FutureMark's benchmarks and Comanche4 Demo
Does the end justify the means?
Now that we have
seen how the Vapochill has fared in keeping our CPU chilled,
allowing us to overclock the system up to 303MHz, we ran a
few benchmarks to see what kind of performance gains this
would give us. We started by running FutureMark's
PCMark 2002, to compare the CPU and Memory performance.
This was followed by 3DMark 2001SE and the Comanche4 Demo,
which should give us some indication of the effects on pixel
shading and rendering in gaming engines.
impressed to see a full 33% improvement in the CPU
benchmark, all while keeping the P4 humming along at a
chilly -20 degrees C. In effect, we have turned our 2.4GHz
P4 into a 3.6GHz, but running cooler than any air-cooled CPU
could hope for. It is these kinds of gains that
instantly reward the new Vapochill owner.
wasn't the only test to see major improvements, as it's near
cousin, 3DMark 2001, also got a nice performance boost.
By increasing the FSB to 303MHz, we were able to increase
our 3DMark score by 2051 points. This increase did not
come at a any cost to system stability either. We were
able to reliably run all of our benchmarks with no crashes
or other "hiccups".
In our final
test, we ran the demo version of Comanche 4, which is
notorious for it's dependency on CPU and memory bandwidth.
We were able to get frame rates just shy of 76 frames per
second, easily eclipsing the 53.33 fps we got at stock
speeds. So, not only is your CPU investment being
protected by the cooling power of the Vapochill, you also
are getting the ability to add an additional 42% in gaming
absolutely no denying that the Vapochill XE CPU Cooling Unit
is hands-down the most effective technology for removing
heat from a CPU. The real question we should be asking
then, is this the right solution for everybody? While
we were able to get a high overclock and the associated
performance gains that come with it, does it justify the
current price tag of $895 that
asetek's US distributors are currently listing on their
websites? The cost of the chassis alone can dwarf the
price tag of all of the components inside. It's a
tough pill to swallow for some, and with the added
complexity of the setup, we may very well find that these
rigs are catered more for the hard-core enthusiast, less so
for the knowledgeable users who can justify the expense.
From a personal
standpoint, the case didn't feel like a thousand bucks.
True, the emphasis here is on the cooling, not the looks,
but we feel that asetek should produce a better quality
chassis to support the user's investment in the cooling
system. To make an analogy, people buy Ferrari's for
their engines, but would they be fan favorites if the doors
wouldn't close and the hood was made of plastic?
Probably not. Regardless, the case is stylish with its
Titanium finish (it's also available in white), large
ventilation openings, and blue status lights. The
Vapor Phase cooling solution is exceptional, and even with a
CPU overclocked well beyond any standard air or
water-cooling setup, the Vapochill EX is relatively quiet.
Based on its best-of-class cooling capabilities and stylish
appearance, we're giving the Asetek Vapochill XE Cooling
System for the Socket 478 Pentium 4 a rating of
on the HotHardware HeatMeter...
Are you feeling chilly or warm about this review?
Let us know in the HotHardware PC Forum!