Manufacturer: EKWB

Introduction and First Impressions

EKWB now has a pair of all-in-one liquid CPU coolers on the market, and today we have the 240 mm variant on the test bench. Long known as a supplier of water blocks (the WB in EKWB stands for water blocks, after all) and other parts for custom liquid cooling, how will EKWB's foray into self-contained liquid CPU coolers fare?

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The Predator 240 take a very different approach to self-contained CPU cooling, being a pre-assembled unit comprised of separate, and removable, parts. Though pre-filled and ready to use as a CPU cooler out of the box, the Predator 240 (and to a greater degree the larger Predator 360) can be expanded to cool additional components, and customized as the user desires.

This versitility doesn't come cheap, but the Predator is actually a pretty good value when you price out the components that make up the whole. Looking through EKWB's site the water block is available separately for $54.99, the radiator is $61.99, the two fans are $17.99 each, and then there's the pump, hoses, fittings, and coolant to buy.

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Still, at $199.95 the Predator 240 is at the top of the heap for price in this category (among 240 mm options), regardless of the apparent quality of the components. And while this may have more in common with a custom loop than your typical all-in-one CPU cooler, the only thing that really matters is performance. To test this I put it to work on the cooling test bench against some of the other coolers I have on hand. We'll see what it can do.

Continue reading our review of the EK-XLC Predator 240 Liquid CPU Cooler!!

LEPA's new EXllusion 240 mixes form and function ... at a cost

Subject: Cases and Cooling | December 11, 2015 - 12:52 PM |
Tagged: lepa, EXllusion 240, AIO, water cooler

Similar to the Raijintek Triton AIO cooler that [H]ard|OCP recently reviewed, the LEPA EXllusion 240 watercooler allows you to open up the loop to add colour to your cooling fluid or even replace it with one of your choice should you so desire.  This AIO uses a 240mm radiator and a pair of 120mm fans and comes with red, green and blue dyes for your coolant, though not the yellow advertised on the box.  The cooler performed decently in their tests, the problem they found with this cooler was the $120 price tag, which is noticeably higher than the competition.  Read the full review for performance details right here.

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"LEPA and its new EXllusion 240 All-In-One CPU cooler touts 400 watts of cooling ability, a patented copper cooling plate, a larger volume of liquid in the block itself, and a "silent" pump, all with a refillable design. Overall it has the look of a quality built AIO, but is the EXllusion worth 120 of your hard earned dollars?"

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Source: [H]ard|OCP

Thermaltake Water 3.0 Riing RGB 240 and 360 Announced

Subject: Cases and Cooling | December 8, 2015 - 07:01 AM |
Tagged: water cooling, water cooler, thermaltake, cpu cooler

Thermaltake has announced the Water 3.0 Riing RGB, which is a water cooler with multi-color LEDs. Two SKUs will be available, which differ in radiator size. As the title of this post suggests, your choice will be between double-wide (240mm) and triple-wide (360mm) radiators. The lights surround the fan in a ring, and can be modified by a remote into a few different settings. Thermaltake notes that these settings persist after a reboot. I would think that's expected, but the wording sounds like a subtle reference to something. Over my head regardless.

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I should note that there appears to be a typo in Thermaltake's specification sheet. On the Water 3.0 Riing RGB 360, it claims that its dimensions are 326x120x27mm. 326mm is the same length as its rubber tubing and, to say the least, it seems very unlikely that they intend to fit three, 120mm fans (360mm total) into a length that's 326mm long (plus fit the hosing off one side). The 240 model is listed as being 270mm long, which leaves 30mm for spacing and tubing, and that seems about right. I assume that they accidentally wrote the tube length as the radiator length. I have attempted to contact Thermaltake PR for clarification. I'll update the post if I get through and receive a response. This should be fine for most users looking to install a triple-wide radiator, but you should hold off if a few centimeters make or break your build.

No pricing or availability has been released yet.

Source: Thermaltake

Corsair Launches the H5 SF Mini-ITX CPU Liquid Cooler

Subject: Cases and Cooling | December 3, 2015 - 04:38 PM |
Tagged: water cooler, SFF, mini-itx, liquid CPU cooler, H5SF, cpu cooler, Corsair H5 SF, corsair

Corsair has launched the ultra-compact liquid cooler from their Bulldog chassis as a standalone product, and it's a unique solution for mini-ITX CPU cooling.

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Originally announced at this year's Computex as part of the Bulldog DIY system, this low-profile liquid cooler is designed to allow users of some of the smallest mini-ITX systems to not only keep their CPU's cool, but even allows some serious overclocking with up to 150 W of thermal dissipation. The design uses a blower-style fan that pushes air accross a compact radiator, and the entire unit is only 84 mm high for use in spaces that wouldn't ordinarily be able to support a powerful CPU cooler.

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Corsair provides this chart comparing performance against SFF air coolers

From Corsair:

"Further expanding Corsair’s best-selling Hydro series line of liquid CPU coolers, the H5 SF is Corsair’s first liquid cooler designed specifically to meet the thermal demands of small form factor PCs. Easy to install and just 84mm tall, the H5 SF is compact enough to fit inside the most confined PC case, yet still offers up to 150W of heat dissipation, enough to cool today’s demanding high-end CPUs with overclocking headroom to spare.

The all-new design fits directly on top of any Mini-ITX motherboard with no need to attach the H5 SF to any external fan mounts or brackets, maximizing compatibility across a wide range of Mini-ITX and small form factor cases. A high-performance copper cold plate efficiently draws heat away from the CPU, where it’s then transferred into the integrated 120mm x 40mm radiator and exhausted by the H5 SF’s low-noise tuned 120mm blower fan. What’s more, the H5 SF’s blower fan also draws air over other heat producing motherboard components such as VRMs and chipset heatsinks, helping to keep your whole system cool.

Fully compatible with Corsair’s Obsidian Series 250D, Carbide Series Air 240, and Graphite Series 380T cases, the H5 SF is also critical to Corsair’s upcoming Bulldog chassis, allowing the new case to deliver low-noise, 4K living room gaming without compromising CPU choice. Now enthusiasts can take advantage of Bulldog’s H5 SF cooling for themselves and fit even the most demanding of CPUs, into the smallest of cases."

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The mounting system is unique, with a bracket that attaches inline with the screws securing the mini-ITX motherboard, requiring no additional contact with the enclosure. It's a clever idea that permits the installation of this liquid solution wherever an air cooler of up to 84 mm is possible.

Here are the specifications from Corsair:

  • Socket Support: AMD: AM2, AM3, FM1, FM2, Intel LGA: 115X, 1366
  • Cold Plate Material: Copper
  • Radiator Material: Aluminum
  • Radiator dimensions: 167mm x 40mm x 57mm
  • Total cooler height: 84mm
  • Fan dimensions: 120mm x 32mm
  • Fan speed: 1000 - 1800 RPM
  • Fan airflow: 12 - 24 CFM
  • Fan pressure: 2.5 - 8.3 mmH2O
  • Fan noise level: 36 - 42 dB(A)
  • Tubing: Low-Permeability Tubing
  • Warranty: Five years

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The H5 SF carries an MSRP of $79.99, and this cost (which is in keeping with Corsair's existing 120 mm pricing) seems pretty reasonable considering the unique implementation and thermal capability. Available starting today, the H5 SF is already listed for sale on Newegg.com for the $79.99 MSRP.

Source: Corsair

Choose your own pump, the Monsoon Modular Reservoir System

Subject: Cases and Cooling | November 9, 2015 - 04:51 PM |
Tagged: water cooler, reservoir, Monsoon Modular Reservoir System, Monsoon

As you can see in the picture below the Monsoon Modular Reservoir System requires some assembly before it can be used but once you have set it up you will have a unique looking reservoir.  The clear tube that holds your cooling liquid is perfect for those who want to build a case with fluorescing or just coloured liquid to match the theme of your mod.  The fact that you can choose your own pump motor, keeping size in mind, will also appeal to modders and quiet computing fanatics, you will not be stuck with one that does not meet your need.  The kit Modders-Inc ordered ran them just under $70, not the cheapest reservoir on the market but within reason for their target audience.

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"Of the all the reservoir types available in the market, the tube res has always been preferred mainly due to its large visibility and ease of installation. However, for the most part the design hadn't changed much until a couple years ago compression style reservoirs emerged into the market. Monsoon has developed their own compression style reservoir that has just …"

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Source: Modders Inc

CRYORIG Announces A-Series Hybrid Liquid CPU Coolers

Subject: Cases and Cooling | November 4, 2015 - 03:24 PM |
Tagged: water cooler, liquid cooler, CRYORIG A80, CRYORIG A40 Ultimate, CRYORIG A40, CRYORIG, cpu cooler, closed-loop, AIO

CRYORIG has a new take on the venerable closed-loop liquid CPU cooler, addressing concerns about the temps of surrounding components on the board by including a reversible fan which mounts to the CPU block.

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“The CRYORIG’s A40/A40 Ultimate and A80 HLC units are built on the base of Asetek’s 5th Generation Pump and CPU Cold Block technology with a small but obvious twist. With an additional adjustable and detachable Airflow fan, the CRYORIG A Series HLC is capable of lowering the temperatures of the components surrounding the CPU by up to 20%.”

There are three models in the series, with a standard 240 mm width A40, the A40 Ultimate which features a thicker 1.5-inch radiator (38.5 mm vs. 27.5 mm), and the 280 mm A80.

The company has released this slick video to demonstrate the difference this additional fan makes:

It’s an interesting concept and certainly any airflow over motherboard components it better than none, though I am slightly worried about increased noise from the 70 mm pump-mounted fan providing the hybrid cooling.

The new coolers are being released in Japan on November 5, with “mid-to-late November” promised for worldwide availability.

Source: CRYORIG

The LEPA AquaChanger 240 AIO CPU Cooler, marketing or magnificence?

Subject: Cases and Cooling | June 26, 2015 - 03:03 PM |
Tagged: water cooler, lepa, AquaChanger 240, AIO

This particular watercooler comes with long list of features which sound interesting on paper but need to be tested to see how effective they really are.  The fans are very effective at pushing air through the radiator but [H]ard|OCP found them a bit loud, on the other hand the pump could not be heard at all so if you were to modify the fan speed you could have a very quiet cooler, at the cost of some performance.  The cooling performance was almost exactly the same as the SilverStone Tundra TD02-E but the LEPA is available for under $100 which makes it a better value while still retaining decent performance. 

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"LEPA comes to us today with its new AquaChanger 240 AIO CPU Cooler for review. LEPA lists a lot of cool sounding features like, Central Diffusing Passage Cold Plate, Protrusive Copper Base, Dual Convex Blade Fans, Ceramic Bearing Pump, and maybe the best is Anti-Leakage Tubing...because nobody likes leaky tubing."

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Source: [H]ard|OCP

Another look at the Corsair H75

Subject: Cases and Cooling | December 5, 2014 - 04:35 PM |
Tagged: corsair, Hydro H75, AIO, water cooler

[H]ard|OCP are returning to several of the CPU coolers that they have reviewed over the past year to provide a more up to date and accurate comparison of their current performance.  They have deployed a new testbench and so there are a few coolers that were tested on older hardware and so the performance they observed does not refer to current hardware.  In order to give you an informed opinion on the current contenders for your cash they have replicated their Corsair Hydro H75 with comparison charts that show the performance of various coolers all on the same hardware and with current pricing.  If you are already familiar with the H75 then you can jump to the last page for the overall results and price to performance measurements, those who did not read their initial review should take the time to read through the full review.

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"Corsair has been in the liquid CPU cooling game for over 10 years now. As sealed system liquid CPU coolers have become the norm among hardware enthusiasts, the competition has gotten stiff to say the least. Another thing that has changed over the years is that many DIYers are going to smaller cases for their systems."

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Source: [H]ard|OCP

Revisiting an old favourite, Corsair's H60 is still going strong

Subject: Cases and Cooling | November 25, 2014 - 12:57 PM |
Tagged: corsair, h60, AIO, water cooler

It is somewhat surprising to realize that the Corsair H60 has not been updated since 2013 and even more surprising that it remains relevant even after what equates to a huge slice of time in the component industry.  It retails for $60 and is compatible with every modern AMD and Intel socket and thanks to its compact design it can fit in smaller systems that the competitions larger coolers cannot.  The H60 now falls towards the middle of [H]ard|OCP's performance charts with larger coolers providing a better result but only in systems which they can fit into and also commanding a much higher price than the H60. It may no longer be at the top of the cooler rankings but when you look at the price to performance and flexibility the H60 remains a viable choice for those shopping for an aftermarket cooler.

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"Today we are re-reviewing an older All-in-One CPU from Corsair that is surely a stalwart in the CPU cooling industry. The H60 AIO CPU cooler is a cost effective choice for those enthusiasts looking for a good solution at a good price. The redesigned H60 has been in the market place for 2 years now, which is saying something if it is still competitive."

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Source: [H]ard|OCP

Antec bumps up it's Kuhler series with the 1250

Subject: Cases and Cooling | February 24, 2014 - 02:45 PM |
Tagged: antec, all in one, water cooler, KUHLER H20 1250

As you might expect from the name, the Antec Kuhler 1250 is a larger version of the popular all in one liquid CPU coolers. This model is designed for overclockers, with a radiator measuring 159mm x  120mm x  27mm which does limit the amount of enclosures it will fit in unless you plan on an external mount.  As it is only $10 more than the smaller 950 it comes out ahead on [H]ard|OCP's dollar to performance ratio; at $120 it is a bit of an investment but for overclockers it is a decent solution to heat problems.

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"Antec and its All-In-One sealed system CPU coolers have been around for a good while now. We still have some of its first series working well here in the HardOCP offices. Today we have Antec's newly designed high end Kuhler model 1250. It has some unique offerings all based on new cold plates and big double fan radiator."

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Source: [H]ard|OCP