CoolIT ECO C240 A.L.C.
We often see pre-built kits that are cost effective but they almost always fail in the performance or quality department; frankly, they’re cheap for a reason. However, CoolIT’s latest creation has neither of these problems but still manages to come with a very attractive $125 price tag for a dual fan setup (a quad fan setup will cost $153). Bucking the trend, affordable here actually translates to rather impressive performance for a pre-built kit.
As we saw when we pitted the ECO C240 against an expensive do-it-yourself water cooling setup, the ECO didn’t finish too far behind. Sure, it can’t match a DIY kit, of that there is no debate, but what must be remembered is that the ECO also doesn’t require any specialized knowledge to build or install, and it also costs significantly less. For a cost of almost $18 more per degree in performance gain, the DIY setup doesn’t qualify as good value tradeoff in our opinion. Frankly, we think most people would forego the 6°C difference and opt for saving a big chunk of money by going with the ECO C240 that could be put towards a much better graphics card for example.
In terms of configuration and performance, we understand the rationale why CoolIT recommends the radiator fans to be set in an exhaust orientation to vent out the warm air normally found in a typical case setup. However, our results speak loud and clear: an intake fan orientation produces better CPU temperatures than an exhaust orientation as you increase the CPU speed and heat output. But this intake setup also depends on the case airflow as well; if you have poor case airflow then you may have some issues with case temperature. So there is a tradeoff here, and seeing CoolIT recommend an exhaust setup is a safer bet to consumers. But the only true way to be sure is to try each configuration on your own setup and check the temperatures to find what works for you.
Further, we found that the push/pull configuration only improves temperatures minimally because the radiator hasn’t saturated the heat dissipation to need the second set of fans. You do, however, increase the noise in a quad fan setup, so the setup again depends on your preference and what you value more: low noise or better performance. It must be noted, though, that with four fans installed the system runs rather loud at the highest speeds. However, with only two fans installed, the ECO C240 is very quiet when run at medium speeds (1300rpm), and as a result we think that most consumers should probably want to run only a dual fan setup since this is a better balance between noise levels and temperatures.
Normally manufacturers charge significant premiums for convenience, but that’s really not happening here with the ECO C240; CoolIT has managed to produce a kit that’s impressively effective, easy to use and install, and highly affordable for what you get in return.
CoolIT ECO C240 A.L.C.