CoolIT Domino ALC Water Cooling Review
Installation, Performance and Conclusions
One of the few downsides we came across with the Domino is that you have to remove Intel motherboards to mount it' you may also have to remove AMD boards, depending on whether the backplate stays in place after you remove the heat sink retention bracket, which is required to mount the Domino.
We installed the CoolIT Domino on our aforementioned ASUS P6T motherboard with our Core i7 920 CPU. First, we removed the various expansion cards from the system, and then we pulled the stock CPU cooler and wiped the top of the CPU free of thermal compound.
Next, to install the necessary backplate, we removed the motherboard (keeping as much of the wiring--data and power--connected as possible.
Next, we mounted the water block, and then, using rubber fan mounts already fastened to the fan/radiator, we mounted the main unit to the rear of the system (we'd removed the 120mm fan earlier).
Then, we replaced the motherboard and the expansion cards into the computer case.
A job well done--and, compared to installing a traditional liquid cooling system, very easy! How did the CoolIT do with its primary task of cooling the CPU?
The CoolIT Domino A. L. C. has an LCD readout on the side that informs the user which mode it's on (Quiet, Performance or Full), the water temperature, the fan RPM speed, and the pump RPM speed. A button on the side of the unit allows the user to change modes.
We tested the Domino in its Performance mode, after first testing the stock Intel air cooler that comes with the CPU.
We found the Domino to be an incredibly effective cooler. The stock cooler kept the chip cool (35 degrees idle, 50 degrees with a full Prime95 stress test running on all four cores) at spec, but when we overclocked the chip from its native 2.66GHz to a relatively safe frequency of 3.00GHz, it quickly heated up to 41 degrees idle and a worrisome 64 degrees running Prime95.
The Domino allowed us to overclock the CPU all the way to 3.4GHz easily. Best of all, it kept the temperature reasonable:
Idle: 31, Prime95: 41
Idle: 32, Prime95: 43
Idle: 35, Prime95: 49
We never had to take the Domino out of Performance mode up to Full mode, and it remained quieter than the system's own case fans throughout testing.
Put simply, we'd pay twice the price for a liquid cooling system this handy, simple to install, and effective. The Domino A. L. C. is one of CoolIT Systems' best efforts. Compared to a stock fan, it does wonders for allowing serious overclocking of a Core i7 920. It's nearly silent, super-efficient, and priced right.
At most online shops, the price for the CoolIT Domino is under $80. Newegg has it for $79.99; Amazon stocks it for $71.75. That's a startlingly low price for any liquid cooling system, especially one this user-friendly and effective.
- Very effective cooler
- Easiest liquid cooler to install on the current market
- LCD Readout is handy (for windowed cases)
- All but silent in "quiet" mode
- Comes ready to mount with most current CPU sockets
- Opens the door for serious overclocking
- Under $80 at most retailers
- Comes right up to the side of the case; interferes with cases with side fans
- More expensive than most air coolers
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