Feedback and impressions of Eisbear Extreme AIO 280


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A while back i received my Alphacool Eisbear Extreme 280 AIO -Thanks Tim Lambrecht for helping and being so patient with my constant nagging :) - and i wanted to take the oppurtunity to give some feedback and first impressions. The case i have the AIO installed in is the Fractal Meshify 2 XL. At first i wanted to install the AIO on top but it wouldnt fit there because of the clips that latch on to the side panel. So my only option was the front. Or so i thought. It wont fit there as well unless you remove the SSD bracket next to motherboard.

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But after the AIO is fitted the side SSD bracket/panel CAN be refitted but it takes some bending and not fitting all screws. So the meshify 2 XL can be added to the product page as compatible but it should have an asterisk next to it explaining how and why.
When i wanted to hook up the pumps power connector (Molex) i noticed the black wire was loose and the platsic inside the connector was chipped a bit. My theory as how this happend is: the black wire was a bit shorter than the red one and with the shrinking sleeve applied there was just too much pressure on the inside of the connector so the plastic broke. So i had to cut the shrinking sleeve a bit and i hot glued the connector into place. Not the prettiest solution (a molex connector never is tbh) but it works i guess.
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So now on to the actual use of this cooling solution. Im cooling a 5950x with it which has a slight overclock on it. Voltage's are set to auto. PPT is 200w. CO is set per core ranging from -15 on the worst to -5 on the best cores. My previous cooler was a dark rock pro 4 from bequiet which is one of the best if not the best air coolers and is very quiet as well.

Under load the Eisbear is about 10-15 Celsius cooler compared to the dark rock pro 4. Going from 80-85 to 70-75 is a pretty big jump but not unexpected. Idle temps though are a different story. The dark rock pro 4 averaged idle temps of about 55C and the Eisbear also did average out at 55c although being much less spikey in its behavior which makes sense because its a water cooler. I have used a lot of different AIO's and air coolers on various Intel and older AMD CPU's and i never experienced such high idle temps before except on this CPU. I think that this happens because of there are 2 small CCD's with 8 cores each pretty close to each other underneath the IHS and because the heat generation is so centered and close to each other the IHS simply isnt sufficient enough. I could try lapping the CPU but i dont think that would help much and i'd rather wait until my warranty is over before doing that. Running the pump at 4100rpm or at 2100rpm did not make a difference. Same for the fans. At full blast there is cold/ambient air coming from the radiator Short story: high idle temps on both coolers. Not the coolers fault.

The fans used on the AIO are very silent. They are the same fans i use for the rest of the case. The pump however is a different story. At first start the pump was very whiney at almost every RPM but the lowest. I figured there was some air in the system. But i dont have any coolant on hand yet so i decided to let the system work the air to the top of the radiator and that did get rid of the whine but their is still a very audible humm coming from the pump at higher RPM's which according to some review's i read before purchasing is pretty normal. Setting the pump to about 25% (2700rpm) in the CPU temp range 15c to 70c and 50% (3300rpm) above that using Argus Monitor results in an almost silent operation with no noticable performance difference.

All things considered i am pretty happy with the cooler and its expansion possibility's. I cant wait to get my hands on a high end GPU and adding a block and radiator for it and making a full loop out of it. Or evin buying another one without the CPU block and add a GPU block and another radiator to it.

I do have some serious criticism to give though. The molex connector being busted is a QC thing that shouldnt have happend. I would rather have seen a sata connector instead. I think a sata connector could provide the pump with more than enough power. And its more likely a user has some extra sata connectors on the back of of the motherboard tray than Molex. It required me to plug in an extra cable tree into my PSU which gave extra cable management concerns.

The blue LED in the reservoir is way too bright and leaks out of the radiator housing on all sides. I shot some pictures to demonstrate the effect. Im glad i have my PC on my left side because otherwise it would be pretty distracting.

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Those picture's really highlight every dust particle.. Sorry about that. :)


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