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[nextpage title=”Introduction”]

Today we are testing CoolIT ECO liquid cooling system, a compact sealed system where all you have to do is to install the cooling block on your CPU and attach the radiator to your case. Will it perform better than air coolers we tested so far? Check it out!

In a classic watercooler, you must buy separated parts, assemble the system, connect the hoses, prepare the liquid, fill the system, etc. A sealed system comes prefilled and preassembled, which simplifies the installation, as you won’t have to handle hoses, liquids, connectors, pumps, etc.

ECO box is simple, in white cardboard paper. The cooler comes nicely accomodated in a foam inner box.

CoolIT ECOFigure 1: Box.

Inside the box we found the preassembled system (ready to install on Intel CPUs), user manual, AMD clips and three backplates, one for each Intel socket.

CoolIT ECOFigure 2: Box contents.

In the next pages we will see this cooler in detail.[nextpage title=”CoolIT ECO”]

In Figure 3, you can see the block (piece that is installed on the CPU that transfers the heat from it to the liquid inside the system), which has an integrated pump. This pump has a three-pin power connector that must be connected to the motherboard.

CoolIT ECOFigure 3: Block with integrated pump.

In Figure 4, you can see the base of the block, made of copper. The finishing could be better, since it is flat but hasn’t a mirror-like surface. The preinstalled adjustable clip fits sockets 775, 1156 and 1366 CPUs.

CoolIT ECOFigure 4: Base.

In Figure 5, you can see the radiator (component that transfers heat from the cooling liquid to the air), which comes with a preinstalled 120 mm fan. This fan has a miniature four-pin power connector, which means it has automatic PWM speed control.

CoolIT ECOFigure 5: Radiator.

[nextpage title=”CoolIT ECO (Cont’d)”]

In Figure 6 we have a front view of the radiator. It allows the installation of a second (not included) fan.

CoolIT ECOFigure 6: Radiator.

In Figure 9, you can see the 120 mm black fan that comes installed on the radiator.

CoolIT ECOFigure 7: Fan.

[nextpage title=”Installation”]

Installing ECO is as simple as the installation of most air coolers. You just need to put the appropriate backplate on the solder side of the motherboard, put the block on the CPU and fasten the four thumbscrews. Unfortunately, CoolIT ECO didn’t come with any thermal compound. During our benchmarking we used Zalman ZM-STG2 thermal paste. In Figure 8, you can see the block installed on our motherboard.

CoolIT ECOFigure 8: Block installed on the motheboard.

After installing the block, you just have to put the motherboard back to the case and then attach the radiator and its fan on the rear part of the case. Note that this is a very simple task if your case has a space for a 120 mm fan on its rear panel, but if it doesn’t you can’t install it properly. In our test system the radiator was touching the block, but we could see it was not forcing the block.

CoolIT ECOFigure 9: Installed in our case.

[nextpage title=”How We Tested”]

We are adopting the following methodology for our CPU cooler reviews.

First, we chose the CPU with the highest TDP (Thermal Design Power) we had available, a Core 2 Extreme QX6850, which has a 130 W TDP. The choice for a CPU with a high TDP is obvious. To measure the efficiency of the tested cooler, we need a processor that gets very hot. This CPU works by default at 3.0 GHz, but we overclocked it to 3.33 GHz, in order to heat it as much as possible.

We took noise and temperature measurements with the CPU idle and under full load. In order to achieve 100% CPU load on the four processing cores we ran Prime95 with the "In-place Large FFTs" option, and three instances of the StressCPU program, all at the same time.

We also compared the reviewed cooler to the Intel stock cooler (with copper base), which comes with the processor we used, and also with some other coolers we have tested using the same methodology.

Temperature measurements were taken with a digital thermometer, with the sensor touching the base of the cooler, and also with the core temperature reading (given by the CPU thermal sensor) from the from the SpeedFan program, using an arithmetic average of the four core temperature readings.

The sound pressure level (SPL) was measured with a digital noise meter, with its sensor placed 4" (10 cm) from the fan. We turned off the video board cooler so it wouldn’t interfere with the results, but this measurement is only for comparative purposes, because a precise SPL measurement needs to be made inside an acoustically insulated room with no other noise sources, which is not the case here.

Hardware Configuration

  • Processor: Core 2 Extreme QX6850
  • Motherboard: Gigabyte EP45-UD3L
  • Memory: 4 GB G.Skill F2-6400CL5S-2GBNY (DDR2-800/PC2-6400 with 5-5-5-15 timings), configured at 800 MHz
  • Hard drive: 1 TB Seagate Barracuda 7200.12 (ST31000528AS, SATA-300, 7200 rpm, 32 MB buffer)
  • Video card: PNY Verto Geforce 9600 GT
  • Video reso
    lution: 1680×1050
  • Video monitor: Samsung Syncmaster 2232BW Plus
  • Power supply required: Seventeam ST-550M-AM
  • Case: 3RSystem K100

Software Configuration

  • Windows XP Professional SP3

Software Used

Error Margin

We adopted a 2 °C error margin, i.e., temperature differences below 2 °C are considered irrelevant.

[nextpage title=”Our Tests”]

On the tables below you can see our results. We ran the same tests with the coolers shown on below tables. Each test ran with the CPU idle and then with the CPU fully loaded. On BigTyp 14Pro, TMG IA1, NH-U12P and ISGC-300 the tests were done with the fan at full speed and at minimum speed. The other coolers were connected directly to the motherboard and it controls the fan speed based on CPU load level and temperature on PWM models. ISGC-400, iCEAGE Prima Boss, Megahalems Rev. B, Thermaltake SpinQ VT, Zalman CNPS10X Flex, Tuniq Tower 120 Extreme and Tuniq Propeller 120 were tested at minimum speed on idle test and at maximum speed on full load test.

CPU Idle

Cooler Room Temp. Noise Fan Speed Base Temp. Core Temp.
Intel stock 14 °C 44 dBA 1000 rpm 31 °C 42 °C
BigTyp 14Pro (min) 17 °C 47 dBA 880 rpm 29 °C 36 °C
BigTyp 14Pro (max) 17 °C 59 dBA 1500 rpm 26 °C 34 °C
Akasa Nero 18 °C 41 dBA 500 rpm 26 °C 35 °C
Cooler Master V10 14 °C 44 dBA 1200 rpm 21 °C 26 °C
TMG IA1 (max) 16 °C 47 dBA 1500 rpm 22 °C 30 °C
TMG IA1 (min) 16 °C 57 dBA 2250 rpm 21 °C 30 °C
Zalman CNPS10X Extreme 16 °C 44 dBA 1200 rpm 21 °C 29 °C
Thermaltake ISGC-100 18 °C 44 dBA 1450 rpm 35 °C 49 °C
Noctua NH-U12P (low) 15 °C 42 dBA 1000 rpm 20 °C 30 °C
Noctua NH-U12P 15 °C 46 dBA 1400 rpm 20 °C 28 °C
Noctua NH-C12P 17 °C 46 dBA 1400 rpm 23 °C 28 °C
Thermaltake ISGC-200 21 °C 43 dBA 1100 rpm 31 °C 35 °C
Schythe Kabuto 22 °C 42 dBA 800 rpm 29 °C 34 °C
Arctic Cooling Alpine 11 Pro 20 °C 43 dBA 1500 rpm 32 °C 39 °C
ISGC-300 (min) 18 °C 42 dBA 800 rpm 26 °C 30 °C
ISGC-300 (max) 18 °C 46 dBA 1400 rpm 24 °C 26 °C
SilverStone NT06-E 21 °C 66 dBA 2600 rpm 30 °C 41 °C
Zalman CNPS9700 NT 22 °C 48 dBA 1700 rpm 28 °C 35 °C
Scythe Mugen-2 17 °C 41 dBA 700 rpm 25 °C 30 °C
ISGC-400 (min) 17 °C 44 dBA 850 rpm 24 °C 30 °C
Cooler Master Vortex 752 20 °C 48 dBA 1700 rpm 32 °C 44 °C
iCEAGE Prima Boss (min) 22 °C 42 dBA 1000 rpm 29 °C 36 °C
Evercool Buffalo 17 °C 51 dBA 1850 rpm 22 °C 29 °C
Scythe Big Shuriken 20 °C 42 dBA 900 rpm 31 °C 39 °C
Cooler Master Hyper TX3 21 °C 44 dBA 1700 rpm 30 °C 39 °C
Titan Skalli 20 °C 43 dBA 1200 rpm 27 °C 34 °C
Prolimatech Megahalems Rev. B 21 °C 40 dBA 800 rpm 28 °C 32 °C
Zalman CNPS9900 NT 23 °C 45 dBA 900 rpm 30 °C 34 °C
Cooler Master Hyper N620 21 °C 44 dBA 1200 rpm 28 °C 34 °C
Nexus LOW-7000 R2 23 °C 46 dBA 1400 rpm 33 °C 42 °C
Evercool HPK-10025EA 20 °C 54 dBA 1900 rpm 27 °C 34 °C
Evercool HPH-9525EA 23 °C 50 dBA 1900 rpm 38 °C 49 °C
iCEAGE Prima Boss II 23 °C 42 dBA 1000 rpm 29 °C 35 °C
Thermaltake SpinQ VT 24 °C 45 dBA 950 rpm 32 °C 39 °C
Titan Fenrir 21 °C 42 dBA 950 rpm 29 °C 35 °C
Zalman CNPS 10 Flex 23 °C 40 dBA 800 rpm 32 °C 39 °C
Tuniq Tower 120 Extreme 24 °C 43 dBA 1100 rpm 30 °C 37 °C
Gelid Tranquillo 22 °C 41 dBA 850 rpm 29 °C 36 °C
Cooler Master Hyper 212 Plus 20 °C 45 dBA 1200 rpm 27 °C 35 °C
Spire TherMax Eclipse 20 °C 58 dBA 2300 rpm 25 °C 34 °C
Tuniq Propeller 120 20 °C 43 dBA 1050 rpm 24 °C 33 °C
Nexus VCT-9000 20 °C 44 dBA 600 rpm 28 °C 37 °C
Coolink Corator DS 19 °C 45 dBA 1050 rpm 25 °C 32 °C
CoolIT ECO 17 °C 43 dBA 900 rpm 32 °C

CPU Fully Loaded

Cooler Room Temp. Noise Fan Speed Base Temp. Core Temp.
Intel stock 14 °C 48 dBA 1740 rpm 42 °C 100 °C
BigTyp 14Pro (m
in)
17 °C 47 dBA 880 rpm 43 °C 77 °C
BigTyp 14Pro (max) 17 °C 59 dBA 1500 rpm 35 °C 70 °C
Akasa Nero 18 °C 48 dBA 1500 rpm 34 °C 68 °C
Cooler Master V10 14 °C 54 dBA 1900 rpm 24 °C 52 °C
TMG IA1 (max) 16 °C 47 dBA 1500 rpm 27 °C 63 °C
TMG IA1 (min) 16 °C 57 dBA 2250 rpm 25 °C 60 °C
Zalman CNPS10X Extreme 16 °C 51 dBA 1900 rpm 24 °C 50 °C
Thermaltake ISG-100 18 °C 50 dBA 1800 rpm 58 °C 93 °C
Noctua NH-U12P (low) 15 °C 42 dBA 1000 rpm 28 °C 59 °C
Noctua NH-U12P 15 °C 46 dBA 1400 rpm 25 °C 54 °C
Noctua NH-C12P 17 °C 46 dBA 1400 rpm 37 °C 76 °C
Thermaltake ISGC-200 21 °C 48 dBA 1900 rpm 42 °C 68 °C
Scythe Kabuto 22 °C 47 dBA 1200 rpm 38 °C 63 °C
Arctic Cooling Alpine 11 Pro 20 °C 51 dBA 2300 rpm 49 °C 85 °C
ISGC-300 (min) 18 °C 42 dBA 800 rpm 36 °C 64 °C
ISGC-300 (max) 18 °C 46 dBA 1400 rpm 31 °C 56 °C
SilverStone NT06-E 21 °C 66 dBA 2600 rpm 39 °C 96 °C
Zalman CNPS9700 NT 22 °C 56 dBA 2600 rpm 34 °C 63 °C
Scythe Mugen-2 17 °C 46 dBA 1300 rpm 28 °C 54 °C
ISGC-400 (max) 17 °C 47 dBA 1400 rpm 36 °C 69 °C
Cooler Master Vortex 752 20 °C 55 dBA 2300 rpm 48 °C 92 °C
iCEAGE Prima Boss (max) 22 °C 53 dBA 2000 rpm 35 °C 59 °C
Evercool Buffalo 17 °C 51 dBA 1850 rpm 32 °C 67 °C
Scythe Big Shuriken 20 °C 50 dBA 1500 rpm 51 °C 85 °C
Cooler Master Hyper TX3 21 °C 53 dBA 2700 rpm 39 °C 66 °C
Titan Skalli 20 °C 47 dBA 1550 rpm 37 °C 69 °C
Prolimatech Megahalems Rev. B 21 °C 61 dBA 2600 rpm 30 °C 51 °C
Zalman CNPS9900 NT 23 °C 56 dBA 2000 rpm 34 °C 54 °C
Cooler Master Hyper N620 21 °C 50 dBA 1650 rpm 32 °C 56 °C
Nexus LOW-7000 R2 23 °C 53 dBA 1900 rpm 45 °C 74 °C
Evercool HPK-10025EA 20 °C 54 dBA 1900 rpm 39 °C 69 °C
Evercool HPH-9525EA 23 °C 50 dBA 1900 rpm 58 °C 100 °C
iCEAGE Prima Boss II 23 °C 56 dBA 2100 rpm 32 °C 56 °C
Thermaltake SpinQ VT 24 °C 52 dBA 1500 rpm 40 °C 68 °C
Titan Fenrir 21 °C 50 dBA 1600 rpm 33 °C 58 °C
Zalman CNPS 10 Flex 23 °C 61 dBA 2600 rpm 33 °C 59 °C
Tuniq Tower 120 Extreme 24 °C 56 dBA 1900 rpm 35 °C 60 °C
Gelid Tranquillo 22 °C 46 dBA 1450 rpm 31 °C 60 °C
Cooler Master Hyper 212 Plus 20 °C 52 dBA 1900 rpm 32 °C 64 °C
Spire TherMax Eclipse 20 °C 58 dBA 2300 rpm 29 °C 73 °C
Tuniq Propeller 120 20 °C 55 dBA 1900 rpm 36 °C 68 °C
Nexus VCT-9000 20 °C 50 dBA 850 rpm 43 °C 88 °C
Coolink Corator DS 19 °C 56 dBA 1800 rpm 32 °C 62 °C
CoolIT ECO 17 °C 54 dBA 1850 rpm 62 °C

The next graph shows how many degrees Celsius the CPU core was hotter than room temperature during our idle tests.

 CoolIT ECO

The next graph gives you an idea on how many degrees Celsius the CPU core was hotter than room temperature during our full load tests.

 CoolIT ECO

[nextpage title=”Main Specifications”]

CoolIT ECO main features are:

  • Application: Socket LGA775, 1156, 1366, AM3, AM2+ and AM2 processors.
  • Fins: Aluminum.
  • Base: Copper.
  • Heat-pipes: None.
  • Fan: 120 mm.
  • Nominal fan speed: 1,800 rpm.
  • Fan air flow: Not informed.
  • Maximum power consumption: Not informed.
  • Nominal noise level: Not informed.
  • Pump flow: Not informed.
  • Weight: Not informed.
  • More information: https://www.coolitsystems.com
  • Average price in the US*: USD 75.00

* Researched at Newegg.com on the day we published this review.

[nextpage title=”Conclusions”]

The point in using a liquid cooling system instead of an air cooler is to obtain better performance with less noise. With this in mind, CoolIT ECO failed, because it achieved an average performance, even compared to the air coolers we tested so far.

Regarding noise level, the pump is very quiet (actually, inaudible), but the fan even though it was very silent when our CPU was idle was relatively loud with the CPU fully loaded, with a noise level equivalent to the one achieved by good air coolers.

ECO is a little bit more expensive than most high-performance air coolers. Therefore the only reason someone would buy ECO would be to impress his or her nerd friends, without any real performance advantages or cost/benefit ratio in mind.