY Cooling System: No cooling system, fan, electronic accessories or hardware is included, allowing user to setup the cooling system per Modular Fan section below.
- Modular Fan and Fan Compatibility: Bolted assembly with standard 3/4-pin fan connector for easy upgrade, exchange, servicing or cleaning with virtually any 80x80mm fan. Replacement fans are available to purchase separately. User/customer supplied fans must meet the following specifications when used with electronic switch adapter, power supply, or other items: 1) 3-pin or 4-pin compact fan connector, 2) 12V, and 3) 0.42A max. User/customer supplied fans must meet the following specifications: 1) must be 80mm x 80mm to fit within the heatsink’s fan cutout as it was designed to fit tightly around the fan to create an air seal and prevent air from leaking out, as well as helping to align fan fasteners with threaded holes, 2) fan connection wires need to be located within recessed channels/notches, or when not available, for the wiring thickness of 0.040 inches of less. Note the included #8-32 fasteners support up to a 25mm thick fan, but thicker fans can be supported with the use of longer #8-32 fasteners.
- Setup: See Product Setup page for product setup, operation and additional user guide resources.
- Right-to-Repair: See Right-to-Repair page for product assembly/disassembly and component installation/removal.
- North America: Orders from USA, Canada or Mexico ship with a 100-240V AC input and 12V output power supply with a fixed Type A (USA, Canada, Mexico, Japan) plug.
- International: Orders from outside North America ship with a 100-240V AC input and 12V output power supply with Type A (USA, Canada, Mexico, Japan), Type C (Europe, South America, Asia), Type G (United Kingdom, Ireland), and Type I (Australia, New Zealand, China) interchangeable plugs.
- Replacement: SVALT products may only be used with the certified and marked LPS (Limited Power Supply) power supply. A replacement power supply is available through accessory.
- Compatible Apple / Mac Laptops: The DHCx is compatible for cooling and fit with Mac laptop models from the last decade, as well as other devices per the compatibility criteria listed below.
- Compatible PC Laptops: Most standard to small PC laptops and other devices per the compatibility criterial listed below.
- Compatibility Criteria for Types: Works with the following device and screen types: 1) Laptops operated in closed-screen clamshell mode while connected to an external display, keyboard/mouse and power supply. 2) Laptops with convertible/flip touchscreen, either while in a standalone configuration with touchscreen, or while also connected to a second display and/or keyboard/mouse. 3) Tablets with touchscreen, either standalone or connected to an additional display.
- Compatibility Criteria for Fit: Works with devices that are up to approximately 1.100 inches thick, but will vary depending on the bottom edge shape of the device. An optional laptop retention pad can be installed to lock the laptop in place.
- Compatibility Criteria for Cooling: Works with devices that do not have hot air exhaust vents located within the 4.500 inch center portion of the bottom edge (screen hinge edge on laptops), and that have a metal enclosure surface for coupling with the thermally conductive interface (note that customer installed surface coverings will not allow for thermal coupling and the transfer of heat from device to heatsink). Cooling performance improves with devices that have the following attributes, where more attributes result in more cooling: 1) Bottom/back metal enclosure surfaces that are flat at the location of the thermally conductive pad to allow for continuous coupling and maximum heat transfer. 2) Processor location centered and near bottom edge to align the device’s highest temperature location with the most cooling for the largest heat transfer potential into the heatsink thermal mass. 3) Cool air intake vent locations centered on the bottom edge for direct internal cooling from the passthrough hole when used with the optional Cooling Fan Fx accessory.
- Note: See Laptops page to learn about Apple laptop’s built-in cooling systems and SVALT model recommendations.
- Product Side to Side: 4.8 inches.
- Product Front to Back: 4.1 inches.
- Product Top to Bottom: 4.1 inches.
- Product Weight: 2.3 lbs.
- Shipping Weight: 3.4 to 3.6 lbs.
(listed from left to right)
- Gray bead blasted anodize finish.
- Black bead blasted anodize finish.
- Silver bead blasted anodize finish.
- Anodized parts are pre-finished by hand and then anodized by hand in small batches. The anodize color may vary slightly between parts.
- Anodized part’s bottom and/or back surfaces are considered non-cosmetic finish.
- Satin silver and glossy black anodized finishes are brighter than matte anodize.
- The thermally conductive interface is engineered and assembled to prioritize technical performance (thermal coupling and preventing metal-to-metal scratching) over cosmetics.
- The interface is not engineered to be perfectly even in color or finish, however, surface color variations from the thermal padding may even out over time with exposure to heat from device coupling.
- The underlying aluminum surface of the coupling plate is specially finished for improved coupling and not for creating a perfectly even finish.
- The yellow-orange color hue varies depending on the underlying anodized aluminum color with silver being the brightest and black being the darkest. A thinner material assembly overlay improves heat transfer, and has a slightly lighter color compared to thicker overlay.
- The thermally conductive surface can absorb oil from fingers and hand. A white microfiber cloth is provided to clean surface.
(listed from left to right)
- B16/B05 80x80x25mm fan with black frame and black blades.
- R17 80x80x25mm fan with black frame and red blades.
- W20 80x80x25mm fan with black frame and white blades.
- B22 80x80x25mm fan with black frame and black blades.
- Products with fans use modular cooling systems with bolted and snapped fan assembly so that nearly any standard fan can be used. See specifications for details, and see accessories for replacement fans.
- 1 x SVALT Cooling Dock model DHCx per selected build configuration.
- 3 x optional user installed laptop retention pads (1 pad installed at a time with 2 extras for future installations).
- 1 x white microfiber cloth for cleaning thermally conductive surface (made from 100% recycled materials).
- 1 x reusable product box.
- 1 x 80x80x25mm fan per selected build configuration with 3/4-pin fan connecter.
- 1 x power on/off switch and adapter with 3/4-pin fan connecter at one end and 2.1m barrel power supply connecter at the other end (B22 fan comes with additional Noctua connection/extension cables).
- 1 x power supply w/ fixed plug for domestic or multi-plug for international orders.
- 2 x black powder coated steel 80x80mm fan screens.
- 4 x black #8-32 x 1.25 fasters.
- 1 x hex drive for right-to-repair accessing modular cooling system for exchanging, servicing or cleaning cooling systems and fans.
- SVALT products are made locally and hand built to order per the estimated build lead time listed above under the dropdown selector.
- SVALT is a local company based in Portland, Oregon. Oregon does not collect sales tax.
- International customers are responsible for paying their country’s import fees and taxes upon delivery. International orders are limited to one item per shipment.
- 15-day return and 1-year limited warranty for US customers.
- Support and trade-ins available for anyone with a SVALT product.
- See policies for additional details.
Cool by Design
When it comes to using your laptop, heat generation and increased performance are in a cyclical relationship that feed off of one another. Processors generate heat that can spin up internal fans, stress systems, degrade hardware and throttle processors. This is the basic problem all laptop users face, the more you want to do with your laptop, the harder it works, and the hotter and slower it gets.
The DHCx uses an innovative thermally conductive interface to transfer heat from laptop processors to heatsink for a substantial increase in cooling performance.The thermally conductive interface uses edge bumper pads along all four sides to protect the laptop during setup. A user installed pad locks the laptop in place for improved thermal coupling (extra pads included for future setups).
Sculpted from solid aluminum, the DHCx’s thermally massive heatsink transfers heat from the laptop to fan driven cooling airflow through extra wide vertical air channels and cooling fins. The DHCx’s integrated fan flushes out hot air, accelerates heat transfer, cools laptop enclosure, and internally cools processors on compatible laptops, such as the 2021-2023 MacBook Pro.
Setup for Cool
Running a laptop with the screen closed in clamshell mode offers compelling benefits, such as a more compact and ergonomic workstation, reduced wear on built-in components and improved external display performance, however, clamshell mode also traps heat, resulting in a greater need for supplemental cooling.
Current Laptop Optimization
The DHCx’s dimensions, air channels and cooling features have been designed to work seamlessly with the built-in cooling systems of Apple’s current and prior generation laptops, allowing hot air to escape through laptop exhaust vents and cool air to reach laptop intake vents. The integrated cooling fan drives cool air directly onto processors in compatible laptops, such as the 2021-2023 MacBook Pro (16-in shown above).
Innovative Clamshell Setup
The DHCx has been optimized to support and cool Apple laptops, while a leaning support works with a wide variety of PC laptops. The unique leaning support provides an easy clamshell setup by holding the laptop safely within the padded cradle while opening the lid to access the power button with cables connected. The heavy mass and non-slip padded cradle provide a stable non-tip support for larger and heavier laptops, such as the 16-inch MacBook Pro (shown above).
Objects of Substance
SVALT is a mission driven company that offers something different with products that are as much art as tech, and as much objects of substance as machines engineered for performance. Made locally with care in the Pacific Northwest, SVALT products endure with solid metal construction, right-to-repair maintenance, easy upgrades, and a focus on sustainability.
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