CooIIT Domino CPU Cooler Review
Heat is the Enemy
Heat discharge is the archenemy of any computing or performance enthusiast. High temperatures can lead to system instability, as well as a decreased lifespan of components. Without proper cooling, high-end processors tend to eat themselves alive, taking surrounding components with them in a nice flambéed dish that is best served with a chilled red wine. This is one of the reasons why we at Firingsquad are always on the lookout for new and innovative ways of cooling processors and graphics cards. Liquid cooling is one such way in which enthusiasts are developing new techniques to bring down ever increasing temperatures.
Although hardly a new idea, liquid cooling has never really found mainstream success mostly due to high costs. There also tends to be a somewhat higher level of technical expertise required for proper use and maintenance. Previously, the only way to go the liquid route was to do the research and build the system yourself, although this could be quite daunting with the number of choices on the market and cost associated. Many users have had a hard time finding the proper guidance for their setups, and since not all setups are the same, it becomes more difficult to troubleshoot.
It’s also important to note that a custom liquid cooling setup could cost anywhere between $200 and $400 depending on the number of radiators and water blocks utilized.
Some manufacturers offer prebuilt liquid cooling kits, but their performance hasn’t been as good as a custom setup, so they are barely an alternative to traditional heatsinks. Also, prebuilt kits still require a reservoir to keep fluid levels high thanks to the combination of the permeability of silicone tubing and the evaporation of coolant over time. These technical and cost problems have kept liquid cooling a niche market, just waiting for someone to develop a product that will give consumers the thermal performance of water cooling setup. Well, enter the CoolIT Domino Advanced Liquid Cooler for CPUs.
Liquid Cooling for the Common Man
CoolIT Systems specializes in self-contained liquid cooling solutions for a myriad of applications. From notebooks, to servers, CoolIT has developed a way to provide the benefits of liquid cooling to the general and OEM markets. Now they have developed the Domino A.L.C., a self-contained liquid cooler that is designed for the hardware enthusiast who might not have the money to spend on a custom liquid setup, but is still looking for an alternative to air cooling. The Domino is designed around ease of use and performance, while also being priced to compete against traditional heatsinks and fans.
|CoolIT Domino A.L.C.|
|Cooler Type||Self Contained Liquid|
|Radiator Dimensions||157 x 133 x 25 mm|
|Fan Size||120 x 120 x 25mm|
|Fan Speeds||1030 to 2550RPM|
|CPU Block Wt.||122g|
The radiator and fan assembly on the Domino can be mounted to any 120mm fan position and comes pre-installed with rubber grommets for quiet operation. CoolIT also includes additional mounting hardware should users wish to secure the Domino traditionally or for travel. The Domino sports a pretty nice LCD that gives the user all the information they would need to ensure proper operation, from coolant temperature to fan speed. On the side of the Domino sits a small button that allows the user to change the fan and pump speeds on the fly between Quiet, Performance, and Full. On quiet and performance, the Domino will automatically adjust the fan and pump speeds depending on the coolant temperature, so overheating should never be a problem. While full mode runs with the fan and pump at their absolute maximum speeds. Should someone encounter any failures, either from a pump, fan or temperature, the Domino LCD features an audible alarm that sounds every 10 minutes until acknowledged. The Domino A.L.C. is powered by a single 3-pin fan header, which controls everything on the whole assembly, including the pump, fan, and LCD.
The entire setup of the Domino is a closed loop, so there is no need for a reservoir. This means no monitoring fluid levels, as well as no chance of silicone tubing breaking and turning your motherboard into a glorified coaster. CoolIT also includes all the hardware needed to install the Domino on all major sockets, including AM2+ and LGA 1366.