While setting up the custom loop is an excited yet challenging undertaking, there are certain scenarios where there is a need to set up an external system ready to cool any system on the go with little time to assemble and get it going. This is exactly where the Alphacool Eiswand 360 CPU comes into play its role. The Eiswand 360 CPU is an external system that can be used to cool your CPU and can be expanded to include more components in the loop without draining the loop.
The Eiswand 360 CPU main driving force is a single unit comprising a 360mm fully copper-made NexXxos radiator with 6x 120mm fans in push/pull configuration hooked up to the top-mounted reservoir and 2x DCLT 2 pumps in serial installation ready for your cooling requirement. The kit has everything a user would need including 4-meter-long tubing, 4x fittings, 2x quick disconnect fittings, internal/external power supply, 2 liters of coolant, CPU block, etc. The unit is quite expensive as it retails at approximately €370.00.
Packing and Unboxing
The kit is shipped inside a large size cardboard box.
There is not much on the packing box in terms of the information/data of the unit. But it gives a glance on the blue backlit reservoir on the top of the Eiswand case housing.
Everything is nicely placed in the boxed compartments.
Let’s take a look at what is provided in the box.
We have an Eiswand Case along with 2x cardboard boxes containing accessories and parts. There are two bottles of 1 Liter coolant.
One of the large boxes has fittings and tubing in it.
There is a comprehensive guide included in the box which has the pictures for better illustration on how to set up the unit.
There are 4x springs that can be optionally installed on the tubing to provide anti-kink functionality.
There is a single large length MOLEX cable to power the unit directly from the PSU of the PC.
Alphacool has provided 4 meters long 11/8mm sized PVC tubing in shiny black color.
Fittings are provided in their own retail boxes.
There are two HF series quick disconnects provided as well which gives the unit the expansion capability.
Alphacool has provided 4x 11/8mm compressing fittings.
The second box has the CPU block and the power supply for the unit.
The above picture shows the external power supply unit.
There are two power cables. One with the European standard and the other with the UK standard.
There is a step-down adapter that lowers the voltage from 12V to 7.5V which will reduce the overall noise level of the unit.
There is a funnel as well to pour the coolant into the reservoir.
To my surprise, this unit came with the Alphacool’s mighty Eisblock XPX CPU Water block. Please note that the Eiswand units were shipped with their previous generation XP³ coolers. I think those are no longer in production hence we have a powerful upgrade!
The above picture shows the box contents.
The XPX block is compatible with the Intel LGA1700/1200/115x/20xx and AMD sockets including AM4.
Alphacool has provided a total of 2x bottles of the CKC coolant. Each bottle has 1 liter of coolant.
It is time to take a closer look at the components. Before that here is what Alphacool is saying about the cooler. “The Alphacool Eiswand is an external radiator with an integrated reservoir and two pumps. It is shipped with all the parts you need to cool your CPU and expand your cooling loop with additional products. The Eiswand is Alphacool’s complete water cooling set for your CPU. Thanks to the included quick-release connectors, it’s easy to connect additional components to the loop, such as the Eiswolf, Alphacool’s pre-filled graphics card cooler, or an additional radiator. The core component of the Eiswand is the external 360mm full-copper radiator, which is equipped with six Eiswind fans. This means the system’s cooling power is high enough for any combination of CPU and GPU.”
The Alphacool Eiswand case measures 21x125x53.5cm [LxWxH]. This is quite a size for the 360mm radiator but it has more to it than just being an encapsulated radiator. We have a mesh design between the top-mounted reservoir and the bottom pedestal. The mesh area is facing the radiator unit.
There is a backlit Alphacool branding at the base which illuminates in the blue color. What is not visible is the deep frosted sort of material around the pedestal which is also backlit in the blue color.
The above picture shows the side of the unit. We have an eloquent design all around giving the Eiswand case a stylish look.
The above picture shows the backside of the unit. We have a similar layout as is on the front with one major difference which is at the base of the unit on this side.
We have a power port here which is MOLEX based. We have two G1/4” ports. The left is labeled as IN whereas the right one is labeled as OUT. Please pay attention during the installation of the tubes as each port has a dedicated function. There is also another backlit Alphacool backlit branding here as well.
We have two DCLT 2 pumps installed in a serial configuration at the base. I like the idea of the redundancy here which gives a backup in case one of the pumps failed. On the same note, these two pumps would make up for the distance between the unit and the PC as the unit is designed to sit externally regardless of the proximity which is why we have a 4 meter-long tube.
The above picture shows a close-up of the integrated reservoir. The reservoir has a capacity of 40ml. We have a transparent window around the reservoir which will help in checking the coolant level. The reservoir is blue color backlit to give some vibrant color outlook though only in one color.
The above picture shows the top view of the unit. We have a fill port here with a plug on it. There is Alphacool branding on the side in white color. We can also spot the opening at the base of the reservoir which is connected to the 360mm radiator. The coolant flows from the reservoir to the radiator to the pumps at the base of the unit. The reservoir also serves the purpose of catching the bubbles of the units.
The above picture shows the pedestal of the unit. The feet have rubber pads to avoid scratches on the surface. The feet are removable. Please note that the base is not connected to the Eiswand case using the feet screws. There are 4x screws on the black color plate. You will have to take them out to detach the base from the main unit.
The above picture shows the upper side of the pedestal after removing it from the unit. We have two black color plates. The top plate has cut-to-size cutouts. These face the pumps and the LED strip on the base of the unit.
The above picture shows the pedestal and the two plates.
Here we are. Take a glimpse of two DCLT 2 pumps installed in a series at the base of the unit. There is a strip of 6x blue color LEDs next to the pump housing. These pumps are rated for 2600 RPM at 12V. The power consumption is 4.9W and the flow rate is 72 L/h. the pumps have a voltage range of 7~13.5V.
The above picture shows the base disconnected from the main unit. You can see the tangling cables and the two fittings off the G1/4” ports of the radiator.
The Molex connector is attached to the base powering the pumps and the LED strip. Then there are two 2-pin connectors powering the LED on the Alphacool branding on the sides of the case.
The above picture shows the pump housing of the unit. This side is covering the pumps and the LED strip.
The above picture shows the base of the radiator with two fittings coming out of the G1/4” ports of the radiator. These go inside the dedicated sockets on the base of the unit forming a tight coupling between the radiator and the pump housing.
Each main side has a mesh filter on a dedicated frame. You will have to carefully slide these frames out to access the honey-comb designed grill of the unit. Each of these frames has an LED strip on the base which is covered using a protective sticker.
Take a glimpse at the 3x 120mm fans in push configuration installed on the radiator. There is a honey-comb designed grill on the top of the fans. Remove the 12x screws to remove the grill. The fans are pasted on the grill though not firmly and any sliding would see the fans come off easily.
The above picture shows the joint between the radiator and the top reservoir.
The above picture shows the 3x Alphacool Coolmove fans rated for 900 RPM. These fans can max rotate at 1100 RPM at 12V and can be made to rotate at 700 RPM using a 7.5V adapter. They are using Sleeve Bearings and use 3-pin connectors. Handling the connectors with opened frame is quite challenging. So, is putting the grill back on the unit housing.
The above picture shows the backside of the unit with the 3x same fans in the pull configuration. We had to open the case first as the top two fans were disconnected. Normally, we test the unit first and then open it for the details.
Here it is. Meet the NexXxos 45 XT radiator. It is a 45mm thick radiator in a 360mm size. It has a dimension of 397x124x45mm. It is made of copper material with a total of 7x G1/4” ports.
Now that we have seen the unit itself, it is time to set it up and see its performance.
I started with the CPU water block. As mentioned above the block sent with our unit is not the XP³ but the Eisblock XPX.
We have done dedicated content on the Alphacool Eisblock XPX block hence we will not be going into detail here. Click here to check our take on the block.
Alphacool is using the same standard of mounting hardware across its CPU coolers which has enabled them to provide further customization to their blocks for colored synchronization with the themed build. We are testing the unit on the Intel platform using the LGA1200 socket. Install the screws using the springs, washers, and nuts on the mounting brackets as shown in the picture.
Slide the mounting brackets on the block. They should snuggle to each other and make a click sound confirming the fitting.
The nickel-plated copper base has a size of roughly 55x55mm. It has a protective cover that needs to be removed before the installation.
Place the backplate on the motherboard and apply thermal paste on the CPU. Place the block on the CPU aligning the threaded tips of the screws to the sockets of the backplate. Use your hands to screw these in. Don’t overtighten it.
Install the 2x compression fittings on the block. Take a note that the left port on the block is labeled as IN and the right port is labeled as OUT. The OUT port on the Eiswand Case should be connected to the IN port on the block and vice versa.
Install the compression fittings on the Eiswand Case.
Measure the distance for the tube and cut them to a bit longer length than required. Connect the tubing to the unit and the block. Also, connect the power plug.
The above picture shows the tubes connected to the block.
The above picture shows the fully assembled and ready-to-use system.
Optionally, you can use the 7.5V adapter to lower the overall noise output of the unit. Please note that using this adapter would turn the pedestal light off.
Here are a few pictures of the system
Following test configuration is used: –
- Intel i7 10700k
- MSI MAG Z490 TOMAHAWK
- T-Force NightHawk RGB 16GB @ 3200MHz
- Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080 FE
- addlink S70 256GB NVMe SSD
- bequiet! Straight Power 11 850W Platinum PSU
- Thermaltake Core P6 TG Snow Edition converted into an open-frame layout
Here is the settings table for testing:
|Clock (MHz)||3800 All Cores|
|Clock (MHz)||4700 All Cores|
|Clock (MHz)||5000 All Cores|
|Thermal Paste||Noctua NT-H1|
|Thermal Paste Application||Dot Method in the center.|
|Test Run Time||30 minutes|
|Idling Time||10 minutes|
|Software||AIDA64 6.3 Extreme [FPU]|
We are using Noctua NT-H1 thermal paste for cooler testing. Using the same thermal paste for all coolers would ensure standardization. Delta temperatures are reported on the graphs. The testing is done on an open-air bench system. Once inside the chassis, the temperatures are expected to rise and would largely depend upon the optimal airflow inside the chassis.
Let’s take a look at the results.
3.8GHz All Cores
4.7GHz All Cores
5.0GHz All Cores
We are not measuring the noise level at the moment due to the construction work going around the workplace. The unit was quite loud initially. After bleeding the system and removing the bubbles the noise level was dropped though there was a continuous wine of the pumps’ noise. The overall noise output was not that loud that it would bother anyone. Hence, we have nothing much to report here on this aspect.
The Eiswand 360 CPU is an external cooling kit from the Alphacool. As the name indicates, this kit is set up outside of the PC Case. Note my words of “set up” not “installed” as the main unit comes ready and primed to provide the cooling solution. All it needs is the connection with the block and the power source and you are good to go. The Eiswand case is made up of aluminum, Acetal, and EVA materials. We have an integrated reservoir on the top of the case and a 360mm fully copper NexXxos XT 45 radiator with two DCLT 2 pumps.
The main unit has mesh filters on the front and the rear for dust protection. There are a total of 6x 120mm Coolmove fans installed in the push and pull configuration on the radiator and the radiator is connected to the reservoir and the pump housing out of the box. We have blue color illumination on the pedestal of the base and the reservoir in addition to the backlit Alphacool branding.
Alphacool sent us the Eisblock XPX CPU water block with the unit which was a surprise as the Eiswand comes with the XP³ cooling engine. I guess this block is no longer in production or they have upped the cooling engine game. There is a plethora of hardware and accessories provided with the unit. We got 4 meters long PVC 11/8mm tubing for which there are the same size 4x compression fittings and the 2x HF series quick disconnects which makes the unit expandable using the compatible components and GPU water block. Alphacool has provided an internal power source using MOLEX interface with 190cm length of the cable as well as the external power adapter with European and UK plug cables. We have a funnel as well to fill the reservoir with CKC coolant. Alphacool provides 2 liters of the CKC coolant with the unit. There are 4x anti-kink springs that can optionally be added to the tubes to prevent them from kinking.
Setting up the unit is as simple as walking in the park. Measure the distance from the water block to the place where you will place the unit at. Install the block and the fittings. Cut the tubes to the size and connect the unit to the block. All that remains is to connect the unit to the power source and fill it up. Obviously, the user would have to figure out how to route the tubes through the PC case. It is ideal for open frame layout cases like test benches and makes more sense as well since the testers would have to swap the components quickly.
We put the system to the test the Intel i7 10700k on the MSI MAG Z490 TOMAHAWK motherboard. The unit offers a fair bit of thermal performance which gets better with increased thermal loads. The price of the unit is €370.00 which is quite steep. The overall performance is not competitive as the other units in the graph (240mm, 280mm, and 420mm AIOs) would still cost less and outperform the unit. In my opinion, Alphacool has focused more on the silent operations than the performance which would make sense given the target use of this particular kit. The 2x DCLT pumps are still enough to pump the coolant through the system and Eisblock XPX is quite competitive. The same goes for the 360mm fully copper radiator.
The only component which could limit the performance is the fan. These Coolmove 120mm fans are not adequate to provide the optimal performance but the use of push/pull configuration is making up for that somewhat. Had Alphacool used a bit more aggressive fans’ set, we would be seeing better thermal performance. The main rationale behind these fans is that we can’t control their speed and to keep the overall noise output of the unit in check. The only way to have some control is to use a 7.5V adapter.
I love the idea behind the Eiswand and appreciate the Alphacool pitching it up to the users. Keep in mind that this kit is aimed at the niche market segment and this is another reason for the high price in addition to the overall build quality, selection of off-the-shelf components, and plethora of accessories. We are not seeing any further iteration in the Eiswand series which may has to do with the price tag of such a cooling solution. Ideally, we would like to see the PWM control for the fans and the pumps with more powerful fans driving the force in the next iteration should Alphacool decide to continue the Eiswand series.
The Alphacool Eiswand 360 CPU is a complete open-loop cooling solution that offers a fair performance with silent operations though at a steep price. The Eiswand is for a different target market unlike the majority of the AIOs and the internal cooling kits and serves its purpose quite well. It has blue color illumination and is expandable as well making it quite a comprehensive package. The Eiswand 360 Solo is also available for purchase separately. This variant has only the Eiswand 360 unit in it without the accessories and hardware. Since Alphacool is using standard G1/4” threaded ports, one can easily customize the unit as per the requirement.
We are thankful to Alphacool for the opportunity to test the Eiswand 360 CPU.