EK XCL Predator 360 AIO Liquid Cooling Review
Liquid cooling a Core i7 4790K processor and Radeon R9 Nano
EK is back and with something big and black, this round with their all new massive 360 Predator series liquid cooler kit. We test this EK XCL Predator 360 on a Core i7 4790K processor and also will add a Radeon R9 Nano to the all-in-one liquid cooling loop. The end result in cooling performance and low noise levels are terrific as even overclocked our graphics card would not even pass 40 Degrees C. The nice thick radiator, proper tubing and an excellent water-blocks that are pre-filled and fitted kit are downright impressive, you know what? Have a quick peek:
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 systems (liquid cooling) setup 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 is 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 to the drawing table and designed the Predator series.
The EK-Predator series is available in a 240 mm and 360 mm model. To bypass intricate and existing designs they took a nice thick radiator, a fan control hub and pump, and mounted these parts together to combine with their extremely silent EK-Vardar fans. You'll spot seriously good thick tubing and an EK-Supremacy MX water block to chill your processor. This is an AIO unit, factory filled with coolant and with the fans and everything installed for you. Really, all you need to do is install it into your PC and if you want to do so, add an extra component for cooling like your graphics card.
- EK-Supremacy MX
- EK-Vardar fans with PWM control
- Industry standard DDC pump, could cope with 3 blocks
- Copper core radiator and blocks
- G1/4 ports to allow complete customization and expansion
The kit once again is a bit unusual maybe seems a little bulky to look at for a first impression as the pump sits at the the end of the radiator, here you will also see LEDs to verify power ON/OFF. Dimensions of the main radiator unit on Predator 360, with integrated pump and reservoir are: 415 x 133 x 68mm (L x W x H). This allows mounting of unit in selected computer chassis only due to the large radiator size. Opposed to the 240 model, this 360 model comes with a quick coupling connector to add/dismount gear to the loop easily and conveniently, the 240 mm model does not have this as a feature. We will be adding a 650 EURO costing Radeon R9 Nano to the liquid cooling loop to test that. Talking about caching-badablin-bling priced at almost 300 EUR (incl. VAT) this is most definitely not the most cheap AIO kit, but please look at this as a high-end towards enthusiast class LCS kit factory that comes installed and assembled for you, it is a huge time saver and offers a far more safe experience. The performance with one CPU or with a CPU+GPU combo really is excellent as this review will show, 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 have a peek at the EK-XLC Predator 360 and then head on-wards into the review.
In the second part of the review we'll mount a waterblock onto the Radeon R9 Nano and add it to the cooling loop.