Comparison Hardware, Evaluation & Conclusion
We retain the hardware configuration from previous big cooler reviews while comparing the Eisbaer 360 CPU to previously reviewed rivals. We retain the stock fan configuration of our Corsair 760T case, removing the magnetic panel cover to mount radiators under its top panel in exhaust orientation.
Fractal Design Celsius S24
The most recently-reviewed pre-filled configurable-loop cooler, Fractal Design’s Celsius S24, won a value award for its as-delivered cooling performance despite a 40 LPH flow rating that’s far lower than traditional open-loop-based kits. The most recently-reviewed of those open-loop based kits are Swiftech’s H240 X2 and EK’s XLC Predator 240. The Eisbaer’s 70LPH rating appears suited to its line of GPX graphics coolers, though it’s still far below EK’s 170 LPH rating.
A quick comparison of temperatures between the Eisbaer 360, the 2x 120mm Predator 240, and the 2x 140mm H240 X2 shows what one might expect: The larger the radiator, the better the cooling. Fractal’s Celsius S24 also shows why it won its award, but not how in any technical sense. The most likely options are either that its transfer plate better fit this CPU’s heat spreader, or that its internal design was better-optimized for this CPU’s core layout.
Our test system’s fan controller didn’t have much impact on the Eisbaer’s variable-speed-capable pump, but did well to control its moderate fan speed, (ie, angular velocity).
Maximum noise levels for the Eisbaer 360 and H240 X2 appear borderline-acceptable, and the good news from a qualitative perspective is that it’s fairly close to white noise (for minimum annoyance at a given SPL). The Celsius S24 beats both.
Had we not reviewed the S24, the Eisbaer 360 would top the Acoustic Efficiency chart for configurable factory-filled coolers. If you’d like to treat the S24 results as a fluke peculiar to our specific CPU, you’re welcome to compare our results to someone else’s.
The Eisbaer 360 appears to be a better value than either the EK Predator 240 or H240 X2. Though we still have questions about the Celsius S24’s ability to support various GPU water blocks due to its low flow rating, it still appears to be a superior value for users who don’t want to add more items to their loops. Then again, sticking only to the included CPU block defeats the purpose of choosing a configurable kit, rather than a permanently sealed closed-loop.
Contrary to popular belief, the Ice Bear can survive in snow snake country [Editor: Apparently this reflects some regional humor in the author's vicinity] and even compete against other predators. A 3x 120mm radiator almost certainly helped it beat the H240 X2 and Predator 240 in cooling performance, and comes rated with a reasonable flow rate to accommodate an added component or two. On the other hand, its only rated at 0.85m pressure head. I prefer to see around 3 PSI of static pressure. Swiftech’s pump is rated at 2.8m (4 PSI), and EK’s (DDC 3.1) pump has strikingly similar specs. The pump appears to bridge the gap between the Celsius S24’s undersized unit and the broadly-capable Swiftech and EK parts. We just don’t know if that’s a gap that needed to be filled.
More clear to this tester is that the Eisbaer 360 has a larger radiator than either the Swiftech or EK factory-filled kits, and that it’s priced similarly to the cheapest of these two kits. That means that as long as your cooling block has very little resistance to flow, you’ll have plenty of cooling capacity. While I’m not exactly sure where that leaves the Eisbaer 360 in award contention, it’s certainly worthy of further consideration.
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