PC Components

Alphacool Eiswolf 2 – The AiO water cooling for graphics cards in test

An all-in-one water cooling system for graphics cards, that doesn’t exist? Oh yes! – With the Eiswolf 2, Alphacool has a charming solution on offer. It can be installed on a variety of popular graphics cards and it doesn’t always have to be the Founders Edition, at least for NVIDIA’s graphics cards. Among others, the Eiswolf 2 is also available for models from Asus, Zotac, Gainward, MSI and many more. NVIDIA’s RTX 3080, 3080 Ti and 3090 models are basically supported. If you own an AMD graphics card, this is not a problem, because Alphacool also offers a variant for this, which, however, only supports the cards in the reference design. From AMD, the RX 6800, RX 6800 XT and RX 6900 XT models are compatible. The full list of compatible GPUs can be found below the specifications.

The idea of a GPU-AiO piqued our interest, so we mounted the Alphacool Eiswolf 2 on an RX 6900 XT in the reference design for our test. Find out how the mounting went and how the Eiswolf 2 performed in our hands-on test in the following review.

Specifications

Cooler Pump Unit

L x W x H (mm): 140 x 265 x 46
Material radiator bottom: Nickel-plated copper
Material case: PMMA
Connectors: 2 x G1/4″
Pump type: DC-LT 2
Pump speed (rpm): 2600 (+/- 10%)
Height: 0.95 m
Maximum flow: 75 L/h
Voltage: 12V DC

Radiator

L x W x H (mm): 395 x 124 x 30
Materials Radiator: Copper, brass, stainless steel
G 1/4″ thread: 2x tubes + 1x fillport

Fan

Model: Alphacool Aurora Rise Digital RGB
L x W x H (mm): 120 x 120 x 25
Speed (rpm): 0 – 2500
Static pressure: 3.17 mm H2O
Connections: 4-pin PWM + 3-pin 5V ARGB

Compatibility list:

Alphacool provides a list of all compatible models on their respective product pages, which we’ve linked to you below.

AMD:
Reference Design –
alphacool-eiswolf-2-aio-360mm-radeon-rx-6800/6800xt/6900-reference-design-with-backplate

NVIDIA:
ASUSalphacool-eiswolf-2-aio-360mm-rtx-3080/3090-rog-strix-with-backplate
MSIalphacool-eiswolf-2-aio-360mm-rtx-3080/3090-ventus-with-backplate
Other manufacturersalphacool-eiswolf-2-aio-360mm-rtx-3090/3080-with-backplate-reference

Scope of delivery

Delivered is the Eiswolf 2, as it is known from AiO water cooling systems. Heatsink and radiator are connected with two hoses. Only the fans still have to be mounted on the radiator.  Besides the water cooling itself, various screws for mounting on the corresponding GPU are included. Cooling pads, which are needed for the conversion, have also been thought of. They are already cut to size and only have to be glued onto the intended places. The pads can be differentiated in thickness, the ones for the backplate are 3 mm thick and the pads for the cooler only measure 1 mm in thickness.  In addition to the cooling pads, a thermal paste is also included, which is needed for the graphics processor.

When it comes to fans, the Eiswolf 2 relies on the Alphacool Rise Aurora. Three 120 mm fans, which decorate the data sheet with a speed of up to 2500 revolutions per minute. Features the Aurora with a nice RGB lighting, which we will go into more detail later in this review.

The Eiswolf 2 comes with a backplate, which is included with the purchase. It is delivered in a separate packaging, which is included in the outer packaging. The design is a noble black, which makes a slightly textured and matte impression. The OC logo has been incorporated into the bottom right corner. The cooling pads for the backplate are also included and already cut to size. At which points these have to be placed is explained well and with pictures in the assembly instructions.

Design and construction

The Eiswolf 2 was equipped with a powerful 12V pump, which is located directly on the heat sink. The case of the pump is largely kept in black. A metallic application visually separates the pump from the heat sink. On the front of the pump housing, depending on the model, the graphics card manufacturer has been included. The logo is illuminated in red or green, depending on the manufacturer. The color of the illumination is fixed and cannot be changed. The lettering “Eiswolf” is not illuminated and therefore rather inconspicuous.

For the radiator, Alphacool relies on a version from the NexXxos series, which is made almost entirely of copper. Only the outer casing is made of stainless steel and the cooling fins, pre-chambers and cooling channels are made of copper. This promises excellent thermal conductivity and contributes significantly to the cooling performance. There are screw points for up to six fans on the case of the radiator. In total, the 360-mm radiator offers space for three 120-mm fans per side.

The great feature of the Eiswolf series is that it can be linked with the Eisbaer Aurora, an AiO for processors from Alphacool, giving the advantage of a larger water circuit. So the processor cooler and graphics cooler then share two radiators and an overall larger amount of coolant. Alphacool’s goal here was to create an AiO water cooling system with the performance of a custom water cooling system. Expanding is convenient via the quick disconnects on the hoses. To protect against leaking liquid, the quick disconnects are not just plugged together, but screwed tight. The hoses are with 50 cm length sufficiently long and thus offer enough possibilities to lay them neatly in the case.

Workmanship

We were impressed by the choice of materials and the implementation of the individual components. Especially the heatsink and the backplate make a very high-quality impression. The hoses are made of TPV (a special plastic mixture) and make a valuable impression thanks to the matte surface, but you still have to be careful when laying them, because the hoses kink very quickly.

Cooler unit & fans

The three included 120 mm Aurora Rise fans run at a maximum speed of 2500 rpm. A corresponding 4-pin splitter cable is included for fan control wiring, which splits into three ends. Thus, the control via the mainboard works flawlessly. The pump, on the other hand, runs at a fixed speed of 2600 revolutions per minute. Alphacool additionally specifies a tolerance of +/- 10%. The pump unit holds the DC-LT 2 pump, which is an improved version of the DC-LT low noise pump from Alphacool. The bottom of the cooler is made of nickel-plated copper and the entire cooler unit offers a maximum flow rate of 75 liters per hour.

Lighting

The lighting of the individual components can really be seen. The fans consist of a two-part lighting circuit. An outer ring and the illuminated fan center. From the center shine the individual colors to the individual blades. The illuminated ring can even be seen from the side profile of the fans and offers a spectacular effect, especially for open cases. No extra RGB controller is included for wiring the lighting. The fans are simply wired in series and then connected to the case’s motherboard or RGB controller using the 5V ARGB connector.

The illumination of the cooler unit is also quite impressive. The light spectacle is provided by an LED strip, which was incorporated on the lower side (the side that faces the motherboard when installed). The LED band includes a total of 14 LEDs. Each LED is capable of displaying a different color (addressable RGB). Thus, not only static colors, but also color gradients or effects, such as the well-known rainbow, can be displayed. The light shines through to the front side (visible side). The vertical installation of the GPU is recommended, as the lighting really comes into its own here and you can’t take your eyes off the inside of the PC.

No separate program is needed for the lighting. The entire control is possible via the software of the respective motherboard manufacturer or, as in our test, via the RGB controller of the case. If neither is available, Alphacool offers an RGB controller, which is powered via the Sata port (Alpha Cool Aurora Eiscontrol*).

Assembly

As mentioned at the beginning of our review, the tested version, is the one compatible for the Radeon RX 6900 XT. With the upgrade, we expect a gain in aesthetics and cooling performance. We would also like to see a less massive look after the upgrade.

The first steps for the conversion are to prepare and disassemble the graphics card case. Start by unscrewing all the screws on the back (backplate) of the GPU. In addition, it is necessary to unscrew the screws below the display connectors, otherwise the case cannot be removed.

If the bare PCB is now in front of you, it’s a matter of removing the old cooling pads and thoroughly cleaning the processor surface. Afterwards, the thermal paste is applied to the GPU and the 1mm cooling pads are glued to the corresponding points. You can find out where the pads have to be attached from the clear installation instructions.

Next, the cooling unit is placed on the PCB and fastened with screws on the back. Make sure that the cooling unit is free of fingerprints or dirt. Especially on the Plexiglas you will regret not having worked cleanly as soon as you turn on the illumination.

The next step is to attach the 3mm pads to the back of the GPU. The positions can also be taken from the assembly instructions. After that, the included backplate is put on and screwed to the cooling unit. With that, the conversion is complete and we are ready for our performance test.

Performance test

For our performance test, the RX 6900 XT found a place in the following test system along with the Eiswolf 2:

For our performance test, we loaded the RX 6900 XT with the 3DMark Firestrike stress test. The goal was to push the temperatures of the graphics card upwards. In order to get a comparable value, we used the standard version of the Firestrike stress test. The resulting temperatures refer to the graphics card with the original heatsink and to the conversion with the Eiswolf 2. You can see the resulting temperatures in the table below.

Fan power GPU temperature (°C) – reference
Temperature GPU (°C) – Icewolf 2
50% PWM ∅ 70.0 / max. 73.0 ∅ 56.0 / max 59.0
100% PWM ∅ 67.0 / max. 70.0 ∅ 52.0 / max 54.0

As expected, the temperatures turn out a lot better after the upgrade. At 50% fan power, the average value is 56 °C, which is about 14 °C cooler than with the stock heatsink. Alphacool already promises on the website, the cooling performance of a custom water cooling and that with an all-in-one design. In our opinion, they have kept this promise, even though the temperatures should be even better with a custom water cooler. Simply because of the larger cooling circuit. Nevertheless, the Eiswolf 2 could convince!

Conclusion

The conversion from the stock cooler to Alphacool’s all-in-one solution was not only a lot of fun, but also brings a meaningful upgrade. The tested temperatures speak for themselves. The conversion went without complications and was very well described. Quality and workmanship are very consistent. Even if we noticed the hoses in their condition somewhat negatively, a lot of love was nevertheless put into the detail. The expandability of the cooling circuit with Alphacool products is also very well received by us and offers the user more options to get a bit closer to custom water cooling.

For €244.99 (MSRP) you not only get better cooling performance, but also a massive visual upgrade for your gaming PC. Real custom water cooling feeling and that without complicated installation.

Alphacool Eiswolf 2

Design
Workmanship
Assembly
Cooling performance
Value for money

95/100

The all-in-one solution that makes the dream of a custom water cooling a bit closer, also in terms of temperatures. Easy installation and expansion options while very well finished.

Simon Lüthje

I am co-founder of this blog and am very interested in everything that has to do with technology, but I also like to play games. I was born in Hamburg, but now I live in Bad Segeberg.

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An all-in-one water cooling system for graphics cards, that doesn’t exist? Oh yes! – With the Eiswolf 2, Alphacool has a charming solution on offer. It can be installed on a variety of popular graphics cards and it doesn’t always have to be the Founders Edition, at least for NVIDIA’s graphics cards. Among others, the … (Weiterlesen...)

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