EK-MLC Phoenix 360 AIO CPU & GPU Liquid Cooling review

Cooling 183 Page 1 of 16 Published by



EK MLC Phoenix 360 AIO Liquid Cooling review
The Rise of the Predator Phoenix

EK is back in all stylish black, they have replaced the Predator range and gave it an update. Even more secure, modular (you can add a graphics card into your loop) and revamped looks they are ready for the year 2018. 

While available from anywhere from 120mm up-to 360mm rads, this round we test the new 360mm MLC Phoenix series liquid cooler. We will test that MLC Phoenix 360mm on our trusty and always harsh to cool Core i7 4790K processor (Devils Canyon) and will add a Radeon RX Vega reference graphics card into the loop, the AMD founders edition so to say. The end result, as often with EK products, is something excellently cooled. Even when overclocked, our graphics card would not even dare to pass 45 Degrees C. In the kit you will spot a nice updated radiator, proper tubing (now black sleeved) and a new style water-block that, everything is pre-filled and fitted. Install, connect and done.

You know, in the world of CPU coolers nothing ever stops developing. These days you can select from a hundred different heat-pipe based coolers where many are shaped, formed and priced the same. The better heat-pipe based coolers are good though. Next in line are LCS (liquid cooling system) setups followed by the real and proper expensive liquid cooling kits. The entry-level LCS products are affordable, easy to install pre-fab liquid cooling kits. We've seen and tested many of them as Corsair, Asetek, NZXT, Cooler Master and so on all have interesting kits. Weirdly enough we never tested anything from Slovenia based EK. That ends and starts today. See, things are complicated; 80% of the AIO kits out there are based on an Asetek design, as they hold all the patents. In fact, on numerous occasions, they have successfully sued manufacturers for using the concept of a pump and liquid cooling block AIO. So to release an LCS product that does not interfere with existing designs that fall under a patent, EK stepped up. For their excellent stand-alone liquid cooling kits, they went back to the drawing table and designed what is now called the Phoenix series.

Basically, you need to purchase three segments, this is the modular design:

  1. You opt your prefilled radiator from 120mm, 240mm up-to 360mm. Also available is a 140mm and 280mm version. All of course with the corresponding two or three fans, which have seen an update as well as EK now includes Vardar EVO fans.
  2. You choose your CPU block, basically two choices, Intel/AMD compatible and then a choice for TR4 (Threadripper).
  3. Optionally if you like to add in a GPU block, have a peek as most high-end graphics cards in all forms and sizes are available.
Again, everything is prefilled, install connect and you're done. Today's review we'll split into two segments, a basic and tweaked test with the processor, like you are used to by us. And then an extra segment where we add in a Radeon RX Vega graphics card into the loop. Our choice of components is:
  • 1x EK-MLC Phoenix 360 (€66.90)
  • 1x EK-MLC Phoenix CPU core - Intel/AM4 (€189.90) 
  • 1x EK-MLC Phoenix GPU Module FC Radeon Vega - Acetal+Nickel (€134.90)
All these parts have a QDC, 'quick disconnect' as you can see when looking at the tubing.  All units offer a nice thick radiator, a fan control hub and pump, and these parts are mounted together and combined with EK-Vardar EVO fans. You'll spot nice thick braided tubing and an EK-MLC Phoenix water block to chill your processor. The kit, as always, is a bit unusual and maybe seems a little bulky to look at as a first impression as the pump sits at the end of the radiator, here you will also see LEDs to verify power ON/OFF. Dimensions of the main radiator unit on the Phoenix 360 with integrated pump and reservoir are 415 x 133 x 68mm (L x W x H). This allows mounting of the unit in selected computer chassis only due to the large radiator size. But hey, you have plenty of choices. As mentioned, this model comes with a quick decoupling connector to add/dismount gear to the loop easily and conveniently. What you will notice is that the performance with one CPU or with a CPU+GPU combo really is exceptional as this review will demonstrate, as good as a liquid cooling setup you would purchase separately and install yourself. This is a product series that ups things a good notch. So without further ado, let's head onwards into the review.

Inthe last chapters of the article, we'll add a Radeon RX Vega 56 (AMD reference) into the loop.

Share this content
Twitter Facebook Reddit WhatsApp Email Print