Phase Change Cooling for All?
In my hands on first look of the OCZ Cryo-Z I stated that phase change cooling is not for daily use for most users. I caught a lot of flak from enthusiasts who stated that they wouldn't mind the added noise a compressor brings to the computer room. It is easy to claim if you have never personally owned a phase change cooled computer and many users haven't. I still feel that units like the Cryo-Z and Mach II GT are more for the overclocking elite and not typical enthusiasts or Joe Sixpack consumers.
Thermaltake recognized the shortcomings of existing phase change coolers on the market and has chosen to take a different approach with the Xpressar. The first hurdle to tackle was sub zero cooling and all of the problems associated with it. Condensation is the biggest concern and keeping moisture away from components is an expensive task. Since the Xpressar does not allow the processor to get to the point of freezing, expensive heating pads and closed cell foam is eliminated from the accessory expense.
Air cooling and even high end water cooling products are only able to cool to the temperatures of the air that surrounds them. This air temperature is called ambient temperature and traditional cooling products are not able to cool a processor or GPU under this threshold.
Phase change cooling is able to break through the Ambient Temperature barrier by forcing a liquid through a thin copper tube and then expanding it in a chamber. When the liquid expands into a gas, effectively a phase change, it drops temperature. If you have ever used a can of compressed air to blow the dust out of your computer, the effect is the same; the can loses pressure and gets cold.
Unlike the compressed can of air example, a phase change cooler is able to recover the gas and compress it back into a liquid. The above image goes through the whole process and shows the liquid, to gas and back to liquid system.
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