Alphacool Eissturm kits take the guesswork out of open-loop liquid-cooling

Open-loop liquid-cooling setups can be pretty intimidating. Having built such a rig myself in the past, I can tell you that you have to be mindful of many factors, and there's a lot at stake if you screw it up. Fortunately, you don't need to build everything from scratch any more. These days, there are vendors who will sell you all kinds of PC open-loop liquid-cooling sets. One such vendor, Alphacool, just launched new kits in the Eissturm series called Blizzard and Tornado. The Eissturm kits solve the hassle of picking parts and get you everything you need to start cooling your CPU in one box.

Alphacool Tornado

These kinds of kits aren't a new idea, but the new Eissturm liquid-cooling kits are based on Alphacool's latest and finest gear. The Tornado seems to be aimed at high-performance builds, so it uses 60-mm-thick radiators and a capacious reservoir. Meanwhile, the Blizzard goes for versatility with standard 45-mm-thick radiators and a compact 5.25″-bay pump-and-reservoir unit. By way of comparison, the existing Hurricane kit is a middle-of-the-road option with a full-size reservoir and multiple pump choices, whereas the Gaming kit has 30-mm radiators and a compact pump-and-reservoir assembly. The waterblock and fittings are mostly common among all of these kits, and each kit is available with different radiator lengths.

Alphacool Blizzard

The company already has all the kits up for order on its site, and from a cursory examination it doesn't look like they cost much more than you would spend buying the parts individually. The head honcho Eissturm Tornado starts at 310€ (or around $301 without VAT), while the Blizzard can be acquired for 290€ (or $281) and up. As for the existing kits, the Hurricane begins at 257€ (about $249), and the more affordable Gaming set will set buyers back 150€ and up ($146).

Comments closed
    • ozzuneoj
    • 1 year ago

    Is there any point to these kinds of cooling setups anymore? Stock CPU clocks are so high these days that overclocking is completely uninteresting. Why bother spending $300 on a CPU cooler for what amounts to at most single-digit percentage performance gains? Lowering your temps doesn’t change the overall heat output, so it isn’t going to change much there. And noise certainly shouldn’t be an issue anymore unless we’re talking about chintzy stock coolers that have to run at insane RPMs to keep things cool under full load.

    My 10 year old Thermalright Ultra 120 Extreme has worked admirably and has required no maintenance aside from replacing the fan a few times.

    Granted, watercooling was only ever good for squeezing the last few Mhz out of an overclock that a good air cooler could have nearly managed anyway. I guess not much has changed, except that the gains over stock clocks\cooling are a fraction of what they used to be.

      • dragontamer5788
      • 1 year ago

      At 100W or so, I don’t think liquid is too useful.

      But both HEDT platforms from Intel and AMD use roughly 180W stock (yeah, Intel is 140W TDP but in practice turbos with 180W+ draw). All that heat needs to go somewhere. Only the best-of-the-best air coolers function adequately here. At the huge sizes, these large air-coolers have weight and accessibility concerns.

      For example: Noctua’s u14S blocks the Asus Boards PCIe slot 1. And that’s a single-tower design, there are even bigger dual-tower air designs out there. So you need to do your research if you want these good-air coolers to even fit (and you may have to rule out otherwise functional motherboards due to physical size incompatibility issues like this one: [url<][/url<] ) Liquid is simply a much smaller profile on the motherboard. ------------ Furthermore, there's a 250W 32-core Threadripper2 about to hit the market. True, AMD has an air-cooler already announced for the platform, but I'm pessimistic about air at 250W. Note that Threadripper begins to throttle as low as 68C (!!!) so you need a seriously good cooling methodology if you want good performance even at stock settings!

        • brucethemoose
        • 1 year ago

        Also, those monster HEDT chips have more OC headroom than CPUs for us mere mortals. Ryzen and Coffee Lake hit a voltage wall on air, and with coffee lakes pigeon poop TIM, even keeping the top of the heatspreader near ambient will leave the CPU pretty hot. But 24+ cores are definitely going to be heat limited.

      • Waco
      • 1 year ago

      Running 100% inaudible is nice. If i were building totally new, I doubt I’d go water, but I started on the juice 10 years ago and have a lot of parts still laying around. My D5 Vario is the same one I bought (used no less) in 2009 and it’s happily running strong daily.

      The only part I expect to have to swap out going forward is a block if I can’t figure out how to make an adapter.

      • Chrispy_
      • 1 year ago

      I don’t think so.

      CPU manufacturing processes have been tuned for power-efficiency instead of headroom for at least the last 5 years. That means that most CPUs hit a voltage wall that requires an exponentially silly amount of extra voltage to get the next 100MHz on the overclock.

      So yes, a hefty watercooling loop can probably eke an extra 100MHz or 200MHz out of a CPU compared to a half-decent air cooler at the same noise levels, but your power efficiency will have taken a serious nosedive and you have to consider the cost of not just the watercooling loop but also the heavy-duty, high-end motherboard you’ll need, the beefier power supply, and of course sacrifices you made in form factor to permit a 280mm or 360mm radiator.

      All that might be worth it if you actually need that extra performance for something, but generally-speaking, the CPU is rarely a bottleneck in consumer workloads these days, so all this extra cost and effort is usually good for little other than bragging rights and funky old-school transparent tubing.

    • tom_in_mn
    • 1 year ago

    Open-loop, as an engineering term, means you use the cooling fluid *once* to cool and then discard it (a very simple, but wasteful method), so I don’t think that’s what you mean as this appears to circulate the fluid in a closed loop. Do you mean non-sealed or open reservoir?

      • chuckula
      • 1 year ago

      In the context of an engineering system you are right, like in an open-loop geothermal system that exchanges heat with a lake and only minimally re-uses the water.

      However, in the context of cooling systems the “open” loop designs mean you can rework the plumbing by connecting and disconnecting different hoses, reservoirs, pumps, heat exchangers, etc. instead of a “closed” loop system that’s completely self contained and is not intended to be modified.

    • derFunkenstein
    • 1 year ago

    Picking pieces was always the barrier of entry for me. So selling kits makes a lot of sense. That’s what CLCs always had on big open kits.

    • chuckula
    • 1 year ago

    Thanks Alphacool! We noticed that Eissturm means Ice Storm in German.

    We’ll need to make sure you have an easier time manufacturing Ice Storm than we’ve had trying to get Ice Lake out to keep our non-Ice based chips from liquifying!

    — Intel

      • Wirko
      • 1 year ago

      Alphacool doesn’t sound right, I wonder why those Germans thought it was better than Alfakühl.

        • chuckula
        • 1 year ago

        OR [url=<]ALPHAVILLE![/url<]

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