This is Part 9 of our PC Building series.
The world of PC building and PC components is fueled by innovation. New technology constantly replaces what came before. But when it comes to PC cooling systems, there’s still some debate over whether liquid cooling or air cooling is better for your system.
On the surface, liquid cooling is superior. Liquid cooling can tame even the hardest working PC components, such as your CPU or GPU, thanks to direct cooling methods that are especially appealing to anyone who wants to dive into the wonderful world of overclocking. The liquid cooling method is also significantly quieter than even the quietest of fans, and (at the risk of having too many puns) liquid cooling generally just looks cooler than most popular fan systems.
So what’s the problem? Well, buying a quality liquid cooling system certainly isn’t cheap (the better ones can cost up to $300 or more), but even those who accept the higher costs may balk at the complications that liquid cooling brings. Simply put, it’s not easy to properly install a liquid cooling system. Even experienced builders have to be extra careful when working with the sometimes delicate components associated with liquid cooling. If it’s your first time installing a water cooling system…well…have fun.
While the liquid cooling vs. air cooling debate may sound like a give and take, there is an alternative: all-in-one liquid cooling systems that will meet your needs and are easier to install, especially if you’re installing your first liquid cooling system. Specifically, we’re talking about the Eisbaer CPU and Eiswolf GPU cooling systems from Alphacool.
What is AIO cooling? As the name implies, it’s a kind of self-contained alternative to fully-fledged water cooling systems that run throughout your PC. Much like a car radiator, they use a combination of liquid and fans (hence, “all-in-one”) to offer compact cooling for specific components in your PC. The heat from your CPU or GPU is absorbed via the liquid running through the cooler’s tubes. Those tubes run to a radiator hooked up to fans, which expel the heat and send cool liquid back down to your CPU or GPU in order to start the process all over again.
AIOs are generally cheaper than full liquid cooling alternatives, typically more effective than simple air coolers, and they’re fairly easy to install. They sometimes come with their own drawbacks, but these AIOs from Alphacool find some interesting paths around some of the most common AIO cooling problems.
For instance, you can easily swap and replace key components of the Eisbaer and Eiswolf systems. This affords you a degree of customization and alteration you don’t typically get to enjoy unless you install a complete water cooling setup. The Eiswolf is modular, which means that you only need to replace a small section of the cooling system to fit it to different graphics cards. You simply don’t get that feature with many other models. Each also boasts a surprisingly appealing design that counters the “bulky” look you sometimes get with these units. You even get an easy-to-read fill gauge cleverly integrated into the case.
As with most major PC components, the true appeal of these AIO units are their functionality. That starts with their pure copper radiators. Their sturdy design offers nearly unrivaled cooling power in comparison to other AIOs on the market that settle for lesser materials. This results in some of best heat transference that you’ll find outside of, perhaps, a dedicated full liquid cooling solution.
That dedication to quality and performance extends to even minor design details such as the fittings. Thanks to brilliantly implemented anti-kink springs, you’ll rarely ever have to worry about the hoses bending over the long-term and disrupting the vital liquid transfer process. Considering that the hoses on these units are designed to be more flexible in order to more easily fit in a variety of computer cases, that’s quite the welcome failsafe.
Of course, AIO units are only as good as their fans, and that’s happily another area where the Eisbaer and Eiswolf excel. A smart adapter and control system allows you to easily alter the speed of the fans based on your preferences and needs. Regardless of the setting, these coolers are designed to effectively move heat through the radiator and out of your system.
Building your own PC is about getting a better computer for less money as well as the thrill of running a rig that you know inside-out. To that end, it’s understandable that you want something more substantial than a large fan making too much noise in your case as it works overtime to keep high-end components cool. It’s just as understandable that you may not want to break the bank and your brain trying to install a full series of water cooling tubes when you really just want to start enjoying your PC games.
At a time when two viable cooling solutions exist, the Eisbaer and Eiswolf argue that you don’t have to choose in order to have it all, or, at the very least, a good chunk of the best of both worlds. They keep your system cool, they keep your components safe, and they reduce the headaches that PC builders too often have to deal with.
To read the complete PC Building series, click the links below: