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Old April 9, 2009, 02:30 PM
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Default Domino A.L.C self contained water cooler

On the advice of a fellow member I've decided to repost my review of the Domino A.L.C water cooler by Coolit Systems. That way my review will get widest distrution:

Hello everyone I'm new to the forums, but I've been following them for the last few months, great info for the beginner. Incidently Hardware Canucks is were I found out about Coolit Systems ALC Domino cooler and their review spark my interest and was the key reason I purchased the cooler. I wanted to share with you guys my experience with my first water cooling setup.

First off let me say I think I'm the type of user Coolit had in mind when they designed this system. I'm not an expert with computers by any stretch but I can build one from scratch, and I'm comfortable doing all my own upgrades. But when it came to water cooling I was a little hesitant. Firstly the cost of the water cooling systems, I'm aware of, are out of my price range, and the complexity or rather the apparent complexity of some systems made me afraid to try them out. But I am always interested in finding ways to cool my computer and to do it quitely. So I've spent alot of money and time trying all sorts of fans and heatsink coolers trying to find the right balance between performance,price and quietness. Then along came Coolit systems and the answer to my prayers. Water cooling with none of the setup and at the right price, picked one up at Direct Canada for 78$ CAD came to 101.71$ CAD after shipping and taxes.

I won't belabour the points that were already mentioned in the HWC review, packaging, style, accessories and what not. But I will just comment on my immpresions as a new user into the world of water cooling. The installation directions were very straight forward for me as I have done many heatsink installs before, and I also beleive that even if that where not the case even relitively inexperinced people, could get this installed with no problem. I especially liked the tip about using a piece of tape to hold the mounting bracket to the back of the motherboard to keep it in place while you installed the standoffs for the mount. To say that the installation process was easy is putting it mildly, I firmly believe with some supervision my son could have install this no problem just by following the instructions to the letter, top notch job. It really put me at ease as this was my first time installing a product of this type. But I did manage to break one of the "C" clips when I was removing it from the pre-installed 775 socket bracket. Thank god you guys anticipated heavy handed sailors like me and included spares, my heart sank when it broke, but when I found that little bag of spare parts you would have thought I won the lottery,lol.


Now on to what really matters, does this thing really work? The answer is of course a resounding YeS!. The following is a little test that was acutally inspired by some talk in another thread about the virtures of using the pea sized method of TIM application vs the spread method. I thought this would be a perfect chance to show case how well this product is working for me. I've been a hard and true believer in the Pea sized blob and let the heat sink do the spreading but I've since been converted and you'll soon see why. The reason why I decided to post here was because I also wanted to share the results I'm getting with my brand new ALC cooler which I am now absolutely in love with.

First off my test system.

Power supply 600w Thermal Take Tough power.
Gigabyte GA-MA780G-UD3H motherboard
AMD Athlon X2 64 7750 Black Edition proccesor (2.7GHZ stock) OC'd to 3.06GHZ using 15x multiplier. Stock voltages, I'm not comfortable yet with changing those numbers.
4gb of OCZ Reaper HPC edition PC2-8500 DDR2 Ram running at stock 1066mhz
ATI 3870 video card running at stock speeds (but with Zalman aftermarket cooler)
1 250gb western digital 7200rpm hardrive
I also did not use the provided TIM from Coolit partly because I only had one application so I could not repeat the test, also at the time I had no idea what kind of TIM they used. So I used my favorite TIM by Noctua the NT-H1. Sorry Coolit guys, but I had to go with what I know.

I used AMD overdrive program to stress the processor and I used it to get the temperature readings for both of the processor's in my dual core AMD.

The first set of values is using the stock AMD heatsink fan. When I compiled these numbers I was using the Pea sized blob method for TIM application. I did not get any readings for spread out TIM with the stock fan, as I was not aware of the difference in application methods until last night when I read about it in the IC7 thread, and I compiled those numbers from the night before. But enough about that on with the show!

Stock AMD heatsink and fan with Noctua NT-H1 TIM: Ambient room temperature 18 degrees celcius.
Idle: 37/37.5 CPU load was between 0-6%
100% load: 55/55
And it was LOUD!

Coolit Systems A.L.C Domino with Noctua NT-H1 TIM:

Ambient room temperature 20 degrees celcius for all the following test. In additon the ALC Domino was set to the medium setting.

Noctua NT-H1 Drop method size of pea- Load 100% 24/25 degrees celcius

Noctua NT-H1 Drop method size of pea- Idle 0-6% cpu usage 18/18 degrees celcius

Noctua NT-H1 Spread method - Idle 0-6% cpu usage 14/14 degrees celcius

Noctua NT-H1 Spread method - Load 100% 19.5/20.0 degrees celcuis

I got a 5 degree improvement just by changing the application method and not to mention the incredible cooling provided by the Domino compared to stock! So if there was anyone sitting on the fence about TIM application method all I got to say is SPREAD IT ON BABY! Oh and if you haven't already buy the ALC Domino, you just can't go wrong.

BTW I'll be sending you my info and take you up on your offer to test some Coolit systems TIM. I'm a bit of a fiend when it comes to trying new things in my computer as of late and I'm slowing becoming more adventerous, much to my wife's and my bank accounts dissmay. I'm also saving up for a Boreas case. Coolit systems you have a customer for life.


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Old April 9, 2009, 02:35 PM
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Here are some pictures of my setup and a screen shot of the readings I'm getting from AMD Overdrive. I'm not sure how accurate Overdrive is so I will be investing in an IR thermometer and repeating the test at a later date.
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Old April 9, 2009, 02:46 PM
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I've just been in contact by email with Barrolde the local Coolit systems rep. He's agreed to send me a sample of his companies TIM(Thermal Interface Material). I will be repeating the test that I did above putting Coolit systems TIM up against some of the best in the bussiness, including the new IC7.

I don't mean to gush about Coolit systems but it's been along time since I've come across a company with such fantastic customer service. I broke the retention screw that holds the Domino's AM2 bracket to the heatsink and they are sending me out a new one no questions asked. My only fear is that as the company grows they'll not be able to keep that down to earth friendly costumer service. I spent about an hour chatting with Matt about my Domino setup and at no point was I pressured to get off the phone like you get with other companies, he seemed genuinely concerned about my issues (this was prior to buying the Domino).
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Old April 11, 2009, 05:27 PM
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Hi Pelt

Interesting stuff. Good to see another take on this cooling system.
I do have a question for you though, and not about the cooler. Curious to know what that Razer card is in the bottom PCI slot.
Cannot recall seeing one of these before:-S
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Old April 11, 2009, 06:24 PM
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I might be wrong but it looks like a Razor Barracuda PCI sound card to me.
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Old April 11, 2009, 09:29 PM
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It is the Razer Barracuda card. I do not recommend it though. I got it on sale with the HP-1 Barracuda Headset for which the card was designed from NCIX for stupid cheap like 80 bucks or something. It was cheap and I needed a quality headset so I picked it up. Well the HP-1 headset was a peice of garbage it fell apart literally fell apart while I was wearing it after about 3 months of using it. During that 3 months it worked well on my XP system but when I upgraded to Vista different story.

The Barracuda is a good XP sound card and you can find it cheap, it's on sale at NCIX every few months for less than a 100 dollars. The headset is good aswell but suffered from poor workmanship. They have stated they are no longer supporting the card for Vista and the drivers out now are much better then on release but no where near as good in XP. In XP the card does very well producing good positional audio even on traditional 2.1 headsets. Despite the good things I've said about it the lack of Vista support is the nail in the coffin as it of course means there will be no Win7 support.
The AC-1 Barracuda (soundcard) was a great first effort by Razer but it falls well short of modern sound cards which you can find for the same price.

If I may say, and this may draw jeers from some. I find Razer to be inconsistant with it's offerings. I love the mouse pad surfaces they've produced and own most of them, however I am not a fan of their mice, driver issues plauged them for quite some time and put me off of them forever. Thier audio division same problem driver support was spotty, but I believe the Barracuda program was a test bed for their upcomming Megalodon Headset and sound card combo. I've bought the headset portion of the Megalodon, called the Carcharias, and it is a great headset hopefully the mealstrom engine that drive the Megalodon set will also be availible seperately. Anyway I'm hijacking my own thread, I'll post a review of the Carcharias in the next few days.
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Old April 16, 2009, 12:29 AM
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Hey Pelt

Thanks for letting me know. And thanks for the heads up...:-)
I haven't ran into any problems yet with my razor Diamondback mouse, other than having to reinstall the software once in a couple of years.
But that could have been my fault..LOL
Cheers,

Randy
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