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Pccooler PC-R6 laptop cooler review: More fan than frame

The Pccooler PC-R6 is a midrange cooler with decent functionality. Now, let's see how it works in our full review.
Reviews
By
December 8, 2020
Pccooler PCR6 top view
Joe Hindy / Android Authority
aa recommended generic

Pccooler PC-R6

The Pccooler PC-R6 is a surprisingly decent laptop cooler for its price tag. The slim, attractive design and decent cooling make it good by itself. The inclusion of a braided USB cable, USB pass-through, and fan controls appeal to power users and gamers. However, it's a bit disappointing the fans don't pump out more than 9-10 CFM a piece because it would've taken this cooler to a whole other level.

What we like

Six fans delivery adequate cooling
Slim, attractive design that fits most 17-inch laptops
Fan controls
USB pass-through
Braided USB cable is always nice to have

What we don't like

Stronger fans would've made this a cooling powerhouse
Nothing to keep laptops from slipping on top
No way to turn off lights without turning off the fans

Laptop coolers come in all shapes and sizes, but they generally adhere to a similar mold. You get a few fans, some basic controls, and usually the same components. Sometimes we see a company break from the mold just because they can. Pccooler is one of those companies. The brand’s PC-R6 laptop cooler comes with six fans more you’d find on most laptop coolers. More doesn’t always mean better, however, so let’s see how this one stacks up in our full review.

Pccooler PCR6 top view
Joe Hindy / Android Authority
The Pccooler PC-R6 is a midrange laptop cooler. It sports six 85mm fans in a rectangular configuration, with up to roughly 65 CFM of cooling power. There is an attractive metal mesh on top of the cooler with the typical plastic frame. All the lights are red. The back of the device supports two USB ports along with fan controls. Finally, the bottom houses two feet to tilt the laptop.

The fan control is a wheel. You can barely hear the fans on the lowest setting and they’re still relatively quiet at the top end. The red lights dim and brighten with the fan speeds but you can’t turn them off without turning the fan off as well. The two USB ports mean there is USB pass-through, and we always like seeing that on a laptop cooler. Additionally, the box came with an attractive red and black braided cable to connect the cooler to your laptop.

The Pccooler PC-R6 ticks most boxes in terms of features and the design is pretty nice too.

The design is surprisingly attractive, slim, and appealing. It easily fits my 17-inch laptop with room to spare on the left and right side, but not the front or the back. The size of the thing makes it hard to transport since 17-inch laptops generally don’t fit in a backpack. However, the cooler is super light so you shouldn’t have a problem if your bags can fit it.

Overall, it’s a good looking piece of cooling tech. We’re disappointed that you can’t disable the lights without disabling the fans, but that’s a common issue in the laptop space. Luckily, the lights aren’t too bright and shouldn’t blind you in a dark room. The design is quite good and the fan placement is excellent.


How to set up and use the Pccooler PC-R6

Pccooler PCR6 fan controls USB ports
Joe Hindy / Android Authority
The Pccooler PC-R6 isn’t difficult to use. You set your laptop on top of it, use the included USB cable to connect it to the cooler, and you’re off to the races. The other USB port can be used for things like your mouse or other peripherals. The fan control wheel is easy to find and identify (it’s red), as well as use. You can engage the tilt by swinging out the two plastic feet along the bottom and that’s everything you need to know about how to use the Pccooler PC-R6.


How well does the Pccooler PC-R6 perform?

Pccooler PCR6 braided USB cable
Joe Hindy / Android Authority
I tested the TPccooler PC-R6 with my Asus ROG G731GW 17.3-inch gaming laptop with 16GB of RAM, an Nvidia GTX 2070, an Intel i7-9750H, a 500GB NVMe drive, and a second 500GB SSD. I set the cooler on tilt so it had maximum airflow. The laptop cooler has a ton of fans so there is no excuse for it not getting air to the proper vents and parts of my laptop. I expected pretty good cooling in the testing.

We ran a total of four tests with the Pccooler PC-R6:

  • BIOS test The BIOS is often very poorly optimized. We see if the cooler can keep up with it.
  • Windows 10 idle Once the laptop is fully booted, we test the cooler to see if it affects idle temperatures. We then leave it on idle for ten minutes to ensure it can hold those temperatures.
  • CPU stress test We use Intel XTU’s native stress test because we can easily identify things like temperature, whether or not it thermal throttled or power throttled, as well as the average CPU clock speed. We ran the test for ten minutes.
  • One game of Halo Wars 2 Halo Wars 2 is a surprisingly heavy game and, on my Asus ROG G731GW, temps often spike up to the mid-90C range with GPU temps reading the mid-80C range. It’s a good benchmark for a heavy game on a powerful gaming machine.
  • Something to note During the explanations below I often refer to power throttling and thermal throttling. Thermal throttling is the laptop forcibly lowering CPU speeds to cool itself down. Power throttling limits the CPU to its base TDP and prevents it from drawing extra (boost) power. We expect laptop coolers to prevent thermal throttling at least.

The laptop was set to Windows Balanced for all tests with no modifications. The laptop cooler was at its maximum setting for the highest amount of cooling. The temperatures were recorded and double-checked with HWMonitor, Asus Armoury Crate, and Intel XTU.

Without further delay, here are the results of the tests.

TestCPU tempGPU tempFan speed
Test:
BIOS without cooler
CPU temp:
50C
GPU temp:
NA
Fan speed:
2800RPM

Test:
Windows 10 idle without cooler
CPU temp:
45C
GPU temp:
39C
Fan speed:
2400RPM

Test:
CPU stress test via Intel XTU without cooler
CPU temp:
85C
GPU temp:
42C
Fan speed:
6400RPM (max)
Power throttle after 60 seconds, thermal throttle after 90 seconds. Throttled CPU speed of 3.2Ghz
Test:
One game of Halo Wars 2 without cooler
CPU temp:
90C
GPU temp:
80C
Fan speed:
6400RPM (max)
CPU spikes of 96C, GPU spikes of 84C
Test:
BIOS with cooler
CPU temp:
49C
GPU temp:
NA
Fan speed:
2800RPM

Test:
Windows 10 idle with cooler
CPU temp:
38-41C
GPU temp:
36c
Fan speed:
0-2400RPM
Laptop disengages fans at 38C, re-engages at 41C, hence the temperature fluctuations
Test:
CPU stress test via Intel XTU with cooler
CPU temp:
79C
GPU temp:
44C
Fan speed:
6400RPM (max)
Power throttle at 150 seconds, no thermal throttle detected. Throttled CPU speed of 3.6-3.8Ghz
Test:
One game of Halo Wars 2
CPU temp:
84C
GPU temp:
79C
Fan speed:
6400RPM (max)
CPU spikes of 94C, GPU spikes of 79C

The Pccooler PC-R6 had a better than average showing. It cooled the laptop enough for it to disengage its own fans on idle. That only happens with about half of the coolers I’ve tested. There was a 6C difference in the CPU test as well. It doesn’t seem like much, but the laptop CPU clocks were 0.4-0.6Ghz higher with the cooler than without it. Thus, I saw not only better temperatures but also higher performance.

I observed a similar 6C difference in CPU temperatures during heavy gaming as well. It seems like there was only a 1C of difference in GPU temps, but the cooler prevented all GPU temperature spikes. The result is a 5C swing in GPU as well. There was one unfortunate CPU spike to 94C but it otherwise didn’t spike higher than 92C.


What I like about the Pccooler PC-R6

  • Above-average cooling. The fan array should hit virtually all laptop intake vents.
  • It should easily fit all but the bulkiest 17-inch laptops.
  • Slim design and lightweight build look and feel good.
  • USB pass-through is always a plus, as are braided cables.
  • I always appreciate fan controls.

What I don’t like about the Pccooler PC-R6

  • This thing would be a cooling powerhouse if you could make the fans spin faster.
  • There are no rubber spots or lips to prevent the laptop from sliding off of the top. Be careful if you get one.
  • You can’t turn off the lighting without turning off the fans. However, it’s kind of neat that they get dimmer as you lower the fan speeds.
  • Large size makes it a difficult fit for backpacks.

Is the Pccooler PC-R6 good?

Pccooler PCR6 tilt legs
Joe Hindy / Android Authority
The Pccooler PC-R6 is an above-average cooler. The fans hit any warm spot on your laptop and the design is attractive. There are little touches like the red fan blades that pull the cooler together in a pleasing way visually. Plus, I always give high marks for USB pass-through, braided cables, and fan controls. The PC-R6 checks almost every box I would want in a cooler sans the ability to turn off the lighting.

Read next: The best laptops you can buy in 2020

However, its insistence on remaining quiet at all times limits its cooling potential and that’s probably the biggest flaw. People with fan controls can always turn a cooler down to keep it quiet, but gamers can’t turn it up any higher to get extra cooling. It’s not necessarily a con since the cooling is quite good, but a wasted opportunity is still a wasted opportunity. In any case, the Pccooler PC-R6 goes for a very reasonable $26.99 on Amazon. It’s worthy of consideration for sure, especially for folks with larger 17-inch laptops where good options are a bit more sparse.