CoolIT Domino Advanced Liquid Cooling CPU Cooler
Author: Rutledge Feman
Editor: Shawn Knight
Date: 01-21-2009
Provided by: CoolIT Systems

The CoolIT Domino ALC makes for a good, though not great, all-around product.

On the noise front, the Domino ALC is about average. At medium it is quiet but definitely audible, and at low is it is almost inaudible. At high, though, it runs at a solid 30dBA from a meter away. The performance is also only about average for liquid cooling systems. While the Domino ALC performs well among air coolers, it also performs right on line with most all-in-one kits, failing to break out of the pack.

There are a few aspects of the design of the Domino ALC that I didn't totally agree with. The first is the LCD screen: while it does provide eye candy for those whose cases have windows, it is functionally useless. There are better, easier ways to monitor fan and pump speeds and coolant temperature, and the rest of the screen is a glorified fan-speed switch. It seems more convenient to be able to switch fan speeds without having to take off the side-panel. Without the LCD screen, the unit would have been much smaller and a bit cheaper. Also, because the input/output for the radiator are at its bottom, it lies dangerously close to my expansion slots. I would have expected CoolIT to account for this conflict on standard ATX motherboards in standard ATX cases.

Where the Domino ALC exceeds, it seems, is in its price. At an MSRP of $80 USD, the Domino is plenty cheaper than any common all-in-one liquid kit, like the Swiftech H2O-120 which can be found for double that price. Nevertheless, it is still more expensive than coolers like the OCZ Vendetta 2, which is cheaper, quieter, and smaller than the Domino ALC.

My final peeve with the Domino ALC is that it is not expandable in any way. Due to its precisely engineered design, fans cannot be added and it would be hard to change out the stock fan. Similarly, no components can be added to the loop or changed. A more modular design would have given the Domino ALC much more potential.

CoolIT System's Domino ALC, while a generally good product with good performance, definitely isn't groundbreaking nor is it CoolIT's most impressive product. While the Domino is extraordinary for an all-in-one kit in its ability to manage fan speed according to coolant temperature, this feature alone does not make up for its other flaws. A more modular design coupled with a rethinking of the side-panel would definitely allow better performance and a better price, making for a more valuable all-around product.

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