ID-Cooling Auraflow 240 CPU Cooler Review
   
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ID-Cooling Auraflow 240 CPU Cooler Review

September 12th, 2017 James Leave a comment Go to comments

Overview

 

ID-Cooling is no longer a stranger to pcGameware having already reviewed the Frostflow 120 and the Frostflow 240 in the last few months. But now we have another new all-in-one (AIO) CPU Cooler from ID-Cooling enter the ID-Cooling Auraflow 240. The Auraflow 240 features the same 240mm radiator found in the Frostflow 240 but now we have the addition of RGB lighting. Both the pump itself futures RGB lighting as well as the two 120mm fans supplied.

The radiator itself is made from aluminium and is 27mm thick, this connects to the pump head by 315mm of braided tubing. The Auraflow 240 is compatible with both Intel (LGA2011/1366/1151/1150/1155/1156/775) and AMD (AM4/FM2+/FM2/FM1/AM3+/AM3/AM2+/AM2) sockets. Note that AMD’s newest socket (AM4) is also supported.

 

‘RGB Sync with motherboard, 240mm Radiator, Premium Sleeved Tubing, High Pressure Pump & Ryzen Support’

 

 

The Auraflow 240 arrived at pcG in a simple predominantly black box with images of both the pump and the radiator on the front. Also on the front we can clearly see that this particular product supports RGB sync. In addition to the brand and product name ID-Cooling have chosen to highlight the following:

  • High Performance Pump Design
  • Synchronizes with Motherboard RGB
  • Micro Fin Copper Base
  • Premium Sleeved Tubing
  • There’s not much on the back of the box simply a specifications table and also an Intel and AMD compatibility list. For more information on specifications and features see the table below.

     

     

    On opening the box we can see that the ID-Cooling Auraflow 240 ships with a basic installation guide and that the top of the box is sealed with a foam mat. On removing the mat we are greeted with the familiar recycled (egg carton style) packaging that seems to be synonymous with AIO Liquid CPU Coolers. General packaging and presentation is best described as adequate.

     

     

    Within the box other than the cooler itself we find the two 120mm fans and the aforementioned installation guide (not shown). In addition to this we also find the backplate, AMD brackets, various plastic bags containing a raft of mounting hardware for both Intel and AMD as well as some thermal compound.

     

    At the time of writing the ID-Cooling Auraflow 240 is retailing on Amazon for approximately £70 and comes with a 1 year warranty.

     

    Specifications/Features

    courtesy of ID-Cooling

    Compatibility

     Intel LGA2011/1366/1151/1150/1155/1156/775

     AMD AM4/FM2+/FM2/FM1/AM3+/AM3/AM2+/AM2

     TDP

     200W

     Radiator Dimension

     274×120×27mm

     Radiator Material

     Aluminum

     Tube Material

     Premium Sleeved Tubing

     Tube Length

     315mm

     Waterblock Dimension

     68×65×36mm

     Cold Plate Material

     Copper

     Pump Current

     0.25A

     Pump Speed

     2100RPM

     Pump Bearing

     Ceramic Bearing

     Pump Life Expectancy

     50,000 Hrs

     Pump Noise Level

     25dB(A)

     Fan Dimension

     120×120×25mm

     Included Fans

     2pcs

     Fan Speed

     7001800RPM

     Max. Air Flow

     74.5CFM

     Max. Static Pressure

     2.15mmH2O

     Noise

     1835.2dB(A)

     Rated Voltage

     12VDC

     Operating Voltage

     10.813.2VDC

     Started Voltage

     7VDC

     Rated Current

     0.25A

     Power Input

     3W

     Bearing Type

     Hydraulic Bearing

    * Additional details available here

     

    First Impressions

    Image courtesy of ID-Cooling

    First impressions of the ID-Cooling Auraflow 240 are not dissimilar to the first impressions of the FrostFlow 240 after all very little has actually changed. The main differences being that the radiator now has an inlaid section along its length simply for aesthetic purposes and good it looks too. The pump head now has a singular circular LED section instead of multiple smaller sections. Both tube length (a little short to be honest at 315mm) and tube material remains unchanged. Therefore the Auraflow 240 is still a good looking CPU Cooler and one that many would be happy with within their rigs. Especially after you see the RGB illumination… 😉

     

     

    Turning our attention to the pump head we can clearly see the ID logo in the centre as we saw on the FrostFlow 240. As I mentioned earlier the outer ring is now a single entity, gone are the Frostflow’s graduations. Note that both the ID-Cooling logo and the outer ring illuminate the same RGB colour. The pump itself has a maximum speed of 2,100RPM and is fitted with a ceramic bearing, with a life expectancy of approximately 50,000Hrs.

    The cold-plate of the pump features a Micro Fin Copper base and is protected by a plastic cover (Remove Before Installation), there is also no thermal paste pre-applied but there is a small tube supplied. Also worth noting that the two Intel brackets are attached to the pump housing by default, while the AMD brackets (that we will be using) are supplied separately in the box.

     

     

    The radiator itself is made from aluminium and measures in at 274×120×27mm and is thus a 240mm radiator at its core. As you can see from the image above the radiator now sports an aluminium strip complete with logo etc. Although there does seem to be a little too much glue used! Attached to the radiator we find two captive (meaning that the unit cannot be easily disassembled) fittings that attach to the two 315mm long braided tubes. It’s worth noting just how nice the braided tubes look…

     

     

    The ID-Cooling Auraflow 240 is supplied with two 120mm, 1,800RPM PWM fans. Each fan sports clear fan blades and rubber mounts in an aide to keep noise to a minimum. In addition to this each fan also features RGB LED lighting and is connected by both a single 4-pin PWM connector and a 4-pin RGB connector. NOTE: When connecting fans to the supplied splitter cable ensure that they are connected correctly with the two 12v pins connected together. This is clearly marked on all of the plugs by an arrow.

     

    Hardware Installation

     

  • Test Rig Setup

  • Case Phanteks Enthoo Luxe Glass Power Supply be quiet! Pure Power 10 700W
    Motherboard Asus ROG Strix X370-F GAMING CPU AMD Ryzen 7 1700
    CPU Cooler ID-Cooling Auraflow 240 RAM Ballistix Elite 3466MHz 16GB (x2 8GB)
    Graphics Card Asus GTX 1080Ti “Founders Edition” SSD (M.2) Samsung 960 EVO Polaris 250GB

     

     

    Above you can see all (and there’s a lot) of the parts required for our socket AM4 installation, nineteen parts in total. Total mounting hardware comprised of eight screws for the radiator and fans (not shown), one back-plate, four screws, four washers, four spacers and four nuts. Really this number of parts (for the socket) needs to be reduced as other manufacturers have got the number of parts down to just nine! 😮

    The screws were first fed through the back-plate (inner hole for AM4) and are automatically held in place by the tight fitting foam. The back-plate was then threaded through the back of the Motherboard and held in place by the four washers and screw fit spacers supplied. I’m unsure as to the reason why there are the extra washers but the instructions call for their use nonetheless. With that done the back-plate is now held in position and ready to receive the pump head.

     

     

    Next the Intel brackets that are attached to the pump head by default need to be removed and replaced with the supplied AMD brackets. This is simply a case of removing four screws, adding the AMD brackets and putting the screws back. The completed pump head, complete with AMD brackets can be seen above left.

    I addition to this we will also need to use the fan splitter above to power up the two 120mm fans. We will not be using the Molex adaptor as this is for single colours only (Red, Green & Blue) if you don’t have an RGB header on your Motherboard. The cable above right is the RGB splitter cable: One end needs to be plugged into the Motherboard while the other ends need to be plugged into the two fans and the pump head itself. It really is a lot of cabling, but the end result is worth it… 😉

     

     

    Testing Methodology/Setup

     

    For CPU Cooler testing, we here at pcGameware run AIDA64 (System Stability Test) for a 15 minute period. During this period the CPU temperature is monitored via AMD’s Ryzen Master software. A close eye is also kept on the ambient temperature, with the maximum being recorded for each run, this allows us to calculate the Delta temperature (Core – Ambient = Delta). Each run was performed with the AMD Ryzen 7 1700 CPU at the following frequency/voltage: 3.9GHz (OC) at 1.380v.

    * Please note: To ascertain the maximum and minimum noise levels produced by our test CPU Coolers, the dBA is recorded at a distance of 1 metre from the cooler, with all Case fans unplugged to isolate the sound in question.

     

     

    Processor speed is set using the AI Tweaker tab within the UEFI to 3.9GHz @ 1.384v, memory speed is set at 3466MHz at 1.35v. All the fans installed in the Case are set to 100% during testing to ensure an even playing field.

     

    Hardware Performance

     

    As stated above, to make our performance tests easier to follow and to get the most accurate recordings, all of the following tests have been carried out with all Case fans set at 100% and the two ID-Cooling 120mm PWM fans also set at 100% courtesy of the Motherboard’s UEFI.

     

    • AMD Ryzen 7 1700 @ 3.9GHz

     

    AIDA64 Stability Test @ 3.9GHz


     

    CPU Cooler Air/Liquid Fan Speed Ambient Temperature Max CPU Temperature (core average) Delta Temperature Noise Level
    be quiet! Silent Loop 360 Liquid 100% 23.00 65.00 42.00 54dB
    ID-Cooling Auraflow 240 Liquid 100% 24.00 75.00 51.00 49dB

     

    NOTE:

    Before we can talk about the thermal performance of the ID-Cooling Auraflow we need to talk about the problems that I ran into at the start. Initially I was using a Gigabyte AX370-GAMING K5 motherboard and when I plugged in the Auraflow 240 I ran into RGB issues. These issues manifested themselves in the fact that it seemed impossible to recreate any real colour, especially the colour red when linked up to the RGB output on the Gigabyte motherboard. After an enormous amount of testing and retesting, and after contacting ID-Cooling and receiving replacement unit that also didn’t work; it became apparent that this CPU Cooler doesn’t appear to work with the Gigabyte Motherboard.

    In an attempt to prove my point the only answer was to source a new AMD Ryzen Motherboard. This new Motherboard is in fact an Asus ROG Strix X370-F GAMING and (surprise, surprise!) when the ID-Cooling Auraflow 240 was plugged into the RGB header on this Motherboard it all worked like a dream. Therefore at this point I can only assume that the Gigabyte AX370-GAMING K5 Motherboard is simply not (at the time of review) compatible with the ID-Cooling Auraflow 240. If this changes at any point in the future, I’ll be sure to update this review.

     

    It’s somewhat early days in our thermal testing of AMD Ryzen and in particular our AMD Ryzen 7 1700 CPU. But as you can see from the data above, limited as it is, the ID-Cooling Auraflow 240 actually performed well considering its relatively small 240mm radiator and 200 TDP. Especially when you compare it to the be quiet! 360 and it’s massive 360mm radiator and 450W TDP. With our AMD Ryzen 7 1700 CPU overclocked to 3.9GHz with a voltage of 1.384 volts the Auraflow 240 managed to keep the temperature in check with a maximum recorded temperature of 75 Celsius.

    Overclocking AMD Ryzen above 3.8 gigahertz seesm to require a large degree of voltage and it is this voltage that becomes your enemy as you push for those higher overclocks. Therefore I would say that this 240mm AIO CPU Cooler is really the smallest AIO that you’re likely to want to use. This is due to the fact that you really do need to keep these temperatures in check to avoid thermal throttling of the CPU.

    Finally we should also talk about the RGB lighting aboard the Auraflow 240. When combined with the excellent RGB lighting (and compatibility) aboard the Asus ROG Strix AX370-F GAMING motherboard, the light show put on by the ID-Cooling Auraflow 240 was particularly impressive. The fact that I could control both the Motherboard RGB lighting and the Auraflow’s RGB lighting separately via the Asus control software made for some particularly impressive visuals. RGB colour representation was also good and matched well with the Asus motherboard’s RGB illumination in all instances.

     

    Verdict

     

    ID-Cooling have produced another good CPU Cooler in the ID-Cooling Auraflow 240. It’s got great RGB support, it’s well made and at £70 it’s a bargain too. But, if you’re going to be cooling a hot CPU a larger AIO with a bigger radiator is the answer…

    The ID-Cooling Auraflow 240 arrived at pcG in a smart predominately black box with the usual eco-friendly recycled cardboard packaging that now seem to be synonymous with all AIO CPU Coolers. Within the box other than the CPU Cooler itself, there’s a couple of 120mm fans and handful of cabling for the RGB lighting as well as a raft of mounting hardware for both AMD (inc AM4) and Intel sockets.

    The ID-Cooling Auraflow 240 is a good looking AIO CPU Cooler and that’s before you power up the RGB pump and fans. For the most part it’s also well made with the braiding on the tubes being particularly impressive. The only slight gripe is the fact that there seemed to be an excess of glue used on the aesthetic strip on the side of the radiator.

    Installation of the Auraflow 240 was simple enough, although there are a few too many parts for my liking. To get the back-plate installed on the Motherboard takes 13 parts (although 4 are washers), but an NZXT Kraken X62 (for example) can achieve the same thing with just 5, now that is impressive. But let’s be fair you’re only likely to do this once anyway.

    When it comes to cooling the ID-Cooling Auraflow 240 struggled a little to tame our new, hot and toasty AMD Ryzen 7 1700 CPU in its overclocked state (3.9GHz). With a maximum Core temperature of 75 degrees Celsius the Auraflow couldn’t match the cooling prowess of the impressive be quiet! 360mm AIO. But to be fair that is (somewhat obviously) to be expected. To be fair for a small 240mm AIO CPU Cooler the Auraflow did a remarkably good job. If you’re not trying to push for high Overclocks then this AIO CPU Cooler will serve you well. And of course it’s going to look good doing it.

    So that RGB illumination then… The RGB illumination aboard both the pump head and the fans is excellent. This of course assumes that you hook it up to some form of RGB controller. We used the header on our new Asus ROG STRIX X370-F GAMING Motherboard and it worked like a dream. Worth noting that it failed to work with the Gigabyte board that we previously used, although from what we could tell this is a Gigabyte problem (see main review).

    If you’re looking for a 240mm AIO CPU Cooler and like the idea of synchronised RGB lighting (and let’s be fair who doesn’t?) then the ID-Cooling Auraflow will no doubt serve you well. It is easy to install (although it’s got a lot of parts), it’s well made and it looks good too. Of course once you add that RGB into the mix and discover that the Cooler’s likely to cost around £70, the ID-Cooling Auraflow 240 starts to become even more attractive…

     

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    Design/Quality pcGameware awards the ID-Cooling Auraflow 240 a Silver
    Performance
    Value
    Overall

     

    Many thanks to ID-Cooling for providing this sample for review

     


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