As one might expect, it appears that most of the benefits liquid-cooling claims over air-cooling disappear when a similarly-sized radiator is mounted in a similar position. The advantages of a larger radiator and remote mounting were both removed from the liquid system we tested today.
Both companies rate their coolers at 37-40 decibels max, but at its 1,600 RPM test speed the Cogage True Spirit was barely noisier than our 28 decibel reference fan.
The Domino A.L.C., on the other hand, is only supposed to be around 26 decibels in mid-speed “Performance” mode, but was noticeably noisier than the True Spirit. At full speed (2,800 RPM) its fan was over twice as loud as that of the True Spirit.
At 6.5” tall, the True Spirit won’t fit some enclosures, but cases large enough to host a 120mm exhaust fan (required for the Domino A.L.C.) will also be large enough for the True Spirit.
Thus, while we’ve had great success with the TEC-equipped CoolIT Freezone and Eliminator in past configurations, we must suggest an oversized air cooler such as the Cogage True Spirit rather than the Domino A.L.C.
While the Cogage True Spirit did perform well enough to get the nod from this editor, you won’t find it taking a regular place on his test bench. With push pins that require many pounds of force to engage and a center point that’s not always on-center, installation and removal are too tedious as a daily task. If you're planning a more fire-and-forget setup (which we assume is the case for most end-users), the True Spirit's installation challenges are more easily overlooked, and the heatsink becomes easier to recommend.