Aerocool Deep Impact 102 Heatsink Review

Admin - 2007-08-03 13:00:12 in Cooling
Category: Cooling
Reviewed by: Admin   
Reviewed on: January 23, 2004


Today we are looking a very unique heat sink from Aerocool, the Deep Impact 102. The Deep Impact 102 is unique because it has a special liquid that flows within it, to help keep your CPU cooler. In addition, you have the ability to add one or two fans which is not seen in most heat sinks today. There are many heat sinks on the market that are trying to achieve the very best possible cooling with air and others trying to achieve the quietest cooling possible. The Deep Impact 102 from Aercool claims to achieve both of these with its very uniquely designed heat sink. We're going to be testing the Deep Impact against probably one of the best heat sinks on the market today, the Thermalright SLK 800.

In-Depth Look

Inside the plastic package contained the heat sink, p4 base and clips, 70 to 80mm fan brackets, instructions, and finally thermal compound. It was nice to see Aerocool include a sliver based thermal compound instead of the white silicon thermal grease that is included with many heat sinks on the market. The thermal compound has a Aerocool label and is marked 25% silver.

Some modifications are needed for pentium4 users to install the heat sink. The heat sink comes ready for the socket A/370, but to use on the p4 the socket A plate needs to be removed and the p4 plate installed. This might be a turn off to some Intel users.

In-Depth Look

This has to be the most interesting heat sink design I have ever seen. In the center of the heat sink is the superconductor tube; inside the tube is a liquid which reacts with heat from the Cpu and rises. Encased around the tube are circular copper fins which help to cool the liquid, as the liquid is cooled it is lowered back to bottom of the tube to be heated again this is a never ending process and helps to keep the Cpu cool. Attached to the copper fins is fan housing, the thing I like about this is you have the ability to attach a variety of fan sizes from 60mm to 80mm. Some motherboards might not have enough clearance around the socket area to use two 80mm fans due to capacitor size, in some cases a 60mm or 70mm fan will clear the capacitors.

Aerocool does not include fans with the DP-102 but Aerocool did send two of there aluminum fans with the heat sink for this review. These fans are rather interesting as they have an aluminum fan housing and the blades are made of clear polyester. What really struck me at first was the shape of the fan blades, there shape was very different than what you normally see on 80mm fans, the blades are more shaped and rounded which will help a lot with fan pitch and turbulence. One of the first things I did was to test this fan out to see if the redesigned blades had any impact on silence and pitch. Plugging the fan up to my motherboards 3 pin header, I was in awe at how silent these fans are there is no pitch or whine like some 80mm fans. There not the most powerful fans but putting your hand in front of the air flow sure feels like there putting out a lot more air then there rated for which is 21.5cfm. Some of the other specs for the fan are sleeved bearings, running @2000 rpm with a noise level of 20.3dba. Aerocool also offers these fans with red, blue, green, and quad led's.

The base of heat sink was not very polished and felt rough; some more time lapping would have greatly increased the shine and feel of the base. In addition, there seems to be some residue from the black foam used in the bottom of the packaging as you can see in the lower left side of the copper. Well see if this has any effect on its cooling ability.

The clip on the dp-102 uses all six cleats on the ziff socket to secure it. I do have a few problems with it thou, the clip is able to move freely which for the inexperienced user could install the heat sink wrong and damage the Cpu. I do not think this is a big problem as this heat sink is marketed towards the advanced computer user which wont make that mistake.

Some assembly is required out of the box to get the heat sink ready for installation. The fans have to be installed before you can install the heat sink; you have the option to use one or two fans. Aerocool recommends you use blow-blow direction will perform better than blow-suck.


Installation was straightforward as long as you have the clip in the right position. I did run into a few problems with clearance on my motherboard I could not use both 80mm fans, but 60 or 70 mm fans had no clearance issues. One thing that might be a turn off to some users is its sheer size and weight, this thing weighs in at 580g with no fan, well above amd�s max of 300g and intel�s max of 450g. Factor in the weight of the fans and this could be disastrous if care is not taken when moving the computer. I would recommend the heat sink be taken off when moving your computer, as it is a very simple and easy method to take the heat sink on and off.


Testing Method
Temperatures for the testing were taken via a CompU Nurse thermal probe located next to the CPU die. Artic Silver 5 (thermal compound) was applied to the cpu and each heat sink according to the directions located on Arctic Silver's web site. The compound was given 72 hours of use before the testing was done on any of the heat sinks. To achieve the "idle temperature" reading, the computer was allowed to set idle for 15 minutes then the reading was taken. To achieve the "load temperature" Prime95 was run for 15 minutes and then the reading was taken. The overclocked temps were taken in the same manner only the fsb was changed to 200 and the Cpu voltage to 1.725 volts. Since I had clearance issues with both fans I only used one fan on the dp-102, but I did jury rig the 2nd 80mm fan which I will talk about in the overlcocking section of testing.

Testing Setup
Testing Results
Fan RPM:

Aerocool Fan 2000 RPM
Smart Fan 2 4800 RPM

I choose to use a Thermaltake Smart Fan 2 in addition to the 80mm fan supplied by Aerocool, as I feel this represents both the extreme cfm junkies and silent pc enthusiast. We can see there is a large difference in rpm with the two fans

Noise Level:
Aerocool Fan 20.3 dBa
Smart Fan 2 48.0 dBa

As I mentioned earlier there is a substantial difference in specs of both fans.

The dp-102 really blew me away with the temps I was getting. The slk series is known to be one of the best air cooling solutions today, for the dp-102 to keep up and even surpass in some of the test against the slk is amazing.

Again we see the dp-102 taking the lead in the load test, but both heatinks are very close temp wise.We can see from the results here that both coolers are very efficient at removing the heat from the cpu.


Aerocool dp-102 with 2 Aerocool 80mm fans.
CPU Speed Idle Load
2500+ 29.1 38.2
3200+ 33.4 43.1

As I mentioned earlier I had some clearance issues with both 80mm fans but I decided to jury rig both of the Aerocool aluminum fans. Even with both fans installed, the heat sink is very quite. The temps are great for the level of noise the heat sink with two fans is putting out

I was having some problems with the extra fan rigged on the dp-102, I actually had the fan resting on top of a row of capacitors and anytime I moved the fan I would lose the connection of my mouse and keyboard. I decided that I wanted to see how far I could push my Cpu so I installed the sf2 on one side and the stock amd heat sink fan that came with my 2500+ on the other side since it cleared the capacitors. Well I fired up the system running 2420mhz 11x220 @1.8 volts and prime 95 passed. Then I took it up to 11x227 for 2497mhz @1.9 volts but had stability issues so I back it down to 11x225 for 2475mhz but still ran into stability problems, checking my temps thou high they had not reached 60c yet so I figured I could go up some more on the vcore to 1.95 volts. The extra voltage made the system stable and prime95 had no errors after 24 hours, thou temps reached 61c load a little high for my taste.


Aerocool sure has done their homework with this heat sink. When I started on this review I never thought the dp-102 would perform as well as it did, but boy was I wrong. There are not many other heat sinks on the market today that can hang with the big boys like thermalright, but Aerocool has made a believer out of me with their dp-102. There are some trade offs, the size and weight of the dp-102 might be a turn off to some. If you are looking for some of the best temps possible on air then I�m sure the size and weight of the dp-102 can be overlooked. I�m looking forward to what Aerocool is going to do with its next high performance heat sink.