Articles: Cooling

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Some parameters are available for monitoring. Frankly speaking, they are quite useless.

“Temp. 1 (CPU)”. The evaporator temperature.

“Temp. 2 (External)”. The temperature of the optional external thermal diode.

“Compressor Speed”. The rotation speed of the compressor.

“Compressor type”. The compressor type (it writes “BD-TYPE”).

“Fan Speed (Condenser)”. The rotation speed of the fan on the condenser, in percents.

“Fan Speed (External)”. The rotation speed of the additional fan, in percents.

“ChillControl Status”. The status of the ChillControl unit.

“Current Error” informs you about the current error if one occurs.

“Current Display View” is the type of info displayed on the indicator.

“Connection Status” is something quite mysterious.

“Firmware Version” that the ChillControl has.

For making the life of the user easier in our advanced era, there is a Windows version of this software.

I should confess that I encountered various problems with the system during my three months of using it and several times I had to assemble/disassemble it, which were mostly related to the powering up process. However, all problems were solved after I had read the user manual and corrected my own mistakes. So you shouldn’t hope for taking the VapoChill barehanded, without reading the manual at all.

One more problem concerns the power supply unit. The compressor is supplied by the 12V power from the system PSU. The average power consumption of the compressor is about 100W, or 8A on the 12V line. This is actually very high, and only the best PSUs can bear this load in addition to the load of the computer system itself. So only the Antec TrueControl 550 showed an impeccable performance in our tests. Even at the system startup, when the compressor consumes as much as 150W for a short while, the voltage of the +12V line was practically the same – another testimony to the high quality of this PSU. I tried to use a lower-wattage Sirtec 420W and it upheld the system for several days without any problems, but the +12V voltage would go down to 11.3-11.5W under a load. Just for fun, I tried to use a very-low-quality 250W Codegen PSU ($8 retail price) and only connected the compressor to it (without the system), but the voltage slipped down from 11.9V to 8.0V (!) in two seconds and the PSU broke off completely.

So it is a necessity for you to buy a really high-quality PSU to use with the VapoChill. Users say that, besides the units from Sirtec, 400W PSUs from Zalman can also supply the compressor reliably. You can solve this problem completely (never worrying about the PSU at all in the future) by using a 500W PSU like an Antec TrueControl 550 or PCPower&Cooling 510 DeLuxe.

Testbed Configuration

  • Processors: Intel Pentium 4 Extreme Edition 3.20GHz (Gallatin), Intel Pentium 4 3.20C GHz (Northwood), Intel Pentium 4 3.40C GHz (Northwood), Intel Pentium 4 3.20E GHz (Prescott);
  • ASUS P4C800-E Deluxe mainboard;
  • 2x256MB Kingston HyperX PC3500 DDR SDRAM on Winbond BH-5 chips;
  • Sapphire Atlantis RADEON 9800 XT graphics card;
  • Western Digital WD800BB HDD;
  • Power Supply Units (see above): Antec TrueControl 550W, Sirtec HPC-420, Codegen 250W.

Other system components don’t affect the performance in this case.

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