Sometimes it may seem like you've seen an all-in-one liquid cooler (AIO), and you've seen them all, with only small variations in appearance from one to the other. Barrowch, a refrigeration manufacturer in China, found a way to stand out from the crowd: place a high-resolution display on a series of modular CPU water blocks, each with an HDMI port.
Isn't having an LCD screen in the water blocks a new concept, but an HDMI port? This has not been done until now, at least I am aware of that. And for a block of water, these are fairly large screens, measuring 2.9 inches. It is more than 21% larger than the 2.36-inch screen of the NZXT Kraken Z series, although it is smaller than the comparatively huge 3.5-inch full-color screen of the Asus ROG Ryujin II 360.
The real comparison, however, is the resolution. This is where Barrowch's water blocks really stand out. While these Z-series water blocks have 320×320 resolution screens and the Ryiujin II records at 340×340, Barrowch coolers activate the resolution dial up to 1440×1440. This, along with a refresh rate of 60 Hz and a contrast ratio of 1,100: 1, as well.
This works at 702 pixels per inch (PPI), an amazing pixel density that surpasses most smartphones. To put it in perspective, the magnificent OLED screen of Samsung’s Galaxy S21 Ultra has a 515 PPI, while Apple’s iPhone 12 Pro Max has a 458 PPI.
Of course, pixel density is not the end of it all. For example, the LG 27GN950-B is one of the the best gaming monitors, but the pixel density of your 4K panel is only 163 PPI. But it underscores how fun it is to have a 1440p resolution on such a small screen (by game monitor standards).
As for how to use all those pixels stacked on a 2.9-inch screen that resides inside your PC, Barrowch has some suggestions. The obvious is to show system vitality. Barrowch says the block screen is equipped with several dynamic and static templates and can also be synchronized with AIDA64, a popular system diagnostic utility that emerged from the ashes of Everest. Which, by the way, is * fist-bump * if you remember Everest (the utility, not the mountain).
More templates are coming in, says Barrowch. In addition, users can access the HDMI input to display a PC screen. For what purpose I'm not sure, but it's a huge ability (I'm sure someone can think of a smart way to take advantage of the feature). There is also a 5V micro-USB interface, which is needed to use it as a secondary screen.
Browsing the Barrowch website is a challenge (the manufacturer really likes slow-loading images instead of text), but it looks like there will be different water blocks sold as stand-alone units and as part of AIO kits, such as the CPI-T. The idea is to support multiple platforms, with one of the images showing a rectangular block that is probably aimed at Alder Lake.
(embed) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LXGSVVP8E9E (/ embed)
Users can choose from a 240mm radiator with two 120mm fans or a 360mm radiator with three 120mm fans, both with adjustable RGB lighting and an aluminum frame. The radiators are quite thick and carry a 17W pump, as well as an acrylic window to control coolant levels at a glance.
No exact price or availability is mentioned, only that these ordered blocks of water will "arrive soon".