Introduction

When it comes to the liquid cooling solutions, the Alphacool needs no introduction. Based on their years of experience and expertise, the users can benefit from high-performance Cooling Solutions including their All-In-One and the All-In-One Connected cooling solutions not to mention the complete custom loop setup possibility. Their ideas are innovative and their expertise has allowed for far more industrial applications of their solutions than just the cooling setup for the PCs. They are also the OEM partners of the various brands including Fractal Design, Cooler Master, Be Quiet, Sapphire, Asus, Nocatee to name a few which speaks of their excellence in the design and development of the cooling solutions.

Alphacool has recently launched a new iteration of Eisbaer coolers named Eisbaer LT. We will be taking a look at their 360mm version of the Eisbaer LT cooler. Alphacool has taken a different design approach with the Eisbaer LT. They have changed the pump with slim design one in this design and used a new radiator which is also slim design with only 25mm thickness. Clearly, their focus is towards maximum compatibility of their products with the chassis available in the market. But, going that route, how much of a thermal performance hit are we talking about? We will check in our testing section. Besides these changes, they have retained the core components concept of offering a cooler composed of off-the-shelf open loop components. We have a copper-based radiator with all of the fins, channels, chambers made of copper, same G1/4 matte black fittings, quick release fittings, copper base, and DC-LT ultra-low noise ceramic 12V pump. Fans are the same as we saw on their Eisbaer 360 cooler which is Eiswind 12. In nutshell, we have same quality components but with a slim fit design. All this with much more affordable pricing. Let’s take a look and spin this cooler to see what it has to offer to the user.

Item: Eisbaer 360 LT

Manufacturer: Alphacool

Price: €104.99 [at the time of the review]

 

Specifications

 

Packaging and Unboxing

The Eisbaer 360 LT comes in a large size cardboard box container. The packaging is in black color. On the top side of the box, the model no of the product is printed in the white color. This cooler is compatible with the majority of the sockets from Intel and AMD including LGA 2066 from Intel and AM4 from AMD. A separate kit is available for TR4 and narrow ILM of LGA 2011-3 on payment. There is a picture of the Pump unit printed on the center. On the bottom left side of the front cover, the brand logo and the website address are printed. The cooler is designed in Germany and made in China. The backside of the box has the same info except that the printed picture is showing the chamber of the radiator with the hoses. The cooler comes in the standard 3 years warranty as highlighted in a blue color circle on the bottom right side. A serial no sticker is pasted on the bottom. The left and right sides are identical. They have a plain black color background. Company’s website address is printed on the bottom right side. The opening covers are identical. We have the brand name and logo printed in large size font over the main section. Opening the box will show the user guide manual placed on top of the white color Styrofoam pad. Taking the pad off will show the egged container having the contents placed in appropriate cutout section. Every component is within a transparent cover.

Accessories

The Alphacool has provided a plethora of the accessories in the parcel. The user manual is well laid out and easy to understand with necessary cautions and tips for the installation. AMD AM4 socket installation manual is separately provided. Accessories include: –

  • 3x Eiswind fans
  • 1x Intel backplate
  • 1x Intel bracket
  • 1x AMD bracket
  • PWM Adapter
  • Mounting hardware inclusive of the screws and the nuts
  • 1x Thermal Paste

 

Closer Look

The Alphacool Eisbaer 360 LT is based on their popular Eisbaer AIO but with slim design. It is still made of off-the-shelf high-quality open loop components, yet it is prefilled, it is expandable, it has a refill port, and last but not least it has copper/brass made components everywhere from radiator, fittings, and block. Alphacool is focusing on ensuring the maximum compatibility of their products to the majority of the chassis in the market and trying to bring in the more cost-effective cooling solution without compromising much on the thermal performance. How can we be sure of its thermal performance? Well, a hint, we tested it already! Here is what Alphacool is saying about their Eisbaer LT. “At first glance, the Eisbaer LT looks like a typical CPU AIO solution, but a closer look elevates the Eisbaer LT far above the competition. Thanks to its copper radiator and cooling block, its cooling power is enormous, and the quick connectors and custom water cooling components make it easy to expand on. On top of that, you have product options that can connect to the Eisbaer LT without needing to be refilled at all – such as external radiators, refilled radiators, and graphics card coolers. The portfolio is constantly expanding.” Let’s take a closer look at it.

Alphacool is using a new radiator with these coolers. The radiator is a 25mm thick one. This is a prime difference between the 30mm thick NexXxos based radiator that we saw on the Eisbaer 360 AIO. The length of the radiator is a 390mm and the width is 120mm (Eisbaer 360 AIO is 397mmx124mm). When the fans are installed the overall thickness increases to the 50mm as compared to 55mm on the Eisbaer 360 AIO. What makes the radiator substantially different from the majority of the CLCs in the market is that its fins, channels and the channel heads are made of pure copper, unlike the aluminum. This radiator has 16 FPI count on it. They are tested for 1.5 bar pressure. If you would look closely, the Alphacool has placed a protective sheet on the undersides of the radiator housing. This is to protect the fins from the over tightening of the screws. The inlet and the outlet blocks are divided and this design gives a bold look to the radiator. The other end of the radiator has an angular design as well which goes well in the overall symmetry of the design. Slim fit is speaking from every angle of the radiator. Both sides of the radiators have OCOOL printed in the blue color. The surface is a fingerprint magnet, something to keep in mind while installing.

The Alphacool has used their standard compression fittings in the unit. This is another difference between Eisbaer design and the majority of the CLCs in the market. The thread size is G1/4 which is a standard in the water cooling industry these days. This approach has enabled the Alphacool to provide the users to convert the unit into an open loop design easily or can swap the PVC tubes with the hard tubing or transparent tubing without much hassle. This unit has the flexible PVC tubes. These are easier to arrange and flexible. Both the tubes have anti-kink springs to avoid unnecessary bends which could result in the interruption of coolant flow. The tubes are 11/8 mm size. The length of the tubes is 320mm. These tubes are in matte black color which adds symmetry in the overall design and aesthetically pleasing looks. One of the tubes features the quick-lock closure which is made of the Nylon. This feature has enabled the unit to further expand so that more blocks or the radiators can be added at user’s convenience. The “Eisbaer” was designed with expandability directly in mind. This quick-lock mechanism is compatible with Alphacool HF quick-lock closures (1010383, 1010394, 1010395, 1010442). This design approach has made the Eisbaer LT coolers compatible with Alphacool Eiswolf GPX Pro, Eiswand 360 Solo, Eisbaer Quick-Connection Extension kit, Eisbaer coolers, Eisbaer ready radiators, and many other products from Alphacool. This closure has the length of the 83mm and 28mm width. To expand the loop, one would need to rotate the plastic knob clockwise till the position when the tubes come separately. Be careful as when you will open the closure, a few drops of the coolant will spill over. One can use an anti-dip bowl over which the closure can be unlocked. The spilled coolant can be added through the refill port if there be any need. Please, take care not to mix up the IN and OUT ports. On the “Eisbaer”, the “outlet” is marked in “red” and the “inlet” in “blue”. On the components to be connected, it is the opposite. The coupling with the “blue” marking denotes the “outlet” and the coupling with the “red” marking is the “inlet”. This is important as in many coolers the flow direction is crucial for optimal cooling performance.

Let’s take a look at the pump housing and the base. There is a protective sheet on the base which needs to be peeled off before the installation. The base is in pure copper with an extremely fine fin structure. Unlike the Eisbaer AIO, it is not mirror finished. The base has a dimension of 56x56x3mm. The basis of the pump is the Alphacool DC-LT Ceramic Ultra Low Noise. The pump runs quietly and can be regulated to between 7 and 12V. For better regulation, connect the 3-pin power cable coming out of the pump’s housing to the CPU Fan header of the motherboard though other headers can also be used. If the “Eisbaer” is being run alone without any expansion, the 7V setting will still have next to no performance loss. This is the same pump as we saw on the Eisbaer AIO but with design differences like its height is merely 39mm as there is no elaborative reservoir on top of it whereas the housing on the Eisbaer AIO pump has a height of 67.5mm. One can clearly see that Alphacool is taking the compatibility and clearance of their products seriously here. The pump and reservoir are combined and housing is made of injection molded. The dimension of the housing is 69x69x39mm. Here is another key difference for this pump design. The Eisbaer LT sets a new visual standard with its brushed aluminum plate and silver logo. There is a sleeved cable coming out of the unit which is a 3-pin cable to power the pump. The length of this cable is approximately 210mm. Here are the technical specifications of the pump:

  • Speed: 2600 RPM
  • Voltage: 7V to 13.5V DC
  • Power Consumption: 4W
  • Maximum Flow Rate: 70L/h
  • Maximum head: 0.85m
  • Power Connection: 3-pin

These are the same specifications as we saw on the Eisbaer 360 AIO. There is absolutely no compromise on the power horse of this cooler as it has the same pump as is on the Eisbaer AIO but with slim design. The refill port is located on the left side of the pump’s housing (opposite to the tubing side). It has G ¼” thread size. The tubes are implemented in 90° angle and are flexible in a rotation. Alphacool has used their standard black matter compression fittings here as well. There is a spacing between the pump’ housing and the bottom of the block. This is more of an inset design. This is the area where the brackets are slided in for the Intel and AMD sockets when installing the unit.

The Alphacool has supplied three Eiswind 120mm fans with the unit. These fans have sleeved bearings and are static pressure optimized for use on the radiators. There are 7 blades in a fan. The motor hub does not have any sticker on it from the front side. There are no anti-vibration paddings on the corners of the fans. The fans operate on the 12V DC. They are 4-Pin PWM fans with the rated speed of the 550-1700 RPM with ±10%. Airflow rating is 63.85 CFM with the static pressure rating of the 1.66mmH₂O. Sound rating is 29 dBA per fan. The backside of the fan has a sticker pasted on the motor hub. Eiswind – 12 is printed in the middle. Each fan draws 2.2W. That would mean each fan is rated at 0.183Amps. The motor hub is mounted on a 4-arms assembly which is connected to the mainframe. The power cable is black sleeved and has approximately 290mm in length. There are two arrow indicators on a side showing the direction of the airflow and direction of the blade spin.

Installation

The cooler has been tested on the Intel LGA-2011-3 socket using the Asus ROG Rampage V Extreme 10 motherboard and Intel i7 6850k. Take out the Intel brackets. There are two sets of the screws supplied with the unit. One set has M3 threading on the bottom followed by the M4 threading on the same screw. This set is to be used with the LGA-115X sockets. Take out the other set of screws along with the compression springs, washers, and the nuts. Pass the screws through the spring followed by the washer. Now, pass it through the mounting holes on the bracket and place the nut on the underside of the bracket. Start tightening the nut using hands till it is tight enough to be adjusted along the mounting holes. Now, slide in the Intel brackets along the inset in the pump housing. They should slide in and snap on each other. Install the Eiswind 12 fans on the radiator in the desired direction.

Now, place the block on the top of the CPU and align the screws with the pre-drilled holes around the LGA-2011-3 socket. Start threading them diagonally. Connect the 3-pin cable coming out of the pump housing to the CPU Fan header of the motherboard. I would suggest to use the PWM adapter supplied with the cooler and connect the power cables of the Eiswind 12 fans to the adapter. Connect the adapter’s 4-pin connector to the PWM enabled fan header of the motherboard to complete the installation. Since the power draw of each fan is 2.2W the combined power draw will be 6.6W. Most of the fan headers of the motherboards, these days are rated at 12W per header. In terms of current, they are rated at 1A each except few with a Hi-Amp rating. Three fans can be connected to any PWM enabled fan header rated at 12W, 1A. On our motherboard, there is a Hi-Amp fan header with 2A rating available and we are testing all the fans and coolers on this fan header.

Clearance

Being the CLC/AIO this cooler has no clearance issues with respect to the DIMM slots and the first PCIe slot. Do make sure that your PC Chassis has support for the 360mm radiator.

Test Bench

Following test bench was used for testing this cooler: –

  • Asus Rampage V Edition 10
  • Intel i7 6850k
  • Crucial Ballixtics Elite 4x4GB @ 3000MHz
  • Gigabyte GTX 1060 6GB
  • Samsung 840 EVO 250GB SSD
  • Seagate Barracuda 2TB
  • Corsair AX1200i

Methodology

The thermal paste being used on our test bench is the Noctua NT-H1 thermal paste. The use of a same thermal paste for all the coolers will ensure the standardization and mitigate any performance benefit that may come using the supplied thermal paste. Delta temperatures are reported on the graphs. The cooler is tested on stock clocks i.e 3.6GHz using 1.136V manual VCore. The Asus RealBench 2.44 is used to stress test the cooler’s performance. Each run of the test was of 15 minutes followed by 15-30 minutes break to let the system cool down. Fans were set to run at their 100% RPM and water pump was set at 100% as well. CPU is overclocked to 4.3GHz with 1.350V manual Vcore. Three test runs are made. Average of each test run is calculated. The max temps on each core are summed up and divided by the core count to give the average figure. The max average of three tests is used for reporting. Delta temp is calculated by subtracting the ambient temp from the max average temp. No rounding will be done on the ambient temps. RealTemp is used to monitor the temperatures.

Let’s take a look at the results.

Results

On the stock clocks, the Alphacool Eisbaer 360 LT has taken the top spot in our graph beating the Eisbaer 360 AIO with the margin of 0.5°C.

With overclocked i7 6850k at 4.3GHz using 1.350V the maximum temperature on the Alphacool Eisbaer 360 was 36.45. It has taken the second spot on our graph with both the Alphacool coolers showing their power and taking a solid lead in the graph. The Eisbaer 360 LT is trailing behind the Eisbaer 360 with the margin of 1.25°C which is still less than our expected performance hit. This goes to show what Alphacool has achieved with their new Eisbaer LT coolers. They have made their Eisbaer LT the best value cooling solution available in the market. Mind you that this cooler was tested in a hot environment where ambient was 39°C and there is no AC in our room. Do the math and you will see the enormous cooling potential of this cooler.

The summer season is at peak here and we don’t have AC in our room. There are noises which are simply beyond our control hence we are not taking sound level readings. Based on our test experience with the fans, these Eiswind 12 fans are clearly audible at 100% of their speed and custom fan curve profile will be handy to cover this aspect.

Conclusion

Alphacool Eisbaer LT is a new iteration of their ever popular Eisbaer AIO CPU liquid cooler. Unlike the majority of the AIOs in the market, the Eisbaer is made using the off-the-shelf high-quality open loop components with superior cooling and expandability in mind. These coolers use the pure copper made radiators including the fins, channels and channel headers, brass based compression fittings, PVC tubes, quick-lock closure fittings, powerful DC-LT ultra-low noise ceramic 12V DC pump, copper base, G1/4” thread size to name a few of their quality design aspect. These coolers are refillable thanks to the refill port using the G1/4” threading, they are expandable thanks to the quick-lock closure fittings, enabling them to be connected to various Alphacool’s products like Eiswolf GPX Pro, quick-lock extension kits, quick-lock enabled radiators, Eiswand 360 Solo to name a few. Alphacool Eisbaer LT coolers are available in 3 sizes which are 120mm with single Eiswind 12 fan, 240mm with dual Eiswind 12 fans, and 360mm with triple Eiswind 12 fans.

The Alphacool Eisbaer 360 LT is a second cooler from the company that has been tested on our test bench. Previously we had tested their Eisbaer 360 AIO. Having compared both coolers, we are in a better way to state the performance comparison and key differences in their design. The Eisbaer 360 LT has a 360mm radiator with the fins, the channels and the channel heads made of the copper. Since copper has twice the heat capacity of aluminum, optimal cooling is guaranteed. While temperatures in aluminum radiators progressively rise fairly early, copper radiators can keep the temperature stable for much longer. This is a new ultra-slim radiator from the Alphacool with a thickness of only 25mm. The dimension of the radiator is 390x120x25mm (LxWxH). With the 25mm thick fans, the overall thickness increases to the 50mm.

The Alphacool I using their DC-LT ceramic low noise pump in this unit. The pump runs quietly and can be regulated to between 7 and 12V. It can also be regulated through the motherboard. If the “Eisbaer” is being run alone without any expansion, the 7V setting will still have next to no performance loss. This is the same pump that has been used on the Eisbaer AIOs without any change. The rated speed of the pump is 2600 RPM. In our testing, the pump was doing 2720 RPM. Voltage range is 7V ~ 13.5V DC. Power consumption rating is 4W. Flow is rated at 70L/h. Maximum head is 0.85m. It draws power using a 3-pin connector. The top side of the pump housing has brushed aluminum plate with silver logo on it which blends in really well in neutral color builds.

The Alphacool is using PVC tubes of 11/8mm size. They are using anti-kink springs to avoid un-necessary bending which could interrupt the flow of the coolant. The Alphacool has used standard compression fittings with G1/4” thread size. One can see that we have all the custom loop components assembled together to form an All-In-One cooler. This has enough flexibility for the user to change any component like tubes can be replaced with the hard tubing or the transparent rubber tubes for example. One can add dedicated reservoir if need be as another example. The opportunities are endless.

There is a fill port with G1/4” threading on the left side of the pump housing. This approach has allowed the users to refill the unit whenever needed and effectively enhancing the life of the product. In addition, there is a quick-lock closure on one of the tube. This allows the users to expand their loop without much hassle and inconvenience. One can add GPU block or another radiator and it has compatibility with the Alphacool’s HF quick-lock closures (1010383, 1010394, 1010395, 1010442).

Alphacool has provided three Eiswind 12 fans with this cooler. The fans operate on the 12V DC. They are 4-Pin PWM fans with the rated speed of the 550-1700 RPM with ±10%. Airflow rating is 63.85 CFM with the static pressure rating of the 1.66mmH₂O. Sound rating is 29 dBA per fan. Each fan draws 2.2W. That would mean each fan is rated at 0.183Amps. The motor hub is mounted on a 4-arms assembly which is connected with the mainframe. The power cable is black sleeved and has approximately 290mm in length.  The product comes in a 3 years warranty.

The Alphacool Eisbaer 360 LT is listed at €104.99 at the time of the review. This is too good a price to beat and seems like Alphacool has thrown a daring challenge to the competitors. What they are offering is the 360mm AIO effectively in the price range of 240mm AIOs. This unit was tasked to cool the Intel i7 6850k which is a 140W TDP chip. On stock clocks, under stress test, this cooler beats the superior Eisbaer 360 AIO with the margin of 0.5°C. The chip was overclocked to 4.3GHz using 1.350V. Eisbaer 360 LT took the second spot on the graph with maximum delta temperature of 36.45°C. It was trailing behind the Eisbaer 360 AIO with the margin of 1.25°C. Not a single complaint what so ever. Why? This is a 360mm premium cooling solution with expandability, refillability, made from high quality open loop components, priced at €104.99. This is effectively a price bracket for the 240mm coolers. None of the 240mm coolers on our test bench were near to its cooling performance. This is an exceptional value that Alphacool has given to the users which is backed by 3 years warranty service with high performance.

We are thankful to the Alphacool for giving the opportunity to review their Eisbaer 360 LT CPU Cooler.