What if you could apply the principle of your USB-powered desktop beverage cooler on a grand scale to keep your CPU cooler? V3 Components is the latest company to embrace a concept so often left to hardcore enthusiasts, explaining that its Thermoelectric Cooler can be even safer than the liquid systems it hopes to outperform. But what are the benefits and risk? If TEC can make things colder than ambient temperature (something liquid can’t do on its own), why isn’t everyone using it?
A quick look back at its predecessor explains that a special type of semiconductor draws heat from one surface and displaces it to another. That same 2007 article shows a cooler that was designed with a very larger TEC capable of producing sub-ambient temperatures in fairly-hot hardware, along with a thermal control designed to prevent that from happening. Condensation is not friendly to unprotected electronics, but thermal modulation on that unit caused it to hum as power was rapidly cycled on and off. The Voltair doesn’t have that problem.
I think the only thing surprising is it even managed to keep up at all with those "real" cpu coolers. The problem with using Peltier based cooling is typically if you want to cool 80W of power you need to be able to disperse around 160W-240W of heat energy; it's clear they went with an under powered peltier to avoid condensation, but of course that defeats the whole purpose to one as well; because then you end up with a cooler not strong enough to cool on one side and too hot to cool on the other (with the undersized heatsink)
really the only sensible use for a peltier in a computer would be through some sort of heat exchange method, like paired with a large custom water loop, and lots of radiator space, while at the same time, insulating the connection point and BACK OF THE MOTHERBOARD to prevent condensation damage to your system.
throw in the fact that Peltier or TEC cooling wears out over time, and this just looks like a terrible product. too little radiator space, too little voltage going into the Peltier, too much noise generated by the undersized fans, not enough cooling ability... just a mediocre product
USPS eventually paid for the damaged computer ($1300), but it took over a month to get the check, and there were tons of hoops she had to jump through. For a while it was even starting to look like they weren't going to pay up. Not worth the headache. From now on I'll make sure any computer I ship is ready to be dropped from an airplane at 500 MPH without a chute, as much as possible.
Most things in this world don't happen online. I think it's nice that someone can tell me "this part got wrecked in shipping" and I can say "send it to me, I'll evaluate it before I replace it". I realize that its unbelievable to some that this still happens in the age of snapchat...
As for the less spectacular (warped board) failures, they're mentioned in an SBM article where the motherboard was a Z77 Extreme4.
I am not very sure you sufficiently answered his concerns with hypothetical situations that you cannot prove/disprove. I think that the OP was looking for something concrete since an occurrence has been referenced (in their experience) a few times on the same site.
I had the same concern when purchasing a larger air cooler - I had settled on the Cooler master 212 on a non-overclocked build to keep it cool/quiet but had been building with smaller, older Zalman fans. To alleiviate those concerns I when with a Silverstone case that inverted the motherboard and added an adjustable stand for the heatsink to take the vertical strain off the MB:
But to your point shipping a PC is a whole other issue as you cannot control the orientation or handling of the item throughout the process so I can see how bending/warping/snapping could happen. for such large coolers the safest bet would be to disassemble the heavy parts prior to shipping.
Yeah, that CPU fan is spinning.
At the end of the article, I was sad that it couldn't really compete (but I did feel well informed!).
This one shouldn't be all that controversial. It's like if I told you about that time I went to Florida and my wife fed squirrels at the park from her hand, and rather than argue about the behavior of the squirrels you began arguing about whether I'd ever been to Florida.
If I said it rained yesterday you'd probably believe it. On the other hand, if I said it didn't rain you'd probably believe that. Both solutions are equally possible, one solution is actual and the other potentially "hypothetical" (IF it hadn't rained...). The reason you'd have believed either one is that neither option is particularly controversial, and I don't have anything to gain by lying.