asetek is a company that has built a reputation on its high-end vapour coolers and more recently watercooling kits. The VapoChill Micro is a different kettle of fish and represents asetekâ€™s first mainstream product. Although it was announced and presented at CeBIT earlier this year it took a while to make it onto the market. What makes it different to other coolers that use heatpipe technology is that the heatpipe interfaces directly with the CPU surface, something no-one has done until now.
If this is better or worse than traditional heatpipe coolers is hard to say, but asetek is convinced that this is the way forward. From the base is a short single pipe that is split into three quite thick pipes â€“ much thicker than those on the other two coolers on test here â€“ which should result in very fast transfer of the hot gas. The problem with this specific cooler is that the base of the heatsink is round and there is no retention mechanism attached to it.
The rather odd construction also means that the whole heatsink is at an angle. This has been done because the heatpipes need to be at an angle for the gas to travel up the pipes and transform back into liquid that can then trickle back down and cool the CPU.
The actual surface of the aluminium fins that are fitted to the heatpipes is quite small if you compare it to the Freezer 7 Pro. By shaping the fins slightly this area has been increased, but bigger fins wouldâ€™ve increased the heat dissipation. The fins are also protruding further on one side than the other making the heatsink look off centre.
A see-through plastic shroud is fitted around the sides of the heatsinks and this is attached to the top of the heatpipes as well as the bottom of two of them. Itâ€™s not the sturdiest construction, but itâ€™s sturdy enough to hold the fan which is what it was designed to do.
This is where it all gets a little complicated. asetek offers three different models of the VapoChill Micro, the High-End, the Extreme Performance and the Ultra Low Noise. The main difference between the three models is the fan fitted and you could quite easily fit your own 92mm fan if you so wish. The fan is attached to the shroud with the help of some plastic pushpins and doesnâ€™t come pre attached. The Extreme Performance and the Ultra Low Noise models also come with a fan speed controller that you can fit in a rear expansion slot.