Alphacool Cape Cora 1042 Radiator Review
by Dark Mantis
A rather inovative product from Alphacool here this time. Instead of the usual old black radiator that has a couple of fans
bolted to it to help cool it down this is a purely passive design. It is made from anodised aluminium tubing extrusions which
incorporate many fins externally to help make the cooling surface area much greater.
It consists of a modular construction and so in theory any size is achievable. The 1042 comprises 10 of these aluminium
extrusions as the main parts. To enable a comfortable fit on the outside of my case I only used nine but they seemed to perform
as well anyway and certainly looked more the part. The kit has a very accurate and clear instruction manual which is aimed mainly
at construction and fitting. I should point out that when constructing it a little bit of silicon grease or something like that
does ease the insertion of the fittings with the o-rings attached into the tubes.
These ally tubes are each 420 mm long with an internal diameter of 12 mm. Running through the centre of each tube is a restrictor, a
piece of solid rod, to stop too much liquid from running through each tube and also to make sure that the actual cooling surface
(the outside) contacts more of the hot water.
Alphacool uses small spring clips made of steel to hold the units together especially until permanent fixing is enabled. There is
one at each end and they seem to be sufficient as a temporary fixing. Supplied are a number of modular connectors made from a
dense black plastic material which have double O rings on each connection point.They are T- shaped and the smaller part inserts
into the aluminium tube just by push fit. There is one top and bottom. these then join together longtitudinally to make an array.
Included in the kit are metal end connectors which fit by the same method and seals. These enable any normal 1/4" BSPP connector
to be screwed in to finish the job. There are two blanks ends and two for barbs or for whatever fitting you prefer.
The kits come in either Black or Silver anodised finish which also helps stop corrosion. It might be worth stating here however
that a protective additive would be prudent to be added to the coolant liquid to stop galvanic corrosion.
Once the kit is finished being assembled it should be permanently attached to something solid. I used the outside of my system
case.The cooling towers are already pre drilled to take the included screws. As mentioned in the beginning this is purely passive
by design which makes it also totally silent, another bonus. Obviously fans could be fixed to the matrix if even more performance
Wherever you choose to locate it you need to make sure that there is an adequate free airflow not stuck next to a wall or
something similar. As long as there is sufficient airflow around the radiator it seems to work very well even though it is
passive and not helped by any fans. I had it attached to my Gigabyte GA-P67A-UD5
with an Intel i5 2500K
and 16 GB of Corsair
memory and proceeded to run Prime95 for over an hour with a maximum temperture in the low 50C. The temperature before I started
was already 30C so I think that the radiator performed very well.
There are a couple of downsides. One of which is that the construction is aluminium and the connections are only push fit
although fairly tight. I did manage to blow one off when filling but that was using a higher pressure than would be normally
encountered in use. On the positive side it is silent, a big plus, and efficient. For such a seemingly large device it isn't too
greedy when it comes to filling with coolant, which is something to consider if you like to use some of these expensive mixtures.
I had no trouble purging the air from the system but I was using a high powered pump the Alphacool VPP 655 along with the Cape
Cora Bullseye reservoir. My system took around a litre of coolant to fill it.
I like the look of it and it was certainly more attractive than the standard black radiator. It is not cheap at 119.95€ but
probably no more than a similar sized standard unit. There is also the added benefit that it is totally customisable. You can
make the finished article any size you want.I would award this radiator kit 8/10.
Supplier: AlphacoolThanks to Gigabyte for supplying the motherboard GA-P67A-UD5 for this review.