Introduction

The English word “Gelid” comes from the Latin word “gelid us” (very cold, icy). As the name indicates, the GELID Solutions are primarily focused on the thermal solutions as they design and manufacture CPU and VGA coolers, chassis fans, thermal compounds, accessories and other equipment for computers and electronic devices. The company also supplies a range of products for international OEM and ODM clients. They are based in Hong Kong and has multiple manufacturing facilities in Mainland China and Taiwan. The company believes in Quality, Reliability, and Efficiency as the main driving force behind the product ideas and execution.

GELID solutions have sent us their newly released M.2 SSDs cooling solution named as Subzero M.2 XL. The GELID Suberzo M.2 XL is based on their Subzero M.2. The difference is coming from the supported size/type of M.2 SSDs. The Subzero M.2 is for the type 2280 M.2 SSD whereas the Subzero XL is for the type 22110 M.2 SSD. The GELID M.2 Subzero XL comes is in two colors; red and black. GELID has sent us both versions. GELID is providing multiple packing of this product based on the color of the heatsink and the provision of the thermal pad in up to two sizes. Our kits have both thermal pads of size 0.5mm and 1.0mm. The features of Subzero M.2 XL include:

  • Extreme Performance Cooling
  • Lightweight & Slim Design
  • Ultra Durable Silicone Fixtures
  • Quick & Easy Mounting
  • Fits all M.2 Type 22100 SSD

 

Product:               Subzero M.2 XL

Manufacturer:      GELID Solutions

Price:                    10 USD / 9 EUR [At the time of the review]

 

Specifications

Packing and Unboxing

The product is shipped inside a small size cardboard box.

There is a large size sticker pasted on the top of the packing box. The other sides of the packing box are blank. The company’s brand logo is printed on the top followed by the name of the product. The salient features are printed below. The heatsink color is mentioned and a corresponding colored picture is also printed. Included thermal pad options are printed on the right side. This gives us the impression of availability in 6 packs depending upon the thermal pad sizing and inclusion.

  • Red Color with 0.5mm
  • Red Color with 1.0mm
  • Red Color with 0.5mm and 1.0mm
  • Black Color with 0.5mm
  • Black Color with 1.0mm
  • Black Color with 0.5mm and 1.0mm

A model no and serial no sticker is pasted on the bottom right side. The product is made in China.

Opening the box will show the contents of the box.

Contents

Following are provided in the box:

  • Colored Heatsink
  • Thermal Pads [0.5mm or 1.0mm or both]
  • 3x Silicone Bands
  • User Guide

Closer Look

Much like the case with the CPU and graphics cards, the very concept of thermal throttling applies to the SSDs as well. As the M.2 SSD comprises of a controller, Cache, and Memory ICs. These can run hot depending upon the load. As long as the operating temperature remains within the specified thermal range, the performance of the drive will be steady. But if the temperatures cross the thermal junction or limit the frequency will be lowered till the time, the temperature falls down within the specified/standard thermal range. This will impede the rated performance of the drive. The solution is to keep the M.2 SSD cooled enough to remain within the specified thermal limits to prevent throttling. This is where Subzero M.2 XL from the GELID Solutions comes in handy. Let’s take a closer look followed by the thermal testing. This solution is for single-sided PCB M.2 SSD.

The GELID Solutions Subzero M.2 XL is a cooling solution for M.2 SSD Type 22110. The solution comes in two colors. The color of the heatsink can be red or black depending upon your order.

The heatsink is made of aluminum material. It has a dimension of 100x20x3mm where the length of the heatsink is 100mm. 20mm is the width and 3mm is the height of the heatsink. The heatsink has a top surface laid out in a proper heatsink design as it has raised small size cutout surfaces up top. There are a total of 168x of these cutouts organized in 8 rows and 21 columns. The shiny red color speaks for itself and looks that good in person. It will complement the red colored build theme for sure. The black is more like a matter finished and will be handy for a neutral/stealth builds. These cutouts give more surface area for effective heat dissipation. The heatsink is a smart design as it is lightweight having a weight of 45 gm only and has a slim design to it. As the total height of the heatsink is just 3mm there is less chance of it obstructing the graphics card but still I would recommend doing a proper home work while planning a build or upgrading it.

Looking at the backside of the heatsinks, they have a plain surface finished in brushed aluminum as this is where the thermal pad will be pasted to transfer heat from the PCB to the heatsink.

In our kits, the two high-performance thermal pads are included. One has a thickness of 0.5mm and the other has a thickness of 1.0mm. The thermal pads are in the gray color. Use 0.5mm thermal pad for flat even surfaced M.2 SSDs i.e SSD whose PCB has all components in the same height. For uneven components, use the 1.0mm thermal pad. The thermal pads have blue color covers on both sides which need to be peeled off before pasting. The pads are stretchy so keep that in mind while applying. The thermal conductivity of these pads is rated at 12 W/mK. With a hardness rating of 35 Shores. The thermal pads are already cut-to-size to match the heatsink dimension.

As is the case with the majority of the M.2 cooling solutions, GELID Solutions has provided 3x silicon band fixtures which will keep the assembled solution intact. These are in black colors. There is no red color fixtures for the red color heatsink.

Assembling

Assembling the cooling solution is pretty straight forward and easy. Take out the M.2 SSD Type 22110. Removing the label from the SSD will help in better heat conductivity. Do it at your own risk particularly if this voids the warranty. Here are the steps need to install the cooling solution:

  • Peel off the safety cover from one side of the thermal pad.
  • Paste it on the M.2 SSD Type 22110 over the components side. Alternatively, you can paste it on the heatsink first as well.
  • Now, carefully align the heatsink with the M.2 SSD Type 22110 and place it over the SSD so that the thermal pad is sandwiched between both. The connector end of the M.2 SSD Type 22110 and the holed side should not be covered.
  • Pass the silicon bands and place them in the middle, the left and right sides of the assembled unit.
  • This would complete the installation.

Here are the pictures of the assembled unit.

Testing

The testbed configuration is:

  • Intel i7 8700k
  • Asus ROG Strix Z390E Gaming
  • CORSAIR Vengeance RGB PRO 16GB
  • Noctua NH-U12S
  • Lexar NM610 M.2 NVMe 250GB SSD
  • GELID Solutions Subzero M.2 XL with 0.5mm Thermal Pad
  • Thermaltake TP 750W Gold

Since I did not have M.2 SSD Type 22110 but type 2280 hence the testing is done on the M.2 SSD Type 2280. In order to determine the thermal difference if any the Lexar NM610 M.2 NVMe 250GB SSD was first tested without any cooling solution. A single run of storage drive test benches was in a series. HWInfo64 was used to monitor the temperature of the drive throughout the testing. The maximum temperature after the tests is reported on the graph. The system was left on idle for 15 minutes before taking the idle temperature. The same process was repeated with GELID Solutions Subzero M.2 XL installed on the Lexar NM610 M.2 NVMe 250GB SSD. I am not reporting the delta temperatures on the graph which is why ambient temperature reading is also mentioned.

Let’s take a look at the graph:

Without a heatsink, the maximum temperature on the Lexar NM610 M.2 NVMe 250GB SSD was 67°C. This was with the ambient temperature of 21°C. With GELID Solutions Subzero M.2 XL, the maximum temperature was 46°C with the ambient temperature of 16.7°C. We ran the tests on the drive when it came to us earlier and saved the results for later use. Since the ambient temperature is not the same for both testing, we can’t compare the results directly. Hence, delta temperature needs to be calculated which gives the 16.7°C drop in the thermals of the Lexar NM610 M.2 NVMe 250GB SSD using the GELID Solution Subzero M.2 XL. Impressive performance for sure!

Conclusion

GELID Solutions has recently released their new M.2 SSD cooling solution named as Subzero M.2 XL. This cooling solution is designed for M.2 SSD type 22110. The solution comprises of a heatsink and high-performance thermal pad with 3x silicon band fixtures. The GELID Solutions Subzero M2. XL comes in two colors; black and red. The thermal pads can be of thickness 0.5mm or 1.0mm or both depending upon the packing. Our kits have both thermal pads included. The SubZero M.2 XL improves the cooling of the M.2 SSD. Therefore, the operating temperature of the supported SSD becomes much lower. The SubZero M.2 XL helps to maintain the temperature within the normal range under any workload and prevents thermal throttling.

The heatsink has a dimension of 100x20x3mm (LxWxH). The heatsink is made of aluminum and it has a cutout surface on the top forming a properly shaped heatsink with more surface area for effective heat dissipation. The other side has a flat surface to make solid contact with the thermal pad. This solution is for single-sided M.2 SSDs (SSDs with all the components on one side of the PCB). The thermal conductivity of these pads is rated at 12 W/mK. With a hardness rating of 35 Shores. The thermal pads are already cut-to-size to match the heatsink dimension. Use 0.5mm thermal pad for the flat/even surfaced M.2 SSD i.e SSD having all components on the same height. For uneven surfaced M.2 SSD, use 1.0mm thick thermal pad. The included 3x silicon band fixtures help the assembled unit remain intact. With just 3mm height there is less chance that Subzero XL could hinder a graphics card but still do a proper home work just in case.

The GELID Solutions Suberzo M.2 XL is listed at USD 10/ Euro 9 at the time of the review. Since we did not have M.2 SSD Type 22110, we ended up testing with Type 2280 M.2 SSD. In our testing, the GELID Subzero M.2 XL has improved the thermal performance of the Lexar M.2 NVMe 250GB SSD by a difference of 16.7°C showing the power of the GELID Subzero M.2 XL. The GELID Solutions Subzero M.2 XL based on its good performance and relative good pricing come recommended by us.

We are thankful to GELID Solutions for giving us the opportunity to review their Subzero M.2 XL.

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