Conclusion: Perfect But Expensive Basis For Overclocking
There are users that already have it all and are continuously in search of new challenges. If you've already got the most high-performance hardware on board, then it would help to invest in a powerful compressor cooler for the CPU, for instance. This would make you one of the exotics among consumers, even among the most hardcore overclocking freaks, because the number of users in the world who use compressor cooling systems can probably be counted on one hand.
Our conclusive verdict: the Prometeia cooling kit provides the best cooling performance out of all the compressor systems that we've tested so far, offering an average cooling temperature of -35° Celsius. As opposed to its rivals, this manufacturer builds on a compressor from Danfoss, which boasts a power intake of approximately 200 Watts (exactly 207 Watts in the test) . The barebones system can be used for cooling either an Intel Pentium 4 or an AMD Athlon XP; if required, a Pentium III can also be overclocked to the limit.
A significant advantage of the Prometeia is that almost all processors can be cooled with the help of the exchangeable CPU socket bracket. This even makes it possible to use the Chip-Con solution in the future to overclock an AMD Athlon 64 (Claw Hammer) or an Intel Pentium 4 (Prescott). The system would virtually grow with the components. This is the aspect that justifies paying the hefty price of just under $600. And anyway, you could give out the same amount of money for a complete PC system that's meant for novices, but without any expectations with regards to performance, of course. In practice, running the system did not turn up any shortcomings, and the cooling system proved to have a relatively low noise level when under a medium load.
The cooling tube was very sensitive to frequent bending pressure, which caused the built-in heating to fail during the test. The consequence of this was that condensation quickly built up. Therefore, the experimental user should be especially careful when looking for the best solution. If you handle it with the necessary expertise, then the Prometeia kit functions flawlessly.
This makes you wonder what the actual target group is. The compressor CPU cooler is not as suitable for the occasional overclocker who's not particularly interested in a high profile. It is equally difficult to imagine showing up at a LAN party with such a heavy bulk, unless you're a really ambitious do-it-yourselfer and install wheels on the PC (in addition to the viewing window and the cold-light tubes).
Ultimately, it's possible to get more significant gains in clock speed due to the extremely low temperatures. As a rule, we were able to achieve an increase of around 30%. This is true when using the top processor from Intel. According to our experience, the AMD Athlon XP typically offers less potential - however, we were still able to reach a maximum clock speed of 2835 MHz, and the system was able to run stably in 3DMark 2001 at 2755 MHz and 204 MHz FSB. If you base this on the fact that the Athlon XP 2800+ runs at 2025 MHz, then our results correspond to a model number of 3800.