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DriverHeaven Review

 

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 product.

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.


 

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