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Cooling Special - Review 11/08/04
Waffer PC AirCon
PAC 400


Today we have the privilege to look at a new patented concept of air conditioner for PC coming for Waffer: The Waffer PC AirCon PAC 400


Waffer PAC 400 - The Concept
The main problem when cooling a PC is to bring as much as possible air from outside the PC to cool the inside. Usually fans are required to do the job and, theorically, the more fans the more air. But the concept has limits. The air coming in is always at room temperature and it can be counter productive to add more fans that use more power and generate more noise for a limited impact on the overall cooling. Based on that reality, Waffer came  out  with a very smart concept of air-conditioner for PC. Blowing cooler air than average thanks to  a patented device using a thermoelectric (TE) chip or Peltier, fans and radiators. Thanks to that idea, the air that goes into the PC is at  lower temperature and all parts of the PC benefit from this fresher air. CPU, Chipset, graphics card, PSU, all get cooled at the same time and that's makes a whole difference with other means of cooling:







Waffer PAC 400

Waffer PAC 400 - The package
1 PC AirCon PAC 400
1 PAC 400 Bracket
3  Self-Tapping Screw (M3 x 12L)
6  Self-Tapping Screw (M3 x 6L)
1 Fuse (5 x 20mm 5.0 A)
1 Manual

Waffer PAC 400 - The specifications
Model Number  PC AirCon PAC 400 
Dimension  250 (L) x 131 (W) x 129mm ( H)
Net Weight 805 g
Color  Silver Grey + Dark Black 
System Cooling Power (SCP) 80Watts
Cooling System  Thermoelectric Chip
Aluminum Heatsinks
Fans: 4600RPM / 37dBA 
Power Input: 12V
Power Consumption: ~52 Watts

Now we have to see the reality of the concept developed by Waffer. Let's first have a look to the company...

Waffer PAC 400 - The Waffer Company
With rapid advance in IC technology, microchips are becoming faster in processing speed and smaller in die size. Accompanying the speed increase and size decrease of the chip is the significant power density increase on the  chip that no one can neglect. Similar scenario occurs in systems. The design trend in IT industry tends to make the high-end PC systems smaller in dimensions without sacrificing performance and functions. The smaller  dimensions and ultimate performance mean, again, the significant power density increase of the system. The aforementioned power dissipation issue can have a significant impact on the chip/component life span and even the  system stability if not handled properly.    
         
In response to the quest for good thermal solutions and products in PC/CE industry, Waffer Technology Thermal Division was established in 2001. The mission of the division is to construct a platform with innovative thermal  concepts, advanced manufacturing technologies, highly flexible production modules, and customer-oriented service attitude. With such platform, engineers from Waffer Thermal Division will be able to cooperate with customers  closely to develop, design, and manufacture next generation thermal products.               
Various desktop CPU coolers, chipset heatsinks, customized heatsinks, and heat transfer devices designed and/or manufactured by Waffer Thermal Division are now on the market. The response and feedbacks from customers  are nothing but great. To keep and maintain the great success up to this point, a high standard has been set for all Waffer thermal solutions and service: leading in design concepts, leading in manufacturing technologies, leading in  thermal developing trend, and last but not least, leading in customer satisfaction.     
         
Waffer PAC 400 - Mounting the Aircon
This is surely the easiest part of the job as long as you have one 5.25" drive bay free to install the animal. The first stage is to determine which bay will be best suited to put the bracket with the supplied screws. Like recommended, we chosed to lower bay in order to insure the best efficiency of the device.

Then attach a 12V molex connector on the back of the bracket. Waffer recommends to use a dedicated connector rather than a shared one. Finally, make sure no cables will obstruct the backside part of the bracket where the cooled air will be blown inside the case.

Waffer PAC 400 - Using the Aircon
The bracket is in place and it's now time to insert the main PAC 400 A/C in the bay and push it  till the floating part get connected to the bracket. This done, lock the aircon and turn it on on either fan position or snow as explained now.

The PAC 400 has 3 switch positions:
1- off
2 - Fan on - silent mode but not as efficient as snow mode.
The upper fan blue LED is off
3 - Snow on - maximum cooling with additional noise.
The upper fan blue LED is on
Consumption is around 50W

A front LCD also display the air intake temperature

Cooling temperature 22.4C

Fan on - Display 20.6C
Snow on - Display 18.4C

Waffer recommends also to turn off the device when the system is idle or off and to switch from "Snow" to "Fan" for 3 minutes before turning it off...

Waffer PAC 400 - Testing the device
To make sure the device could be of any interest, we installed it on the hottest rig we could find:

- Motherboard
Albatron KX400-8x
- CPU
Athlon  XP 1800+
- CPU Cooling
Zalman CNPS6000-Cu
- RAM
512MB PC2100 (2x256MB Samsung)
- PSU
Global Win SAF-420

CPU temperature monitored by
MBM 5.7.3.0



















Waffer PAC 400 - Conclusions
Best for...
- Extra cooling in certain circonstances:
Work overload that request the processor to be use at full speed for a long time (3D)
Sudden increase of ambient temperature (summer, room A/C out  of order, etc.)

Average for...
- Mild overclocking

Worst for...
- Heavy overclocking (water cooling is a better choice)

What we like most
- Design
- Air temp on LCD display
- Easy installation
- Easy to use
- Illuminated fan and LCD
- Efficiency of the cooling
- Hot-Swappable
- Perfect for summer overheat and overload
problems with some PCs

Less
- Extra noise when running snow mode
- Height equal to 3 bays
- Switching off procedure that request special attention
- Can't close the front door (if there is one) when in use

Neutral on
- the price (75$)

What could be improved in the next version
- internal version
- sound of fan when in snow mode
- switch for the fan LED when in snow mode

Waffer PAC 400 - More reviews
- PimpRig
- Overclex
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Virtual Fusion
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OCIA
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NV News
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A True Review
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A1 Electronics
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Techniz
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OC Mod Shop
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Big Bruin
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PC Modding Malaysia
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OC Tools
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Extreme MHz
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Phoronix
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Extreme AMD
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Hard Avenue
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Insanetek
-
Hi-Tech Reviews  
-
Tweakers    
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Techniz     
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HW Zone
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Overclockers Online
-
PC Perspective

Waffer PAC 400 - More links
Guide to Peltier cooling
- Understanding Thermoelectric Cooling
-
An Introduction to Thermoelectrics
-
Digit-Life
-
PC Mechanic
-
Arstechnica
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Device Best for Price
Fan Bringing air at room temp Cheap
Water Cooling Cooling CPU/GPU/Chipset Expensive
PAC 400 Cooling the whole case Average
The latest PC Aircon PAC 400 package
(Chocolate ice cream not included)
The connector on the bracket allows to easily inserting and extracting the Aircon device
It's recommended to use the lowest
available bay for best efficiency
The thermoelectric (TE) device is also generating heat which goes out
by the side of the device

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