Alphacool Eisblock Aurora Plexi GPX-N Review
As many of you have been before, I was just recently on the hunt for a quality, yet budget GPU block for my RTX 2080 Ti. As I perused Performance-PCs.com I happened to come upon a quite gorgeous block from Alphacool. I’ve been so accustomed to seeing their older GPX series blocks which were all black metal blocks with large fins on them, which were really never up my alley, so to speak. However, Alphacool’s new “Aurora” line of waterblocks have some astonishing good looks in my opinion, and the lowest price on the current market to boot!
At first glance, this block does just look like another nickel plexi full coverage waterblock for a GPU. Which, honestly, was all I really wanted out of it. Upon closer inspection though, I quickly saw how much time, effort, and attention to detail really went into the manufacturing of this waterblock. When you look closely at the milling marks in the plexi you’ll see that a great effort was put forth to make most of them nearly invisible to the naked eye. There are also a couple corners that have been accented with a satin finish to add some contrast to the block. The nickel plated copper cold plate has also undergone a very similar process, as the machine marks are also extremely minimal. The flow paths throughout the block itself also give the overall look a more “angular” aesthetic to go with the exterior contours. The overall look of this waterblock seems very modern to me when compared with other 20 series blocks on the market. The block also comes with a very well placed 5v dRGB strip. It comes with an adapter cable so you can plug it into any standard 5v 3pin dRGB header. It has 13 diodes and seems to have good color accuracy as it was easy to get it to match my other RGB devices. Looks may only be one aspect of a waterblock, but with how much attention was given to the aesthetic details it is clear to me that Alphacool was not holding back when they created this block.
I took a little time to put this block to the test by comparing it to the stock air cooler that came with the card. For reference, the card used was an Asus Dual OC RTX 2080 Ti. The stock cooler is a dual fan 2.5 slot design. Two benchmarks were run to test the limits of the card as well as measure temperatures and clock speeds. TimeSpy Extreme and Metro Exodus’ built in benchmark were chosen as both push the card very hard and Metro Exodus has Ray-Tracing in it’s benchmark. Below you will find a bar graph of the temperatures of the card with the air cooler on as well as the waterblock. Nobody would have doubted a waterblock will outperform an air cooler with ease, but from my experience with a large variety of blocks on various cards over the years, the Alphacool Aurora block for the 2080 Ti seems to perform as well as you’d expect a block to perform at this price point.
Because of the amazing performance of the block I was able to push the card a little harder in the benchmarks compared to the stock cooler. The card pushed out an extra 3.11 FPS in the Metro Exodus benchmark on average, and an additional 3.84 FPS in TimeSpy Extreme. This allowed the card to net another 562 points in TimeSpy Extreme. Sadly the 2080 Ti itself is a pretty solid card so Metro Exodus gave it a “99th percentile” rating on each test. For being the cheapest waterblock on the market for the 2080/Ti, it performs as well as you’d ever expect it to!
Putting an air cooler up against a waterblock isn’t ever going to be a fair fight, however, the point of this review is not to tell you which block to buy based purely on some numbers. There is much more to this hobby than the amount of money we spend on it, which is why this block checked all the boxes for me. It’s astonishingly good looking with a very modern aesthetic. The block performs as it should, making the price just the cherry on top of this very cool treat for your custom loop!
Buy yourself one of Alphacool’s Aurora GPX waterblocks for your build here.
All the original data from testing can be found here.