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Alphacool Eisbaer Aurora 360 - digital RGB LED upgrade for a modular AIO

A polar bear with RGB lighting! Alphacool has been in the market with various water cooler components for many years, and the company offers both custom water cooler solutions as well as AIO designs. The Eisbaer series attempts to combine the benefits of both worlds. In addition, Alphacool's latest Aurora model includes RGB lighting and an improved pump. Find out how the 360 mm radiator-equipped model performed in our review.
Sebastian Bade, Andrea Grüblinger (translated by Finn D. Boerne),

Alphacool has been around for many years and is a well-known player in the world of PC water cooling. Not too long ago we had the Alphacool Eisbaer 280 AIO in review. That system had no RGB lighting, and with the Aurora 360 the manufacturer has now upped the ante and introduced a visually enhanced product. Given that the combination of expansion tank and pump remained identical save for its RGB lighting, which can also be found on the included 120 mm fans, the upgrades are mostly limited to the AIO’s design. Thanks to these RGB lights the AIO does not simply vanish inside your computer case but becomes a visual highlight in itself.

Compared to its predecessor, Alphacool’s Eisbaer Aurora 360 AIO comes with a 10% more powerful and overall quieter pump. The tubing was replaced and is now based on Alphacool’s TVP series, as are the fittings and quick-release fasteners thanks to which the AIO is quite modular. It is worth noting that the old quick-release system is compatible to the new one.

The Aurora series is available in two different sizes: A small model with 240 mm radiator for 125 Euros (~$138) and a larger one with 360 mm radiator for 145 Euros (~$160). The current review model is the latter. Additional models with 280 and 420 mm radiators are supposed to follow soon. Pricing for those two is not yet available.

Alphacool Eisbaer Aurora 240 mm (Source: Alphacool)
Alphacool Eisbaer Aurora 240 mm (Source: Alphacool)
Alphacool Eisbaer Aurora 360 mm (Source: Alphacool)
Alphacool Eisbaer Aurora 360 mm (Source: Alphacool)

Our AMD Ryzen 9 3900X Test System

Our test system is comprised of the MSI MEG X570 Godlike motherboard based on AMD’s current platform. The CPU, an AMD Ryzen 9 3900X, offers a very high performance at a TDP of up to 165 W. Due to its 7-nm manufacturing process the resulting heat is confined to several tiny hot spots, and fast heat transfer is critical. The new Zen 2 series Ryzen processors come with AMD’s new chiplet design separating the CPU cores from the I/O die. More specifically this means that the CPU dies no longer sit directly below the heat spreader, which may be a disadvantage for existing cooling solutions.

We would like to thank AMD for providing us with the test platform.

AMD Ryzen 9 3900X
MSI MEG X570 Godlike
G-Skill Trident Z Royal gold DDR4-3600

For the tests and benchmarks below we are going to use the following system:

  • Corsair Carbide Air 540 ATX Cube
  • AMD Ryzen 9 3900X
  • Nvidia RTX Titan
  • MSI MEG X570 Godlike (BIOS 1.20, default settings, XMP 1 for DDR4-3600 CL16)
  • Corsair RM 1000X power supply
  • G-Skill Trident Z Royal gold DDR4-3600 memory kit 2 x 8 GB set to DDR4-3600 CL16-16-16-36
  • Corsair MP600 2TB M.2 PCIe-4.0 SSD
  • Crucial MX500 2TB (for games only)
  • Western Digital PC SN720 NVMe SSD 512GB (for games only)
  • Microsoft Windows 10 1909 Professional 64-bit
Alphacool Eisbaer Aurora 360
Alphacool Eisbaer Aurora 360
Alphacool Eisbaer Aurora 360
Alphacool Eisbaer Aurora 360
Alphacool Eisbaer Aurora 360
Alphacool Eisbaer Aurora 360
Alphacool Eisbaer Aurora 360
Alphacool Eisbaer Aurora 360
Alphacool Eisbaer Aurora 360
Alphacool Eisbaer Aurora 360
Alphacool Eisbaer Aurora 360
Alphacool Eisbaer Aurora 360
Alphacool Eisbaer Aurora 360
Alphacool Eisbaer Aurora 360
Alphacool Eisbaer Aurora 360
Alphacool Eisbaer Aurora 360
Alphacool Eisbaer Aurora 360
Alphacool Eisbaer Aurora 360
Alphacool Eisbaer Aurora 360
Alphacool Eisbaer Aurora 360
Alphacool Eisbaer Aurora 360
Alphacool Eisbaer Aurora 360

Installation in our Test System

The cooler supports all current and common installation procedures, and we had no issues whatsoever installing it on our AM4 platform. The expansion tank, which includes the pump, does not require any tools for installation. The three included 120 mm fans and the expansion tank have to be connected to the motherboard’s RGB header in order to light up and join the RGB show.

In-Depth Test Results

For this review, we pitched the Alphacool Eisbaer Aurora 360 against AMD’s boxed CPU cooler (Wraith Prism) as well as two other AIOs: a be quiet! Silent Loop 280 and an Alphacool Eisbaer 280, both of which are equipped with slightly smaller radiators.

In our load test, during which we run Prime95 v28.10 for at least 30 minutes, our AMD Ryzen 9 3900X peaked at just 73.9 °C, which is only slightly below the Eisbaer 280’s results. However, the CPU managed to run at much higher clock speeds at the same time, which shows how much more efficient Alphacool’s new AIO really is.

Both pump and fans were running at top speeds during our tests. Reducing the pump to 25% and the fans to 50% resulted in similar clock speeds at a significantly higher temperature of 82.1 °C. Considering the nature of our tests during which the CPU uses a full 165 W of power these results are more than impressive. That said we would not suggest running the fans at full speed all the time since they were quite noticeable. Lower fan speeds resulted in a quiet operation. The pump turned out to be very quiet and practically inaudible even at full speed.

If you happen to be looking for a quiet cooler for your computer the Alphacool Eisbaer 360 is definitely a good choice with its bonus bling-bling thanks to its integrated RGB lighting. It worked great in combination with our MSI motherboard, and we were able to enable and configure various lighting effects with MSI Mystic Light.

Wraith Prism under full load
Wraith Prism under full load
be quiet! Silent Loop 280 under full load
be quiet! Silent Loop 280 under full load
Alphacool Eisbaer 280 under full load
Alphacool Eisbaer 280 under full load
Alphacool Eisbaer Aurora 360 under full load (fans and pump @max performance)
Alphacool Eisbaer Aurora 360 under full load (fans and pump @max performance)
Alphacool Eisbaer Aurora 360 under full load (fans and pump @min performance)
Alphacool Eisbaer Aurora 360 under full load (fans and pump @min performance)
 
Temperatures - CPU Temperature Prime95
Wraith Prism
80.3 °C ∼100% +9%
be quiet! Silent Loop 280mm
78.9 °C ∼98% +7%
Alphacool Eisbaer 280
74 °C ∼92% 0%
Alphacool Eisbaer Aurora 360
73.9 °C ∼92%
Clock Speed - CPU Clock Speed Prime95
Alphacool Eisbaer Aurora 360
4160 MHz ∼100%
Alphacool Eisbaer 280
4070 MHz ∼98% -2%
be quiet! Silent Loop 280mm
4037 MHz ∼97% -3%
Wraith Prism
3986 MHz ∼96% -4%

Legend

 
Alphacool Eisbaer Aurora 360 AMD Ryzen 9 3900X, NVIDIA Titan RTX,
 
be quiet! Silent Loop 280mm AMD Ryzen 9 3900X, NVIDIA Titan RTX,
 
Alphacool Eisbaer 280 AMD Ryzen 9 3900X, NVIDIA Titan RTX,
 
Wraith Prism AMD Ryzen 9 3900X, NVIDIA Titan RTX,

Pros

+ excellent cooling performance thanks to all-copper radiator
+ sleek RGB lighting
+ quiet under load
+ modular upgradeable design
+ fits all common CPU sockets

Cons

- coolant for refilling not included

Verdict

Alphacool Eisbaer Aurora 360. Review unit courtesy of Alphacool
Alphacool Eisbaer Aurora 360. Review unit courtesy of Alphacool

Alphacool’s new Aurora series combines all the advantages of its predecessors, and then some. The more powerful pump that is at the same time quieter is the major albeit not instantly obvious or visible upgrade. From a visual perspective Alphacool joined the RGB bandwagon and offers its Aurora series with individually addressable and configurable RGB lighting.

The new system remains modular and therefore upgradeable. The new tubes look nicer than the old ones but remain compatible with previous products. The compact pre-filled water tank is easy to install and performed remarkably well in our tests. Compared to the included Wraith Prism that the AMD Ryzen 9 3900X comes with by default it is a major upgrade.

The Alphacool Eisbaer Aurora 360 AIO offers excellent cooling performance and is suitable for all modern high-end CPUs.

The cooler sells for around 145 Euros (~$160), which is much more than what other powerful third-party air coolers cost. Its biggest advantage, however, is Alphacool’s choice of components, which are identical to the ones used in custom-built water coolers and thus ensure upgradeability. This is a unique selling feature that is hard to dismiss.

If you currently own a Ryzen 9 the AIO is a great fit. After all, the manufacturer advises its customers to use a water cooler with a 280-mm radiator for the Ryzen 9 3950X processor.

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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > Reviews > Alphacool Eisbaer Aurora 360 - digital RGB LED upgrade for a modular AIO
Sebastian Bade, 2020-01-30 (Update: 2020-01-30)
Sebastian Bade
Editor of the original article: Sebastian Bade - Editor
From an early age I was interested in technology and was then able to learn the desired profession of "IT systems electronics engineer". Subsequently, my 12-year military service began, during which I learned a lot and kept my knowledge constantly up to date with the latest technology. Since I would like to share this with you, Notebookcheck offers a very good possibility to offer this to the masses. Furthermore, I am very much involved with water cooling and network security.