For testing, the only thing that was important to us was the hard drive temperatures, since this device is marketed as a hard drive cooler. The 40mm fan, as in our Hardcano 5 review, is woefully underpowered, and we expect similar results as before.
The hard drive used was an IBM Deskstar 40GB. To stress it, I started a defrag of multiple partitions, and took the reading, with the fan on and off, when the temperature topped off. We took idle temperatures as well, with the fan on and off.
Not much of a difference here, as the hard drive isn't really doing anything anyhow. With barely a half degree between having the fan on, and having the fan off, there isn't much to write home about. Despite being an "open" design, the temperatures matched those of the Hardcano 5, and it's "closed" design. Let's see how it does when we put the hard drive through some work...
Exactly the same results. At 0.4C difference, I can pretty much conclude (again) that the 40mm fan isn't doing anything. Keep in mind that like before, the hard drive is only resting on the aluminum standoffs, and maybe a design where more of the hardcano makes contact with the hard drive would result in better scores.
Like the Hardcano 5, we came away from our Hardcano 2 review with mixed feelings. As a hard drive cooler, it simply doesn't fit the bill. The 40mm fan is lacking, and if you got a RAID array, investing in multiple Hardcanos for the sole purpose of cooling the drives is pointless. Because of the size of the Hardcanos, I don't really see how you can mod the cooler with bigger fans. Perhaps if there were double the fans, or even triple, the performance would undoubtably be improved, but at the expense of losing the LCDs.
The temperature probe and LCDs are quite useful, and I'd recommend the unit for this feature alone. I actually prefer this device over the Hardcano 5 for a few reasons. It's cheaper, which is always good, and it has 2 thermal probes and LCDs. I also find two LCDs nicer looking than the LCD/Switch combo found in the Hardcano 5. Compared to the Digi-doc, the Hardcano 2 rings in at about 20$ cheaper, but lacks the Doc's fan controls. The aluminum finish is nice, and will look a lot better on aluminum cases than beige devices.
Hard drive cooling was a dissapointment. Truth be told, the majority of cases sold today have some type of hard drive cooling built in already. The only real use of the device is the temperature monitoring, and it does that very well.
Pros: Easy installation, multiple use LCDs and temperature probe, looks great.
Cons: Doesn't do much for hard drive cooling.
Bottom Line: Don't expect miraculous temperature drops with the Hardcano 2. In fact, it's true value lies in it's dual temperature probes and dual LCDs.