Asetek VapoChill Micro Keeps PCs Cool, Quiet

Denmark-based Asetek plans to open a U.S. office in California and is seeking U.S. distribution.

Asetek also is looking for U.S. distribution. It currently sells direct to resellers and end users via its offices in Aalborg, Denmark.

Asetek is one of a handful of vendors manufacturing special cooling systems designed for high-end gaming systems, powerful graphics cards, and more recently, system makers looking to build quiet PCs for the living room.

The cooling systems, which replace or enhance typical PC fans, run anywhere from $40 up to more than $1,000. A special cooled case is also available for high-end servers.

Aestek&'s water-cooling systems usually provide a heat sink that is chilled down using cool gas. They also include a fan that disperses cooled-down air. Asetek said its products can remove 150 watts of heat–and more with its higher-end products. Fan speeds are generally controlled through included software.

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Joe Chang, director of product marketing at Elitegroup Computer Systems, Fremont, Calif., said water-cooling systems are most popular with enthusiasts looking for extra cooling for overclock processors. He also noted that ECS, which is one of the initial vendors to release an entertainment PC based on Intel&'s Viiv specification, is looking for new ways to cut down on PC noise.

Chang cautioned that current water-cooling systems, which run water or other cooling gas through tubes attached to a fan or heat sink, could cause problems if there is leakage. “Imagine what would happen to the PC if one of those tubes leaked,” he said.

Asetek&'s spokesman said the company&'s R&D team uses special materials that withstand heat and other trauma inside a PC system. The company also recently began shipping a gas-cooling heat sink that is leakproof, he said.

That model, the VapoChill Micro, is a cooling system that replaces a typical CPU fan and heat sink. The bottom of the device houses a small amount of cooling gas in a metal base. When the gas heats up, it rises to the heat sink and cools the air dispersed by the fan. The gas is sealed in the metal base to make it leakproof, the spokesman said.

The VapoChill carries an MSRP of between $30 and $40 and comes in three models, each with a different fan speed.