Asetek VapoChill Micro Ultra Low Noise Heatsink Fan
Components and Design
The VapoChill Micro comes securely packed in a clear plastic package that serves as both shipping container and display case. <?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" />
In addition to the VapoChill Micro cooler, the package also contains:
- Ultra quiet 92mm fan
- Plastic fan shroud (attached to cooler)
- Plastic push-pins for mounting fan
- PCI bracket Fan speed controller
- 3-pin and 4-pin wiring harnesses
- Mounting hardware
The copper base assembly is round and incorporates a dome shaped vapor chamber, which acts like a small boiler. Fluid inside the chamber boils as it absorbs heat from the CPU and the resulting vapor flows up thru a series of tubes where it eventually condenses, giving up heat to the aluminum fins.
The round base comes with a grid-pattern of thermal compound pre-applied. The base appears to be flat and has a nice smooth, machined finish.
Because the base is round, the cooler can be easily rotated in the mounting bracket to allow orienting the fan and fins in whatever direction best suits your installation.
The tightly spaced aluminum fin assembly measures approximately 95mm x 90mm x 27mm. The entire cooler is Nickel plated except for the bottom, which is bare copper.
A clear plastic shroud is loosely attached to the fin assembly and allows mounting a single 92mm fan. The shroud seems a little flimsy at first glance but gets the job done and is very light weight.
The fan is mounted away from and at an angle to the array of fins. This allows for some air to blow down onto the motherboard to help cool components in the CPU socket area.
The mounting hardware used on the VapoChill Micro is not universal so the actual socket type must be specified when purchasing the cooler. Three different mounts are available which support Intel P4 (socket 478 or LGA775) and AMD K8 (socket 754/939/940) platforms. Our review sample came with the Athlon 64 mounting hardware (shown on the right).
The fan included with the VapoChill Micro Ultra Low Noise HSF is a special fan made by Panasonic (FBL09A12M-2CX). The FBL series is unique because they incorporate a louvered body, which allows air to be drawn in around the sides as well as in thru the end. The louvers theoretically help minimize the blade tip and turbulent air noise generated by traditional axial flow fans. This fan also uses the legendary Panasonic 'Hydro Wave' bearings for low noise operation.
The Ultra Low Noise version of the VapoChill Micro comes with a PCI bracket mounted fan speed controller, which allows adjusting the fan speed from 2,200 rpm to 1,100 rpm. This is a little bit slower than the fan would normally run, because even with the fan speed controller turned all the way up its still only sending the fan 11.3V (instead of the normal 12V). If you plug the fan cable straight into a mobo fan header, the fan will operate on 12V, spin slightly faster and deliver ever so slightly better temperatures.
A 3-pin wiring harness connects the fan to the controller and includes a separate lead for attaching to a motherboard fan header for monitoring speed. Power is supplied from a 4-pin Molex pass thru cable.