One of the breakout hits this past year at CES was hidden in the sands convention center in a small booth called CoolIt. CoolIt has been known for some of time for some of their water cooling and TEC cooling systems for system builders like Dell and Alienware, but with the introduction of the Domino A.L.C. at CES they got everyone’s attention. In fact they were so inundated with requests I just now received our review sample. So without any more waiting I’m going to jump right into it and see how it works.
Product Name: CoolIt Domino A.L.C.
Review Sample Provided by: CoolIt
Review by: Wes
Pictures by: Wes
|User Interface||High contrast backlit LCD Single push button control for configuring operation mode and temperature scale Audible status alerts|
|Operation Modes (Fan Speeds)||Quiet: 1100-2500 RPM Performance*: 1100-2500 RPM Full: 2900 RPM *System automatically increases cooling performance at an increased rate compared to Quiet Mode.|
|Physical Specifications||Dimensions: 14.0 x 12.5 x 15.5 mm Weight: 1.03 kg Operating Voltage: 11.6-12.4V Power Consumption: 8W (Max) Life Cycle: 50,000 Hours (MTBF)|
|Fan||Long life, low noise Dimension: 120 x 120 x 25 mm Noise: 19.2 dBA (Min)|
|Pump||CFF1 long life ceramic bearing Noise: <21 dBA|
|Radiator||Custom engineered for low noise heat dissipation Dimension: 157 x 120 x 27 mm|
|CPU FHE (Fluid Heat Exchanger)||Copper Micro-Channel Surface Dimension: 50 x 50 mm|
|Coolant||Proprietary with anticorrosion/antifungal additives|
|CPU Thermal Grease||Proprietary Pro Advanced Thermal Compound|
|Warranty||2 Year Manufacturer|
The CoolIT’s packaging showcases the Domino A.L.C. (Advanced Liquid Cooling) with a full picture of the system on the front. Up top they have a couple of the features listed along with pictures and a full description. After looking around I did find a full specifications listing on the bottom of the packaging to help you decide on your purchase. Inside the ALC was packed in a plastic molded tray to keep everything safe and secure.
Our Test RigIntel i7 920 Gigabyte GA-EXS8-UD4P Motherboard Corsair 620 Power supply Lancool K58 1gbx3 Triple channel A-Data Ram 320Gb Seagate Hard Drive CoolIT Domino ALC For cooling EVGA 8800GTS G92 Windows 7
The Domino ALC is a self contained water cooling system consisting of a main unit and the water block with two small lines connecting the two. The main unit has the pump, radiator, fan, and lcd controller all housed together. The first step to installing everything is removing the 120mm fan from the rear of the case. Next you want to install the CPU backplate and tighten down the water block, CoolIT was nice enough to include a nice coating of thermal paste on the water block making the installation that much easier. With the Water block tightened down you are free to install the main unit. Keeping things easy (notice the theme?) they have used rubber vibration free mounts, you line them up with the holes and pull them through. To power everything make sure you plug the three pin fan lead into the CPU fan header on your motherboard and you are good to go. Considering how complicated setting up a water cooling kit can be, the Domino ALC was simple (even when compared to the Thermaltake Big Water kit we reviewed a while back).
In order to put the Domino to the test I had to heat the I7 up. I did this using our normal method, Prime95 running on all eight threads. Before doing that though I let the pc idle for an hour while watching the temps with RealTemp 2.5. As you can see from the numbers below the Domino performed on par with the similarly priced V8. Of course the V8 doesn’t come with a LCD that tells you the Fan speed, pump speed, and temperature. I did run into a few issues during testing. For starters when I turn the PC each time the alarm goes off on the Domino for no fan speed. After 3 or 4 seconds it stops and everything works correctly. I was also a little disappointed with the noise level of the included fan. When compared to the stock fan or any of the fans we have tested in the past the noise output is out of hand, it is possible that the included fan is bad as I didn’t see a lot of noise complaints when researching the Domino ALC. This could be fixed by replacing the included fan with another if it’s an issue for you.
So after months of waiting I finally got a chance to put the Domino ALC to the test, was it worth the wait? In most ways yes, the performance was respectable and the installation was easy. The downside of course is the beeping issue I experienced along with a noisy fan. The display on the side panel is well placed for more cases with side windows giving you all the info you need to keep your rig safe. They did include a button on the side to control the fan speed if the noise gets too you too much, but then you’re giving up the performance that you expect from a water cooling setup. Overall this is without a doubt the easiest to use water cooling setup on the market. This is the perfect setup for going to lanpartys, you won’t have to worry at all about having it leak from the abuse of transportation. Priced less than some of the high end air cooling solutions, the Domino is in a perfect position for enthusiasts looking for something different for their rig.