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Review: Asetek VapoChill LightSpeed [AC]

by Ryszard Sommefeldt on 30 June 2004, 00:00

Tags: Asetek

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Asetek VapoChill LightSpeed [AC]

Click for a bigger version (~110KB)

As you can see, the LightSpeed [AC] is a standalone unit, designed to sit underneath an existing computer case, preferably a Lian Li. Aluminium in construction, the enclosure around the Danfoss FR8.5CL compressor is the right dimensions for a snug fit under many a recent Lian Li chassis.

As you can see, it incorporates an LCD readout for temperature and system information display. In the chicest of geek colours, blue, the LCD is the star attraction in an understated design. I'm a fan of the aesthetic and of course there's only so much you can do with a CPU freezer in terms of looks, but the LCD rounds things off nicely. The only downside of the enclosure is your limitation in the cases that it supports, but that's a known limitation before you buy it, with Lian Li's cases being particularly good anyway.

Powered by your mains supply, the VapoChill LightSpeed [AC] has no need to draw current from your power supply during startup or normal operation, allowing you to use a larger range of power supplies with the LightSpeed than you would have success using with a VapoChill XE.

It also connects to a brand new ChillControl, the first to communicate with your PC via USB. The new ChillControl controls the action of your PC, only booting it up when the evaporator is sufficiently chilling the processors. It also controls the LCD display, the heaters for the evaporator assembly, along with providing some external temperature sensors for recording temperatures unrelated to the VapoChill.

ChillControl 3 USB

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As discussed above, the ChillControl USB is the new brains of a VapoChill operation. While it doesn't require USB to function, the unit more than happily operating autonomously without any connection to your PC, it does require a USB connection to fine tune its operation and customise the LCD. To customise the LCD, the CC3 has a data bus interface to the display which you hookup when assembling the unit.

The CC3 also houses a couple of 3-pin fan connectors, space for three external temperature sensors, along with connectors for four possible pin heaters. Power to the unit is supplied by a single 4-pin Molex connector and a passthrough system controls turning on your motherboard.

Bundle and Manual

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The bundle is massively incomplete in the photograph above. I stupidly forgot to take photographs of everything before I installed it, such was the rush to get it fitted and testing begun. Besides what's left over from a Socket 754/940 installation that you can see above, you get everything needed for mounting to that socket type and Socket 478, including the closed cell foam and socket heaters.

What's most obviously missing from the photograph is the evaporator mounting assembly. It doesn't come pre-assembled, something I can't fathom, so you assemble it yourself. That leads nicely onto installation.