When liquid cooling became a trend in the 90’s, many companies were founded focused on the design and supply of PC-specific liquid cooling systems. One of these companies was Alphacool, a German manufacturer that diversified into producing liquid cooling systems for industrial and medical applications as well.

Introduction

Perhaps the biggest issue of liquid cooling is complexity, requiring quite a bit of extra effort and attention from the user. For custom loops this was certainly true, even when complete kits were supplied by most manufacturers, as the installation alone is much more complex than that of a simple air cooler. The relative safety and simplicity of all-in-one (AIO) liquid cooling systems does lure those who want a liquid-based cooler with the installation straightforwardness of an air-based cooler. However, AIO solutions are relatively inflexible, and some hardly perform better than high end air-based solutions.

In this review we are having a look at Alphacool’s latest product, the Eisbaer. The Eisbaer, which stands for “polar bear” in German, is a modular AIO liquid cooler that Alphacool designed for those that wish to combine performance and simplicity with future upgrades and flexibility. Alphacool has designed four versions of the Eisbaer that all share the same block/pump assembly but have different radiators and fans. The Eisbaer 120, 240 and 360 come with one, two and three 120 mm fans respectively, while the Eisbaer 280 comes with two 140 mm fans. For the means of this review, Alphacool supplied us with the Eisbaer 240, the dual 120 mm fan version. Although the concept of modular AIO liquid coolers is not new, Alphacool’s liquid cooling parts have had a good reputation, leaving us curious about how their first AIO liquid cooler will perform.

Packaging & Bundle

Alphacool supplies the Eisbaer in a dark cardboard box with relatively simple artwork printed on it. It is very sturdy and the cooler is protected inside a cardboard shell and covered in nylon bags, providing more than enough protection during transport.

The bundle accompanying the Eisbaer 240 is almost typical and limited to the necessary mounting hardware, two “Eiswind” 120 mm fans, an adapter for connecting both of the fans onto one 4-pin header and two doses of thermal compound. It is interesting to point out that the thermal compound is Gelid GC Extreme, a relatively premium thermal paste. The Eiswind fans are PWM compatible, with a sleeve bearing engine and a maximum speed of 1700 RPM.

The Alphacool Eisbaer 240 CPU Liquid Cooler
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  • b4bblefish - Monday, August 1, 2016 - link

    No compact ITX case can support a full cooler so the performance of having the closed loop coolers is amazing compared to low profile air. Reply
  • retrospooty - Monday, August 1, 2016 - link

    Agreed, but I guess my point is any compact Mini ITX case can fit an air cooler that is very capable. There are also plenty of good Mini ITX cases that fit full size coolers. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N8... Reply
  • Stuka87 - Monday, August 1, 2016 - link

    They may run cool at stock speeds, but water cooling is very nice for over clocking. My 4.5GHz 4690K very rarely goes over 55C. Reply
  • retrospooty - Monday, August 1, 2016 - link

    Yes, but most of todays high end air coolers are just as capable and they do it without adding the need for water, the placement of a radiator or the additional potential fail-point (and noise point) of a water pump. Reply
  • retrospooty - Monday, August 1, 2016 - link

    /edit - just as capable even when overclocking. Reply
  • ikjadoon - Tuesday, August 2, 2016 - link

    Noise is no longer a concern with Gen5 Asetek.

    Here's a 120mm rad with 2 fans....5C cooler than the Noctua NH-U14S and STILL 0.1dB quieter than Noctua.

    http://www.hardocp.com/article/2016/02/11/arctic_c...

    Asetek Gen5 is what AIO CLCs were meant to be...
    Reply
  • r3loaded - Monday, August 1, 2016 - link

    Yeah, the Noctua NH-U14S cools just as well as the best AIO water coolers, but beats them by being much quieter on top of that since there's no pump noise. Zero risk of leaks is a bonus too! Reply
  • retrospooty - Monday, August 1, 2016 - link

    Exactly... Not just the Noctua, pretty much any high end air cooler equals, if not outperforms water on todays CPU's, even when overclocking. Reply
  • ikjadoon - Tuesday, August 2, 2016 - link

    You are far behind the times. :(

    http://www.hardocp.com/article/2016/02/11/arctic_c...

    That was in February, dude.
    Reply
  • AnnonymousCoward - Monday, August 1, 2016 - link

    I use a NH-U14S with an OC'd 6700K that runs all 4 cores at 4GHz. The highest temp I can hit with any stress test is about 30C over ambient (~55C).

    This AT review had a noise floor of 30 dBA, while the Noctua with its adapter maxes out at 19 dBA according to their spec (and is far lower using PWM). I have to doubt a water cooler can get anywhere near this low, which is critical for my silent box.
    Reply

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