While the design of the Intercooler
is a very simple two-piece design, with no additional cords to deal with, it is important to install it slowly and carefully. The half of the unit that has the adjustment knob "snaps" into place on the right side (or top, if standing vertical) of the PS3. The design makes use of existing square holes in the venting area and it will take some patience to ensure that you line up the Intercooler
with the correct squares. The instructions warn that you shouldn't force the piece into place, as you could break the tabs on the Intercooler
or, perhaps, damage the PS3 itself. With a little bit of cautious fiddling and test-fitting, I found that it went on in about 3-5 minutes. Once I got the Intercooler
installed, it seemed to be ever-so-slightly
misaligned, but I am sure that it is installed in the best location available. It might be possible to apply some pressure to the unit and twist a bit and correct this slight alignment issue, but you'd really have to be looking for it to notice it and I'm not fond of the idea of "forcing" anything onto my PS3 against the advice of the device's instructions. It's only a slight misalignment, but bear in mind that your mileage may vary.
With great power comes, well, loud noise. If you want the fans to really move air as strongly as they can, then they're going to be loud. If you don't need as much airflow, then they could operate slower and, therefore, more quietly. The adjustable fan control lets you decide when you need more power or more quiet and adjust the fan motors to suit your needs. If you're playing an arcade game or playing for a short period of time, the slower settings might be fine. If you're planning on running "Folding@Home" for hours on end, where the Cell processor is constantly working on scientific protein folding simulation calculations and the GPU is updating the view of the protein model constantly, as well, then you might want to dial the fans to their maximum speed - and volume.
One interesting design feature of the Intercooler is that it "relocates" the power toggle switch by adding a second switch that interrupts the "pass-thru" power. This new switch is located on the front of the PS3, right next to the disc slot and the fan adjustment control. I have large hands and fingers and I have never accidentally flipped the PS3 off, but it is worth mentioning that this switch is much easier to get to than the original PS3 power switch - whether you want to or not. Again, not something I ever had a problem with, but just intended as something to note.
Although the "Drawbacks" section has more text that the rest of the review, this is for the sake of sharing my observations - not to discourage anyone from picking one of these up. The above could have been summed up with a simple, "Install with care, mind the new power switch and the harder your fans work, the more noise they'll make", but I wanted to explain each a bit. Obviously, your PS3 still needs to be located in a place that it can breathe, but for PS3s located with reasonable room for air to flow, the Intercooler can help get the hot air out of your case. It does its job well and blends in well with the appearance of the PS3, without adding the additional complexity of more cords.
All things considered, I would recommend the Intercooler to anyone who is afraid of their PS3 overheating.