Installation and Finished Product
After removing the protective layer from the top of the foam tape on the backplate, align it with the socket, and set it in place, ensuring that the studs in the plate line up with the holes in the motherboard.
Since the head unit ships without hardware, to get here, we first snapped the mounting brackets into a groove running around the bottom of the plastic on the head unit. Once done, we moved to the screws, where we slid a spring and washer onto the screws, slid the screw through the hole, and tightened the nut at the bottom until we felt resistance from the spring. Repeat four times, and we are ready to mount this to the motherboard.
We made sure to remove the warning sticker protecting the base plate, applied thermal paste, and started screwing the block down. The instructions say not to use tools, only finger tight, yet we still bottomed out the screws before we needed any sort of leverage. Just be sure to go slow, alternating in an X-pattern, until everything is tight.
There is no doubt that the head unit of the Eisbaer is taller than others, especially if you consider the compression fittings and the amount of tubing needed to make a bend that does not kink! However, if you are looking at the 360mm version, it is unlikely space is an issue. This is one time we wish the RAM were shorter, as we could see more of the bear head if it were.
Unlike some makers, Alphacool sticks to the CPU cooler handbook and is sure not to infringe on the personal space of the other components, namely the memory! The Eisbaer Aurora gives us plenty of room!
The orientation of the head unit is essential to its functionality and is why we have the window closest to the top of the motherboard. The manual says to keep the pump from running dry; it should be installed with the window up. As to the clearances for the 8-pin EPS, PCI-e slot, and motherboard screws, we found no issues there either!
After a few minutes of mounting the radiator, and another minute or two of wire connectivity, we are ready to take the Eisbaer Aurora out for a spin. Tubing length is a non-issue, as our chassis has an extreme gap to cover, and it does it without a problem. Without the blue and red on the quick disconnect, it starts to blend in, and the matte black used throughout the Eisbaer Aurora matches our parts very well.
After powering the system, and playing with the remote that comes in the hardware, we found a "rainbow" mode where the colors shift from one to another. Looking through the reservoir window, we can see three of the LEDs displaying different colors as the rainbow makes its way around the head unit.
Messing around with the light switch on the remote, we put it to the brightest setting. Under the glow of the photo booth bulbs, it still shines well, but it gets even better looking in the dark! Any way or any angle you take to look at this head unit, you will be greeted with RGB goodness.
We also wanted to show what the Eisbaer Aurora looked like as a unit, so we took a step back, snapped this show if it, and we hope that it puts across the potential of what the Eisbaer Aurora ARGB system is capable of.