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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  • ikjadoon - Tuesday, August 2, 2016 - link

    This idea just doesn't die.

    Quieter and cooler and cheaper than a Noctua NH-U14S.

    http://www.hardocp.com/article/2016/02/11/arctic_c...
    Reply
  • Azune - Monday, August 1, 2016 - link

    He should have said best noise/thermal performance for 240mm radiators. Because larger radiator and larger fans will always win in this metric. (H110 is a 280mm) Reply
  • BrokenCrayons - Monday, August 1, 2016 - link

    Pass on the water cooling. I don't like the idea of mixing liquid and electricity for no tangible benefit over the HSF that was included in the box. Yes, sure the temperature of the processor is lower, but who cares really? As long as it's not above the manufacturer's spec, temperature makes literally no difference to me. I can understand wanting to cut back on noise and that might warrant an upgraded air cooler over the retail boxed one, but even then, a lot of the reasoning behind that ignores ambient noise of HVAC, other people, and blaring televisions which would drown out the relatively small amount of noise from a stock cooler. Reply
  • ikjadoon - Tuesday, August 2, 2016 - link

    Why are you even reading this review? LOL. It's like a guy who drives a Camry walking into an aftermarket parts store: "A turbocharger? I don't like the idea of mixing more air. Sure, the horsepower is higher, but who cares really?"

    Wrong review and maybe even wrong website, dude. :D
    Reply
  • BrokenCrayons - Wednesday, August 3, 2016 - link

    What is it with men and comparing everything to a car? Is it really that ingrained into the brain wiring that guys who were given little toys to push around as toddlers that then grow into grade school students who drive imaginary cars down the hallway while making engine sounds with their mouths end up seeing their world as adults through the view of a windshield? Nah nevermind, let's not delve into psychology here, it'd be a waste of time.

    Anyway "dude," have you read many articles on this site? AT doesn't cater specifically to the audience you think it does and perceive that you fall within. In my opinion, that's one of the nice things about Anandtech. It's writers explore a wider range of technology in greater depth than do the dinosaurs of the desktop computer era that have yet to realize that overclocking and tinkering is now well controlled by hardware manufacturers that manage even that experience to the point where it's basically a walled off sandbox that only leaves buyers with the impression their extra expenditure is giving them something more rather than genuinely rewarding them with something worthwhile.
    Reply
  • BrokenCrayons - Wednesday, August 3, 2016 - link

    What is it with men and comparing everything to a car? Is it really that ingrained into the brain wiring that guys who were given little toys to push around as toddlers that then grow into grade school students who drive imaginary cars down the hallway while making engine sounds with their mouths end up seeing their world as adults through the view of a windshield? Nah nevermind, let's not delve into psychology here, it'd be a waste of time.

    Anyway "dude," have you read many articles on this site? AT doesn't cater specifically to the audience you think it does and perceive that you fall within. In my opinion, that's one of the nice things about Anandtech. It's writers explore a wider range of technology in greater depth than do the dinosaurs of the desktop computer era that have yet to realize that overclocking and tinkering is now well controlled by hardware manufacturers that manage even that experience to the point where it's basically a walled off sandbox that only leaves buyers with the impression their extra expenditure is giving them something more rather than genuinely rewarding them with something worthwhile.
    Reply
  • JeffFlanagan - Monday, August 1, 2016 - link

    I used to liquid cool and overclock, until a tiny leak destroyed a motherboard and CPU years ago.

    These days my PCs are so fast that I don't need to overclock, but if I wanted to, I wouldn't even try it unless the cooling liquid has a low enough boiling point to be MUCH more effective than air-cooling, like the liquid cooling used in some tablets.
    Reply
  • Death666Angel - Monday, August 1, 2016 - link

    "like the liquid cooling used in some tablets."
    You mean vapor chamber technology, which has been in use for several years in the PC space already and is in pretty much no way comparable to water based liquid cooling which is typically meant when talking about liquid cooling? Totally different technologies which shouldn't be conflated at all.
    Reply
  • Death666Angel - Monday, August 1, 2016 - link

    And I forgot to add to your "MUCH more effective than air-cooling" point. If you indeed mean vapor chamber technology, that is only effective in drawing heat away from the chips that create the heat. That heat needs to be transferred to somewhere where it can be taken out of the system (unless the heatsink attached via vapor chamver is literally the size of the wall around your room) and that is usually done via air cooling, i.e. having a lot of metal fins oriented in a way that a fan can push or pull air through them to cool them. So nothing magical about it. Reply
  • maximumGPU - Tuesday, August 2, 2016 - link

    I'd appreciate if anyone can answer this:

    Can you make a custom loop cool better AND be quieter than a high end air tower?

    Unfortunately I can only find contradicting opinions on this, anybody with direct experience cares to pitch in?
    Reply

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