VapoChill LightSpeed [AC]
Gallery & Installation
The VapoChill LightSpeed [AC] may be a standalone unit, but installing it is unlike any other air cooler and water-cooling kit on the market. It's not just a matter of removing your stock heatsink, and fastening the LightSpeed's evaporator into place. Due to it's unique application and design approach, there are a myriad of parts, accessories and documentation necessary to ensure the VapoChill LightSpeed is installed properly.
Because the VapoChill LightSpeed [AC] is designed for all Athlon 64 Socket 754, 939 & 940 and Pentium 4 Socket 478 processors currently available, Asetek includes quite a few different neoprene foam insulating liners to match up with your processor and socket. Also included are a pair of heating elements, one for inside the evaporator's clamshell and the other for underneath the CPU socket. The heating elements warm the air and padding directly above and below the socket to help prevent the condensation caused when the evaporator hits temperatures well below ambient. To help ease the installation process, Asetek bundles a complete owner's manual and installation guide with the LightSpeed, along with a paper template to aid in the drilling and notching of your case. The LightSpeed is designed to sit underneath a case, with the evaporator fed into the enclosure through a notch at the case's rear. Four holes also need to be drilled into the base of the case to hold the LightSpeed in place. Keep that in mind should you be in the market for a product like this. If you're not building a system from scratch, installing one means removing your hardware and modifying your case.
The next item included with the VapoChill LightSpeed [AC] is the brain of the whole operation - the ChillControl USB module. The new ChillControl USB module controls the data being displayed on the LCD and is responsible for monitoring various aspects of the LightSpeed. It connects to the system through a simple cable, that plugs into an available USB header on the system's motherboard. With the ChillControl USB, numerous settings, including fan speed and heating elements, can be adjusted dynamically from within Windows using the VapoChill Control Panel software. The module also has 4 extra temperature sensors, that work in conjunction with the included thermal probes, and it has 2 extra fan headers. This is quite useful, because a thermal probe can be mounted to your video card or onto other critical components. If any overheating is detected, a signal will be given to the ChillControl module to shutdown the system immediately.
We're not going to go in-depth describing the VapoChill LightSpeed [AC]'s installation procedure here, because it's quite similar to other versions of the VapoChill. For a detailed explanation as to the preparation necessary and the actual installation process, we recommend you take a look at our VapoChill Retro-Fit article and our review of the VapoChill original. Other than the information outlined in those articles, there isn't much more to describe. Basically, the "clamshell" needs to be mounted to the copper evaporator, and foam padding needs to be place around the CPU and socket, and on the underside of the motherboard to protect against condensation. Then the ChillControl USB module gets connected in between the LightSpeed and the motherboard. When you press the power switch on your case, the ChillControl module powers the LightSpeed up, which starts the vapor-phase cooling process. Then when the evaporator head reaches the designated temperature (default of -10'C), the rest of the system is powered up. During the whole process, the LCD displays system information, including the temperature of the evaporator and the readings from the supplied thermal probes.