Asus Star Ice CPU Cooler Review
Asus is well known in the PC industry for supplying PC enthusiasts with high-end motherboards, video cards and accessories. Today we bring you a review of their new Star Ice CPU cooler. The Star Ice was designed primarily for gamers and case modder's who are looking for both style and performance. The new Asus cooler incorporates heat pipes and all copper construction in a package that looks like a small jet engine for your PC. The Star Ice's universal mount supports Intel P4 (LGA775, socket 478), AMD K7 (socket 462) and K8 (socket 754/939/940) platforms.<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" />
The Star Ice CPU cooler comes with a 3-in-1 smart fan, which allows the end user to select full speed, adjust the CPU cooler fan speed manually, or have the fan speed controlled automatically based on a remote temperature sensor. Airflow from the integrated fan is ducted over the internal heatsink fins and the Star Ice can even be fitted with a second fan 'afterburner' if desired. The Star Ice is available in three colors, each accented with a translucent cowling and internal UV LED's.
- High performance, all copper construction with heat pipes
- Stylish jet engine design with UV LED lighting
- 3-in-1 smart fan speed control
- Optional second fan position for increased performance
- Universal mount for all popular Intel and AMD platforms
Specifications (from the Asus website)
The official specs list the Star Ice CPU cooler's weight as being 680 g. In reality I found the cooler actually weighs 865 g (30.5 oz).
Heat Pipe Technology
The Star Ice CPU cooler uses three copper heat pipes to transport heat from the heatsink base up to the large surface area provided by the copper fins. A heat pipe is a highly efficient conductor of heat. A properly constructed heat pipe has a very low thermal resistance, which is roughly independent of its length (unlike ordinary metal rods whose thermal resistance increases with length). Heat pipes are commonly used to transport heat from one location to another.
Heat pipes work on the principle of evaporation and condensation. A working fluid (frequently distilled water) evaporates inside one end of the heat pipe (the hot-end) absorbing heat in the process. A partial vacuum inside the heat pipe allows the water to evaporate at low temperatures. Once formed, the water vapor diffuses from an area of high vapor pressure (where it is being generated) to the other end of the tube where the vapor pressure is lower.
The vaporized fluid then condenses back to liquid (cold-end) and the heat is dissipated into the air from the metal cooling fins. The working fluid returns to the hot end via capillary action thru an internal wicking structure (sintered metal coating, fine wire mesh, or grooves) so the heat pipe does not have to rely on gravity to recycle the working fluid.
The key to a heat pipe's high efficiency is the latent heat of vaporization. One gram of water absorbs 540 calories of heat when it changes state from a liquid to a gas (without any increase in temperature). It then gives up this same amount of heat when it condenses back into a liquid. By contrast, adding 540 calories of heat to 100 grams of copper (small heatsink) would raise its temperature 60ÂºC!