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Aerocool Deep Impact DP-101: The appearance is certainly unique, but will the Deep Impact's Supertube give us the performance we are looking for?
 
 
Date: May 26, 2003
Catagory: Cases & Cooling
Manufacturer:
Written By:

A Closer Look

The package is of clear plastic with cardboard packing, allowing you to see the main unit. You immediately notice the length of the Deep Impact; this is no small cooler. Opening the package you find that the fan and other extra's are concealed in the bottom and top parts of the cardboard packing, safely tucked away.

The extras include the fan, 4 screws, a syringe of Stars silver thermal paste and the 1 page English instructions. This means that some assembly is required but it isn't anything difficult, just simply screwing the fan into place.

The unit is surprisingly not as heavy as it looks thanks mainly to the fact that this is a copper insert attaching to the tube core (with the tube being filled with the compound for heat transfer), with the surrounding material being aluminium. The sample we have here includes a blue shroud on one side, which lifts the fan away from the fins and guides it through the HSF.

The shroud is branded with the Aerocool logo in relief on both sides and attached to the top most fin structure with 2 screws. I would have preferred to see the shroud attached to the bottom as well as the top, and whilst it isn't a problem per say, it would have just been more reassuring.

You can clearly see the Supertube running through the centre and protruding slightly from the top. The overall shape is square'ish from the top with the corners of the fins curved as a safety precaution. The bottom part of the unit is the same as some other HSF's in that the tube makes contact with the CPU die via a copper insert, and surrounding this is an aluminium base.

The base is smooth to the naked fingertip and appears to be flat and even, but you can plainly see the machine marks. A little lapping would probably do some good, and it wouldn't take much to bring it to a mirror finish. As you may have noticed from the picture, yes, you can remove the surrounding aluminium although it would serve no practical purpose.

The clip for this cooler is a pretty big let down. That's not to say it doesn't work properly or anything, but I was surprised to see it hanging free from the sink. Now when I say hanging free I mean it is possible to mount this sink in the 4 compass points directions(but of course only one direction is the actual correct way) because the clip is not attached physically to the base at all. You could even mount the unit and if the clip is pushed to one side have the cooler sitting to one side of the Zif socket more than the other, i.e. not central with the CPU die. OK, this cooler is aimed at those with a bit of experience in these matters, but with it's promise of near silent cooling this HSF could appeal to many more users who don't have a clue. Like I said, the clip works fine but I really think this is an area Aerocool could improve upon immensely.

The overall looks of the unit are unique to say the least. It isn't a work of art, but it does give you an instant impression of meaning business, with a sort of radiator look to it. It will certainly draw attention that's for sure, but it is in no way designed to look good, this cooler is designed with application use in mind above all else. It's tall, very tall; being twice the height of your standard HSF and this is something you will have to keep in mind before buying. One thing that did worry me before I received the Deep Impact was that the height coupled with the weight would be too much for the Zif socket lugs, but it is actually lighter than it appears and only worried me marginally. I wouldn't personally be happy putting this in a case that would get moved around a lot, but I'm not worried it would fall off/break off in a stationary case. Ok, let's move on and put the Deep Impact to the test.

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