The AlphaCool Core Ocean T38 360mm AIO CPU Cooler Review: Loud and Proud

The AlphaCool Core Ocean T38 360mm AIO CPU Cooler Review: Loud and Proud

Although the all-in-one CPU cooler industry is dominated, at least in terms of mind, by flagship coolers from the biggest brands in the industry, the overall market share covers a much larger group of consumers. has grown over the years. From flagship coolers to sub-$100 specials, efficient AIO coolers have become available and affordable for most mid-range and high-end builds. Thanks to some stiff competition in this space, we've seen several vendors bring even 360mm coolers to the sub-$100 market in an attempt to gain an edge over their competitors, and sales in the process.

Seeing the opportunity to expand its customer base, even the normally premium-focused Alpha Cool has chosen to get in on the act with its Core Ocean line-up of coolers. And today, we're taking a closer look at the Core Ocean T38 360mm, AlphaCool's latest entry-level AIO cooler.

At the top end, the Core Ocean T38 is designed to balance performance with manufacturing cost, allowing the company to put together an effective cooler that can still be priced low enough for the budget-conscious. To reach customers. Sticking with an aluminum radiator and keeping frills like RGB lighting to a minimum, the T38 is primarily aimed at system builders who need straightforward, efficient cooling solutions – and AlphaCool's popular open-loop custom liquid cooling kits. Without the complication of As we'll see, nothing comes for free, but AlphaCool has managed to put together an effective CPU cooler for $100 that's hard to ignore.

AlphaCool Core Ocean T38 360mm AIO CPU Cooler
Kind of All-in-one liquid cooler
Dimensions 397 x 120 x 63 mm (radiator with fan)
fan 3 x 120 mm hydraulic bearing fans.
2500 RPM (Maximum)
Supported sockets Intel: LGA1700 / LGA1851

AMD: AM5 / AM4

Warranty 3 years
Price $100

Packaging and bundles

AlphaCool packs the Core Ocean T38 AIO CPU cooler in a simple and functional cardboard box, with dimensions indicative of the size of the cooler. The front of the box includes basic dimensional schematics, providing a professional aesthetic theme. Inside, the cooler is housed securely within custom cardboard inserts, carefully engineered to protect the cooler during shipping and handling, ensuring it reaches the customer in perfect condition. reached.

As expected from an entry-level product, the bundle with the Core Ocean T38 AIO is limited to only the parts that are absolutely necessary for installing the cooler. In addition to the mounting hardware, there's a syringe of premium thermal compound and a 3-to-1 power connector for the radiator fans.

AlphaCool Core Ocean T38 360 mm AIO Liquid Cooler

At first glance, the AlphaCool Core Ocean T38 AIO CPU Cooler follows the same general design as most AIO coolers available today. It is based on the traditional AIO structure, consisting of a radiator, two hoses, and an integrated block and pump unit. Meanwhile, a copper CPU contact plate in the pump block section is connected to a compact pump. Alpha Cool uses rubber hoses covered with nylon sleeves for added protection, which are practical although somewhat rigid.

As a key feature of this model, the AlphaCool Core Ocean T38 AIO cooler includes a radiator that is made entirely of aluminum and is 38mm thick. This thickness requires a PC case that can adjust its size to accommodate three 120mm fans. For proper installation, this setup calls for more than 63mm of clearance when the fan is attached. The radiator design follows a standard dual-pass crossflow configuration, featuring small fins attached to thin, long tubes, all made of aluminum. Technically, aluminum is significantly worse than copper in terms of thermal conductivity and energy transfer, so it remains to be seen whether sheer size can make up for it. The company logo is printed on the sides of the radiator.

The main block of the AlphaCool Core Ocean T38 AIO cooler is mainly made of plastic, with a top cover that includes an LED strip for subtle lighting effects. The block has 90° fittings on its side where the hoses are attached. Two cables emerge from the middle of the fittings: one for the 4-pin power cable and the other for the LED lighting. The cooler includes customizable RGB lighting with 12 digitally controlled LEDs located on top of the main block. This feature provides subtle, adjustable lighting to enhance the cooler's aesthetic appeal. The LED lighting cable must be connected to an external RGB controller, as none are supplied with the cooler.

The AlphaCool Core Ocean T38 AIO cooler has a rectangular cold plate at the base of the main block assembly, which is secured to the plastic base cover with ten screws. The surface of the contact plate is not mirror-finished, but it is smooth and flat enough for efficient heat transfer. The main block does not come with thermal paste pre-applied, so it is necessary to use the included thermal compound during the initial installation of the cooler. The contact plate size itself is suitable for Intel Socket 1700 and AMD Socket AM5 processors.

AlphaCool provides the Core Ocean T38 as well as three core 120mm fans. Their part number is JE12025L12V and, although we can't find much information about their OEM, they have a hydraulic bearing engine and a ridiculous maximum speed of 2500 RPM. Aesthetically, these are simple black fans without any lighting. The fan power cables have a standard 4-pin connector and cannot be daisy-chained, but can all be connected to a single power header using the included adapter.

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