In the past, we’ve looked at some of Asetek’s
enthusiast coolers here on Driverheaven. The Waterchill
products have impressed us through both their first class
performance with their high standard of components and
build quality. Today, we have the newest of Asetek’s
coolers in for review and it’s definitely a departure
from the norm. Rather than being targeted at water-cooling
enthusiasts, the new cooler is aimed solely at the mainstream
market and it’s one that Asetek hopes will make
them become leaders in performance in that segment as
well as the enthusiast arena. Not only does the product
aim to take the performance crown, it also claims to do
it with a minimal amount of noise…
The Vapochill Micro
The Vapochill Micro comes in a retail package, which
immediately draws your attention. Apart from the vibrant
blue used, you can see the unit in all its glory…
…on the rear of the packaging are
the important technical specifications pertinent to the
cooler. Again, the unit is completely viewable through
the rear of the packaging.
Opening up the pack and searching through
the bundle, we find some interesting things, but let’s
examine the normal components first.
The unit comes with the required cables and a PCI fan
speed controller (6v-12v), nothing out of the ordinary
here. The resistance of the dial is set just right and
it’s neither too stiff nor too loose. Ideal if you
have to reach around the back of your PC to adjust it.
The installation instructions are actually included on
the reverse side of the packaging and despite their small
size, they are detailed enough to allow you to install
the product with ease.
The cooler comes with a 12v 92mm fan
(Panaflow - 92x92x25) that is not attached to the heatsink
when you receive it. The fan has a solid feel to it and
the 3-pin cord for connecting to the fan speed dial is
long enough for even the biggest of cases.
The next component included in the bundle
is the fan bracket, being one of the more unique components
we’ve seen included with a cooler, (so unique we
almost threw it out assuming it was some sort of protective
packaging) it’s unfortunately one of the worst designed
ones as well.
The idea is that the casing sits over
the heatsink fins and the fan is then attached with push
screws. The first issue we’ve encountered with this
is that we can’t think of any reason why Asetek
doesn’t attach the housing and the fan in the factory
and save the end user a bit of time. The second concern
we have with the housing is that it’s not a perfect
fit on the heatsink and it’s in fact pretty flimsy,
this means when installed, there is a great deal of movement
when you touch the plastic even slightly. Of course, this
movement turns into vibration and therefore, additional
noise when in use. How much extra noise is added is hard
to say, as there is no way to attach the fan without the
plastic housing; however, on a product that is marketed
as Ultra Low Noise, you would expect it to have every
care taken to reduce noise. We hope Asetek look at a more
snug fitting and solid design in future revisions of the
Before we look at the heatsink itself, the final part
in the bundle is the bracket which attaches to the motherboard.
Using the existing screws on your mainboard, the bracket
sits over the CPU slot and is screwed into place, clamping
the heatsink onto the CPU.
The heatsink unit is a unique design.
The base of the cooler is copper (6mm), as with most performance
heatsinks; however, it’s not quite as polished as
we would have liked to see. The pre-application of thermal
paste to the base of the cooler before it left the factory
was a nice touch though.
Directly attached to the copper base
is the vapour chamber, which connects to the main vapour
pipes that are made from copper once again. The unit is
filled with refrigerant gas R134a and coated in nickel.
The idea behind the cooling method used here is that the
gas evaporates in the lower chamber and rises through
the pipes. As the gas cools and rises, it solidifies and
then falls to the evaporation chamber again, rinse and
repeat. This means that other than the fan, there are
no moving parts in the system.
When assembled and fully operational,
the fan speed of the unit is a maximum of 2350 RPM, which
creates a noise level of 28dba and an airflow of 17.657
CFM and the total weight is 355g.