CoolIT's Eco A.L.C. is liquid fun

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CoolIT's Eco A.L.C. is liquid fun

Once you go liquid, you'll never go... dry. Again. Uh... ignore us, but don't ignore this new liquid cooler from CoolIT.

Water is wetter, performance is (generally) better... and it can (sometimes) be quieter. Unfortunately the cost of custom cooling loops can run into the hundreds of dollars, and the sheer amount of choice out there can make making an informed decision a tough one. That's what these units are for - entirely self-contained, pre-assembled, and idiot-proof. Notorious in years past for providing worse performance than a stock heatsink, they've taken a turn for the better since the introduction of the Corsair H50, and CoolIT has thrown its hat in the ring with the promise of cheaper water.

Included with the Eco A.L.C. is everything needed to install and mount the unit, and it conveniently boasts pre-applied thermal paste on the copper waterblock to make it even easier. Simply attach the backplate behind the motherboard, whack the waterblock/pump unit onto the processor, and screw it down. Annoyingly the instructions say to get it finger-tight, but the plastic grips are too fiddly for large hands, so we used a screwdriver. After it's attached to the motherboard simply screw the radiator to the rear 120mm fan mount in the case, plug in the pump and fan to a 3-pin fan connector, and fire it up.

Installation only took five minutes, and once fired up there was a slight gurgling noise as the pump got going, but otherwise it remained at a constant 59 decibels - noticeably loud in a case. Thankfully the temperatures are remarkable, and though they weren't as good as the competing Corsair H50, they're still very nice. The Eco even remained stable under our overclocked and overvolted torture test, which pushed the thin radiator to the limit as it vented noticeably hot air.

For a self-enclosed watercooling loop this is definitely one to consider, especially with its low price, though the benefits over traditional heatsinks are still questionable.

click to view full size image

CoolIT Eco A.L.C.
4 6
Verdict
A nicely performing, if slightly loud, good value watercooling kit.
Overall
Specs
$105
Self-enclosed liquid cooling loop; 120mm radiator w/ fan; waterblock/pump; 1366, 1156, 775, AM2, AM3
This review appeared in the November, 2010 issue of Atomic Magazine
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