CoolIT MTEC Control Center - MTEC Control Center Testing

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CoolIT MTEC Control Center
MTEC Control Center Testing

 

CoolIT Systems MTEC Control Center Testing:

In our review of the Freezone we put the Freezone up against 4 other coolers that we have recently reviewed, and quite frankly it performed very well and put up some great numbers, I'm not going to go too much into detail about them in this review, but if you want to check them out, follow the link over to our original review

The purpose of this testing is not to see how low the numbers for the Freezone can go, but rather to show how CoolIT's "Predictive Cooling" works and how it compares to the TCM that ships with the Freezone.

I'll do my best to explain the results as we go...

(Please note for all the MTEC tests and graphs we have set the desired coolant temperatures to be 30 degrees Celsius)

 

1.jpg
MTEC Control Center Installed - Test 1

Ok, this first graph (pictured above) shows the Freezone running with the MTEC installed, the Red line shows CPU usage (Which at the end of the test I raised to 100%) and the light blue line shows the power supplied to the TECs and fans, while the green line is your CPU temps and the black is the coolant temps.

Alright, so as you can see I was running the CPU at very low (under 10% load) for the beginning, and then loaded up a instance of Folding @ Home at the end to have 100% CPU load, as you can see as the CPU load went up the power supplied to the fan and TECS increased, and produced a pretty stable coolant and CPU temperatures, as you can see there wasn't a huge rise or fall in either temps.

 

2.jpg
MTEC Control Center - Test 2

 

The graph above shows the MTEC still installed, and I have recorded going from 100% CPU load down to practically 0% CPU load and the way the MTEC controls the voltage to the fan and TECs accordingly. As you can see the temperatures go from just above 40 degrees on the CPU to just under 40 degrees, which isn't much of a fall, unlike in our original testing when temperatures could rise and fall 10-15 degrees when going from idle to full CPU load.

Now we will move onto how these graphs look without the MTEC installed.

full1.jpg
TCM Module Installed - Fans Full Power (100%) - Test 1

 

full2.jpg
TCM Module Installed - Fans Full Speed (100%) - Test 2

 

Alright, as you can see above the temperatures remained fairly stable, which I was half expecting, even with the CPU load going from idle to full and then in the second test going from full to idle, however this test was also taken with the fans running at full speed, so it's not too surprising, let's see what happens when the fans aren't set at full speed. . .

 

low1.jpg
TCM Installed - Fans Low Speed (Silent) - Test 1

 

low2.jpg
TCM Installed - Fans Low Speed (Silent) - Test 2

 

So in the above 2 graphs is where we really see a big difference is temps rising and falling, as you can see in Test 1 the CPU temp starts around 35 degrees and by the time we take a screenshot in test 2, its risen up to 51 degrees, a rise of almost 16 degrees from idle to full CPU load.

 

Other Options:

 

All the graphs I have taken I did in the 2D mode, however the MTEC software also features 3D modes for all of their charts, I have included a sample screen shot below. The 3D graph is pretty flashy and looks very nice.

2a.jpg
MTEC Installed - 3D Graph

 

The picture below shows some of the custom settings you can modify with the MTEC software, also you can change the data that is displayed on the graphs and even set the software to shut down your system in the event of a pump failure.

 

custom.jpg
Custom Settings Options (MTEC Installed)


(CCC) Control Center Conclusion:

Performance of the MTEC is what I was expecting, and didn't disappoint me at all, it did everything it claimed to do and did it well. I really had no issues whatsoever with it not living up to any of its promises. The included software installed quickly and after about 2 minutes I was completely up and running with no issues. The quality of the MTEC is also very good; it's a nice looking unit that seems to be very well built. It's very nice to be able to not have to listen to the fans running at full speed while web surfing, but when the system needs it they kick into full gear to provide the cooling you need.

However at $119.99 USD, it's really not that great of a deal.  Honestly, after spending $399.99 USD on a new Freezone I can't see a lot of people being all that excited to dish out another $119.99 USD in order to get automatic fan control, something that a lot of cheaper fans come with. Sure you also get the MTEC software, which is nice to have and it's nice to be able to monitor all your temperatures and watch the power at which your fan and TECs are running at, but there are also a lot of other programs that will monitor almost everything for free (TEC voltage and coolant temp will not be able to be monitored with other software), and if you just want to monitor those statistics, you can download the software for free off the CoolIT website (without the MTEC Control Center you won't have automatic adjustment though or be able to monitor TEC power, fan speed or coolant temperature levels), so in the end you're not really paying for the software because its available for free, which really makes you ask yourself, "Is Automatic Fan and TEC Power Adjustment worth $120 USD?". This price is taken off the CoolIT site, and most likely will be dropping as time goes on, just like every other piece of technology does, and I think if it drops down into the $40 dollar range it will be a must-have accessory for the Freezone or Eliminator and a lot of people will be jumping on ship and ending up with a very solid product, but at $120 its pretty tough to justify for basically quieter fans and slightly better performance.

I really had a hard time scoring this unit though, performance-wise it was solid and easy to use and install, and does exactly what it claims to be able to do, and adds a feature to the Freezone that makes it even better, and for that reason the performance scored very well, but quite honestly the price is pretty high for what you get, and you could argue that something like automatic fan control should be included with a $399.99 USD cooler such as the Freezone and not a $120 dollar "Add-On".

But as the old saying says, "You Can't Put A Price on Silence" and it's not a whole lot of fun listening to the fans running full out while you are checking your e-mail and that's where the MTEC comes in and lets you web-surf in peace. At the end of the day this is a very solid product and performs "As-Advertised", but it carries a hefty price tag.

 

 

Pros:

  • Software is Very Easy to use and Install
  • Automatic Fan Adjustment
  • Looks better inside your case than original TCM

Cons:

  • Price
  • Unfortunately not included with Freezone/Eliminator

 

 

BCCHardware.com Rating
Quality:
9/10
Performance:
8/10
Software Pack:
7/10
Stability:
N/A
Features:
8/10
Value:
5/10
Total Score 7.4

 

I'd like to thank CoolIT for allowing us to review the MTEC Control Center. If you have any questions, comments, or general feedback, please leave it at the "Comments" link below.