Cooler Master Eisberg 120L Prestige CPU Cooler Review
Hot on the heels of the Cooler Master Seidon 240M reviewed last month, is the new Cooler Master Eisberg 120L Prestige. An All in One (AIO) liquid CPU Cooler with a 120mm radiator and two 120mm fans, designed by Cooler Master in Germany. What makes the Eisberg different? Well, for one the Cooler can be disassembled and re-filled thanks to its design and the compression fittings used on the pump and radiator. The AIO Cooler does come pre-sealed and is ready to go out of the box.
The Cooler Master Eisberg 120L Prestige supports the following Sockets: Intel LGA 2011/1366/1156/1155/775 & AMD Socket FM1/AM3+/AM3/AM2
The Cooler Master Eisberg 120L Prestige came well packaged in the now common, egg carton style packaging. Everything was protected by a plastic bag and luckily no sign of water was to be found anywhere inside the packaging.
The front of the box features an artistic look at the Eisberg and highlights the following features of this liquid CPU Cooler.
- Pure Copper Radiator & Waterblock
- Micro Channel + JetStream Technology
- Designed in Germany
The back of the box features a few technical drawings of the Eisberg pump and radiator and highlights the same features as the front with the exception of adding the fact that the unit has been ‘Factor-filled and sealed’.
Within the box we see all of the hardware held in place by the (Recycled!) cardboard packaging.
The box itself contains the Eisberg AIO Cooler loop, x2 120mm fans with rubber spacers, mounting hardware, a couple of cables and a Manual.
Below we can see the Eisberg AIO CPU Cooler in all its glory, note the size of the pump/waterblock assembly, pretty darn big when compared to others that we have seen in the past. Also worth noting the coiling wrapped around the tubing to prevent any kinking. You can clearly see the compression fittings on both the pump and the radiator, allowing the unit to be disassembled. You can also clearly see the Fill plug.
At the time of writing the Cooler Master Eisberg 120L Prestige is retailing for approximately £121 and comes with a 2 year warranty.
courtesy of Cooler Master
|Radiator Dimensions||156 x 124 x 30mm|
|Fan Dimension (W / H / D)||120 x 120 x 25mm|
|Fan Speed||1600 rpm|
|Fan Airflow||60.2 CFM / 102.5 m3/h|
|Fan Noise Level (dB-A)||20.5 dB(A)|
|Cold Plate||100% Copper|
|Cold Plate Technology||JetStream enhanced
Bi-Directional Micro Channel
|Tubing||10 / 8 mm – 16″/5,0″ ID
+ Hose Wrap
|Tubing Protection||11 (converted from 3.5″ cages)|
|Pump||German designed Axial Rotor Pump|
|Pump Head Pressure||2.2 Meters|
|Pump Volume||400 Liters an hour|
|Detailed Pump Specs Radiator||– Rotation Type : Axis
– Bearing Type: Ceramic Pipe and Axis
– Noise Level : <25 dBA
– Lifetime: 50,000 h
– Pump Rotor Speed : 3600 rpm @12VDC
– Safety Protections: Polarity, Blockade, electric Protections
First impressions of the Cooler Master Eisberg 120L Prestige are good, I like the use of the compression fittings and the pump/waterblock looks cool too, you can even see the liquid inside, through a perspex window (wouldn’t it be cool if it lights up!). I’m not so keen on the spiral wrap on the tubes though, but then of course it can be removed or replaced on the Eisberg…
The pump/waterblock is extremely large when compared to others we have seen in the past, but it’s not as ugly as the Seidon cooler’s. Dare I say I think it looks rather cool! The smart Cooler Master/Eisberg logo atop the pump clearly doesn’t light up though, which is a shame. The Fill plug can be seen at the back right corner (image below left). Also note the use of nice sleeved black cabling throughout.
Through the side window liquid can bee seen and what appears to be a pump mechanism, although I’m not too sure what I’m really looking at in there…
The copper base of the waterblock seems to have a pretty good finish, let’s not forget to remove the protective film before fitting though… 😉
The 100% copper radiator is 156 x 124 x 30mm and as you can see features some nice compression fittings should you wish to disassemble the AIO Cooler. The use of the compression fittings is actually really useful as the Eisberg is now fully customisable. You can change the radiator should you wish , change the tubing to clear maybe or even add some coloured liquid. That’s pretty cool… 😉
Finally there’s two 120mm fans, complete with rubber spacers. This spacer fits between the fan and the radiator not just to provide some form of noise dampening, but this also allows the fans to breathe a little better as they are not pushed right up against the radiator, thus increasing airflow. The fans are rated at 1600rpm with an air flow of 60.2 CFM / 102.5 m3/h. Noise levels are rated at 20.5 dB(A).
The Cooler Master Eisberg 120L Prestige was installed into the CM Storm Stryker case that forms part of My Test Rig. The manual does provide some installation instructions but it’s all a little too small and the wiring information seems to be completely missing.
The first job was to identify what mounting hardware was required for my Intel Core-i7 3770K and its associated 1155 socket. The image below shows the necessary parts required for a Socket 1155 installation. Please note the four washers in the top right of the shot (sorry, a little difficult to see in the image below).
The next task was slide the two Socket 1155 brackets into the side of the pump housing, these actually clip together when they meet each other in the middle.
The instructions call for the radiator to be mounted next, but I did not do this, as once either the radiator or pump is attached to the PC the other end just ends up getting in the way. In fact the instructions also suggest that you apply your thermal paste at this time, which also seems a little too early for my liking…
The next task that I under took was to mount the backplate! WAIT: There is no backplate; Cooler Master supply four special plastic plugs that just push straight through from the front of the motherboard, no need to access the back, seems like a good idea (NOTE: the seems). With the plugs in place it was time to screw in the four threaded rods into each of the plugs. Unfortunately as there’s nothing really stopping these plugs from turning in the motherboard, I found that when the threaded rod tightened a little in the plug the whole assembly would rotate! 🙁 The plugs do have a hexagonal section, so this was held with my other hand, although at this point things are already getting a little awkward. The back panel of the case can stay in place, for now…
At this point I went ahead and attached the fan and radiator assembly to the rear exhaust of my CM Storm Stryker case. This task was also somewhat frustrating, not helped by the fact that I’m also now trying to hold the Eisberg’s rubber spacer as well as the fan, the radiator and some screws (I’ve only got two hands!). Eventually the first fan is fitted to the back of the case and it was time to fit the inner fan, this was far easier now the radiator wasn’t flapping around.
These single 120mm AIO Coolers are never easy to fit though, especially when you have two fans; as the screws have to pass through the case, through the fan, through the shroud (Eisberg only) and into the radiator, all when there’s only a couple of millimetres to spare at the end of the screw. NOT Easy, but job now done!
Finally, it was time to fit the pump/waterblock itself, this is held in place by the four washers, springs and nuts. The idea being that the springs manage the pressure on the bracket. This was where I hit the first major hurdle as one of the nuts was binding (just a little) on the screw thread and it was forcing the plastic plug to rotate in the motherboard. So the back of the PC case DOES need to come off, so I can get to the back of the plug to hold it still.
But I can’t, the thing’s just made of plastic and there’s no way of holding onto it! After much fiddling and swearing, there was only one choice the thing had to come back out, not happy. On closer inspection I found that the nut would not screw on to the threaded stud as the threads seems to be crossed, at this point it was nothing short of EPIC FAIL, of course this is not necessarily the fault of Cooler Master or the design of the Eisberg. Hopefully just a manufacturing fault!?
Luckily with the support of Cooler Master new mounting hardware was sent in the post and I was now facing the install routine all over again. This time things did go smoother, but I still found that I had to get to the back of the plastic plugs as they still wanted to rotate when tightening the nuts.
It’s a shame as the very thing that seems to have been done to save you having to get to the back of the cooler has caused the biggest of problems, for me (as an ex-engineer) it smells of over-engineering to me. Give me the normal back-plate from Cooler Master’s own Seidon any day…
It was now time to wire the Eisberg up, unfortunately looking at the manual was no help as the wiring doesn’t even get a mention. Looking at the two cables provided it would seem that one (a splitter cable via Molex) is for the pump control and allows you to choose from 5v, 7v and 12 volts. The other cable looks like an extension cable although it seems to have a mystery resistor in the middle of it. EDIT: Apparently this is a fan speed reducing cable, which is even stranger as there are two fans!
I ended up wiring the two fans to my motherboard CPU fan headers (CPU_FAN1 & CPU_FAN2) and the pump/waterblock was wired to the splitter cable and plugged in via its Molex connector directly to the PSU. The 12v option was chosen from the start and altered later for testing purposes. So let’s get on with the testing then…
Each Prime95 run was timed at 30 mins and the max temperature reading for each core was noted, the average core temperature was then calculated. Testing was carried out at both 3.7GHz (1.072v) and at 4.3GHz (1.136v).
Eisberg Pump Setup
As the Cooler Master Eisberg 120L Prestige can be setup in various different ways (pump voltage, fan speed (via motherboard or supplied cable)), I set up two specific profiles to give me an idea of how the Eisberg performs when it come to cooling, see below:
- Pump voltage @ 12v / fans at full (1600rpm)
- Pump voltage @ 5v / fans at full (1600rpm)
|Pump Voltage||Ambient Temperature||CPU Temp (avg cores)||Delta Temperature|
* Interesting to see that the pump voltage is not really improving the cooling, yet the increase in pump noise is significant.
|Pump Voltage||Ambient Temperature||CPU Temp (avg cores)||Delta Temperature|
* Here with higher voltages and temperatures the higher pump speed begins to make a difference, although still quite small.
As far as performance goes the Cooler Master Eisberg 120L Prestige CPU Cooler has performed well, keeping the test Intel Core-i7 3770K down below 68 degrees Celsius in the 4.3GHz 1.136v test. This was using 12v on the pump; at this voltage there is a lot of noise from the pump, it’s actually more of a vibration/clicking noise than anything else. Unfortunately this makes the noise even more irritating, even for me the noise is almost unacceptable! Although while gaming with a headset on, you’re unlikely to hear it.
At 5v the pump is practically inaudible and provides slightly less cooling potential, although this was only noticeable during the 4.3GHz test, at 3.7GHz the Eisberg performed the same regardless of pump voltage. This would suggest that 7v is likely to be the sweet spot.
It’s also worth taking a look at how the Eisberg compares to Cooler Masters own Seidon 240M, below are the results for both coolers running at their maximum cooling potential. As you can see even with its high powered pump the Eisberg doesn’t come close to the cooling potential of the 240mm radiator of the Seidon 240M. This may seem like an unfair test (and to some degree it is), I just wanted to show the difference in their respective cooling abilities.
|CPU Cooler||Ambient Temperature||CPU Temp (avg cores)||Delta Temperature|
|Cooler Master Eisberg 120L Prestige||22.00||67.75||45.75|
|Cooler Master Seidon 240M||21.00||60.25||39.25|
The potential for the Cooler Master Eisberg 120L Prestige was definitely high, but in the end it’s a bit of a let down, mainly down to the frustrating installation procedure. The Cooler itself came well packaged and out of the box showed all the signs of being a great cooler, looking at the parts for the installation for Socket 1155 it was looking good, it even looked like you wouldn’t need to remove the back panel of your case due to the clever design.
Unfortunately it’s this clever design that’s actually a design too far (the words over-engineered come to mind), the idea of just plugging in some plastic plugs into the motherboard for a mount is a good one, but there’s nothing to hold these things in place once you start screwing into them. This forces you to have to get to the back of the case to hold them, the problem now is that they’re made of plastic so you can only stop them rotating so much, for fear of breaking them. Cooler master would have been better off sticking to the tried and tested route of a regular back plate, just like the one that comes with their own award winning Seidon 240M.
Installation of the fan/radiator assembly was also made more difficult by the inclusion of the two rubber spacers, trying to hold four screws, a radiator, a fan and a spacer, while lining up about 3mm of protruding thread is just damn frustrating to say the least…
This is all a bit of a shame as once installed the Eisberg’s a good bit of kit and in fact if someone else had installed my test unit, I would have been far happier, although I’m still disappointed that’s there’s no lighting on/in the pump! The cooler itself has performed well too, although at 12v most of us would find the vibration/clicking from the pump too loud or annoying. Luckily Cooler Master provides a 5v and a 7v option too, with the 5v option being near silent.
Cooler Master should be applauded for at least trying something new, there’s no other Cooler on the market that offers the ability to customise your cooling loop like the Eisberg. But unless you really want to use an Eisberg so you can customise it, I would look at Cooler Masters own Seidon range instead, as you’ll probably have more hair left at the end of the install…
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Many thanks to Cooler Master for providing this sample for review