CoolIT Eco C240 A.L.C. £125
9th Jul 2010 | 11:00
Serious cooling for serious 'clockers
CoolIT Eco C240 A.L.C. - Overview
CoolIT's original Eco A.L.C. has long been a favourite of ours, and now we have the new Eco C240 A.L.C, essentially the same design, but with a bigger radiator with twin fans.
It doesn't matter how tall your stack of fins is, if you want heavyweight cooling for your processor then liquid-cooling it where it's at.
The C240 looks automotive, as well it should as it works the same way. Liquid is circulated around, but not touching, the hot bits, and is pumped away and cooled in a radiator.
The head unit carries the commendably quiet pump and is nicely compact, leaving plenty of room for air to move about over the motherboard.
The universal fitting can cope with all comers: Intel's LGA 775, 1156, 1366 and AMD's AM2, AM2+ and AM3. The four point fixing uses captive bolts to screw through to the backplate, it's about as easy to fit as coolers get.
CoolIT Eco C240 A.L.C. - Verdict
Two pipes lead away to the solidly-built radiator and its two 12cm PWM fans. This is where you might have some fun, as you'll need a case that can fit this venting to the outside properly.
Some pushing and shoving may be required.
Annoyingly the fan's power leads are shorter than the pipes, so you might need extenders if the radiator is too far away.
Given the huge cooling area the fans don't have to work too hard either, and hence are good and quiet. It's all sealed and maintenance-free too; no top-ups required.
The days of rather haphazard water-cooling kits are long gone; this is a properly-sorted piece of engineering.
So does it work?
Oh yes, it works wonderfully. Tested on an i7 930 (145 TDP) we measured an average idle temperature of 31 degrees, that's a clear two degrees cooler than the single fan Eco A.L.C. we also tested.
Crank up the loading to maximum and it averaged a frankly amazing 49 degrees.
This is the first time we've recorded a reading under load that was less than 50 degrees for any cooler. A top-notch tower cooler such as Titan's Fenrir comes in at 51.25 under load and 32 degrees at idle. Liquid cooling clearly has the edge, and works even more effectively as demands increase.
The cost of the C240 might cause you to blanche though, you could buy four decent traditional fins and pipes coolers for the £125 and still have change for pizza.
Running stock-clocked processors is a complete waste though; this is aimed squarely at overclockers who like to live dangerously. And not the blue LED type of tinkerer either. This is all-black industrial cooling for those in search of every last ounce of performance.
If this is you, then here is your cooler.
CoolIT's ECO C240 is a lot of cooler in every way. Yes, it carries a fair premium over air-cooled designs, but you get a powerful no-nonsense design that delivers what overclockers want: massive heat transfer rates.
The real rivals are CoolIT's other versions, cheaper and nearly as effective. Getting the radiator sited neatly is the only drawback we found in testing, otherwise it's no more tricky than traditional coolers to run.
CoolIT's Eco C240 A.L.C. is a practically, and efficiently, designed closed-loop liquid CPU cooler. It delivers incredible performance, but that does come with a fairly hefty price premium for that double-width radiator.