Introduction

AeroCool Advanced Technologies (AAT) was founded in 2001. Aerocool is known for their innovative designs like they were the first company to introduce the U-Shape heat pipe design for the CPU Coolers which now has almost become a norm in air cooling. Similarly, they were the first company to introduce the double-bay front panel controllers. Today, Aerocool is among the market leaders in the “Gaming Market”. Their product lines include Gaming Chassis, PC Cooling, Power Supply units, Gaming peripherals, gaming furniture, accessories to name a few. Aerocool is not a new name to me. I bought their DS series fans back in 2014 or so when I was doing my X99 build on Rampage V Extreme and these fans exceeded my expectation from them.

Aerocool has sent their Project 7 series L240 CPU cooler and H1 hub for the review. Project 7 is the Aerocool’s branding for their RGB Gaming line up of enthusiast level products ranging from PSU to Fan to the Chassis. Today, we will look at their P7-L240. The L240 is a 240mm closed loop liquid cooler with transparent pump chassis and P7-F12 translucent fans. This cooler is RGB ready hence this design approach will allow the user to fully appreciate the 16.8Million colors customization for visually stunning looks. This is Aerocool’s own design.

  • Product:               P7-L240
  • Manufacturer:      Aerocool
  • Brand:                Project 7
  • Category:           CPU Cooler
  • Price:                 €109.90 / $134.99 [At the time of the review]

Specifications

Packaging and Unboxing

The cooler is shipped in a standard cardboard box. There is black color packing on top of the main packing box. The front side of the outer packaging box has Aerocool brand name and logo printed on the top left side. A picture of the cooler is printed in the middle section. Project 7 along with the tagline Exploring the unknown are printed in blue color over the cooler’s picture. P7-L240 is printed in the middle at the bottom. RGB Ready box is printed at the bottom right side. Please, note that the cooler does not include the RGB Controller hub which is sold separately. The backside of the outer packaging box has Aerocool brand name and logo printed on the top left side. P7-L240 is printed on the top right side. Specifications of the cooler and the fans are printed under the picture of the cooler. Company’s website address is printed on the right side under the picture of the block. A serial no sticker is printed on the bottom right side. Cooler is made in China. Conformance to various specifications is printed in iconic format on the bottom right side. Salient features of the cooler are printed in 12 different languages on the left and the right sides of the box with 6 languages on each side. The top side has 6 pictures printed on it along with the salient features against each picture. The cooler is refillable making its lifetime much longer than traditional CLCs in the market. The cooler has silent pump operations. The cooler has pure copper plate with microchannel technology. Fan blades are designed to throw direct air to increase air pressure. Cooler is RGB ready and for that either P7H1 RGB Controller hub is needed or RGB Enabled motherboard with RGB headers on it. The rear side has Aerocool brand name and logo printed in the middle with company’s slogan of Be Cool, Be Aerocool. There is another brown color cardboard box inside the outer packing. User will have to take it out. There is a Project 7’s branding on the top side of the box. P7-L240 is printed on the bottom. Aerocool brand name and logo are printed on the left, right, and front sides of this box. Inside this box we have egg box card containing the cooler and the accessories. A manual is placed on the top. Fans are pre-installed on the radiator. Radiator and the pump/reservoir block are wrapped inside transparent cover.

 

Accessories and Content

Aerocool has provided following accessories in the box:

  • 2x Intel LGA2011 mounting bars
  • 2x Intel LGA115x mounting bars
  • 2x AMD mounting bars
  • 16x Black Long screws
  • 8x Black Short screws
  • 4x Silver screws
  • 1x User manual
  • 1x Intel backplate
  • 1x Pump top plate [Extra]
  • 1x Dropper
  • 1x Double sided sticky backplate mount
  • 1x thermal compound
  • 1x Y-cable
  • 2x P7-F12 Fans
  • 1x Cooler

The user manual is well designed and in a booklet format. It has pictures to help the user in the installation of the cooler.

 

Closer Look

The Aerocool P7-L240 is a 240mm CLC cooling solution. It has a 240mm radiator with two P7-F12 RGB, 120mm fans. The dimension of the radiator is 274.8 x 120.5 x 27mm. The thickness of the radiator is 27mm. With 25mm fans the overall thickness would be 52mm. The radiator is a low density fins per inch one (LFPI). This design makes the radiator to be less dense hence, air can be passed through it without much resistance.

 

This is helpful for airflow capable fans to be used on this radiator without sacrificing much of a performance and also enables the low noise fan operation. The radiator is made of aluminum hence it is lightweight. This is Aerocool’s own design. The blocks on both ends of the radiator are not rectangular and have rounded edges. Fin stack is not dense and taking into account the left and right side channels, it has total 12 channels for water flow. It has a standard inlet and outlet blocks for the water flow. Hot water flows in from the inlet and passes through the corresponding channels. Heat is blown away through the fins by the fans and cold or normal temperature water flows out of the radiator through the outlet port. Here are some of the radiator’s specs that I have gathered:

Dimension 274.8 x 120.5 x 27mm (L x W x D)
Material Aluminum
Channels 12
FPI 18 [As per our sample]
Liquid Capacity 250ml
OD/ID 9.525mm/8.3mm
Cooling Capacity 380W

 

There are no protective sheets over the fins under the fan mounts. So, take care while mounting the fans as longer screws could damage the fins which would hamper the performance of the cooler. It is recommended to use the supplied long screws to mount the fans on to the radiators. The hoses are firmly fitted on the radiator assembly and on the pump housing. The soft material tubing are flexible and don’t produce kinking which is always a plus. Aerocool used heat shrinks on the terminating ends of the hoses on the radiators. Aerocool is using mesh sleeve on the hoses to give them clean look.

 

 

Let’s take a look at the main element of this cooler. Majority of the CLCs in the market have pump housing on the water block without any reservoir on top of it. This design trades off the capacity in exchange of occupying less space. Raijintek introduced the design in which there was an integrated reservoir and pump combo on the water block. With transparent housing on that reservoir it was an added advantage in terms of the form of the cooler. Reeven followed the similar pattern and introduced Naia 240 with same concept design. They also implemented the white LED lighting inside the housing which I wish would have been an RGB LED instead. Aerocool is using the same concept with their L240 but with perfection. They have implemented a reservoir on top of the pump in a same transparent housing in hexagonal shape which not only really adds to the overall looks of the block but more importantly provides extra liquid chamber. The dimension of the block is 95mm X 80.5mm X 61.6mm (L X W X H). The block size is relatively larger as compared to other CLCs in the market. There is a black color hexagonal top on the reservoir/pump combo. It has an Aerocool brand name and logo printed on it which illuminates when the unit is powered on. It is placed on top of the unit’s top cover housing which is also in black color and it is removable as well. This cover is also in hexagonal shape to go in symmetry with the overall design of the unit. We have a large transparent housing of the unit with RGB LED lighting solution in it which really gives stunning looks. It is also in the hexagonal shape. We can see the pump top inside and also the fill port. The fill port is located under the top plate and top cover. In order to access the fill port, rotate the cap anticlockwise a bit and lift it off. The top plate is attached with the top cover and it can also be removed. Aerocool has provided one extra top plate in the accessories. Before removing the fill port’s cap, keep paper towels along as few drops will spill out of the fill port. Fill port is a handy implementation as it would prolong the life of the cooler for coolant can be added should its level drops in long run. Use the provided dropper to add the coolant in the chamber. Also, take a note that when you will screw the cap of the fill port back on, there would be more spill. Paper towels are a blessing for such times. Hoses are implemented in 90° on the pump housing. They are protruding quite a bit which would create RAM clearance issues. Hoses can be rotated upward and downward position though there is a limited movement due to their orientation. The bottom side of the unit has a black color plastic material with 4 mounting holes with one hole on one side of the hexagonal shape. Two flat cables are coming out of the pump housing. One is 4-pin power cable and the other is the two-headed RGB LED cable that would either go on the RGB header of the enabled motherboard or to the P7-H1 RGB Controller hub which is sold separately. It can also be daisy-chained with the fans have just one cable connecting to the RGB control source. The unit has a dual soundproof chamber design which reduces the noise coming from the impeller and adds extra fluid capacity. The motor of the unit is built with a balanced impeller and high-quality ceramic bearing to obtain the near-silent performance level. The pump has a rated speed of 2500 RPM at 12V. It has flow rate of 800 LPH. Power consumption is 8.4 Watts. Noise level is rated at less than 25 dBA. It is rated at 80000 hrs MTBF. The 4-pin power cable has a length of approximately 465mm whereas the RGB LED cable has a length of 471mm+54mm.

Let’s take a look at the base of the block. The base is in rounded hexagonal shape with the raised surface area in the middle with the cold plate. It is made of the pure copper and seems to be a plain surface. The block is following the microchannel design with 131 total channels and 132 fins. Each fin is 0.1mm wide and there is a gap of 0.11mm between two fins. This is done to achieve maximum heat dissipation for better thermals.

The cover of the unit can be positioned in two different orientations to make installation more convenient as per the user requirements. However, this design is not compatible with socket layout of some motherboards. These motherboards are mentioned in the below picture. This is due to the hoses implementation in the pump housing at 90°. As the hoses are more protruding and are at 90° offset the first DIMM slot closer to the CPU socket is covered with the hoses raising the RAM clearance issue.

The Aerocool has provided two P7-F12 fans with the cooler. These are their Project 7 series 120mm RGB enabled fans. I am not sure if these are addressable RGB versions as the software does not have any rainbow mode in the option. But still, these can have color customization from 16.8 Million colors. We have a circular frame with triangular edges around them. There are anti-vibration pads in black color on each mounting corner. There is a distance of approximately 110mm between any two mounting holes on the same side. Each fan has 13 blades. This design is usually found in airflow edition fans not high static pressure series fans. Blades are translucent. There is a sticker pasted on the motor hub with Aerocool brand name and logo printed on it. The exterior portion of the blade has raised tabs on the surface which may help in directing the air and to reduce the noise. This also creates stunning looks when the fans are powered up and lighting comes on. It seems like there are layers in the flow. Fans look really good in person. There are 6 RGB LEDs in the motor hub frame. Hub is also translucent. The backside of the fan shows a 4 arm assembly holding and connecting the motor hub with the frame. There is a black color sticker pasted on the motor hub. Aerocool brand name and logo are printed on the top of this sticker. Model is AV 12025. 12V DC 0.15A is printed at the bottom.

P7-F12 is rated at 600 – 1800 RPM having a dimension of 120mm X 120mm X 25mm. They have 4-pin PWM connector and an RGB LED with dual connectors. One LED connector is used to connect the fan to the lighting source whereas the other one can be used to daisy chain with other fans (s). These fans are using the hydraulic bearing with 60000 hrs of MBTF. Started voltage is 9V with the rated voltage of 12V. Rated current of a fan is 0.16A with 1.92 Watts power consumption. Air pressure is rated at 0.59 ~ 1.34 mmH₂O. Airflow rating is 29.84 ~ 71.65 CFM. Noise level is rated at 10.5 ~ 31.8 dBA. The 4-pin power cable has a length of approximately 440mm whereas the RGB LED cable has a length of 471mm+54mm. The impeller is removable to ease the cleaning process.

 

Software and RGB Lighting

In order to enable and control the RGB Lighting effect on the fans and pump unit, you would need the Aerocool P7-H1 RGB Controller hub which is sold separately or you would need a motherboard with RGB enabled headers. Asus motherboards have Aura sync headers, Gigabyte boards have RGB Fusion and MSI has Mystic lighting to name a few. The cooler’s RGB lighting is compatible with all of the lighting solution being provided by the motherboards’ manufacturers. Aerocool sent us P7-H1 controller hub as well which we have reviewed earlier. Click here to read about it. Let’s take a look at the S1 software provided by the Aerocool to be used with P7-H1 hub. The software has a simple and user friendly interface and allows the user to customize the lighting effect using 16.8 Million colors. On the top panel, there are tabs with Hub 1, Hub 2 and so on written on them. The software will show the currently activated hub and its corresponding options. There is a Settings button on the top right side before minimize and close buttons. It has only one option to update the software. There is LED Mode on the top left side with a drop-down box. The modes are:

  • Breathing
  • Pulsating
  • Always on
  • Off

 

Limited modes are available at the moment using the software. There are two more knob style buttons with slider on them. One is to control the brightness of the light and the other is to control the speed of the light effect. User will have to click on the Preview System button on the right side. This is strange implementation as the word Preview itself is confusing. There should be Apply button to make it more convenient for the user. One may take the word Preview in its literal meaning of just checking the corresponding effect without applying it whereas this button is actually acting like Apply button. On the bottom left side there are five fan icons which light up in the blue to show the connected fan(s). In our case the first two icons light up indicating that only two fans are connected at the moment. Click on each fan to check its speed in RPM. The software does not have any feature to control the speed of the fans, which would have been an added functionality. User will have to rely on other methods of speed regulation like using motherboard’s BIOS to control and set the PWM fan curve or using some software for this purpose. There are two circles on the top right side indicating the color range that the user can change to control the lighting color. The outer circle is to control the color’s shade whereas the inner circle is to control and set the selected color. Alternatively, user can use the R G B text boxes located beneath the circles by giving color numbers from o to 256 in each of the box. User can also input the HTML color code in the text box below the RGB text boxes. Alternatively, there is a color pallet on the right side of the HTML code textbox which the user can use to click and select the color. User can undo the last change as well. Finally, there is a Loop RGB option that can be toggled between on and off. By default it is off. Turn it on if you wish to color the cycles. Please, note that there is no Rainbow mode available indicating that the RGB LEDs are not addressable. User can change the language of the software at the bottom right side. Help would take you to the web browser with link to a youtube video demo of the P7-H1. User can also sync all the connected hubs in the software.

 

Installation

We have tested the cooler on the X99 platform using 2011-3 socket. Installation mechanism is pretty much straightforward on this socket as you don’t need mounting bracket/backplate on this socket. Take out the mounting bars from the transparent container with the label C (2011). Place each mounting bar on each side of the pump housing by aligning mounting holes on the housing with the holes on the mounting bar. Each mounting bar has spring-loaded screws on each end. Make sure that spring side of the mounting bar is facing up. Use the four silver color screws and secure the bars with the pump housing. Apply the thermal paste on the IHS of the CPU. Remove the warning label from the base of the unit and put the unit on top of the CPU IHS by aligning the socket holes with the spring-loaded screws. Once aligned, start screwing them in. Use diagonal pattern for even pressure of the block. Connect the 4-pin connector on to the require header of the motherboard. In our case we connected it to the 4-pin pump header on our Asus motherboard. We daisy chained the fans and the pump RGB LED connectors and used P7-H1 as well onboard Aura header to test the lighting solution.

 

We have already discussed about the DIMM clearance issue with this cooler. As can be seen in the pictures, this design approach makes it difficult to use the DIMM slot closer to the CPU Socket.

Testing Methodology

Following test bench was used for testing this cooler: –

  • Asus Rampage V Edition 10
  • Intel i7 6850k
  • Crucial Ballixtics Elite 4x4GB @ 3000MHz
  • Nvidia GTX 1080 FE
  • Samsung 840 EVO 250GB SSD
  • WD Black 6TB
  • Corsair AX1200i

Following software were used for the testing and monitoring.

  • Asus Real Bench v 2.44
  • Real Temp GT v 3.70

The thermal paste being used on my test bench is the Noctua NT-H1 thermal paste. The use of a same thermal paste for all coolers will ensure the standardization and mitigate any performance benefit that may come using the supplied thermal paste. Delta temperatures are reported on the graphs. The cooler is tested on stock clocks i.e 3.6GHz using 1.136V manual VCore. The Asus RealBench 2.44 is used to stress test the cooler’s performance. Each run of the test was of 15 minutes followed by 15-30 minutes break to let the system cool down. Fans were set to run at their 100% RPM and water pump was set at 100% as well. CPU is overclocked to 4.3GHz with 1.350V manual Vcore. Three test runs are made. Average of each test run is calculated. The max temps on each core are summed up and divided by the core count to give the average figure. The max average of three tests is used for reporting. Delta temp is calculated by subtracting the ambient temp from the max average temp. No rounding will be done on the ambient temps.

Results

Let’s take a look at the graphs. On stock clocks, the CPU was idling at 2.5°C. 27.13°C was the temperature under stress testing. The cooler is sitting nicely between the Corsair H100i V2 and the Noctua NH-D15 with Corsair H100i V2 leading by 0.8°C and NH-D15 trailing behind by 0.1°C. These three coolers were approximately giving the same performance within 1°C delta.

With overclocked 6850k to 4.3GHz at 1.350V, the CPU was idling at 4°C. 41.83°C was the temperature under the stress test. Corsair H100i V2 was leading by 0.67°C whereas the Noctua NH-D15 was leading by 0.83°C. Reeven Okeanos with triple fans was leading by 0.76°C. Again, these three coolers were approximately giving the same performance within 1°C delta.

Our Fonseo Digital Sound Meter was showing 34 dBA under full load with 11 dBA when idling.

Conclusion

The Aerocool P7-L240 is a 240mm CLC cooling solution. It has a 240mm radiator with a two P7-F12 RGB, 120mm fans. The dimension of the radiator is 274.8 x 120.5 x 27mm. The thickness of the radiator is 27mm. With 25mm fans the overall thickness would be 52mm. The radiator is a low density fins per inch one (LFPI). This design makes the radiator to be less dense hence air can be passed through it without much resistance. This is helpful for airflow capable fans to be used on this radiator without sacrificing much of a performance and also enables the low noise fan operation. Radiator is made of aluminum hence it is light weight. This is Aerocool’s own design not an Aestek made. The radiator has 18 FPI with 9.525mm OD / 8.3mm ID of the hoses. It has 250ml coolant capacity and 380 Watts cooling capacity.

The Aerocool has provided two P7-F12 fans with the cooler. These are their Project 7 series 120mm RGB enabled fans. I am not sure if these are addressable RGB versions as the software does not have any rainbow mode in the option. But still, these can have color customization from 16.8 Million colors. Each fan has 13 translucent blades. There are 6 RGB LEDs in a motor hub. P7-F12 is rated at 600 – 1800 RPM having dimension of 120mm X 120mm X 25mm. They have 4-pin PWM connector and an RGB LED with dual connectors. One LED connector is used to connect the fan to the lighting source whereas the other one can be used to daisy chain with other fan(s). These fans are using hydraulic bearing with 60000 hrs of MBTF. Started voltage is 9V with rated voltage of 12V. Rated current of a fan is 0.16A with 1.92 Watts power consumption. Air pressure is rated at 0.59 ~ 1.34 mmH₂O. Air flow rating is 29.84 ~ 71.65 CFM. Noise level is rated at 10.5 ~ 31.8 dBA. Aerocool is recommending the installation of this cooler with the tubing facing East.

The cool feature of this cooler is the 16.8 Million RGB lighting. To enable the lighting effect we either need Aerocool P7-H1 RGB Controller hub which is sold separately or motherboards with RGB Lighting enabled headers. Asus motherboards have Aura sync headers, Gigabyte boards have RGB Fusion and MSI has Mystic lighting to name a few. The cooler’s RGB lighting is compatible with all of the lighting solution being provided by the motherboards’ manufacturers. Aerocool has provided a comprehensive yet simple software to control the lighting effect. It has only 3 color modes which are Breathing, Pulsating and Always on. Out of these three pulsating effect creates dope effect on the fans and overall on the cooler. We have tested the lighting effect using the P7-H1 and Aura Sync as well.

The P7-L240 is rated at €109.90 / $134.99 at the time of the review. This is definitely an expensive cooling solution as compared to other solutions like Corsair H100i V2, Noctua NH-D15, and Reeven Naia 240. But, taking the complete package in consideration with adequate cooling capacity, noise level, RGB lighting solution, and refill capability makes this cooler worth your bucks. Performance is right there as can be seen in the graphs. The Cons that I have observed are the RAM clearance issue, too many cables to deal with, and lack of RGB Controller Hub within this price range. At the moment, whichever RGB enabled cooling solution you will pick up, the wires mess would be with it hence, can’t really complain about that. Aerocool is providing 2 years of warranty on this cooler. If you were to buy P7-H1 in addition to this cooler then the total bill would have been approximately $160 which is definitely on a higher side. If Aerocool could come up with a cost effective solution to provide an RGB Controller within the current price of the cooler, it will become win-win scenario.

We are thankful to Aerocool for giving us the opportunity to review their P7-L240 CPU Cooler.

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