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Shuttle Zen (ST62K) XPC - P4

Cooling

I have heard about the Shuttle's ICE heatpipe cooler (Integrated Cooling Engine) before but this is my first experience with one up close.  It is WITHOUT question the best cooler for a SFF case there is.  This is because the heatsink's fan also doubles as your case fan.  This eliminates a source of noise while adding working room within the box. 

     

The lower section of the unit is a copper plate with aluminum convection fins.  Between the base and the fins are four small heatpipes. 

  

These heatpipes bend upwards into a second set of convection fins that are covered by a shroud and a case fan.  Liquid is inside each pipe and as it is heated by the copper plate that is absorbing heat from the processor.  At a certain point the liquid evaporates.  The evaporated liquid rises through the pipe into the upper set of convection fins where an 80mm fan blows the heat that is transferred to the fins out of the case.  Notice above, how the second set of convection fins provide good surface area but don't obstruct airflow too much, which in turn allows the heatsink's fan to double as a case fan.  The copper base also shows it got a goodly amount of attention being lapped. 

     

The clip proved itself extremely functional and easy to use.  Two thumb latches and a larger area in the middle of one side let you push one side of the clip down and unclasp the two latches.  Another double kudo to Shuttle is the attention to detail the mounting of the single case fan got.  Notice the rubber spacers at the four screw mounts for the shroud.  What little vibration this single fan makes will be dampened by these spaces. 

     

The fan is a variable rate number.  This is apparent on powering the Zen XPC up.  On start up, the fan runs full speed (you can definitely hear it) for three or four seconds before it kicks down to a barely audible level.  The fan can be set in the BIOS to run automatic, ultra low, low, medium and full.  When not in auto mode, it will run at a preset RPM rate until the trip temperature of 80 degrees Celsius is hit at which point the fan spins up to full honk.  Ultra Low means the fan will spin at 1900 RPM below 80 C, Low means 2500 RPM below 80 C and Medium at 3000 RPM under 80 C. 

One last point about the Shuttle's cooling system.  It is designed to be used with the case on.  On the bottom of the Zen XPC are five small air slits per side.  The single fan inside the box pulls air up through these slits and out the back.  An exceptionally smart way of keeping the case well ventilated.


 

BACK                    NEXT

Pg 1 - Introduction
Pg 2 - What you get
Pg 3 - The unit
Pg 4 - The ICE Cooling System
Pg 5 - Layout
Pg 6 - BIOS / Overclocking
Pg 7 - Productivity and Gaming Benches
Pg 8 - Gaming Benches continued
Pg 9 - Conclusion
 


 



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