Just when you thought competition in the phase-change CPU cooling sector was healthy, it all falls away. nVentiv, Asetek's only competitor in the market they single handedly established after KryoTech's fumblings, have recently gone bankrupt. Today's review focus, Asetek's LightSpeed [AC], was a direct result of forward thinking research at Asetek and strong competition from nVentiv with their Mach II GT product.
The past year or so has seen a ding-dong battle between the two companies, each endeavouring to chill the fastest CPUs on the market to hitherto unseen low temperatures. Their competition on price was fierce too. Asetek would release a product, nVentiv would match or best it. That latest round of competition, with nVentiv releasing the outstanding Mach II GT, resulted in Asetek once again raising the bar with their most extreme chiller and peripheral components.
The last time I looked at a VapoChill was with the XE, a powerful, almost silent system. Able to chill one of the only Pentium 4 Extreme Edition processors available to the press to a heady 4GHz, on a slightly crippled motherboard, you'd have thought being able to remove 180W of heat from a system would be enough. However, nVentiv's 200W+ units meant that a more powerful reply was certain, whether more than 200W is needed or not.
So while on one hand you've got the VapoChill XE, able to shift 180W in relative silence, on the other hand you've got the enthusiast who needs more capacity and doesn't care so much about the noise. The LightSpeed is for that group of people. Tuned for an optimal 240W of heat removal at -25.5°C on the evaporator, the LightSpeed is a departure from the usual VapoChill way of doing things. Running from your AC mains supply and in its own enclosure, versus the PSU-powered all-in-one solution they usually purvey, the LightSpeed is definitely worth a closer look.
Before we move on, I won't cover the theory behind phase-change in this article, my simplified explanation in the original Socket A VapoChill XE review still applies to the LightSpeed. Find that here.