Originally Posted by mgusciora
Hi i am new to water cooling and basically narrowed it down to these 2 brands. Now in general which one do you guys prefer. Price is mostly what im concerned about but of course I dont want crappy parts. Thanks
For what component? EK makes arguably the best blocks on the market, Alphacool makes awful blocks. EK makes great and awful (SE series, possibly the worst on the market) rads, Alphacool makes middle of the road rads. As far as pumps...a D5 is a D5 whether it says Alphacool or EK on it. EK makes decent reservoirs and nice tops....Alphacool is pretty bad at both.
If you break it down into individual pieces (which is what you should be doing) and buy the best component in a particular category, you would likely wind up with a couple of EK pieces, no Alphacool, and a couple of other mfg you haven't mentioned.
Originally Posted by Sorphius
It's not quite so cut and dry, as they each have their benefits and drawbacks. Fittings are fittings; get what you think looks better. If you're looking at radiators, Alphacool has a wider selection and tends to have lower FPI counts, which makes them better at lower fan speeds (and therefor lower noise levels), but they also have a reputation for shipping "dirty" radiators with a lot of manufacturing residue that needs to be cleaned out before use. I can't speak to blocks since I've only ever used EK's products there.
At the end of the day, though, it's not like one is terrible and the other is great. A couple of lemons (that can be RMA'd) aside, both companies make quality products and you won't really do wrong by either. Get what you think looks better and what suits your budget.
Alphacools aren't really great performers at any fan speed any more, as other rads have really passed them by - http://www.xtremerigs.net/2015/02/11/radiator-round-2015/5/
They have typically gotten noticeably cleaner from the factory, though.