If you read the review of the Alphacool Eisblock XPX 1U, you already have a base laid out for what is somehow the fourth Eisblock XPX CPU block version I have reviewed since the original launched in 2016. Indeed, this version is a different take on the clear nylon version we saw in 2019, sharing more in common with it than the XPX 1U that was more server-optimized with the side ports and lower profile. Thank you to Alphacool for sending along a review sample!
The more consumer-oriented Eisblock XPX Aurora Edge goes down the other road with a taller profile, more complex material construction and, of course, RGB lighting. There are two versions, one with a black aluminium side cover and the other with a chrome one, and the two are otherwise identical. This, as with the other Eisblock XPX blocks, uses Alphacool's ramp system as part of the cooling engine, and the clear plexi top gives us a better look at it, as we will soon see in this review that begins with a look at the specifications below.
Alphacool Eisblock XPX Aurora Edge CPU Block
Plexi top with brass inlay and aluminium side cover
Alphacool's product packaging has improved greatly with the whole Eis overhaul, and the Eisblock XPX Aurora Edge is no exception. The box uses a two-piece packaging, as other Eisblock XPX blocks, but instead employs an outer sleeve and inner box rather than two thick halves of a single box that separate in the middle. The front of the sleeve has the company and product name, a product illustration, and a note of this being the black as opposed to the chrome side-cover version on the front, and on the back is the certification and information clarifying that the block was designed in Germany and manufactured in China. Two seals on the sides help keep the packaging intact, which need to be broken to access the inner box.
This box is plain cardboard with a black wrap, and opening it, we are greeted by an installation manual for all compatible CPU sockets (online copy here). It is different from the one for the original Eisblock XPX, but installation is identical aside from the included accessories and lighting that were optional before. It comes with details in English and German and is actually more detailed, which is nice to see since that was one of my complaints before. The other accessories come packaged inside a large zip-lock pouch with more pouches to separate the various items inside. Alphacool includes mounting hardware for both Intel and AMD platforms, as well as a tube of thermal paste, which is nice to see. Given the integrated RGB lighting, there is also an adapter for 3-pin, 5 V LED headers on motherboards or similar controllers.
The installation hardware includes metal springs, locking nuts, washers, and mounting post covers for aesthetics similar to what we saw as optional accessories in different colors with the original Eisblock XPX. The Intel-marked pouch comes with an Intel socket installation backplate, the two-piece Intel mounting bracket, a note about specific LGA 2011 motherboards that may not have cooler mounting holes on the front, and the two sets of four mounting posts for the various Intel sockets. The AMD-marked pouch is simpler and only contains a single set of mounting posts, the two-piece mounting bracket, and offsets for AM4 in addition to a note on AM4 installation, as the original Eisblock XPX launched before Ryzen was a thing in the retail channel. The water block itself comes wrapped in plastic to keep it pristine and free of dust out of the box.