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Review: VapoChill Premium Edition

by Tarinder Sandhu on 24 September 2002, 00:00

Tags: Asetek

Quick Link: HEXUS.net/qanl

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Internals I

Removing the top cover and looking at it from a side view finally gives us an insight into the cooling apparatus. It sits above the motherboard area with a pre-cut space for the hose leading to the evaporator.

How a VapoChill works is relatively similar to that of your home refrigerator. We have highly cooled refrigerant pumped to the CPU through the use of a powerful compressor (in the middle of that picture), condenser (on the right), and throttling valve. The condenser ensures the coolant is in liquid form before it arrives at the CPU, and the throttling valve regulates the pressure of the coolant to ensure that evaporation can take place.

The new, upgraded compressor.

The BD50F compressor is the upgraded version for the Premium Edition VapoChill. Having a more powerful compressor allows coolant to travel faster and consequently keeps the processor cooler. Asetek's own internal testing shows it to outperform the incumbent BD35 compressor at all heat outputs, especially as we get into the 100w+ class.

I'll be putting this assertion to the test in an upcoming review.

Here we see the compressor linked to the condenser on the left. The compressor, by its very nature, compresses the returning warm gas under high pressure. To ensure it is in cold, liquid form, the coolant is passed on to the condenser and cooled further. Finally, it's pushed out to the throttling valve in the middle of the picture to be regulated down to the evaporator. A 120mm Sunon fan is used to help with the cooling process.

The hose that carries the coolant down to the evaporator attaches on to a Pentium 4 processor in a relatively easy simple way by screwing down to a custom retention bracket system that's provided. The evaporator is where all the cooling action takes place. It's complicated job is to ensure that as much of the CPU's heat is removed as possible whilst also ensuring that no moisture is attracted to the sub-zero head. Insulation is paramount.

You're provided with all the necessary equipment to set your Vapochill up. The neoprene cuttings, heating elements, and thermal materials are provided with a standard VapoChill. Just ensure that the evaporator's head has a firm, secure contact with the processor. The Chillcontrol shows the evaporator's temperature at all times. I'm a novice with refrigerant-based cooling and changing processors over was a doddle, even for me.