CoolIT Systems ECO A.L.C. Liquid Cooler
Author: Zahn Funk
Editor: Shawn Knight
Date: 04-13-2010
Provided by: CoolIT
Pages:
Installation / Testing

Rather than installing on my current system, I'll be using the ECO on a slightly older rig in order to get a fair comparison to the previously reviewed H50 and Tiger coolers. Just as in those reviews, the test system consists of:

AMD 6400+ X2 Black Edition (90nm 125W TDP Windsor core)
Biostar TForce 570 SLI
2x2Gb OCZ Fatal1ty DDR2
MSI NX6600-VTD128E
74Gb Western Digital Raptor
2x320Gb Seagate 7200.10
Ultra X3 800W
Lian Li PC-767 BTX Case


As I will be installing on an AMD system, the Intel brackets must first be removed. Here we get a better look at the adjustable ends with gradient markings that indicate the different 775/1156/1366 socket types. Once the four screws holding the brackets in place are out, it's a simple matter of substituting them with the AMD pieces that CoolIT shipped overnight to replace our missing components. Then the screws are reinserted and tightened down and the unit is ready to install on AM2/+/3 boards.


Although CoolIT has pre-applied thermal compound to the ECO block, I was interested in seeing the condition of the surface so I removed and thoroughly cleaned the copper base. It has a rough, machined surface that casts almost no reflection at all. CoolIT supplied a tube of their compound with the ECO so I will be using that to reapply for installation. Although backing plates for the Intel sockets are provided, AMD users are left to reuse their existing factory plate. This works fine as long as you have a metal plate with fully threaded posts, as shown on the right. If your motherboard came with a plastic back plate with threaded bottom inserts you will likely need to purchase an optional mounting kit to use the ECO. As we've seen with some other aftermarket coolers, the tapered screw tip design and shorter length does not allow the threads to grab unless the posts are threaded the whole way up.


Once you have confirmed that your motherboard has the appropriate backing plate type, installing the ECO is as simple as replacing your rear 120mm exhaust fan with the supplied fan and heat exchanger. The 4-pin connector for the PWM fan is then plugged into the CPU fan header on the board. The ECO block is positioned over the socket and the thumb screws tightened down. Each screw also has a standard Phillips head you can use to make sure they're really tight. Finally the 3-pin connector for the pump can be plugged into any other available motherboard fan header that provides a constant +12v power.

The OCCT CPU 1-Hour test was used to record minimum and maximum temperatures at idle and load. Since the 6400+ registers two temperatures, one for each core, the results were averaged together and recorded in the chart below. Two different settings were used, stock speed and voltage of 3.2Ghz at 1.4v and also 3.4Ghz at 1.5v overclocked. Smart Fan and AMD Cool & Quiet were enabled in the BIOS in order to test the PWM function of the fan, as a result the idle temps register lower than normal as the processor throttles down to 1.0Ghz at 1.1v in low power mode.


Other than the idle temp being several degrees cooler due to C&Q, the ECO registers temperatures very close to those recorded in our Corsair and NorthQ tests. Basically you're looking at idle temps in the mid to upper 30s, followed by upper 40s to low 50s under load, depending on the amount of voltage at the processor. Obviously no two or three tests can replicate the exact same conditions when conducted months apart, so it's impossible to compare the results and claim one is better than the other when the difference is only a few degrees. But what I can say is that just like the previous two reviews, the CoolIT ECO liquid cooler allows OCCT to complete a 1-hour torture test without error while keeping temperatures at a very reasonable level.

Let's wrap up with some final thoughts and conclusion.


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