It's always interesting to see what comes out of the labs at CoolIT Systems. We saw many of their new innovations at CES 2010 and were pretty impressed with what we glimpsed. While I wasn't able to get a look first hand due to a pre-show injury that didn't sate my intrigue when they announced the product we're reviewing today. The ECO A.L.C. CPU cooler is yet another product in the same vein as the Domino A.L.C. CPU cooler we reviewed more than a year ago. It sits in a similar price range, has a similar form factor, and has related underlying technology. It also won the same award from CES as its older Domino A.L.C. sibling. With a new set of refinements to the already innovative Domino A.L.C., the new ECO A.L.C. is set to make its older brother proud. To see how proud, let's get this thing tested and reviewed.
And What A Refinement...
While being in the same vein as the Domino by being an inexpensive entry into the world of water cooling, the ECO A.L.C. CPU cooler is closer in design and implementation to the Corsair H50. It's a stripped down design, consisting a single radiator, short tubing, and a CPU waterblock with the pump built in. There's no fancy thermally regulated temperature display with this unit. Here's a full listing of the specifications.
- CoolIT CPU FHE (Fluid Heat Exchanger) - Copper Micro-Channel
- Universal Retention System - Out of the box support provided for Intel 775, 1156, 1366 and AMD AM2, AM2+, AM3 sockets.
- CoolIT Proprietary Pump - Quiet, compact, long life CFF1 pump. Ceramic bearing Life Cycle: 50,000 Hours MTTF
- CoolIT Coolant - CoolIT Systems low toxicity with anticorrosion/antifungal additives
- CoolIT Radiator - Custom engineered for low noise high heat dissipation
- CoolIT Fan - High reliability, Quiet 12V Speed: 1800 RPM MAX
- CoolIT CPU Thermal Grease - CoolIT Systems Pro A.T.C. (Advanced Thermal Compound)
- CoolIT 2 Year Manufacturer Warranty
Lot's of juicy info can be found on the product home page. I think you might want to stick to our site though, since I hear a lot of people have been waiting for a comparison between the ECO, the Domino, and the H50. All of which are very similarly priced and we'll need to settle that score once and for all.
The New Block
The first feature of notice on the CoolIT ECO is the heat exchanger. Not only does it incorporate a water block, but it also contains a pump in it's housing. The pump is powered by a 3-pin connectors, which utilizes the fan headers found on the motherboard. CoolIT's design is a little more bulky then the Corsair H50, but it's also easier to work with during install. It's also very well integrated and looks very sharp.
And by easier to work with I mean you can actually mount the CoolIT ECO without the stress associated with trying to solve a Rubik's Cube. The Corsair H50's mounting system was very much tool-less, but it was also a wee bit of a pain. The mounting system on the CoolIT ECO on the other hand does require a screw driver, but it's stupid easy to install. The only catch is that motherboard removal is required, at least for Intel installations.This seems to be the deal with most aftermarket CPU coolers these days so definitely not a mark against the ECO. The current crop of new performance enclosures like the Cooler Master HAF932 seem to remedy this with a CPU installation cut out on the back of the case.
For my AMD test rig all I needed to do was remove the existing heatsink bracket while keeping the backplate in place. Then I placed the waterblock on the CPU, screwed it down, and cracked a beer to celebrate my genius. CoolIT has even pre-applied some of their own thermal compound, so if you're not picky about your thermal compounds that step is taken care of for you as well.