EVGA CL28 AIO Watercooling Review
Published: 26th May 2017 | Source: EVGA | Price: £89 at the time of publishing |
EVGA are perhaps better known for their GPUs, Motherboards and PSUs, But that's not to say they don't dip their finger into other pies from time to time. Maybe it's from a need to expand and continue to be competitive, or perhaps it's part of the companies grand plan. Either way, we're not complaining when we can buy an EVGA branded 280mm AIO cooler that has an RGB LED illuminated water block that matches in perfectly with our EVGA GPU and Motherboard. Heck, even if you con't have the other branded hardware, there's no denying that the waterblock is one sexy bit of kit.
Best we climb down from the crest of our enthusiastic wave (can you climb down from a wave?), and look at things a bit more objectively. OK, here goes...The CL28 is a 280mm AIO cooler from EVGA. It has braided rubber tubing, and a radiator that measures 312x139x27mm (LxWxD). The radiator itself is largely uninspiring, with nothing to hold it above other OEM clones. The fans however, with their deeply dished cowlings add just enough of a hint of glamour to lift the whole affair a fair few pegs above vanilla.
The CL28 didn't come with instructions. This could be because we have an early review sample, or it could be because they can be viewed and down loaded online, so you don't need to kill a tree. Then again, it could be because the thing is so easy to fit that it doesn't really need instructions. Either way, your ass is covered, so fret ye not.
Having installed the cooler, you'd be a fool if you didn't download the "Flow Control" software. This simple download, accessed through a very intuitive GUI enables pretty much infinite control of every aspect of the CL28, and we mean every aspect. We're not going to go through every thing it can do here in the conclusion, if you want to know then you're going to have to go back and read the full review. Suffice it to say that given the appropriate access and file extensions, we think the Flow control software could pretty much enable you to control the world as we know it. OK, so that might be a slight exaggeration, but we think you get the idea.
And so we come to performance. So, this is a bit of a mixed bag. For a 280mm cooler, we'd expect it to do a lot better than it did. OK, so with Skylake it did not bad, up there with the best of them(ish), but when we look at the more demanding Kaby Lake, things start to unravel a little. We're not saying it's bad, we are though saying we thought it would be better. It is though not all doom and gloom. Noise wise, at full tat, the CL28 was about average, and was certainly on the loud side of audible. What's really interesting though, and perhaps not that easy to pick out of the graphs is that at medium and low settings, the performance at 4.7GHz wasn't that far off the pace of the full spped fans at 4.7GHz. What surprised us most though was that at the "low" setting, the CL28 was able to hold a 4.7GHz overclock whilst at the same time being, to all intents and purposes totally silent. Now, we don't use the "silent" word very often, so let's put this into perspective. During the testing, we restart the PC many times, many many many times...When we did a restart with the fans turned to minimum, roughly 900rpm if you're interested, we had a small panic attack as the total lack of noise from the system lead us to believe the fans weren't turning at all. Bearing in mind we had a 4.7GHz overclock on, this could be bad news if not dealt with quickly. A frantic glance up into the roof affirmed that all was well, the fans were spinning, We were though left with a feeling that system with such quiet fans couldn't possibly perform. But perform it did. Granted it didn't grace the Kaby Lake charts, but it did manage to chart the Skylake at 4.7GHz with an essentially silent fan and pump, and this my good friends earns it the OC3D Silence Award. The mere fact that the software enables the ability to set a profile that renders your AIO to all intents and purposes silent, but still able to do its job is all the evidence we need that the CL28 is a worthy bit of kit. The EVGA CL28 also on offer for just £89 at Scan right now!
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