Author Topic: $60 All-In-One cooler from Amazon: How Bad Can It Be?  (Read 1817 times)

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Offline mnementhTopic starter

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$60 All-In-One cooler from Amazon: How Bad Can It Be?
« on: August 17, 2019, 04:06:40 pm »
I posted this teardown in the TEA thread a few months ago; but recent PC-building adventures made me decide it deserved its own article for a more general audience.

This week on "As the Product Churns..."


So last night, my $60 AIO Liquid Cooler arrived from Amazon; I know I found myself wondering just how bad it could be at that price. Surprisingly, not that bad.  :-+

Kit comes complete with 2 LED illuminated PWM controlled fans; these appear identical to ones sold by popular modding shops for $15 or so each. Also included is a Y-splitter with PWM out for both fans, and single channel (monitors only one fan) speed sense back to the MB. For the pump, they included a MOLEX connector in case you don't have a free chassis fan socket on your MB.

Radiator appears to be all-aluminum; 12-row U-channel design with divided reservoir on the hose barb end. I expected some really cheesy undersized tin radiator at that price; surprisingly no. Active area is 115mm x 242mm, and cores are a respectable 15mm thick.  :-+

There's a complete hardware kit for most popular Intel and AMD CPUs, some Silver-oid thermal paste, and even a few velcro ties for routing the hoses.

The block is covered by a plastic housing that just snaps on; the illuminated lens also just snaps in, so customized logos should be easy. At this price, it only offers single color illumination with no effects; I'm totally down with that. If I get a bug to do it, I may isolate the LED circuit and tap it into the case illumination controller; it doesn't look like it would be at all difficult. Alternately, I might just stuff some RGB strip inside there.  :bullshit:

Those of you with a sharp eye might have noticed the broken tab on one of the fans; this kit has a replacement on the way even as I write. Since I'm not going to get to install it and do use testing for a few days, I figured I'd do the complete teardown and snap some pics of the insides. Extra care was taken to hold everything perfectly level just long enough to take pics of the plate and pump cavities; then everything reassembled without spilling a drop of coolant.

This ain't the tinkerDwagon's first rodeo.  8)

Closeups show the copper block is approx 3mm thick, with a passable flycut surface. Definitely NOT mirror-finish, but also definitely serviceable, and there is sound argument that this finish is better for the longevity of your thermal paste, as it tend to force even thicker metal-bearing pastes to disperse evenly into self-encapsulating bands.

Inside we can see that there is a proper microchannel covalent area, with a deflector plate to force coolant to flow through those channels. Looking at the pump, we can see a relief cut out for that plate, so that when assembled the pump has separated intake and outlet chambers. Impeller has ceramic bearing on a stainless shaft; lifespan of the pump itself should be excellent, as balancing is not an issue.

The plastic housing appears to be glas-impregnated nylon; this has excellent durability with ethylene glycol coolant, which by look and taste, it appears this system uses. (Okay, so ONE drop was lost as a sample)  :-DD

All in all, it actually looks like pretty fair quality for the money... the only question will be longevity. Which, of course, is a matter of time. ;)

Followup: After 6 months daily use 8-14 hours a day, still running chill and silent. On my new Ryzen 3700X build, whine from the VRM is louder than the pump, and the fan on the MB is louder than the fans in the rad, even at full speed. :-+

« Last Edit: August 26, 2019, 06:47:36 pm by mnementh »
alt-codes work here:  alt-0128 = €  alt-156 = £  alt-0216 = Ø  alt-225 = ß  alt-230 = µ  alt-234 = Ω  alt-236 = ∞  alt-248 = °

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