In the Alphacool Eisbaer 240 CPU cooler, a lot is offered to the masses. While EKWB and Swiftech already offer something along the lines of what Alphacool is offering, the Eisbaer is different enough to attract buyers, without going overboard and driving people away. We liked the large chunky head unit, the light up OCOOL logo, and the fact that is nearly silent when running at full speed. In just the head unit, we also have to address the fill port, the side sight glass window for refilling or topping off the fluid, and the fact that everything is G1/4 threaded on top, so swapping parts are easily done.
We like that companies use a standard tubing rather than some dolled up neoprene, and with compressions fittings at both ends, it is not only easier to work on, it looks top notch when installed and running; more like a custom loop. The anti-kink coil is a bit old-school looking, but with the top mounts on the head unit, it does alleviate stresses that smaller cases could impose on it. Then, of course, there is the quick disconnect fitting on the one side of the run as well. This allows you to power down the system, break the connection lose, and connect up more gear. Now it may not be handy for everyone, but say you are swapping video cards a lot, this sort of feature keeps you from having to start all over every time. This connection is also color coded so that you send cold water to the device, and then it returns to the head unit to cool the CPU. Since video cards run at cooler temperatures when water cooled, this completely makes sense to route the components this way.
Then, of course, we still have the solid copper radiator to discuss, as well as the fans that cool it. Of course, using copper removes the corrosion issue that many sealed loop systems have to deal with by using special coolant. In this kit, you can add or delete anything made, as most of it is copper or nickel plated, you will not need specialized coolant, or anything more than distilled water if the use arises to need to refill the Eisbaer. We like the lower FPI count in radiators, as it makes less work for slower fans to keep up, and our results may not have been chart-topping, but they do bode well for a system that stays so quiet - this is also in part due to the fans. The Eiswind fans are better than average in airflow and static pressure. Not great, but not horrible either. The fact that even with full power, we saw them getting to only 45 dB is a pleasure. This means you do not need headphones or earplugs when the gaming gets serious.
Of course, EKWB and Swiftech have come up with similar systems, and they may have performed a bit better as well, but you do have to get your start somewhere. We are only testing one of the many variations of the Eisbaer designs, and we are sure that if you have room for the 280mm or 360mm based versions, you get everything we saw here, plus a boost in thermal performance. While Swiftech offers a reservoir and pumps outside the head unit and blocks, push pull setups, Alphacool worked it in and did not impede on other aspects of how we use these AIOs.
The second thing is that neither of the previous kits offered is a quick disconnect fitting inline on their designs. While this is not as clean as a setup as most want every day, as a reviewer, we can see the benefits of having a system to swap hardware in and out quickly, and with as little mess as possible. So while the Alphacool did not take top honors for thermal efficiency versus other similar systems, it does compete with the limited noise level and pump silence. It delivers in style and design, and with the pricing set where it is, it makes buying sealed loop AIOs near pointless.
Product Summary Breakdown
|Quality including Design and Build||94%|
|Bundle and Packaging||98%|
|Value for Money||90%|
|Overall TweakTown Rating||94%|
The Bottom Line: Alphacool offers quite a bit of bang for the buck in their Eisbaer coolers. As for the Eisbaer 240 CPU, it was quiet, which is nice, but performance is a bit lacking. It does come with all the bells and whistles though, even an inline quick disconnect fitting for the most advanced users.
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- Page 1 [Introduction, Specifications, and Pricing]
- Page 2 [Packaging]
- Page 3 [Alphacool Eisbaer 240 CPU - Black CPU Cooler]
- Page 4 [Accessories and Documentation]
- Page 5 [Installation and Finished Product]
- Page 6 [Test System Setup, Thermal Tests, and Noise Results]
- Page 7 [Final Thoughts]
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