Asetek Vapochill Vapor Phase Cooling System

Asetek Vapochill Vapor Phase Cooling System - Page 5


The Asetek Vapochill Vapor Phase Cooling System
Taking the Pentium 4 To 3.3GHz And Beyond

By, Dave Altavilla
October 23, 2002

We'll finish up our round of performance testing, with the "LAN-Man's" choice, Unreal Tournament 2003 and Quake 3 Arena. 


Benchmarks - Unreal Tournament 2003 and Quake 3 Arena
The old and the new


The Vapochilled Pentium 4 system blows past 300 fps with ease in your average "normal" time demo run of Quake 3.  The normal setting places the resolution at 640X480 and color depth at 16 bit.  This again, allows us to look at the performance of the CPU engine without having the graphics card holding back frame rate.  We'll take 16% faster rail-shots, thanks very much.


Once again, we're looking at a game engine that eats CPU clock cycles for lunch.  Unreal Tournament 2003 make use of some of the most advanced 3D Graphics techniques of any game engine on the market but needs a lot of CPU power to process the high polygon count characters and scenes that it paints with such frightening beauty.  The Vapochilled Pentium 4 system at 3.3GHz, commands nearly a 20% lead over the stock CPU.


We haven't talked about one very important aspect of the new Asetek Vapochill, as of yet, that being the all important "green-back".  Historically, the price tag of the Vapochill was a little steep for the average user and again helped to limit its exposure to only a high end niche' customer base.  However, Asetek has taken strides to make the new Vapochill more affordable for the mainstream.  As of the date of release for this article, you can get a base Standard Edition Vapochill System, without power supply, for $469 USD.  Drop in a decent 400W supply and you are looking at a total chassis cost of about $570.  This is still a bit lofty for some folks to justify.  However, we're firm believers here at HotHardware, that a chassis and cooling system is an investment you should not skimp on.  Since the Vapochill provides both of these functions and the ability to overclock your processor to speeds well beyond it's spec, yet retain sub ambient temperatures under load, we think it's a bit easier to bite off and digest.  Still, it's a system for the enthusiast that wants it all and doesn't mind dropping the coin to have it.

From a quality an functionality perspective, the new Vapochills have a much improved design.  Certainly, they are not without a few draw-backs (give us real motherboard tray stand-offs and a slide out motherboard tray please!) but the design is to a point where the average enthusiast need not have an Electromechanical Engineering Degree in order to set the thing up.  We have some reservations of what you have to go through to ensure your CPU doesn't have condensation problems (all that thermal paste on the pins was a little traumatic for us) but after a few tries at assembly and disassembly, we became much more comfortable with the setup and long term results.  Then there is the aspect of noise level, which is a real strength for the Vapochill.  Ultimately, we were able to dial in a setup that gave us top notch cooling performance, that was actually significantly quieter than our standard air-cooled rigs in the lab. 

We spent some real quality time with this unit, in an effort to understand all its subtle nuances and niceties.  In the end, we were able to crank our 2.8GHz Pentium 4 well beyond it's former air-cooled limit of just slightly over 3GHz.  3.3GHz fully stable and at less than ambient room temp left us feeling that the Vapochill can deliver on it's promise of helping you realize the fastest PC performance on the market today.  The Asetek Vapochill Cooling System for the Pentium 4 and Athlon platforms, is a PC Hot Rodder's nirvana...  It's cooler, faster and head-turning stylish.

We're giving the Asetek Vapochill Cooling System for the Socket 478 Pentium 4 a HotHardware Heat Meter Rating of...


  • Great sub zero cooling performance

  • Gorgeous Case

  • Extremely quiet

  • ChillControl Circuit for accuracy and stability

  • Relatively easy assembly

  • Still somewhat pricey but cheaper than similar competitive solutions

  • Motherboard tray can be hard to work with

  • Retail channel for  product is still somewhat limited


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Tags:  cooling, system, Cool, STEM, ASETEK, AP, K

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