Alphacool Eisbaer 240 CPU AIO Cooler Review @ [H]

Discussion in 'Overclocking & Cooling' started by Kyle_Bennett, Sep 8, 2016.

  1. Kyle_Bennett

    Kyle_Bennett HardOCP MasterChef Editor Staff Member

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    Alphacool Eisbaer 240 CPU AIO Cooler Review - The Alphacool Eisbaer series of all-in-one CPU coolers are one of the units that spearheaded the non-sealed liquid cooling systems that we are seeing more and more of. This means adding coolant and even expanded the loop if you need to do so. Alphacool has configured its kit in a very smart way as well that will make sense to enthusiasts.
     
  2. Marc Adams

    Marc Adams [H]ardOCP Cooling Editor

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    This was a fun cooler to review. A veritable roller coaster of a cooler.
    First with the excitement of an expandable water cooler. Followed by the lax quality control with the radiator finish. Then concluding with the amazing performance.

    Hope you guys enjoyed.
     
  3. Activate: AMD

    Activate: AMD [H]ard|Gawd

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    Interesting unit. FYI Alphacool is very well known for their radiators amongst the custom loop crowd. The paint finish isn't a QC thing in the sense that you got a bad one, its pretty much like that on ALL of their rads. The reason its brown is that their fins are actually all copper, unlike many who use brass/copper for the tubes and Al for the fins themselves. This looks like its based on an ST30 rad. I appreciate the fact that it looks like they're using normal compression fittings on all the tubing runs, which means that unless its some oddball size, you gain a lot of flexibility for making changes down the road. All in all this looks like it really could be a very compelling alternative to some of the other expandable loops on the market.
     
  4. Tech Geek

    Tech Geek n00bie

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    That pump looks suspiciously like the one used in the Cooler Master Eisberg 240L Prestige. It even uses the same retention brackets that snap in the groove around the pump / contact plate. If so, one should be cautious with this cooler. I had the Eisberg 240L Prestige and where the aforementioned brackets snap in, the plastic seam started to warp under the tension of the retention mechanism. After less than a year, it leaked onto my motherboard and my one month old ASUS STRIX 980. Fortunately for me, I was able to get my system working again after a few days of letting it dry and using compressed air to blast the coolant out of places I couldn't reach. Oddly the coolant doesn't evaporate as quickly as water. It seems that the problem wasn't isolated as I found many other users who had the same issue. I found a few with pictures and videos showing the issue.

    Cooler Master replaced my Eisberg with a Glacer 240L which I'm using still. They were also willing to test my components and replace them if they found that the damage was a result of the coolant leak. Fortunately as I said, I was able to get everything working after a few panicked days. Needless to say, I approached using the replacement Glacer with a little trepidation.
     
  5. McDork

    McDork Limp Gawd

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    I may have missed them, do you review CoolerMaster AIO's?
     
  6. Marc Adams

    Marc Adams [H]ardOCP Cooling Editor

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    We do when they have something interesting to review.
     
  7. Darkswordz

    Darkswordz Limp Gawd

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    [​IMG]
     
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  8. ICOM

    ICOM 2[H]4U

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    Nice AIO and thanks for the review...but how about that Reeven Justice for comparison purposes. I may replace my current CPU cooler for the Justice for no other reason than - Because.
     
  9. lcpiper

    lcpiper [H]ardness Supreme

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    Just visually, the pump looks like an Eheim of some type.

    You guys remember those single pass radiators Danger Den used to sell, they called the X-Flow and they had an inlet on the top corner and another on the opposite bottom corner ?

    I got hold of the manufacturer, I think they were in the Philippines or something like that, and I had them build a custom rad for me with additional inlets on the other corners.

    Then I used two pumps and had two loops, to a common radiator. By doing this each pump cooled a single component. I don't know how much more or less effective it was but I sure liked it and there wasn't another setup like it.
     
    Last edited: Sep 8, 2016
  10. britjh22

    britjh22 Limp Gawd

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    Definitely a nice looking cooler. I think the expandability is a big plus point on this, as it seems like the Arctic Cooling 240 (if you have the room) is still the value champ for liquid, while the Reeven Justice is the value champ for air. I'd love to see a follow up article investigating the expandability by adding a GPU or second CPU (2P system) to it and seeing if it can deal with the extra load. (y)
     
  11. thesmokingman

    thesmokingman 2[H]4U

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    [​IMG]

    Hey guys... That is not an aluminum radiator. That brown/copper color showing thru is copper. Alu would be silver/grey instead on the fins instead of brown.

    http://www.alphacool.com/shop/sets-und-systems/20225/alphacool-eisbaer-240-cpu-black

     
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  12. lcpiper

    lcpiper [H]ardness Supreme

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    I don't know tho. I used to do custom built cooling systems and I have played with TECs and stuff, but CPUs reached a performance point where I no longer needed to cool for performance. Then I found I still wanted to water cool for the quiet and now I use AIO systems for convience, use them and pitch them. Using one that is like this, like a hybrid between an AIO and a custom system seems to have most of the benefits of an AIO but many of the weaknesses of a custom. I don't see me taking the middle road.
     
  13. Activate: AMD

    Activate: AMD [H]ard|Gawd

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    If you buy this without any intention of expanding to a GPU block, you're doing it wrong. That is the only reason these expandable loops exist. In this case, the alphacool rad that comes with it is one that plenty of people use for full custom loops, which is one of the major appeals of this unit to me.
     
  14. lcpiper

    lcpiper [H]ardness Supreme

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    What, they can't compete?

    No you are missing what I am saying.

    I'll try again.

    If I were to go with one of these, then I would have all the problems of both an AIO and a custom system.

    Again, for me, if I were going to forgo an AIO, I would skip this system and go straight to a full on custom system and pick all my components myself. To me, this combines all the negatives of both AIO and custom systems without any compelling benefits worth accepting all those negatives.
     
  15. Zarathustra[H]

    Zarathustra[H] [H]ard|News Staff Member

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    Ich möchte ein Eisbär sein
    Im kalten Polar
    Dann müsste ich nicht mehr schrei'n
    Alles wär so klar
     
  16. lcpiper

    lcpiper [H]ardness Supreme

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    I was born there but I don't speak the language. Wish I did tho.
     
  17. Zarathustra[H]

    Zarathustra[H] [H]ard|News Staff Member

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    That's what I did.

    I looked at the expandable AIO kits like this EK's Predator and the Swifty's, because it's a lot of gear for comoaratively not much money, but in the end concluded that if I was going to go through the trouble, I wanted the best blocks and radiators, not the compromise parts you get at this price.
     
  18. Zarathustra[H]

    Zarathustra[H] [H]ard|News Staff Member

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    Lyrics from a seminal song at the intersection of Post Punk, Krautrock and New Wave.



    The lyrics are really dumb, but it fills me with nostalgia, and whenever these coolers are.on the front news this song is stuck in my head for days.
     
    Last edited: Sep 9, 2016
  19. The Gonz

    The Gonz [H]ard|Gawd

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    I second this
     
  20. ICOM

    ICOM 2[H]4U

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    Does the minuet performance boost of an AIO or a custom water cooling unit reach a point where it can't outperform a good air cooled CPU unit? Given the performance and cost of excellent CPU coolers like the Reeven Justice, Scythe Mugen & Hyper 212 Evo, I'm questioning the decision (personally...) to invest the money and time to install an AIO or water cooling unit in general.
     
  21. Zarathustra[H]

    Zarathustra[H] [H]ard|News Staff Member

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    I think a top end sealed AIO performs (think a H110i GTX) a little better than a good HSF, in large part because it is less dependent on case temps. You either dump all the CPU heat outside or pull cool outside air in to cool it depending on your setup.

    I haven't had a plain old HSF in the modern era though so I don't have any solid comparison figures of my own. If you look at the [H]'s comparison charts, this assessment does appear to hold true.

    I wound up with a small improvement going from my H110i GTX to a custom loop when it came to CPU temps, but the real improvement for me was GPU temps.

    With the stock cooler my GPU would go above 80C at load, with stock clocks. Now it never goes above 32C overclocked!
     
  22. Quartz-1

    Quartz-1 2[H]4U

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    I'm not seeing the gold award quality given the difficulty you had with installation and that you didn't test its Key Selling Point, the expandability.
     
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  23. nepenthe

    nepenthe n00bie

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    Would be very interested to hear what you went to, currently running an H105 and am very interested in moving to something along the lines of a custom loop such that I could include the GPU (R9 Fury).
     
  24. Zarathustra[H]

    Zarathustra[H] [H]ard|News Staff Member

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    I documented my recent build in our Watercooling subforum, here.

    I'd be happy to answer any questions you have!
     
  25. Activate: AMD

    Activate: AMD [H]ard|Gawd

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    I got what you're saying, I just disagree that the weaknesses outweigh the value to everyone. If you were never going to expand it, you'd be better off buying a basic AIO, but if you're on a real tight budget or can't lay out for a full custom system or don't want to commit to that, this is the next best thing. The problem is that your options are either $100 for an AIO, or $300 minimum for a full custom system (CPU only) worth buying. This is somewhere in between, probably less all in with a GPU block than the custom CPU only setup. I don't think anyone buys one of these to expand it down the road and doesn't realize its a compromise. I think there are plenty of people this unit will appeal to, you're just not one of them obviously... and I'm not really either since I have a giant custom hardline loop :)
     
  26. lcpiper

    lcpiper [H]ardness Supreme

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    So you disagree with my words;

    and
    And instead you propose
    Or you just enjoy agreeing with them in a disagreeable manner? :ROFLMAO:

    Or are you disagreeing in an agreeable manner?

    I'm sooo confused :ROFLMAO:
     
  27. Activate: AMD

    Activate: AMD [H]ard|Gawd

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    Your initial post was critical of the unit for being compromised. I was just pointing out that there are people for whom that doesn't matter. If somebody comes here looking for opinions on this unit, I was giving mine because they contrast with yours in the sense that you see all the reasons why somebody wouldn't want one, I see the reasons they might. Just because I'm quoting you doesn't mean I'm arguing with you. This isn't difficult
     
  28. nepenthe

    nepenthe n00bie

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    Awesome, I'll look it over - thank you!
     
  29. ianken

    ianken [H]ard|Gawd

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    As such it should at best get a silver. It's 2016, janky mounting solutions and poor fit and finish should garner a score nerf.
     
  30. Rob94hawk

    Rob94hawk [H]ard|Gawd

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    I would like to see this AIO on a delided 4770k. I could guestimate a 20 degree drop in temps from what I've seen on all the forums but I could be wrong.
     
  31. lcpiper

    lcpiper [H]ardness Supreme

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    That seems .... generous.

    20 degrees is a large swing. I say this because unless you go with active cooling you always have that low limit of your ambient room temp that you can't possibly get under. So that means to see a 20 degree drop your starting temp would have to be 20+ over ambient. Most water cooling systems that are even remotely decent are already less then 20 degrees above ambient so you don't have 20 degrees to loose. I am talking 20 degrees Celsius, not Fahrenheit, the rules are the same, but. ... well you get it.