Introduction, Specifications, and Pricing
Water cooling components inside of a chassis used to take tons of homework, and proper planning to ensure that all of the components would play nice together once everything gets shipped to your door. In the past few years, big players in water cooling products have developed "kits" which removed all of the guessing, and as long as the radiator would fit inside of the case, all you need are basic mechanical abilities, and you were good to go. This situation may work well for those who do not plan to upgrade when the next new thing comes along, and what about the people that want to benchmark CPU's, and may even be changing motherboards all of the time? They are typically left to modify a chassis for easy removal or use an open test bench, and just lay the water cooling gear wherever the tubing allows it to sit comfortably.
Up to this moment, we have seen quite a few internal "kits," but to some, that style of design does not work. Alphacool has jumped in to lend a helping hand to solve this niche segment of sales. What Alphacool has done is to take the pump, radiator, and reservoir moved it outside of the chassis in an elegant looking tower. Of course, as a "kit" needs to be, Alphacool also fills out the entire system, with a CPU block, tubing, coolant, compression fittings, fans, lights, and even adds a pair of quick-disconnect fittings. Alphacool delivers everything you need in one box and allows for more uses of the system that one could do with traditional offerings.
We are speaking of the Alphacool Eiswand. The external water loop comes with all the bells and whistles, leaving not one thing to chance. Two things come to mind with a setup such as this. Initially, we think of those who may not have the time or understanding to put together a loop, but on the flip side, using all top-tier parts, keep in mind this system is also completely modular. Which means that the advanced users can switch out fans, blocks can be added or changed at will, and Alphacool, while not the originator to external water cooling, has done so with as much elegance and visual appeal possible. Even if you have no plans to use external water cooling, after seeing the Alphacool Eiswand and all it has to offer, you may just change your mind.
Th4e specifications found on the Alphacool site for the Eiswand is quite long, so let's get to it. The Eiswand Case, or that main component housing the pumps, radiator, reservoir, and fans, stands 535mm tall, it is 210mm wide, and is also 150mm thick. The Case is made of aluminum mostly but also has a few parts made of Acetal and EVA. At the bottom of this tower, there are two G1/4" thread ports and a male 4-pin Molex connector to power it. Below those is the widest part of the tower, the base, where we find sturdy feet and a thick section which glows blue when powered.
The radiator inside of the Case is the NexXxos XT45 full copper 360mm radiator. The radiator is 397mm long, 124mm wide, 45mm thick is tested to 2 Bar of pressure, and while it offers seven G1/4" ports on it, we are only using three of them in the Eiswand. There are six fans screwed onto the radiator, which is all 4-pin powered, and are rated for 700 to 1000 RPM as their maximum. Also built in are the pumps, and yes you just read pumps, plural. To ensure against pump failure being an issue, Alphacool piggybacks a pair of DC-LT 2600 ultra-low noise ceramic pumps. These will spin at 2600 RPM; they can use up to 13.5V of power consuming only 4.9 W of energy and deliver 72 liters per hour of flow.
Along with the Eiswand Case, there is a NexXxos XP³ Light CPU water block to cool the CPU portion of your PC. The block is small, at just 57mm wide, 67mm tall, and 14mm thick, with a copper plate under it, it will fit in any situation. The block has a pair of G1/4" ports marked "in" and "out" for proper flow through the block, and the compatibility is quite extensive for both AMD and Intel, but for AM4 users, you will need to get extra hardware. To connect the components, we need tubing, and Alphacool supplied four meters of it. The tubing is black with an inside diameter of 8mm and an outside diameter of 11mm, and is made of nylon.
What is not mentioned in this chart is that Alphacool also provides this "kit" with four metal compression fittings for use on the CPU block and at the back of the Eiswand Case. We made mention of the quick-disconnect fittings, which are shown to be 83mm long, and at the widest part are 28mm in diameter. As the compression fittings are, the quick-disconnects are also made to fit the diameter of the tubing. There is also a laptop-type power supply to run the Case, it comes with the Euro and UK plugs, and all told it is 1900mm long from plug end to plug end. One last thing not mentioned is that the Eiswand also comes with a 7.5V power inverter with Molex connections.
As we look around for this product from e-tail shops, we first looked at the pricing found on the Alphacool site. It is there that we found it listed for €345.95, which is just shy of $400 on this side of the pond. Currently, you can obtain this system on this side of the pond too, but we are only finding listings at Outlet PC and Aquatuning USA.
Outlet PC is asking $371.83, plus additional money for shipping and extended warranties. Aquatuning wants less money up front with a price of $367.64, but shows shipping is extra as well. All told, unless using super-saving shipping methods, that $400 price we converted earlier is as real as it gets if you plan to buy this "kit." Yes, sticker shock is had with the Alphacool Eiswand. We can only hope that the performance is worth it and that the look, ease of use, and modularity of this system is worth it.
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