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.