The AlphaCool Eisbaer Aurora 360 AIO Cooler Review: Improving on Expandable CPU Coolingby E. Fylladitakis on August 11, 2022 8:00 AM EST
Testing Results, Maximum Fan Speed
Our maximum speed testing is performed with both the fans and the pump of the kit powered via a 12V DC source. This input voltage should have the pump and fans matching the speed ratings of the manufacturer – however, the Rise Aurora fans were quite a bit slower than their 2500 RPM specification, spinning at 2420 RPM per our tachometer. Regardless, all three fans were consistent, which is what actually matters as it suggests a good quality control.
|Core Temperature, Constant Thermal Load (Max Fan Speed)|
The thermal performance of the Alphacool Eisbaer Aurora 360 indicates that the cooler lands near the top of similar offerings, slightly bested only by the larger Arctic Cooling Freezer II 420. The average thermal resistance of 0.0697 °C/W just a tiny bit better than that of similarly sized and priced coolers, such as the Corsair H150i Elite and the Cougar Helor 360.
The three Rise Aurora fans that Alphacool supplies with the Eisbaer Aurora are powerful, giving the cooler an advantage on thermal performance but at the cost of acoustics. With all three fans running at their maximum speed, our dB(A) meter recorded 44.3 dB(A), one of the highest figures we have ever recorded while testing an AIO liquid cooler.
Testing Results, Low Fan Speed
Using a PWM voltage regulator, we reduced the speed of the fans manually down to half their rated speed, which is 1250 RPM for the Rise Aurora 120 mm fans. The pump was also connected to the same power source, functioning properly with this supply voltage.
|Core Temperature, Constant Thermal Load (Low Fan Speed)|
With an average thermal permittance of 0.0784 °C/W, the Alphacool Eisbaer Aurora 360 initially appears to be one of the best AIO liquid coolers that ever went through our labs, matching the performance of the largest AIO cooler, the Arctic Cooling Freezer II 420 and outpacing everything else. This excitement however is short-lived when one remembers that the Rise Aurora fans are quite a bit faster than what most of the competition currently offers.
The noise output of the Alphacool Eisbaer Aurora 360 under these operating conditions is 35.9 dB(A), a figure that is clearly audible. It would probably be comfortable for continuous use in many usage scenarios but it is not ideal for environments where the acoustics are vital, as it would create a continuous source of white noise. The pump itself is entirely silent, without any electromechanical noise coming out of it at any speed.
Thermal Resistance VS Sound Pressure Level
During our thermal resistance vs. sound pressure level test, we maintain a steady 100W thermal load and assess the overall performance of the coolers by taking multiple temperature and sound pressure level readings within the operating range of the stock cooling fans. The result is a graph that depicts the absolute thermal resistance of the cooler in comparison to the noise generated. For both the sound pressure level and absolute thermal resistance readings, lower figures are better.
This graph reveals that the Alphacool Eisbaer Aurora 360 does outperform most of the competition, yet by a much smaller margin than our thermal testing originally anticipated. The high noise levels of the fans shift the line upwards, closing the gap of thermal performance per sound pressure level. The Corsair H150i Elite even manages to partially outpace the Eisbaer Aurora 360, offering the same thermal performance at lower noise levels.
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Juraj_SK - Thursday, August 11, 2022 - linkWhy only 2 years warranty? Why aren't Germans be more confident with their product?
There are competitors with 6 years warranty.
Or is liquid cooling something that needs to replaced regularly? (the tradeoff for the piece of silence :))
dysnomia - Thursday, August 11, 2022 - linkAurora pump is very low quality, mine died exactly after one year.
meacupla - Thursday, August 11, 2022 - linkIf I had to guess, the warranty is shorter because the user is allowed more control over the coolant loop. If extra parts are added, that adds more complexity to the loop, and more room for user error.
Things like: insufficient water causing the pump to run dry, adding in water that is not sterile, adding in water with too much mineral content, galvanic corrosion from mixing copper and aluminum parts, etc.
Yes, the liquid should be replaced, or topped off, every so often. Even in CLCs, the water does eventually permeate through the tubes, and results in more air being introduced into the loop. More air means the pump has a chance of running dry, and generally more noise generated.
Gamer's Nexus did a whole video on proper CLC configuration to minimize premature failure of the pump, and it is worth a watch.
Bedub1 - Thursday, August 11, 2022 - linkIt would be great to see this system retested with fans that are optimized for high static pressure. Will it still perform as well? Will it be quieter?
Makaveli - Thursday, August 11, 2022 - linkThanks for the review.
I'm currently on a Gen 1 Corsair H150i which is very quiet. This cooler has had my eye for abit since I like that you can add on to it. So I was thinking going with
Alphacool Eisbaer Aurora 360 CPU - Digital RGB + Alphacool Eiswolf 2 AIO - 360mm Radeon RX
However I'm considering upgrading my 6800XT to something from RDNA 3 this christmas so will hold out to see if they make an RDNA3 compatible AIO then bite the bullet.
dysnomia - Thursday, August 11, 2022 - linkThey have great radiators and not bad fans. That is about all.
thestryker - Friday, August 12, 2022 - linkI'm always happy to see cooler reviews pop up here because Anandtech still has my favorite methodology and is computer hardware agnostic.
This seems like a good upgrade from the prior though I do wish they'd opted for static pressure fans. I do also find the 2 year warranty period to be on the short side since the vast majority of AIOs have increased warranty period in the last few years. I'm assuming it is due to the custom nature as most custom loop components still are at 2 year, but it's still the lowest warranty in its price/perf range by a lot.
With PCIe 5.0 M.2 SSDs on the way maybe they'll be making a block for those which would easily slot into this and wouldn't have much impact on loop performance.
PeachNCream - Saturday, August 13, 2022 - linkIt really makes very little difference in day to day use after a certain point in the CPU performance curve and that point is a relatively low bar if we're being realistic with ourselves (typing this post, for example, from the keyboard of Dell Inspiron 1545 Core 2 Duo laptop running Linux and it's perfectly adequate even 12+ years after it rolled off the assembly line) so cooling solutions like this that are intended to wring a few percent in performance out of an edge case processor which land at high cost are bling toys sold to idiots intent on prodigiously throwing away electricity and generating more waste as they needlessly and mindlessly chase upgrades that external influences have imparted in them as important in seeking out some sort of meaning for themselves. The saddest part is that they're so incapable of self-awareness that they'll always have these simplistic, plant-like responses to being good little consumers of unnecessary products, capabilities, and services.
Makaveli - Saturday, August 13, 2022 - linkWow dude!
philehidiot - Monday, August 15, 2022 - linkBecause everyone has exactly your needs and you know what everyone should be using. Thank you for sharing your insight, oh benevolent master.
The small market for this kind of kit is reflected in the high price compared to competitors. Some of us do genuinely have a use for this kind of thing.
I also run a 12 year old laptop which does the day to day stuff just fine. But I also routinely hit up against the limits of my main PC. Coolers like this might just extract a few extra percent. But they also keep things quiet whilst recording audio and mine has been through several CPUs.
If you don't see a need for it, that's just fine. Those of us who have systems running at full pelt for days on end do actually appreciate an extra few percent when that few percent is time which is also money.
So neeeeeer, mr small willy. Bow before my humongous epeen.