Introduction, Specifications, and Pricing
Unlike when Alphacool helped Cooler Master with their development of the Eisberg coolers, this time around Alphacool had only themselves calling the shots when it came to delivering an AIO cooler they could be proud of. When it comes to a major water cooling manufacturer developing AIOs, we see a trend in what they all deliver, such as what we saw from Swiftech and EKWB. Alphacool figured it was their turn to jump into this cooling segment as well, and have come up with their take on what makes for a good AIO liquid cooler.
First of all, and most importantly to a lot of potential customers, the AIO we bring you today is not sealed. This means you can swap fittings, tubing, add in other components, and have a product that can grow with your needs, rather than having the inevitable purchase later to address all of your water cooling needs. Secondly, while delivering things like anti-kink coils on the tubing, and adding in a coupling to aid in the expansion of this kit later down the road, they offer us an open loop system AIO with a style that no one else has as well.
As we have seen in the past, some of these major player AIOs have been a huge hit, while others tried too hard in the pursuit of silence, and let their AIOs fall too far down the charts. With what we have seen in testing Alphacool products in the past, the top tier feel, look, and performance is what we expect to see here again. At this point, we need to cover the specifications, and see what this Alphacool Eisbaer 240 CPU cooler is capable of and find out if this "Polar Bear" is an actual beast or not.
The Eisbaer 240 CPU cooler is not the only version of this cooler to be had. Along with the cooler we have, there is a 120mm version with a 45mm thick radiator, a 280mm version with a 30mm thick radiator, and also a 360mm also with a 30mm thick radiator. In each kit, you are given a pump and water block combined into a head unit but still made of separate parts within the head unit. The head unit is also used as a reservoir with a sight window on the side and comes with a fill port on top to cover any coolant adding needs. As one expects, the cold plate part of the head unit is made of copper, and the pump on top of it all is based on the DC-LT Ultra Low Noise Ceramic pump that Alphacool offers. The pump is powered with a 3-pin connection, and with full power applied it can spin at 2600 RPM. With it running full speed, it draws only four watts of power while it delivers 70 liters per hour of flow, and just shy of a meter of head pressure.
Rather than opting for a 27mm thick radiator with a high fin density, as a huge segment of these coolers is based on, Alphacool steps up the game a bit here. First of all, they opted to go with a 30mm thick radiator, and on top of that, they dropped the fin density to 14 FPI rather than in the 20s like most others. As if that were not enough to gain the edge over others, Alphacool also opted for a copper radiator, instead of mixing metals like sealed AIOs do. Connecting the components is black tubing with anti-kink coils applied over them, and this kit supplies compression fittings at both ends. There is also a quick disconnect added into the line; this way you can almost plug and play with additional components, rather than needing to plumb tubing all over again.
To cool the radiator, we were sent a pair of Alphacool Eiswind 120mm fans. These fans spin on a sleeve bearing, and with 12 volts running through the 4-pin PWM connection, they will deliver speeds up to 1700 RPM. At this time, the Eiswind fans are rated for 63.85 CFM of airflow, and 1.66 mmH2O of static pressure, and should be plenty for the lower density of the radiators they are cooling. The sound rating seems quite high at 29 dB(A), but we will be putting this to the test later, so we will see if they are that loud.
Pricing is very reasonable for all four kits as well. We searched around for listings, but we were unable to find any that listed US pricing from any of the usual suspects. We did locate the Eisbaer coolers at Aquatuning.us and found pricing to be less than the MSRP set a few weeks ago. The single 120mm version is supposed to cost only $108, the 240mm at $129, the 280mm at $140, and the 360mm was suggested to be priced at $156. At Aquatuning.us, all listed pricing is $9 cheaper than the suggested retail price, across the board. Considering what this sort of a kit brings to the user, pricing them in direct competition with the better know sealed AIOs is a huge move. As long as everything plays out with testing like we expect it should, Alphacool and the Eisbaer CPU coolers could be a huge player in the AIO game, open loop or not.
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