Watch any episode of "This Old House", "Hometime", "The New Yankee Workshop", or any other Do-It-Yourself type program for that matter, and you're bound to hear a certain phrase repeated over and over. Carpenters, mechanics, plumbers, chefs, they all use it. This phrase has almost become a mantra for anyone who takes pride in their work. The phrase is, "use the right tool, for the right job." Doing so will yield far better results, than half-heartedly tackling a project with whatever tools are handy. You won't see a carpenter smacking a nail with the side of a wrench, and you won't see a good mechanic prying apart seized metal with a screwdriver, that's what hammers and pry-bars are for. Using the right tool simply makes whatever job you're trying to tackle that much easier, and makes the end result often times that much better.
The same can be said when overclocking a system. Hardcore overclockers now have an abundance of tools at their disposal; quality air-coolers, peltiers, water-cooling kits and the king-of-them-all, vapor-phase cooling. Casual overclockers can get by with a decent air-cooler, many enthusiasts will be satisfied with a good water-cooling kit, but the truly high end enthusiasts who want to squeeze every last bit of performance from their processors - at any cost - will no doubt seek a high-end vapor phase cooling solution. It's simply the right tool, for the job.
Today on HotHardware, we'll be taking a look at Asetek's latest creation, the VapoChill LightSpeed. We've previously reviewed a few different versions of Asetek's VapoChill vapor-phase technology, and were impressed with each one. The original VapoChill, the updated VapoChill for the P4 & Athlon, and the VapoChill XE were all full kits, installed into specialized cases that drew power from the host system's PSU. The VapoChill LightSpeed [AC], however, is a different sort of animal. The LightSpeed is a stand-alone unit, with its own power supply, and it can be used with a multitude of mid- and full-sized cases (Lian-Li is recommended). It's also capable of dissipating more heat than its predecessors with cooling performance rated at 240W @ -25.5'C at the evaporator. The VapoChill XE is rated at 180W, the standard VapoChill for 130W.
_•_Cooling performance load/idle 240W @ -25.5'C / 0W @ -48'C
_•_Case color: Aluminum
_•_WEIGHT: 15 kg
_•_WEIGHT incl. package: 17 kg
_•_Extremely efficient compressor based AC cooling unit 115/230V
_•_State-of-the-art microchip based ChillControl - the brain of the VapoChill system which controls temperature, noise, sensors, fans and safety of the entire PC
_•_Computer stand-alone case in aluminum
CPU-kit that supports AMD K8 and Intel P4 in one kit
System Details - Case Support
_•_The VapoChill Lightspeed unit has a base measure of 210x490mm.
_•_As the CPU in all ATX standard PC cases is placed in the same height from the bottom of the case the VapoChill LS can be applied to ALL standard PC cases.
_•_To achieve a - direct match - of the outside dimensions of the LS unit (with the case mounted on top) the following Lian Li cases may be considered: PC-60, PC-61, PC-65, PC-7, PC-12, PC-37, PC-82, PC-601, PC-0700,PC-0716a, PC-0716s, PC-6077, PC-6085A.
System details - ChillControl
_•_Through a number of specialized features the NEW ChillControl allows to reach the highest possible standards in PC performance & operation stability.
_•_The ChillControl consist of an integrated control, display unit and USB cable.
_•_All settings - including fans and heating elements - can be adjusted on the fly in the Windows based VapoChill Control Panel software.
_•_Up to 5 extra temperature sensors and 4 extra fans can easily be connected to the ChillControl. E.g. a sensor can be placed on the VGA or on your water-cooling parts and if any heating problems are detected a signal will be given to the ChillControl and a safe shutdown feature will be initiated immediately.
System details - CPU-Kit
_•_The NEW CPU kit supports both AMD K8 and Intel P4 in one kit.
|System details - Control Panel [USB]
_•_The NEW Control Panel let you control and adjust a lot of different noise, performance and safety features on the fly.
_•_Communication to ChillControl via USB
_•_Controlled start-up/shut-down procedure
System details - LCD Display
_•_Besides the evaporator temperature the ChillControl is capable of showing an additional temperature e.g. WaterChill, HDD or case temperature (requires optional sensor).
_•_Characters are changeable: [Up to 2 x 20 letters]
System details - Compressor
_•_The cooling unit represents the heart and muscles of the entire VapoChill LightSpeed [AC] system. The cooling unit is powered from a carefully selected Danfoss compressor.
_•_Danfoss has produced more than 150.000.000 compressor units worldwide and is one of the largest compressor manufacturers in the world. You are ensured that the heart of the product is high quality.
_•_The overall CPU kit is easy to install - No harder to install than an ordinary heat sink solution.
_•_When mounted the design of the NEW CPU kit ensures a 100% even and permanent pressure of the evaporator on the CPU.
_•_Easy to Use! The overall CPU kit has been designed for a very easy change from one Socket-kit to the other - an effortless operation that requires no professional assistance.
_•_The CPU-kit can be rotated 360 degrees which ensures an extreme flexibility when mounted on different socket types.
The VapoChill LightSpeed [AC] is a rectangular cube built to mesh with Lian-Li PC-60, PC-61, PC-65, PC-7, PC-12, PC-37, PC-82, PC-601, PC-0700,PC-0716a, PC-0716s, PC-6077, or PC-6085A cases. The LighSpeed's enclosure is perforated on the front and in a sloping pattern along the sides, in a manner that mimics the look of a Lian-Li case, as you can see from the pictures above. The LightSpeed will work with any case, however, it just won't have the same aesthetics.
On the front of the unit, you'll find a small LCD that display's system information when it is powered up and functional. Protruding from the top of the unit are two cables (one round, one ribbon) for connecting the LCD and power-switch to the ChillControl module, and the copper head of the evaporator attached to along black tube. At the rear of the unit is a 120MM Panaflo exhaust fan and a power cable with a hermaphrodite pass-through power connector.
At the heart of the VapoChill LightSpeed [AC] is a Danfoss variable speed compressor, similar to the one used in your home refrigerator. Danfoss is one of the largest compressor manufacturers in the world, and Asetek has been using their products with the VapoChill for quite some time. The compressor in the VapoChill LightSpeed [AC] is charged with a different coolant than the other VapoChill products though, R507, which according the Asetek is the most effective coolant for CPU heat removal.