It was way back in March 2012 that Cooler Master announced its triumphant return to the world of liquid cooling, but it's now January 2013, and we've yet to see the original products at retail.
The company's first two efforts - the Eisberg Prestige 120L and Eisberg Prestige 240L - were expected to arrive in stores some eight months ago, but production problems have repeatedly pushed back the launch. A first batch of review samples went out to media last September, but had to be recalled due to leaking seals. HEXUS received a second cooler that suffered from unruly pump noise, and we're now on our third sample, which we're told is mass production.
The intervening re-tooling has of course delayed the launch well beyond initial predictions, but the fact that neither Eisberg is yet available to buy in the UK suggests that Cooler Master still isn't completely satisfied. As a result of the Eisberg's deficiencies, the manufacturer has instead opted to push out a mainstream model dubbed Seidon to help fill the void.
The Eisberg range, therefore, is still very much a work in progress, but we've got a Prestige 120L that functions as intended and we've had a chance to put it through the wringer.
On the outside, Cooler Master's packaging is fairly basic and, though it details the cooler's specification, it could do more to highlight the fact that the Eisberg Prestige 120L isn't your average closed-loop solution. Unlike, say, a Corsair Hydro Series H80, the Eisberg is shipped in a filled and factory-sealed state, but it's designed to be customisable with universal fittings that allow users to modify their loop.
It's an interesting approach - particularly for extreme users who scoff at the limitations of a closed-loop - but we suspect this open-ended approach has contributed to the launch delays. Creating an all-in-one liquid cooler that can be opened, modified and re-filled by the user is considerably more difficult than creating a closed solution, for obvious reasons.
So what exactly have we got? Well, Cooler Master plans on introducing various Eisberg products - including standalone pumps and components - but one of the first retail packages to roll off the production line is the Eisberg Prestige 120L, expected to cost around €139 (roughly £110). Right out of the box, it provides a pump pre-attached to a 120mm radiator that's 30mm thick, along with two 120mm fans (with accompanying square rubber mounts), fittings for the latest Intel and AMD sockets, and a small tube of thermal paste that's cutely dubbed 'Eiscreme'.
"Designed in Germany" is one of the key messages on the packaging, and it goes some way toward explaining the individual components. The pump comes from German manufacturer Eheim, while the radiator looks like an Alphacool NexXxoS ST30. The partnership with the latter is important, as Cooler Master's relatively-short two-year warranty will "guarantee that fittings from Alphacool and Cooler Master can be used without any problem."
Cooler Master Eisberg 120L Prestige specification
|Radiator Dimension||156mm x 124mm x 30mm|
|Fan Dimension||120mm x 120mm x 25mm|
|Fan Airflow||60.2 CFM / 102.5 m³/h|
|Fan Noise||20.5 dB(A)|
|Cold Plate||100% Copper|
|Cold Plate Technology||JetStream Enhanced
|Tubing||PVC Black 1178mm – 5/16” ID-7/16” OD|
|Tubing Protection||Black Anti kink Coil Protection|
|Pump||German designed Axial Rotor Pump|
|Pump Head Pressure||2.2 Meters|
|Pump Volume||400 Litres an hour|
|Detailed Pump Specs||Rotation Type : Axis
Bearing Type: Ceramic Pipe and Axis
Noise Level : <25 dBA
Lifetime: 50,000 h
Pump Rotor Speed : 3600 rpm @12VDC
Safety Protections: Polarity, Blockade, Electric Protections
Sifting through the specification sheet reveals that the Eisberg 120L Prestige is geared toward flat-out performance. The two bundled fans aren't PWM-controlled, so expect a full 1,600RPM unless you use a third-party controller, and both the radiator and cold plate are built from copper - right down to the fins, channels and chambers.