EK-XLC Predator 280 AIO CPU & GPU Liquid Cooling review

Cooling 183 Page 3 of 16 Published by


Product Showcase CPU cooling


As always we start with the packaging and bundle, everything is packaged, cushioned and bundled safely in the box. We'll show the preparation and installation of the MSI GeForce GTX 1080 Gaming X in the second part of this article, we'll first focus on prepping and testing just the CPU, and thus in later paragraphs and pages cover CPU+GPU cooling. Let's look inside the package though.



Once unboxed you'll spot the liquid cooling unit consisting of the radiator, fans, tubing, pump/cooling block. Everything is pre-fitted and ready to use. you do not need to install fans or stuff like tubing to the cooling block. Basically you will need to install/mount the unit onto the CPU and a motherboard back-plate to secure it. But you know what, you are visiting Guru3D.com, so we'll show you that all over the next few pages.


  • EK-XLC Predator 280 + 2x Vardar 140mm
  • Mounting system for Intel
  • EK-TIM Ectotherm (1g syringe)
  • Main Power and PWM signal cable
  • Installation manual (ENG)



You'll spot a back-plate that supports Intel LGA 115x and 2011 processors which can be used in combination with this cooler. Please note, before ordering read the compatibility listing carefully as there are some restrictions. For Intel Socket LGA-1150/1151/1155/1156 and 2011V3 you are totally good to go. The kit, as is, is not AMD processor/APU compatible with the included mounting brackets, you can order these though. Once unboxed you'll spot the cooling unit consisting of the radiator completely assembled with pump and fan hub, fans and brackets. You will receive a motherboard back-plate, some thermal grease TIM, fan mount screws for the chassis and a screw driver to be used for back-plate installation.


Here we have the complete unit - it has two variable Vardar PWM fans fitted (140mm), these are re-wired on one connector into a fan hub and are controlled from the motherboard PWM controller - so your motherboard PWM controller will regulate the fans. Alternatively you could tie them to a fan controller, of course.


This weird looking thing is the QDC - Quick Disconnect Connector, and it's the best quality quick release I have ever seen or tested. Later on we'll show it. But you push the button and then can disconnect and add stuff to the loop. Once you open up the Quick Disconnect Connector it will close within a split second, so there's no leakage of fluid. In total I think we lost precisely one drop of coolant.

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