Articles: Cooling

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What’s Wrong with Jean Peltier?

Striking out systems unaffordable for an average user, we’ve got only two methods to reach temperatures below the environmental (preferably, below zero), which are implemented as ready solutions. They are Peltier units and phase-change systems. Alas, there is not much of a choice here, too.

Today’s Peltier-based systems can only be used to cool the graphics processor (although there are processor solutions from Swiftech). Their problem lies in the very principle of their operation: for example, for taking off 70W of heat and providing a satisfyingly cool thermal environment of the component being cooled, the unit must have wattage of 150-200W depending on its efficiency. And you have to dissipate those 200W (plus 70W from the chip) somehow.

If we set ourselves to cool down a 150W chip (that is not even the upper limit), the wattage of the unit should be as high as 350-400W! Add the original 150W and you have a nice paradox: for cooling an electronic chip of 150W wattage to 0°C or thereabouts, you must assemble a system that really dissipates 500-550W! This is beyond the capabilities even of Swiftech’s cooling system. The cost of the contraption will exceed that of an off-the-shelf phase-change system, but you get poorer results. Moreover, when your computer system consumes 500W or something to cool itself down, you will have to pay more for electricity. Think of this as if you were always having your electric iron turned on with the ensuing consequences to your electricity bill. Jean Peltier was not a computer user, that’s for sure.

Package and Accessories

Asetek ships its VapoChill XE preinstalled into their original and distinguishable system case, specially designed to accommodate the compressor and the condenser of the refrigerating unit. Thus, the package is a very large two-color paper box. Fortunately, the manufacturer added a carry handle, otherwise it would be difficult to transport this machine.

The box conceals the case and a pack of accessories:

  • CPU kit (in our case, the kit for the Socket 478 includes two heater elements, four segments of neoprene isolation to prevent condensation, four screws and nuts for fastening the heatsink frame, two metal tubes, two braces and screws for fastening the evaporator on the socket);
  • One syringe with AOS thermal compound;
  • Bag with screws and pegs (10 plastic pegs for installation of the mainboard, 16 screws for fastening 5.25” devices and 12 screws for hard disk drives);
  • Communication cable for the COM port;
  • Floppy disk with the software for the ChillControl;
  • ATX+12V extension cord;
  • Power cable;
  • User’s manual.
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