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  • Alphacool Eisbaer 120 CPU AIO Water Cooler Review
  • Alphacool Eisbaer 120 CPU AIO Water Cooler Review



    The Alphacool Eisbaer 120 is designed for Intel Socket LGA2011 / 1156 / 1155 / 1150 and AMD processors. Here is an overview of the system and testing methodology.

    The System as it was Tested

    MSI X99A Tomahawk – X99 Chipset
    Intel Core i7 5960x (3.0Ghz) Octo Core 8 x 256KB L2 Cache 20MB L3 Cache
    Alphacool Eisbaer 120mm x 45mm
    Alphacool Eisbaer 120mm x 45mm + 240mm x 30mm
    Alphacool Eisbaer 120mm x 45mm + 240mm x 30mm + 360mm x 30mm
    Thermaltake Water 3.0 280mm x 27mm

    The CPUID System Monitor was used to obtain and record system temperature data and being that this is a quad core processor we need something that will work across all of the cores at once.  For this task we're using a new version of Prime95 (p95v255a) that will allow you to spawn (n) instances to test with.

    Editors note: Even though the Windows 7 task manager reported 100% processor usage we could never attain a 100% of the rated heat output as documented by Intel (see below) when using Prime95 as a basis for that heat production. Knowing this we ran the stress test until the maximum temperature was attainted and stabilized.

    Other things to consider when judging software induced heat output.
    a) Clock throttling by the processor at high temperatures.
    b) Normal software isn't designed to produce maximum heat output.
    c) Variances of cooling temperature.
    d) Variances in CPU load.
    e) Inaccuracies in thermal diode readouts.
    Of course the list goes on..

    Our testing methodology is aimed to provide a real world look into this heatsink given the test system provided.

    Default Speed

    A C/W rating can quickly be calculated using this formula.

    C/W = (CPU temp - Ambient temp)/(Variance(%) * CPU Watts)
    Allowed variance for this test = 85%
    CPU Watts = 140W

    0.25 C/W = (55C - 25C)/(.85(140W))


    For this next test the CPU speed was cranked up to 4.2Ghz and the test was re-run

    To calculate a new C/W rating for this test we will need to factor in the increased processor wattage. The formula and constants for this are listed below.

    ocC/W = dCPU Watts * (ocMhz / dMhz) * (ocVcore / dVcore)2
    ocMhz = 4200
    dMhz = 3000
    ocVcore = 1.25
    dVcore = 1.0
    The variance still applies for our C/W calculation
    Allowed variance for this test = 85%
    CPU Watts = 306W

    0.17 C/W = (69C - 25C)/(.85(306W))

    Benchmark Conclusion

    In our heatsink and waterblock tests we don't really focus on overall load temperatures but rather how well the product can remove heat given a specified heat load. Since this is a real world testing method we need to take into consideration real world variables and estimate tolerances. This is why we normally only apply 85% of the total wattage output to our heat calculations.

    The resulting C/W number is used to rate how efficient a heatsink or waterblock is based on the given heat load. These numbers can be used to determine heat capacity, the larger the difference the less efficient the heatsink is. (aka not good for overclocking)

    A big part of these thermal tests was to look at how well the Eisbaer pump could handle more components in the loop and if it really would increase performance.  I can say that it did improve overall load temperatures but things started to fall off between the 240mm and 360mm tests.  Some of that could have been the mismatch of fans being used but, I think it was simply an issue of heat transfer and increased flow resistance.

    As a side note I was given a Alphacool 280mm radiator to test but, I kinda ran out of room on the test bench so it will be saved for a future article.

    Keep in mind these calculations are provided for demonstration purposes only and may not reflect the actual lab tested C/W rating, but we're pretty close.