To start with, we need to mention slightly different test methodology was used with the Eisbaer Extreme 280 due to the fact its huge radiator failed to fit in our test cases. We'll likely be upgrading these at some point, but for now we've actually modified our LGA 2066 system case slightly so the Eisbaer Extreme's radiator can be installed, testing on this socket only - it's the most demanding system. We've also recorded results with the fans at 12V, 7V and 5V, as we wanted to see whether so large a cooler was still effective at lower voltages; the pump was always being fed with 12V, though.
At full speed, the Eisbaer Extreme 280 was supremely quiet with next to no pump noise and only a low whisper from the fans, which still dished out reasonable airflow. While offering the same temperature as Corsair's H150i Pro RGB and H100i RGB Platinum using their Balanced fan profiles, it was easily quieter, giving it a better noise to performance ratio. Using high-quality Be Quiet! fans appears to have paid off, and them being capped at 1,300 RPM means most users will be comfortable even if their CPU drives them up to full speed.
Dropping the fan voltage to 7V saw a hefty 11°C rise in the CPU delta T, but this was still much cooler than the H150i Pro RGB on its Quiet profile, as was the 5V fan speed on the Alphacool cooler, which maxed out at 75°C.
Both the Corsair H100i RGB Platinum and H150i Pro RGB retail for similar money to the Eisbaer Extreme 280, albeit a tad less, but are very much amongst its long list of competitors. They offer RGB and software control, while Alphacool has both PWM control for the fans (easy to sync with your motherboard's cooling options) plus a control dial for the powerful pump too, although it's definitely not something you'd want to adjust regularly. It also has the ability to expand its loop in a hassle-free way with its quick-release fittings. Performance at 12V fan speed is excellent given the lower noise and fan speed; we reckon many will trade a few degrees Celsius for lower noise.
That said, we'd actually suggest Alphacool adds some slightly more powerful fans to future versions, as it would likely reach further up performance graphs like ours, but it's probably nice to know your ears won't suddenly start bleeding when your CPU comes under heavy load. It's clear that while you don't get perks such as RGB lighting or software control, the Eisbaer Extreme 280 is still a potent and customisable cooler especially when combined with decent EFI fan control, and the powerful pump is easily capable of handling several more components in the loop. There are a couple of downsides, such as no easy access to the valuable pump speed control and the fact the tubes are prone to kinking with a moderate amount of force. The mounting mechanism is also a little clunky, but the main downside is, of course, its size. If your case can house it, though, the Eisbaer Extreme 280 should be very high on your AIO liquid-cooler shortlist, especially if noise is a primary concern.
December 11 2020 | 17:30