AeroCool Deep Impact DP-102 Heat Pipe HSF
- Copper Superconductor tube 100 mm long soldered to 30 mm round copper base
- Aluminum mounting base dimensions: 50 mm x 60 mm
- 39 copper fins: 65 mm in diameter
- Dual aluminum fan mounting brackets
- Accommodates 60mm, 70mm and 80mm fans
- Rated fan voltage: 12 VDC nominal
- Rated fan speed: 2,500 RPM
- Rated air flow: 31.5 CFM
- Rated fan noise level: 24.6 dBA
- Designed to work with AMD Socket A and Intel Socket 478 CPUs
- Weight: 564g heatsink/fan mounting brackets, 811g heatsink with (2) 80 mm fans
The DP-102 heat pipe HSF incorporates what Aerocool calls a Superconductor Tube. In reality this is a copper heat pipe. The round heat pipe is soldered to a small copper base that when mounted sits directly on top of the CPU core. Heat is transferred out of the CPU and into the base of the heat pipe where it vaporizes the proprietary working fluid (typically distilled water). Water can boil at this low temperature because there is a partial vacuum inside the heat pipe.
The vaporized liquid flows to the other end of the tube, which is air-cooled, by the numerous copper fins and condenses back into liquid. An internal wicking material then moves the liquid back to the hot end of the heat pipe via capillary action to complete the heat transport cycle. The integral wire mesh wick insures the heat pipe will operate properly regardless of the mounting position. The process of vaporizing and then condensing a working fluid is an extremely efficient way to transport heat. Water absorbs 540 cal/g (latent heat of vaporization) when it changes from a liquid to a gas and then releases that same amount of heat when it condenses back into liquid.
A large heat transfer surface area is created by the closely spaced copper fins, which are attached to the outside of the heat pipe. The DP-102 incorporates 39 round copper fins for a total exposed surface area of 1103 cm² (the original DP-101 used 42 square aluminum fins with a total surface area of 1304 cm²). Because of this, the DP-102 has 15.5% less surface area than the original Deep Impact. It will be interesting to see how this change affects performance.
The new fan mounting brackets are designed to directly mount both 60 mm and 70 mm fans. Also included are two sets of aluminum adapter brackets, which permit mounting 80mm fans. Installing the adapters proved to be slightly difficult as the standard fan brackets are rather delicate. I found that enlarging the small holes in the adapter brackets with a 1/8” drill made mounting the adapters with the self-taping screws much easier. You can see one pair of adapter brackets mounted in the following picture while the pieces of the remaining pair sits to either side of the cooler.
Two Aerocool labeled 80mm aluminum frame fans came with the DP-102. These fans are rated at 2,500 RPM, 31.5 CFM and 24.6 dBA each. They include RPM monitoring and come fitted with a 3-pin connector. During testing, I plugged the fans into the CPU and CASE fan mobo headers.
Aerocool recommends that when using two fans they both blow in over the heatsink fins. With both 80 mm fans installed, the DP-102 cooler is quite large – almost the size of an ATX power supply! This may prove to be a problem for some people with some motherboards as the fans may interfere with the North Bridge heatsink or other relatively large components around the CPU socket area.
The original Deep Impact used a wrap-around fan shroud to help contain and focus the flow of air over the cooling fins. The new DP-102 does not include this feature. The single shroud has been replaced with two mounting brackets. Not only do they not shroud the flow of air, they actually block a significant area when used with the 80 mm fans. Again, it will be interesting to see how this change impacts the overall cooler performance.
A new feature of the DP-102 allows freely rotating the base plate, so the fans can be positioned in whatever orientation works best for clearance and airflow.
The round copper base exhibits a relatively smooth machined finish and is surrounded by a bead-blasted aluminum mounting plate. Two plates are included with the DP-102 universal cooler: one for AMD Athlon Socket A CPUs and the other for Intel P4 Socket 478 CPUs. The cooler came with the AMD base plate and 3-lug clip installed as shown above.