Asetek Vapochill Micro CPU heatsink/fan

Cooling
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November 15, 2005 by Devon Cooke

Product

Asetek Vapochill Micro
CPU Heatsink with Heatpipes

Supplier

Asetek Inc.

Price
~US$40-55, depending on the model.

Asetek is a Danish company that has been known primarily as a supplier of refrigeration(!) and water cooling systems for computers, going back to 1999. These are extreme cooling systems favored by the most avid of performance enthusiasts or for unusual enterprise applications. Asetek's expansion to aircooling seems to have come relatively recently, perhaps in the past year.

Asetek's customers will never be able to complain that the Vapochill Micro doesn't give them cooling options. There are no less than nine variants of the heatsink/fan alone, differing by fan, mounting system, and accessories. But, all the variants share the same basic heatsink: A tilted tower model with massive heatpipes.

Asetek's marketing department would prefer that we called them "vapor chambers", but they're basically oversized heatpipes that are all connected to a single base chamber. According to Asetek, there are two advantages to this arrangement:

  1. Dramatically increased evaporation and condensation surface area.
  2. Direct mounting of the evaporator on the CPU.

Both of these should help transfer heat away from the CPU as efficiently as possible. Theoretically, the giant heatpipes in the Vapochill micro should be able to deal with much more heat than regular heatpipes if there are no other limiting factors.


Here's what to look for at the store: A large flashy bubble pack that shows off the product.

Asetek sent us two full retail samples of the Vapochill Micro, along with a bunch of extra fans and mounting hardware. Here's what we received:

  • Vapochill Micro, Ultra Low Noise, retail package
  • Vapochill Micro, Extreme Performance, retail package
  • Intel Socket 478 Mounting clip, retail package
  • Intel Socket 775 Mounting clip, retail package
  • AMD Sockets 754/939/940 Mounting clip, retail package
  • Extra "Ultra Low Noise" fan
  • Extra "High End" fan

Together, all these parts can be combined to make any of the variants available on the market. All models come with one of three fans, which are identified as "Ultra Low Noise" (sounds good!), "High End" and "Extreme Performance". Each different fan can be had with one of three mounting systems, for a total of nine (slightly) different models. In addition the Ultra Low Noise and Extreme Performance models come with a fan controller so you don't have to rely on your motherboard to regulate fan speed.

So, how do you choose between the various models? Asetek helpfully recommends various types of systems for each cooler, and less helpfully recommends the High End model for "Any PC user". In reality, you're just choosing the speed of the included fan. The Ultra Low Noise fan is the slowest, the Extreme Performance fan is the fastest, and, a little paradoxically, the High End fan is somewhere in the middle. Ironically, the "High End" model is the most basic version: It's the cheapest and the only version that doesn't include a fan controller.

"ULTRA LOW NOISE" PACKAGE


Inside the "Ultra Low Noise" package: Fan controller (and appropriate wires), mounting bracket, fan, and the heatsink itself.

Asetek Vapochill Micro: Feature Highlights (from the product web page)

Feature & Brief Our Comment

Ultra Low Noise (Fan regulation & Ultra Low Noise Fan)

How quiet is "Ultra Low Noise"? Keep reading...

150W CPU Cooling Capacity

The hottest Intel CPUs are rated for 130W, but overclocking can easily increase that above 150W.

Easy installation

All mounting brackets attach to the stock mounting mechanisms. No extra baseplates required.

Safe Operation

I would hope so!

High Reliability

The most common failure point on a heatsink is the fan. Is the fan reliable? Only time will tell...

Low Weight

Within Intel and AMD's recommended weight of 450 g.

Asetek Vapochill Micro Specifications (from the product web page)

Dimensions (H×W×D)

139×98×50 mm

Weight

278 g (355g incl. 92mm fan)

Thermal resistance

0.32 °C/W (full fan speed)



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