Frore Airjet SSD cooling demo — actively cooled drive offers double the sustained performance

Frore Systems
(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)

The Frore Systems AirJet solid-state cooling technology looks extremely promising, as the company's demonstrations show. Later this year more people will be able to experience it themselves, as it is coming to external SSDs from a well-known manufacturer, the company revealed at Computex.

To demonstrate the potential of its AirJet technology for solid-state drives, Frore took two identical Sabrent 8TB SSDs and installed them into two identical Orico external SSD enclosures, and then installed a pair of AirJet Mini cooling devices into one of the enclosures. The result was quite inspiring. With only passive cooling, the regular drive got to 62°C and the enclosure became extremely hot. However, in the modified enclosure with two AirJet Minis the drive temperature was only 42°C and the chassis became warm, but not hot. 

(Image credit: Future/Tom's Hardware)

The passively cooled drive also throttled heavily, which is why its sustainable performance was 1,320 MB/s, which is not high for this model. The drive cooled using Frore's AirJet Minis could sustainably read and write data at 3,016 MB/s, which is over two times better than the passively cooled one. 

With such a huge difference both for temperature and performance, it is not surprising why a well-known maker of SSDs decided to use Frore's AirJets for upcoming products. According to Sue Ryan, a representative for Frore, this forthcoming product will not only deliver very high performance, but will also have firmware/controller features typically not activated on external SSDs due to overheating concerns. For Frore, this is an important design win as external drives tend to be sold in significant quantities.

Given the advantages of Frore's AirJets, an avid DIY reader might ask whether it will be possible to get an AirJet cooler in retail and then install it on any SSD with your own hands. Unfortunately, this is not going to happen for now as the company focuses on selling its AirJet solid-state cooling systems to large manufacturers. Selling thousands or millions of units to a single customer is a lot easier for the company than going after the retail market.

Anton Shilov
Freelance News Writer

Anton Shilov is a Freelance News Writer at Tom’s Hardware US. Over the past couple of decades, he has covered everything from CPUs and GPUs to supercomputers and from modern process technologies and latest fab tools to high-tech industry trends.

  • Notton
    If these are reasonably priced, I might grab one of these, tear it apart, and then slap the airjet onto the CPU of my mini-PC.
    Reply
  • TechLurker
    Would be neat if these became standard and integrated into SSDs, HDDs, and maybe even parts of the motherboard, where the flexible design of solid-state fans can allow for a hybrid heatsink-cooler over the VRMs and ICs, as well as within the shrouds that cover the NVMe drives and chipset.
    Reply
  • bit_user
    Demo seems pretty shady to me. I'd bet the Frore Airjets were mounted with a better thermal coupling than whatever the SSD had vs. the standard enclosure.

    To make it a proper apples-to-apples comparison, they should've simply replaced the top plate of the enclosure with one containing their Airjets, but made no other changes in how the drives were mounted or coupled to the top plate. Based on the article, it's not clear if that's what they did, but we should assume it's not.
    Reply
  • thestryker
    My question would be if it's possible to modify an Orico enclosure effectively what's the cost of these units on a smaller manufacturing scale that we're not going to see just an enclosure sold with them.

    I really like the concept of these and would like to see them hit more minipcs, and potentially in a better configuration than just two Airjet minis. Now that they're selling the packaged version of them perhaps we'll see more products utilizing them. I'd be curious if the high velocity exhaust could be used for some airflow across other components or if it needs to be completely unobstructed.
    bit_user said:
    Demo seems pretty shady to me. I'd bet the Frore Airjets were mounted with a better thermal coupling than whatever the SSD had vs. the standard enclosure.

    To make it a proper apples-to-apples comparison, they should've simply replaced the top plate of the enclosure with one containing their Airjets, but made no other changes in how the drives were mounted or coupled to the top plate. Based on the article, it's not clear if that's what they did, but we should assume it's not.
    This makes it seem that they were effectively transferring heat to the enclosure in both circumstances:
    With only passive cooling, the regular drive got to 62°C and the enclosure became extremely hot. However, in the modified enclosure with two AirJet Minis the drive temperature was only 42°C and the chassis became warm, but not hot.
    That being said it doesn't look like a thermal pad was used under the copper (can't tell if it's a pipe or just a strip) linking the Airjets together which would be your typical TIM for M.2 enclosures.
    Reply
  • USAFRet
    Notton said:
    If these are reasonably priced, I might grab one of these, tear it apart, and then slap the airjet onto the CPU of my mini-PC.
    "Given the advantages of Frore's AirJets, an avid DIY reader might ask whether it will be possible to get an AirJet cooler in retail and then install it on any SSD with your own hands. Unfortunately, this is not going to happen for now as the company focuses on selling its AirJet solid-state cooling systems to large manufacturers."
    Reply
  • Notton
    USAFRet said:
    "Given the advantages of Frore's AirJets, an avid DIY reader might ask whether it will be possible to get an AirJet cooler in retail and then install it on any SSD with your own hands. Unfortunately, this is not going to happen for now as the company focuses on selling its AirJet solid-state cooling systems to large manufacturers."
    But it's demonstrated on an Orico? They are a large manufacturer of SSD accessories, and stuff. Do they subcontract for some larger maker?
    If Orico sells the enclosure, I expect it to show up on amazon, not some distributor.

    and if they do, I will scavenge the Airjet from the enclosure. Kind of like shucking HDDs from externals.
    Reply
  • USAFRet
    Notton said:
    But it's demonstrated on an Orico? They are a large manufacturer of SSD accessories, and stuff. Do they subcontract for some larger maker?
    If Orico sells the enclosure, I expect it to show up on amazon, not some distributor.

    and if they do, I will scavenge the Airjet from the enclosure. Kind of like shucking HDDs from externals.
    There ya go.

    Let us know what happens.
    Reply
  • bit_user
    Notton said:
    But it's demonstrated on an Orico? They are a large manufacturer of SSD accessories, and stuff. Do they subcontract for some larger maker?
    If Orico sells the enclosure, I expect it to show up on amazon, not some distributor.

    and if they do, I will scavenge the Airjet from the enclosure. Kind of like shucking HDDs from externals.
    I'm not convinced this was a real product demo, but I might be mistaken. I assumed it was just a technology demo by Frore, and rereading the article still leaves me unconvinced either way. There's a suggestion this was a real product demo, but I don't know if the author is merely assuming that, or whether they've said as much.
    Reply
  • Notton
    USAFRet said:
    There ya go.

    Let us know what happens.
    Sure!
    bit_user said:
    I'm not convinced this was a real product demo, but I might be mistaken. I assumed it was just a technology demo by Frore, and rereading the article still leaves me unconvinced either way. There's a suggestion this was a real product demo, but I don't know if the author is merely assuming that, or whether they've said as much.
    I hope it's real because an SSD enclosure is relatively inexpensive and easy to acquire.
    Reply
  • bit_user
    Notton said:
    I hope it's real because an SSD enclosure is relatively inexpensive and easy to acquire.
    Probably not if it has two Airjet Mini's integrated into it. I think they were saying a $500 mini-PC would have a single one integrated into it:
    https://www.pcmag.com/news/airjet-cooling-chip-coming-first-to-500-eight-core-mini-pc-later-this-year
    According to this, you also only get 5.25 W of cooling per Airjet Mini:
    https://www.tomshardware.com/pc-components/ssds/ssd-active-cooling-tech-keeps-getting-better
    That's enough for the lower-powered Alder Lake N SoCs, but scaling up to anything more probably requires some heat pipes.

    When I stuck a big copper heatsink on a N97, it could passively sustain 6 W of dissipation on an open bench.
    Reply