by Greg King on May 1, 2007 in Cooling
With the summer heat right around the corner, you need to figure out a good way to keep your CPU cool. Has Ultra come to the rescue with their ChillTEC cooler? As the name suggests, it uses a Thermo-electric Chip to help moderate the temperature of your CPU. The big question is though: Is this Totally-Enormous-Cooler worth your $130?
When we get to the ChillTEC itself, the sheer size of the thing is apparent. With a black aluminum shroud around it, and the Ultra logo in bold white lettering on the top, at least in appearance, the ChillTEC certainly means business.
On the front of the cooler there is a blue LED fan to not only move air across the heatsink fins but look good in the process.
At the rear of the cooler, we can see the stack of fins on the heatsink.
Taking a closer look at the base of the ChillTEC, we can see just how Ultra went about using the peltier using and where they placed it on the cooler. In this design, the peltier sits on top of one copper block that has a pair of heatpipes connected to it. Just above the TEC is another copper block, again connected to a pair of heatpipes. In this design, the peltier will cool the block that is directly touching the CPU. Any heat created by the CPU will be taken away with the help of the first set of heatpipes. The top side of the peltier, the one that gets warm, will be kept cool with the top block and heatpipes. Both sets of heatpipes run directly into the heatsink on top.
To connect the TEC unit with the control module, there is a pair of connecting cables. The peltier unit connects with a simple 2 pin plug and the fan and thermal probe connect with the black plug.
One thing to point out in any cooler review is the area that will make direct contact with the CPU. This area should, for the most part, be free of any major machining marks and ideally, will have a mirror polish. In the case of the ChillTEC, we can see that while the thumb screws are reflected, they are still a bit hazy. This is normal for about 90% of all coolers I have worked with and should not be of any concern.
Before we get into the installation and results of the testing, we should take a moment to size the thing up. Earlier in the review, we commented on the size of the ChillTEC. While big, how does it size up next to the Zalman 9700 that we will be using as a rough comparison? All in all, the Ultra ChillTEC is just a hair large than the Zalman cooler and for most, this should not prove to be a problem when it comes to mounting the cooler in your case.
As stated earlier, the Cooler it is just a bit taller and longer than the Zalman but this shouldnâ€™t be a problem at all for most.