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The Asetek Vapochill is without a doubt the most impressive cooling solution I've ever seen. To use another Shameful Car Analogy, it is the Ferrari of PC cooling. With a price of over $500, the Vapochill is reserved for serious enthusiasts with a significant financial commitment, but its performance is well beyond traditional cooling solutions. How many coolers can keep a 3.38GHz processor at a steady five degrees Fahrenheit?

IT7-MAX2 issues aside, I am perhaps most impressed by the quality of Asetek's implementation of phase-change cooling. There are any number of potential problems with phase-change cooling, including such processor killers as condensation and evaporator startup time. Nonetheless, Asetek has managed to solve nearly all those problems, no matter how complicated the solution. We're talking about a processor cooler with its own firmware-upgradeable computer. Hardcore.

Those put off by the relatively high cost of the Vapochill should consider it as a long-term investment. The system is adaptable from Socket 370 to Socket A to Socket 478, and I see no reason why Asetek couldn't develop a Hammer kit as well. Break the cost out over two or three processor upgrades, and it starts looking better and better, especially since it will likely enable you to overclock a $100-150 processor to the performance levels of $500 or $600 chips.

In the end, what the Vapochill gives you is peace of mind, the luxury of never again having to worry about an important aspect of your system, processor cooling. Upgrade the rest of your system to your heart's content, but two things will remain constant: The Vapochill as your processor cooler, and the temperature of that cooler at a nippy five degrees above zero. TR

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