PC case and cooling firm Akasa reveals its new gecko cooler For M.2 SSDs. The company has released several M.2 heatsinks before, but this is the first active cooler for this increasingly popular PC storage form factor. This is not only Akasa’s first, but it appears to be the first blower-style cooler for M.2 devices in general. Blower coolers and small fans tend to produce a characteristic noise profile that is hard to ignore (often sounds like whining). Despite being called the Akasa Gecko, its design looks like a snail. This is because PC component manufacturers, who tend to focus on speed, don’t like to associate their products with it.
Akasa’s design is compatible with standard M.2 2280 SSDs. It consists of a steel bracket in a full black livery with an aluminum heatsink, on top of which is mounted a blower cooler assembly with a 50 x 50 x 15mm fan. When installed on an M.2 SSD, the top of the device is 72.53 mm above the motherboard (maximum compatibility). This his 120g cooler is said to be easy to install but the main claim to its fame is thermal he can lower SSD temperatures by 58% compared to drives without his solution about it.
Akasa offers some cooling comparisons. In the graph above, the stressed SSD without thermal solution reached about 80 degrees Celsius. However, the Gecko-cooled sample remained below 40 degrees Celsius in the same test.
As I said at the beginning, blower-style coolers have a bit of a bad reputation for annoying noise. Without a review unit, I can’t say much about the actual sound profile, but Akasa’s specs say this design’s active 50mm The fan peaks out at 29dB noise even at 3,000 RPM. Twin ball bearing fans deliver up to 3.98 CFM airflow and up to 8.2 mm-H2O air pressure.
Akasa’s Gecko Cooler looks pretty well made and has a good selection of fitting accessories. Install the included thermal pad between the steel bracket and the M.2 SSD, install another thermal pad on top of the 2280 form factor drive, then install the heatsink and active fan assembly.
The last few months have seen quite a few new active and sophisticated passive cooler solutions for M.2 SSDs, some even designed for liquid cooling. Right now, only those with the highest performing, cutting-edge PCIe Gen 4.0 and Gen 5.0 M.2 SSDs need more than modest heatsinks to prevent throttling. We can expect to see many PCIe 5.0 SSDs coming soon as they are currently supported by both current generation platforms.
Pricing and availability for the Akasa Gecko Cooler have yet to be revealed. The passive Gecko Pro sibling costs just $8, so we don’t expect this active cooler to be prohibitively expensive.