REVIEW AlphaCool Eisberg Solo + shenanigans

Discussion in 'Extreme and Water Cooling' started by AMD2400, Jan 21, 2015.

  1. AMD2400

    AMD2400 Member

    Joined:
    May 28, 2004
    Messages:
    659
    Location:
    Melbourne
    Aye guys, my watercooling build is in another stage at the moment, and ive completely stripped out my loop so i can plan for the next phase. So while all this is happening i wanted to play with something in the interim and keep my computer going.

    So i bought this Alphacool Eisberg Solo:

    [​IMG]

    Blabble:
    Anyone who is shopping for a watercooling solution these days would be familiar with the prebuilt/closed loop solutions offered by Corsair, Coolermaster and Silverstone, just to name a few. These solutions have changed the high end cooling market and have really brought water to people who normally wouldnt go through the pain of setting up a oldschool loop.

    What these solutions dont really provide is flexibility. Sure you can change the fans, but what if you wanted to use a thinner/bigger radiator, or maybe even different tubing with some colored liquid? Sure this market is really small, but there are some out there that want to play around with such things. This is the type of customer the Eisberg is targeted at, and at a such a cheap price point, i think the beginner who is looking to get into water cooling.

    At the time of writing this review, the AlphaCool Eisberg is available at PCasegear for $59AUD. When you think about it, what you are really getting are 3 things, a Reservoir, a Pump and a CPU block. Normally the price for one of those things in the watercooling world would easily be more then this product. So it cant be any good being a 3 in one right?

    Packaging:
    Wont waste too words with this. Pretty small no BS packaging, comes with the cooler itself, a load of mounts (Compatible with sockets: 775, 1366, 1156, 1155, 2011, Xeon, AM2 and AM3 ) and the 7/12v cable.

    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]

    The cooler itself:
    Its pretty no BS design too, a plastic cube that houses the Reservior, the pump and the waterblock.

    You get a little window which is great for monitoring how much fluid is in there, and if you look even closer while its running you can see the little pump working.
    [​IMG]

    The top is dominated by 3 ports, accompanied by the Alphacool logo. One is for the inlet and one is for the outlet, and the other is the filling port.
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]

    Pic of the base, the block on the right is a Koolance 380I and has a nice shiny finish:
    [​IMG]

    Installation:
    Now here is where i had my first issue with the Eisberg. Firstly the instructions seem to assume there is a radiator included (copied and pasted the ones from the AIO Coolermaster cooler Alphacool?), and dont mention what ports on the Eisberg Solo are inlet and outlet. Now this doesent really matter, unless you have some strange radiator that specifies what should be the inlet and outlet, but as i was being silly and installing this into my loop with a GPU block, i simply had to guess what was what.

    Mounting big ass BitsPower 3/4 OD compressions proved to be troublesome;
    [​IMG]

    In the end, i reused some shiny BP 45 degree compression fittings which fit much nicer.

    Then came the mounting. On the LGA 1155 platform, it uses these plastic nuts which you clip into the holes of the motheboard. You then thread in a metal pole into these nuts, install your Alphacool Eisberg Solo on top, then secure it with some nuts.

    The offending plastic nuts:
    [​IMG]

    The problem here is with the plastic nuts stripping with the metal poles that go through them. This makes the metal pole rotate in the plastic nut. This becomes problematic, as i managed to get 3 out of the 4 nut/poles tight, but the 4th one would not secure down properly, affecting the mounting of the Eisberg to the CPU.

    At this point a system builder would have a cooler that doesent mount properly due to a single part. But being as resourceful as i am i simply reused the mounting kit i had off another CPU waterblock, and got a way more secure mount

    Picture of my Koolance 380I and the Eisberg, used the Koolance 380I mount on the Eisberg:
    [​IMG]

    Now, If you're an idiot like me, you would of mounted the Eisberg onto the CPU, without filling it. As the instructions of the Eisberg are sparse, you're pretty much on your own with this, but its actually pretty simple.

    The best way to approach filling your Eisberg/radiator combo would assembling it outside of your computer, hook it up to a 12v switch, then slowly fill it up until the res is full, run the pump till the res empties, then repeat until the res stays full. I’d imagine a watercooling n00b would stuff this up quite greatly, and run the system with a huge airbubble between the res, pump and radiator. Experience has taught me that if the pump is making a high pitched noise, the pump is not receiving any water and you got to massage the system to remove this air bubble. Also looking through the window to see if water is circulating, is a good way to see if the pump is actually moving any water.

    If youre sure that water is circulating through the system, youre ready to install it into your system.

    My lazyness and boldness made me do the entire procedure with this setup:
    [​IMG]

    Got water everywhere, not to mention there is probally some of my saliva in the loop trying to get the air bubbles out from filling it too fast. I put in a BitsPower temp sensor fitting into my fill port to monitor water temp.

    Pics of it installed:
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    I should note i didnt run this setup long as i needed the graphics card out. Instead it is running as a simple loop to my front RX240 radiator.

    TL;DR, Performance:

    Since i really cant be bothered being very technical with this, all i have to go off is the load temperature of my CPU under the Koolance 380I.

    Here is my setup:
    • CPU: Intel i5 3570K CPU @ stock
    • Blocks: Koolance 380I/ AlphaCool Esienberg Solo
    • Radiator: XSPC RX240, with 2x NP-F12 at full speed
    • Tubing: Tygon 1/2ID 3/4OD
    • Fittings: 2x BP Compressions, 2x 45 degree BP Compressions
    • Ambient: ~28-30 deg, damn hot summer temps.

    With the CPU at full load, on my Koolance 380i, i was getting around 60-63 degrees load temps, with the Eisberg at full speed, i was getting 65-68 degrees load temps. Idle was around about the same, around 35 degrees on both coolers.

    Monitoring the temps of the actual water with the Eisberg, it was hovering a touch over ambient, so around 31 degrees.

    Playing around with the speed of the Eisberg pump actually didnt see a huge jump in temperatures. On the lowest setting of 7 volts, temperatures where on a high side of 68-70 degrees.

    Noise mainly comes from the pump of the Eisberg, when on the 7v setting and youre up close you can definately hear a whine coming from the pump. Increasing it to 12v doubly increases this whine. In the case i use, an Antec P180B with sound absorbing panels, on 7v you can faintly hear the pump. On 12v you can definitely hear it, and its a quite distinct noise compared to say, a fan.

    Shenanigans:
    As you can see in the pictures above, i ran this inline with my existing loop (D5 pump -> RX240 rad -> Eisberg Solo -> Koolance VID-580 - > 240 rad -> res), and the performance was pretty much the same as described above. I'd imagine with the graphics card dumping more heat, the loop temperature would go up, and in turn CPU temps.

    My non technical thoughts on this is that the all that extra flow that D5 pump is making is being wasted when it hits the Eisberg Solo causing a bottleneck. I could see next to no flow in my reservoir so i tested with prime95 abit then immediately stopped.

    The only real benefit was filling the thing, i always seemed to have air bubbles around the cpu area, but with a pump in that area, it helped flush those out and get water circulating throughout the loop.

    Was nice having dual pumps in the loop but :leet:

    Conclusion:
    This AlphaCool Eisberg Solo cooler offers great flexibility, so much that Alphacool clearly want you to figure this flexibility out yourself, making next to no notes what the port is what, and also providing some easy to strip 1155 bolts too.
    But there is no denying its size, its decent performance and how compact this unit is, with the ability to customize the tubing/rads.

    Have had the system running for around 3 weeks now, no leaks and its going strong.

    Pro's
    + Reservoir, Water Pump and CPU Waterblock compact All in one.
    + Decent performance (comes close to my 380I, thats pretty good!)
    + Cheap!
    Con's
    - Mounting system for 1155 seems easy to break/ wont last more then one mounting
    - Pretty hard to fill, Reservoir is pretty small
    - Instruction guide doesn't seem to cover everything

    Let me know if you want to know more about this cooler, i might shoot a video later on my phone demonstrating how loud it is.

    AMD2400.
     
  2. Modafroman

    Modafroman Member

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2002
    Messages:
    10,048
    Location:
    Brisbane
    Cheers for the review mate :) Definitely an interesting block, eliminates the need for a bunch of components, reduces cost and required installation space, looks way cleaner in my opinion, would make an awesome MATX or ITX rig. Imagine an ITX rig, all you'd need is the block and a rad, 4 fittings and some nice tubing, no other shit required, would look mint!

    Shame about the shitty mounting system though :(

    My only reservation is the increased heat addition into the block by having the pump so close to the CPU. I reckon that goes some way to account for the increased temps you saw. Having a separate pump to the block means you've got more surface/water area for the pump heat addition to dissipate, where as when a block/pump combo you've got a heat source right there next to the CPU, limiting heat exchange away from it. Probably also explains the performance of other AIOs, and probably why Swiftech has moved to a pump/res/rad combo in their new units.

    How's the noise and flow rate on it compared with the D5?
     
  3. fleetfeather

    fleetfeather Member

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2013
    Messages:
    571
    Location:
    2612
    The noise it gives off interests me, since the flow rate and head pressure of the High Speed model has the same flow rate and head pressure of the Alphacool DC-LT pump, which I've heard is near silent as long as you mount it in certain ways
     
  4. OP
    OP
    AMD2400

    AMD2400 Member

    Joined:
    May 28, 2004
    Messages:
    659
    Location:
    Melbourne
    Thanks! its definitely a interesting little thing.

    Can't really comment on flow rates, though i do have a flow meter, which i havent hooked up. Ill hook it up to the outlet side sometime and see how much its putting out.

    Noise compared to the D5, id say the Eisberg on low is abit louder as the D5 at full speed.

    Interesting, i haven't heard much about those pumps.

    Once im done with it i will pull it apart, since im into ruining warranties. :lol:
     
  5. ShadowBurger

    ShadowBurger Member

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2008
    Messages:
    1,563
    Location:
    Melbourne
    Curious to know if this will fit an 1150?
     
  6. OP
    OP
    AMD2400

    AMD2400 Member

    Joined:
    May 28, 2004
    Messages:
    659
    Location:
    Melbourne
    A quick google reveals that the 1155 socket has the same mounting holes as the 1150 socket. So it will fit.

    But yea, beware! As detailed in my review i managed to easily strip the plastic nut that goes into the mounting hole, which really affects how secured the cooler is mounted to the CPU.
     
  7. cobretti1818

    cobretti1818 Member

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2006
    Messages:
    182
    Thanks very much for a great review, genuinely helpful :thumbup:
     
  8. Paulie_AU

    Paulie_AU Member

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2013
    Messages:
    3,463
    Location:
    Brisbane
    Yeah thanks for putting the effort into reviewing.

    Thinking I will go with the latest NXZT single bay V4 thingie for my bench setup. I have 4 blocks (how did I end up with 4 in 2 months.... :Paranoid: no wonder my wife reckons I am out of control) so would be bit of a waste to go for something with a block incorporated.

    Actually come to think of it a Phobya DC12-400 is probably going to be a good option at $49 (have a res spare). Gahh so may options, so little time.
     
  9. OP
    OP
    AMD2400

    AMD2400 Member

    Joined:
    May 28, 2004
    Messages:
    659
    Location:
    Melbourne
    Hah, I have the same problems too, hording so many blocks and rads ive accumulated just monitoring the FS section here, so cheap! :lol:

    That DC12-400 is a rebranded EK-DCP4 right? I actually had that for my first pump. It was pretty good, abit on the loud side, id say abit louder then this Eisberg on low. Flow wise its a superior pump then whats in this Eisberg.

    When i sold that pump and jumped to this D5 i have now, man was it a difference in flow and noise! Im gettting to a point however even a D5 is too loud haha,i can never be satisfied.
     
  10. Paulie_AU

    Paulie_AU Member

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2013
    Messages:
    3,463
    Location:
    Brisbane
    Yeah my D5 can be a little noisy on startup at 12V but then don't notice it. I run my 140's at minumum speed and 120's at 1200rpm so it is all pretty quiet. Just need to put the block on the 970 to cut the fan noise from it. Maybe this weekend :Paranoid:
     
  11. OP
    OP
    AMD2400

    AMD2400 Member

    Joined:
    May 28, 2004
    Messages:
    659
    Location:
    Melbourne
    Found this video interesting,

    Uses a Eisberg @ 7v, 2xGPU blocks and a 240(280??)mm radiator as a loop.

    Also shows how high the Eisberg can pump water, pretty cool.

     
  12. tracti

    tracti Member

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2014
    Messages:
    119
    Location:
    Brisbane
    I know its a sales vid but good to see the thing in action. Also correct me if I'm wrong but that would mean the Eisberg has over 2m of head pressure, pretty good for a little pump
     
  13. OP
    OP
    AMD2400

    AMD2400 Member

    Joined:
    May 28, 2004
    Messages:
    659
    Location:
    Melbourne
    4 Months on

    It is pretty good value, it appears PCCG is now stocking these units again, after they were pulled for some reason.

    Anyways, as my custom loop build is now progressing again, i am pulling the Eisberg out and going to run my other block. I thought i should give my feedback having used it for around 4 months now

    In that time i pretty much had no issues with it. My use was constant, with the computer being left on upto 2 weeks at a time. In that time each day i'd have an 2-3 hr gaming session, so it has seen alot of use.

    From someone who is used to a silent computer, the pump whine is pretty annoying. The unit did keep temps in check, and there was one time where the pump failed to switch on due to my fan controller voltage being too low (<7V) which triggered the thermal shutdown. But my computer was all good.

    The liquid levels didnt change at all, and there where definately no leaks.

    Here is a picture with showing the contact between the the Eisberg and my 3570, which appears to be pretty good:

    [​IMG]

    Might be for sale soon, pending how my build goes.

    Let me know if you guys need more information.
     

Share This Page