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Sapphire Vapor-X CPU Cooler Review


Standing at 163.5mm tall, Sapphire’s Vapor-X CPU cooler is certainly an imposing unit. A pair of plastic shrouds attaches each 120mm, blue LED fan to the heatsink by means of side-mounted clip mechanisms.

Sapphire’s company name resides between a pair of blue LED strips on the cooler’s summit-mounted plastic shroud. A blue-glowing Vapor-X name tag joins the light show to create an impressive gamer-orientated aesthetic appeal.

This shroud also acts as a barrier to prevent the escape of misdirected air from the heatsink system, henceforth maintaining maximum cooling efficiency, in theory. A hexagonal wrench (hex key) tool is required to remove the shroud for cleaning or other purposes.

Both fans must be removed to provide access to the cooler’s mounting positions. Thankfully, Sapphire makes removing the fan casing an easy task, provided you have sharp fingernails or a small screwdriver at hand to assist with prying the plastic clip out of the heatsink’s channel.

Each translucently-bladed, blue LED fan operates at a PWM-controlled speed of 495 – 2200 RPM via the convenient 4-pin header, with a stated maximum noise output of 40 dbA. With each fan rated for air pressure and flow values of 2.6 mm H20 and 77 CFM, respectively, the aluminium fin array should receive a sufficient supply of air to allow for efficient heat dissipation.

Notice the ugly yellow stickers on each fan cable? Sapphire: please get rid of these eye-sores as soon as possible – they aren’t entirely necessary.

A quartet of 7mm-diameter heatpipes feeds directly into a dense aluminium fin array via the tried-and-tested parallel U-shaped alignment. While it may not be the most efficient design, the parallel alignment does its best to avoid transferring heat directly into the fans’ glaring dead-airflow spots.

Sapphire relies on the pair of 2200 RPM fans’ high pressure rating to provide a vacuum-effect of acceptable quality, as opposed to pressure-enhancing grooves and saw-toothed fins. Closed sides help to maintain an inner region of higher pressure by minimising the loss of air out of the fin stack, to the surroundings.

All four of the 7mm-diameter, 362mm-long heatpipes exit the base at sharp angle, reducing the distance travelled before reaching the heat-dissipating fin array. Each heatpipe’s spherical-shape is flattened to a more cuboid-like structure before entering the base, allowing the pipe to present the vapour chamber section with its maximum contact area, hence increasing the rate and capacity of heat transferal.

The very large surface area of the square-shaped vapour chamber base makes compatibility with even the monstrously-sized LGA 2011 CPUs’ heat spreaders a possibility.

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