Cooler Master Eisberg 120L Prestige Review
Published: 10th June 2013 | Source: Cooler Master | Price: £119.99 |
Whether or not you consider the Eisberg as a serious proposition depends very much on what you intend to do in the future. Looking at the performance charts and bearing in mind the £120 price tag it'd be reasonable to suggest that you might be much better of with one of the cheaper and better performing AIO systems such as the X40 H100 or H100i, or for that matter the even cheaper Seidon or H60. And if you can guarantee you're never going to want to advance to a custom loop then these are most likely the better options for you.
If however you suspect that having gotten your feet wet you may feel tempted to go the whole hog and build a custom loop then the Eisberg offers something that the others do not. Modular design, Expandability, call it what you like but the Eisberg isn’t simply an AIO. It offers something the others don’t. Albeit at a price (and a big price at that). Should you wish, each of the main components of the Eisberg can be re-used in whole or as part of a fully custom loop. With this in mind, it is then only fair that we look at what else your £120 will get you. Taking a gander around a few of our favourite e-tailers we can indeed piece together a similar spec'd (if not slightly better) setup for pretty much the same price. Would you be better off doing this rather than buying the Eisberg? Well it depends on your ambitions. If you want to put together your own loop then selecting your own components separately is the better way to go. If you're not quite ready to put your own loop together then maybe, just maybe the Eisberg has something to offer.
We say maybe because there are a few other things to think about while mulling over that potential purchase. From a practical view point the Eisberg is fairly easy to install but does present several opportunities to grind your teeth and practice your "naughty" words. For starters it could benefit from better instructions as the diagrams on those provided are comedy small. The radiator/fan/floppy rubber baffle assembly is a bit of a fiddle, actually, it's a lot of a fiddle with the rubber baffle forever falling into the fan blades while you try to line all the holes up. On the plus side, and yes there are some positives, the cold plate assembly although bulky is simple to locate in place and the chosen method of attachment to the Motherboard is simplicity itself, with no risk of over-tightening the screws.
In use the fans were reasonably quiet on the low setting (via the 3 speed molex/fan adapter) but became more noticeable on the medium and high 12v setting that we test at. Still these are 1600RPM fans so they're always going to emit a bit of a whir at full tat. The pump however emitted more than “A bit of a whir” and was much louder than expected as well as being louder than any other pump we've ever heard, drowning out the noise of the fans at both the 12v and lower voltage settings. Regrettably we found noise emitted to be intrusively audible through the case sides with the observer sitting 2-3 feet away as it would be in the average desk top set up. When the Eisberg was released, which is now some time ago, there were quite a few comments floating around that the pump was very noisy. Cooler Master were assuring that this was a characteristic of the pre release versions and would be fixed so as not be of detriment in the final retail version. Unfortunately we have to say that many months down the line the issue does not appear to have been rectified and that the noise produced by the pump whether it be at the full 12v, reduced via the included cable, or even attached directly to a motherboard header is still intrusively and unacceptably loud. We actually contacted Cooler Master about the problems we were having and they thought it might be faulty so sent us a second one. Sadly the replacement unit was exactly the same no matter what we tried to do to tame the noise, the only thing that seemed to change was the pitch of the pump rather than the volume of the noise created. If you take into account the eye watering £120 price tag, lack luster performance and quite plainly annoying pump noise we feel we have to say that this is a rare misfire for Cooler Master and we would not recommend you buy this product at all.