Hard to believe it’s only been a year since the first display of Frore System’s solid-state AirJet Mini cooling technology at CES 2023. Promising a revolution in laptop cooling performance, it has since arrived in stores via the Zotac Zbox PI430AJ mini-PC, and Frore Systems isn’t stopping there. At CES 2024, it was showing off a demonstration that proves the AirJet Mini could deliver huge performance leaps for SSDs, too.
Solid-state drives are temperature-sensitive; the more the temperature ramps up, the more they throttle performance. More modern SSDs are so fast that they generate surprising amounts of heat, which is why many PCIe 5.0 SSDs come bundled with massive heatsinks. If you can keep them cool, modern SSDs can run screaming fast.
But big heatsinks can’t keep SSDs as cool as the AirJet Mini can. This technology uses several layers of exotic materials and precision geometry to vibrate tiny membranes, intaking air, blowing it over a copper heat spreader, and exhausting it at up to 200 kilometers per hour. It is significantly smaller, cooler, and quieter than traditional fans, and its small size means it can fit into surprising places — like a tiny passive portable SSD enclosure.
At CES, Frore Systems showed how slipping two tiny AirJet Minis into a passively cooled 8TB Sabrent portable SSD enclosure can drastically improve all aspects of performance. Frore showed something similar at Computex last summer, but the performance was drastically better this time around.
The standard passively cooled version of the Sabrent SSD scored a respectable 1216.33MBps using the Iometer benchmarking tool, averaging 62 degrees Celsius while doing so. But the AirJet Mini-equipped version hit a 2990.35MBps at a frosty 42 degrees Celsius.
Yes, you read that right: The AirJet Mini-equipped Sabrent SSD delivered 3x the performance while running 20 degrees (Celsius) cooler. The passive cooler was red-hot to the touch while the AirJet version was merely warm. Sweet googley moogley.
But that’s not all. Frore also set up a demonstration showing how the AirJet Mini could tame even cutting-edge PCIe 5.0 SSDs to avoid thermal throttling whatsoever. The company partnered with Micron to show off the new Crucial T700 8TB at CES 2024, which consists of four 2TB T700 SSDs in a RAID array on a standard PCIe add-in-card in a desktop PC, cooled by four AirJet Minis on a copper heat spreader.
The demo drives home the AirJet Mini’s advantages: Not only did the setup maintain a rock-solid 42GBps throughout an Iometer test run — not throttling whatsoever — but it did so while only using about 60 percent of the original add-in card’s footprint, without the fan usually needed on a PCIe 5.0 AIC like this. Again: Sweet googley moogley.
Hopefully we’ll see Frore’s endeavors come to fruition via a proper SSD partnership this year. Its unique, power-supping design makes it well-suited for providing top-notch performance in the tightest of space constraints, while a new version of the AirJet Mini — dubbed the AirJet Mini Slim — was introduced at the show that shrinks it down even further, to just 2.5mm thick with the same potent cooling performance.
Check out the video near the top of this article for an in-depth explainer on how the radical AirJet technology works, and our video below for a behind-the-scenes tour of AirJet’s factory. Keep it locked to PCWorld all this week for the latest and greatest from CES 2024!