Kryotech Cool K6-2 500by Anand Lal Shimpi on December 23, 1998 8:11 PM EST
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|Depending on how long you've been toying with computer hardware, you might remember the first time you ever saw a heatsink on a CPU, or the first time you saw a fan covering the cool AMD, Cyrix, or Intel logo on your chip. Heat has always been a problem with CMOS (Complementary Metal Oxide Semiconductor) devices like the CPU in the system you're reading this review on, or even the chip that is driving the video card which is displaying the thousands of pixels flickering away on your monitor, and the search for an efficient, and cost effective way to remove the problem has been present ever since the days of the first microprocessors. While no one company has managed to completely rid the industry of the problem, there is one company that has made an obvious step in the right direction towards solving the problem, Kryotech.|
At the E3 Expo in May 1998 the South Carolina based company, founded by a collection of college graduates with a vision, showed off their latest creation, the Kryotech Cool K6-2 running alongside an unaccelerated K6-2 processor that AMD debuted at the very same show. The results were amazing, and the product looked promising, 7 months later, we're finally seeing a final product and the results are barely deserving of a pat on the back. Is the Cool K6-2 500 really too little too late or is there something else we must consider?
Vapor Phase Refrigeration
Let's first discuss the technology behind the Kryotech Cool K6-2 system, and the Kryotech design in general. When you open up your kitchen refrigerator you're greeted by a refreshing gust of cold air courtesy of a technology that has been literally right under our noses for decades, and a technology Kryotech took the first step in moving towards becoming a desktop computer cooling solution. You're all probably familiar with the old household refrigerant, freon. In the early 90's freon was quickly replaced as a refrigerant by a more environmentally safe alternative, and that is exactly what the basis for Kryotech's cooling solution is. Vapor Phase Refrigeration, as the technology is referred to, uses the physical properties of a refrigerant like the one mentioned above to achieve an effective level of cooling, by taking the refrigerant stored in a liquid form and heating it to the point where a phase change is initiated converting the liquid to a gas which cycles through the cooling system and is returned to a compressor which initiates another phase change and compresses the gas to a near-liquid form. This enables the heat to be removed from the source, and the cooling system itself to remain self sufficient.
Kryotech claims that Vapor Phase Refrigeration is 50 times as effective as traditional forced air cooling (your standard heatsink/fan combo cooling device) and 5 times as effective as forced liquid cooling. Using Vapor Phase Refrigeration, Kryotech has been able to allow their products to run at levels around -40 degrees Celsius, an achievement which opens new doors for desktop computing opportunities, the biggest of which happens to be overclocking.