Alphacool delivered a lot to like with the Eisbaer Aurora. They took a lot of time and effort to get the bear faces on the head unit along with the icicles, and then to make them all glow with addressable RGB goodness, and is an attractive aesthetic decision. We like the matte black tubing with enough length for most users and a quick disconnect that no longer sticks out like a sore thumb. The fans fall in the same realm, as we like the way they look standing still, yet when powered, they are quiet and brilliantly lit around the intake edge of the frame. The pump is silent at full operation, we can view the coolant level, and it can be easily topped off by removing the fill cap.
We also love it when an open-loop AIO makes it simple to add in parts, and the quick disconnect makes it so you can plug-and-play components into the loop, without spilling coolant, and without having to remove anything from the chassis to do it! The hardware that comes with the Eisbaer Aurora is second to none, as it covers everything one might need, including a TR4 bracket, although narrow ILM users will need to send away for the hardware. Even as far as the instructions, you can tell you are dealing with a company that knows the market and is a company we have been pleased in the past to recommend.
At the same time, what we love about Alphacool is what makes this part so frustrating! Starting with the obvious, the lack of performance in this kit is depressing. If it were our money, we would never advise adding a GPU block, or anything else for that matter, into the mix1 and tying with a $30 air cooler... come on, Alphacool, seriously! We realize the market has changed, and the thing now is to appeal to the masses, but as we told NZXT, this is a cooler, and performance should be priority one, not fancy lights and noise reduction.
Our fans, while quiet did not hit the specified speeds, the tube kinked between the radiator and the quick disconnect every time we moved the cooler outside of the case, and to be honest, we would have appreciated swivel fittings rather than a head unit the height of a 120mm tower cooler! It is almost like they threw things at a board, saw what stuck, and never considered thermals or wasting the customer's time and money!
As we stated earlier, we do not have the actual price figure for the Eisbaer Aurora 360 CPU, but unless they are selling it for $50 to $60, we aren't buying it. For example, we can get a $30 RGB air cooler and get the same performance, no water cooling issues associated with it, and buy a set of three 120mm RGB fans and still come out ahead! As we tell all of the other manufacturers out there that delve into liquid cooling. We want to buy water cooling for the performance it offered in years past. The trend that is happening is only hurting the manufacturers, as the actual people who want this sort of thing are not the ones on social media screaming RGB and silence over all things!
Again, we are left with our hands tied, with no way to paint a pretty picture on why you should save up for something like this, when you can get the same performance for much, much less!
The Bottom Line
The Alphacool Eisbaer 360 CPU Digital RGB cooler is a treat to look at and admire from afar. However, once you test the cooler, things go drastically downhill! Our money, it's staying in the bank for now.