Cooling specialist Alphacool has announced the launch of its first all-in-one external compressor cooler system, with an integrated pump, reservoir, chiller, and the ability to cope with a claimed 1,500W of heat.
While the actual cooling aspect of most liquid cooling systems is effectively passive, therefore unable to cool below the temperature of the environment in which the radiator is located, Alphacool's Eiszeit (Ice Age) chiller is different. Using the same compressor technology that powers fridges, air conditioning units, and dehumidifiers, the Eiszeit is able to cool below room temperature and maintain a set temperature with sub-degree accuracy, according to Alphacool's internal testing.
The external unit isn't exactly small, though. Measuring 560mm by 280mm and at 470mm tall it's effectively the same size as a compact PC case and weighs a whopping 29kg - and that's before you fill it with coolant. Inside the case, though, is almost everything you need to get up and running: a 570W compressor pre-filled with 380g of R-134a refrigerant (also known as 1,1,1,2-tetrafluoroethane, or Freon, and known for its deleterious effects on the environment when released), 9L reservoir, a 30W pump with 10m of head pressure and capable of pushing 600L of coolant per hour, and sensors which alert should the flow rate drop or the temperature exceed user-configurable limits.
Alphacool has designed the Eiszeit as a drop-in replacement for existing liquid cooling systems. The unit includes G1/4" connectors compatible with standard tubing and water blocks, while the claimed 1,500W cooling power - an midpoint between the unit's claimed 1.41KW minimum and 1.7KW maximum refrigeration capacity - should be enough to chill even multi-CPU and multi-GPU systems with ease.
The cost of such performance is threefold. First, noise: as anyone who has sat next to a fridge or compressor-based dehumidifier will know, the noise of the the compressor switching on and off is somewhat intrusive, and even has the potential to inject electromagnetic and radiofrequency interference into surrounding equipment if improperly shielded and grounded. The second is power draw: the Eiszeit draws 3.3A at peak load with the compressor fully active, meaning you're looking at a 726W power draw - as much as running a second high-end PC.
The final cost is quite literal: cost. The Eiszeit is priced at €959.95 including VAT (around £835) and excluding shipping, making it one of the most expensive methods of cooling available to the enthusiast - bar, perhaps, hiring a celebrity to stand next to your PC constantly refilling a liquid nitrogen tube.
More details on the Eiszeit are available from Alphacool's official product page
, while a promotional video extolling its features is reproduced below.