Asetek Vapochill and Abit CX6 Adventures In OverClocking

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The Asetek Vapochill and Abit CX6
An Adventure In Over-Clocking

June 27, 2000 - By Dave Altavilla 
 


Hot Hardware's Test System
Want to race?

Vapochill Medium Tower ATX Case w/ 300W PS and Refrigeration Unit, Pentium III 933EB,  Abit CX6 i820 Motherboard,  128MB of  800MHz (400MHz. DDR) RDRAM, WD Expert AC418000 7200 RPM ATA66 Hard Drive, Kenwood 72X CDROM, Elsa Gladiac GeForce2 GTS AGP, NVidia GeForce Reference Drivers Version 5.30, DirectX 7.0a, Win98SE
 

Over-clocking
An all new Hot Hardware Lab Record!

We don't need to go into too much detail for this next shot.......  Feast your eyes.
 

Two simple words need to be said to complete this vision of loveliness.... COMPLETELY STABLE

That's right folks, we set up the system to run an endless loop of Quake 3 Arena while running a full SETI crunch in the background.  We left the machine running and left the lab for a full night's sleep, something we don't get to do all too often around here.  I have to admit, I was a little nervous that we may burn the facility down overnight. :) My worries were unfounded however.  When we woke up the next day, approximately 7 hours later, the Vapochill and CX6 were still crunching away at blinding speed with the Gladiac.

Let's see, with a 933MHz. stock CPU speed, at 1.163GHz. we are talking about a 230MHz. over-clock here!  Not too shabby if you ask me, considering this CPU would only hit 1GHz. even with an Alpha PEP66 stuck to it.  It should also be known that we were running the CPU at a full 2 VOLTS!  You are probably thinking we are crazy running a CPU at this voltage but as long as you get the heat out and bring in "The Chill" as in Vapochill, you don't have to worry so much about voltage, within reason.  I still believe that if we were to tweak things a little more, even higher results could have been achieved.  That is one of the best assets of the Vapochill, you can spend all day playing around with it!  It is a lot of fun! 

Of course, that is not too conducive to writing reviews, so we had best get on with the benchmarks!

 

Benchmarks With a 1.163GHz. Vapochill Rig and The Abit CX6
"Neah, neah, nah, neah-neah"!

Let's line up the Sandra numbers just for a quick run down.  Click 'em...

1.163GHz. CPU Scores

Memory Bandwidth Benchmarks

1.163GHz. CPU Multimedia Scores

 

As the old saying goes, the numbers don't lie folks!  Wow... will you look at those CPU and Multimedia scores?  Sweetness....

And now for some standard issue Winbench 99 Benchmarks.

ZD Winbench 99 Test

click for full view

Once again, these are the highest scores we have ever seen here at HotHardware for any CPU or Motherboard.  Thanks to the Vapochill, we broke the 100 mark for the CPU99 Mark test!  Simply fantastic performance is shown here but what did you expect for a 1.163GHz. processor?  The system itself actually felt ridiculously fast!

So let's have some fun, shall we?

Quake 3 Arena Benchmarks

I would have to say that is cranking along quite nicely. However, we have a highly over-clocked CPU, why not over-clock the Gladiac GeForce2 GTS?

Uhh.... hello??  1024X768X32 at 88.5 FPS and 1600X1200X16 at 62.5 ??? Am I dreaming here?  That's it, we may have to put this thing under my desk for the main system.  ;-)  The Gladiac is cranking at the lower resolutions and does hit fill rate at 1024X768X32 and above, so the extra 25MHz. Core boost and 32MHz. Memory boost, sure helps out.  Not to sound like a broken record here but once again these are the best general purpose (non FSAA) Q3 scores we have posted here on the site.

Let's break up our little summation into two parts, one for the Vapochill and one for the CX6 from Abit.  Firstly, the Asetek Vapochill is one fantastic product.  In so many ways, it brings refrigerated computing and extreme over-clocking to the masses.  It is not for the "Newbie Over-clocker" however.  You need to know what you are doing with this thing and it is a fair amount of work to get things just right.  On the other hand, the rewards, as you have seen here, can be quite nice once you have things purring.  Finally, the cost of the Vapochill, around $750 at newly signed reseller Minotaur, with FCPGA kit and Chill Control as tested here, may be steep for some folks.  However, those that need or just want to have the highest performance CPU available, will be happy with the investment in the Vapochill.

The Abit CX6 proved to be yet another solid product from one of the finest Motherboard Manufacturers in the world.  Known for their ability to over-clock and a setup to support it, Abit products are very popular with Custom High Performance PC Fanatics and Over-Clockers.  The CX6 is a product cut from the same great quality cloth that we've come to know Abit for.  On the other hand, one can't help but wonder about the future of the i820 chipset.  With lower cost and comparable performance PC133 solutions such as the i815 and VIA Apollo Pro133A, as well as the soon to be released Apollo 2000, the i820 life cycle seems as it may be short lived.  The performance of the CX6 with this chipset was excellent and stability, even under these extreme conditions, was perfect. Again, as i820/RAMBUS Motherboards go, the CX6 is our favorite board to date.  

We'll give the Abit CX6 Motherboard a HotHardware Heat Meter Rating of...



We'll give the Asetek Vapochill a Hot Hardware Heat Meter Rating of....

We also liked it so much that it was good enough to earn the coveted Editor's Choice Award!

 

Get into the HotHardware Conference Room and talk about this article!

 

  To HotHardware!

 

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