Page 2 - Physical Look - Hardware; Installation
Because of the way most water coolers are made nowadays, you will probably see most of them look pretty similar, at least from a radiator standpoint. Today's CRYORIG A80 looks very similar to the NZXT Kraken X52 we reviewed recently, which makes sense, considering both of them are made from the OEM Asetek. Thus we have a similar matte finish we have seen before, with an all-black color around the radiator, pump, and tubing. The water block also looks pretty similar as you might expect, with some subtle CRYORIG branding around the circular base. Otherwise, several cables extend out from the water block, and these are used to either power the three fans and the pump itself. The pump is powered by a SATA connection, while the fans are powered with four pin PWM headers. A final four pin PWM header input is connected to the motherboard to allow the fans to operate in conjunction with other system fans. Otherwise, there is not too much else to really note on an appearance stance, since practically all all-in-one coolers look this way to begin with.
The radiator on the CRYORIG A80 features a standard fin layout. The fins are placed so they come into contact with the liquid piping through its tops and bottoms. The result is a wavy set of fins. Heat from the liquid is pumped through the radiator, and transferred to the fins through the contact points. Fans are attached on the radiator to dissipate the heat on the fins. The liquid is transported from the water block to the radiator via the tubing. The tubing is made from an ultra-low evaporation rubber, measuring 350 mm in length. This should fit in most standard cases on the market, though it is possible this may be too short in larger cases. Interestingly enough, it is also five centimeters shorter than the NZXT Kraken X52, which measured in at 400mm. All of this depends on where you place the radiator in relation to the processor on the motherboard though, so your mileage will vary. The tubing is quite flexible and should not form any kinks, even in extreme bending. The tubes also pivot slightly on the water block, allowing for an easier maneuverability should it be required.
The radiator measures in at 311mm in length, 140mm in width, and 27.5mm in thickness. These are all pretty standard dimensions for a 280mm all-in-one liquid cooler. The size of the radiator plays a pretty significant role in cooling, as a larger surface area allows for better heat dissipation. The radiator is composed of aluminum, which is not too bad in terms of heat transfer. However, the benefits of aluminum is the fact this metal is light in weight, ensuring it does not cause too much strain on the case. Overall, the build quality of the CRYORIG A80 is pretty good, with no real points of concern to speak of.
Going down the tubing, we get to the water block of the CRYORIG A80, and for the most part, it is pretty standard in dimensions with a size of 88mm in width and length, and 52.8mm in height. While it may not look that tall, it is actually because several plastic holder protrude here to hold the third fan. The smaller 70mm fan attaches right onto the base, changing the height to a much taller 116.2mm. Of course, we will see if this additional fan helps out later on in our performance tests. Otherwise, the base making contact with the processor is constructed out of copper, which is pretty standard. Copper is often chosen due to its excellent heat transfer properties. Otherwise, you can see a mounting bracket made for Intel chipsets is already mounted, though changing this to fit on AMD motherboards is as simple as twisting and popping it off.
The two fans included with the CRYORIG A80 are the QF140 Performance fans. Specifications of the fans includes a speed range of 600 to 1850 RPM. The rated noise level is 13 to 38 dbA, though we will see what this means when we test for noise levels. However, you can tell these fans are created with a balance between airflow and air pressure, as there is quite a bit of overlap for each consecutive fan blade. In addition, the fan produces an air pressure of 2.12 mm H2O, with an airflow rating of 128 CFM. For your reference, the Fractal Design Venturi HP-14 PWM fans produce a maximum pressure of 1.94mm H2O, and a maximum airflow of 78.1 CFM. Otherwise, these fans also have installed rubber dampeners in each corner to prevent vibration between the fans and the radiator. One thing that bothered me about these fan dampeners was the fact they sometimes fell off with some resistance. As these pads are held in with rubber pegs, they easily can come loose and fall off.
Installation of the CRYORIG A80 was probably as simple as any all-in-one coolers, but I will take you through a step by step walkthrough. The first step is to take the correct backplate for your system. Both AMD and Intel backplates are provided with the A80. For the Intel backplate, you can see there are two different positions for the pegs, which cover majority of the Intel sockets. If you are using an LGA2011 processor, be sure to use the screw pillars included instead. Slotting it in through the back of the motherboard is painless, as is securing the backplate with the four included screws. Otherwise, the next step continues on the inside of the case.
Saying hello to the other side, here you can slot the 70mm airflow fan onto the top of the water pump, and connect its PWM fan connector into the port located on the pump. Then the next step would be to install the mounting ring onto the base of the water block. As the CRYORIG A80 already came installed with the correct mounting ring, I skipped this step. From here, you can either install the radiator and fans into the case, or to mount the CPU cooling block in place. Personally, I mounted the radiator and fans first, as it can be quite unwieldy trying to mount the CPU block with a dangling radiator. Next, I mounted the CPU block in place with the provided thumbscrews. As thermal paste was already applied on the CPU water block, I did not have to add anymore, but you will for any subsequent installation. The last step is to plug all the connectors in place. The two fans attached can be connected to the header connected to the water block, while a SATA connection is required to power the pump. Finally, a four-pin connector must be plugged into the motherboard in order for the motherboard to provide the correct pulse-width signal. Overall, installation was very easy, and the hardest part was really just lining up the radiator and the fans, since we placed the front bracket in between them. If Noctua is king of installation ease for coolers, then CRYORIG definitely comes a close second. Both CRYORIG and Asetek should be proud.
1. Introduction, Packaging, Specifications
2. Physical Look - Hardware; Installation
3. Test Results