Ultra ChillTec Thermo Electric CPU Cooler - HotHardware

Ultra ChillTec Thermo Electric CPU Cooler

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The Ultra ChillTec Thermo-Electric Cooler
Technology Overview
When you consider the functionality of the Chilltec Thermo-Electric Cooler, there are a number of aspects of its design that you'll need to be familiar with in order to understand the unit's approach to CPU cooling.  To start, the cooler is outfitted with a heat-pipe cooler comprised of four pipes; two that take heat to the fan side of the aluminum finned heatsink and two connected to the far side of the heatsink.  This is a constant cycle that follows common laws of refrigeration.

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Backed with a large 92mm 2800 RPM fan, the unit is capable of moving fair amounts of air across the cooler, depositing the warmed air to the rear of the case to be exhausted by the rear chassis fan and/or PSU fan.  Coupled with the Heat Pipe technology, Ultra has configured the ChillTec TEC with a peltier and control module that aims to keep CPU temperatures in check and steady, applying peltier cooling when the CPU reaches a predetermined point. 

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Image Courtesy of www.peltier-info.com

The ChillTec TEC has a ceramic peltier sandwiched between the mounting plate and heatsink.  With a thermal sensor and power connected to the external control module, the ChillTec senses when the CPU is warming and activates the peltier accordingly, directing ice cold temperature to the CPU side of the cooler.  The end result is extremely steady CPU temperatures even under extreme load.  While we do find this approach to cooling interesting, it also brings questions to mind that we'll aim to address in the pages ahead.  Not only have we run a number of tests to quantify the ChillTec's performance, we also realized that there is more to consider than just CPU temperatures alone.  This prompted us to also take a look at power consumption and other factors that affect the overall performance and value of the ChillTec TEC.  Before we do so, however, we'll go over the hardware itself as well as installation procedures in our test platform.

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