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?
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.
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.
Subject: Cases and Cooling | December 24, 2015 - 07:01 AM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: canola oil
ASCII.jp has been immersing computing devices in canola oil, because I guess mineral oil is too safe or something. While the article is not very receptive to automatic translation, from what I gather, they've already toasted a couple devices. This time, they took an ECS LIVA Core to the dunk tank and filled it with about four liters of said canola oil, which is about a US gallon.
Again, if you're looking to do oil cooling yourself, just use mineral oil.
Image Credit: ASCII.jp
The PC was passively cooled, using just the circulation caused by currents of relatively warm oil. I say relatively warm, because the Core M has a single-digit expected wattage. They allowed OCCT to run for eight hours, which yielded a stable temperature of about 44C in a 24C room. Again, this is without pumps or radiators or anything like that. The only difference between this and passive air cooling is how effective oil is at absorbing heat, in speed and capacity, compared to air. That said, air is a fairly good insulator, so that should imply that oil has a better chance.
Subject: Cases and Cooling | December 18, 2015 - 03:07 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: xfx, XTR 850W, modular psu, 80 Plus Gold
XFX has a lot of branding on the new XTR series of PSUs including EasyRail, which means it uses a single 12V rail, on this model providing up to 840W @ 70A as well as a "True Wattage" guarantee and 80 Plus Gold. [H]ard|OCP put these claims to the test when they reviewed this PSU and did not find it lacking. There were a few tests which the PSU did not excel at but when they tested voltage regulation this PSU finished miles ahead of the competition. [H] also mentions that this unit was previously sold as the Pro Series Gold, the internals of the two are identical as is the serial number so keep an eye out when shopping so you can see if you can get a deal. Also worth noting is the 5 year warranty, it is always nice to see a company stand behind its products.
"XFX is targeting serious gamers and hardware enthusiasts with its new XTR Series of PSU. XFX suggest other power supplies do not always deliver, "The Wattage you see isn’t always the wattage you get." We will certainly find out if that is true with the XTR 850W PSU delivers the power and efficiency it promises in its marketing."
Here are some more Cases & Cooling reviews from around the web:
- FSP Hydro G 750W @ [H]ard|OCP
- Antec EarthWatts Platinum 750W @ [H]ard|OCP
- FSP Hydro G 750W @ Kitguru
- Cooler Master V Series 550 W @ techPowerUp
Subject: Cases and Cooling | December 18, 2015 - 01:13 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: azza, zen 8100
AZZA opted to skip the flashy exterior so common on cases today in the Zen 8100. The case is 21.6x8.7x22.6" which allows you to fit in even E-ATX boards and gives you plenty of space for installing large coolers and GPUs. The storage area has a separate door, an interesting addition, with space for four 5.25" drives as well as up to eight 3.5/2.5" drives not counting two more on the back. Two of those bays are hot-swapable, if for some reason you desire to use the feature. Overclockers Club would have liked to see this case support 240mm radiators but the configuration will not make that an option. Apart from that one missing feature they give this case a top rating, it is worth looking at if you need a larger sized case in the near future.
"Onwards! Alright, it's not often I don't have much on the negative side to say. AZZA has a few minor flaws for an overall decent chassis, one of which is the fans. Having fans with a fixed speed is great for some quiet operations, but it doesn't help with a loaded case, as only so much unwanted hot air can be pushed out. An easy fix for AZZA would be to have them as 3-pin fans instead of being powered by 4-pin Molex cable."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Corsair Carbide Quiet 600Q @ eTeknix
- Corsair Carbide Clear 600C @ Benchmark Reviews
- Corsair Carbide 600C Inverted Case Review @ Hardware Canucks
- Aerocool Aero 800 @ Kitguru
- NZXT H440 New Edition @ Kitguru
- ID-Cooling Frostflow 240L AIO Water Cooler @ eTeknix
- NZXT Hue+ LED Lighting Controller Review @ Hardware Canucks
- Be Quiet! Shadow Rock LP CPU Cooler Review @ NikKTech
- Reeven Ouranos @ techPowerUp
Subject: Cases and Cooling | December 16, 2015 - 07:01 AM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: MSI Die Guard, MSI CPU Guard, msi
Personally, I am running a Haswell CPU (“Devil's Canyon”). I don't have any experience with building Skylake-based systems. A few of my coworkers at PC Perspective do, though. They seem to think that the issue is a bit out-of-proportion, except maybe in situations where a PC with a large CPU cooler needs to be transported. Also, Morry has used a similar product, the MSI Die Guard, with his delidding project for QuakeCon 2014, and it failed to prevent his die from cracking. Granted, protecting a bare die is much different from bracing a CPU that still has its heatspreader.
Image Credit: MSI
Those two issues should be kept in mind, though. We're skeptical of the problem in general and, even then, the one time that we used a similar product, it didn't (entirely) do what it was supposed to. Again, none of these situations involved me, personally.
Image Credit: MSI
But now onto the announcement. MSI is releasing the CPU Guard 1151 for new Skylake-based processors. It also works as a “die guard” too, so if you intend on popping the headspreader off, you don't need to choose between two parts. This supposedly works in either scenario. It clamps the processor into the socket, although I can't see how it would do much more than an 1151 socket (and its clamp) itself. MSI did use it during an overclocking competition though, on a delidded Skylake, so there's that.
No pricing or availability are yet available. It could be something to look out for, especially if you haven't installed your processor yet. If you have, you would then need to think about the effort to undo whatever you already have to install this. It's up to you.
Subject: Cases and Cooling | December 11, 2015 - 12:52 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
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.
"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?"
Here are some more Cases & Cooling reviews from around the web:
- Enermax ETS-T40Fit CPU Cooler Review: A Twist on a Classic @ Modders-Inc
- Air Cooler Challenge – 7 Way Round-Up @ Kitguru
- Cooltek Skall @ techPowerUp
- Phanteks Enthoo Evolv Galaxy Silver @ Benchmark Reviews
- BitFenix Nova Mid-Tower @ eTeknix
- Corsair Carbide 600C Review @ OCC
- Corsair Carbide Series 600C @ Legion Hardware
- Corsair Carbide 600C @ Kitguru
Introduction and First Impressions
Antec’s P-series enclosures have been around for quite a while, and have been known as quiet, stylish cases for a premium build. It had been quite a while since the last entry in the series as the previous model, the P280, which received our Gold Award when Ryan reviewed it way back in 2011, and this current version hit the market in January of 2015. Needless to say, Antec’s Performance enclosures have some staying power. So how does this latest entry stack up?
The new P380 carries an MSRP of $229.95, placing it in the higher end of the premium enclosure market. While it can certainly be found for less (around $140 currently on Amazon) the bar is still set pretty high when the price exceeds $100, though the P380 is in a different world than Antec's Signature S10 enclosure, which launched at a mind-boggling $499 (it has since come down considerably). With the highly competitive enclosure market offering a number of spacious and quiet options, the P380 will need to differentiate to succeed.
“When only the best can satisfy your needs, the P380 is the answer. Known for its minimalistic design, the Performance series focuses on delivering the perfect balance between performance and Quiet-Computing. Whether you’re designing your ultimate dream PC or, just creating a monster file server, the P380 should be the choice, without hesitation.”
Antec is obviously confident about this newest P-series enclosure and I’ll be putting it to the test using a new, more stringent enclosure review process. We'll take a look at the case inside and out, and then see how it performs with a gaming build using both a closed-loop liquid CPU cooler, and a conventional air CPU cooler to see how the case airflow affects warm components.
Subject: Cases and Cooling | December 8, 2015 - 05:00 PM | Sebastian Peak
Tagged: silent case, quiet computing, inverted motherboard, corsair, Carbide 600Q, Carbide 600C, atx case
Corsair has announced a new model in their Carbide lineup with the 600Q and 600C enclusures, both of which feature an inverted motherboard design - a first from Corsair.
The Corsair Carbide 600C
The two models share the same basic design, though the 600Q is optimized for silence with sound-deadening material (and a solid side panel), while the 600C offers a very large side-panel window for more style when silence is at less of a premium. Both versions use Corsair's AF140L 140 mm fans for cooling, which are connected to an external 3-speed fan controller to easily adjust based on cooling/noise needs.
The Corsair Carbide 600Q top I/O and fan controller
"Unlike many PC cases which demand enthusiasts choose between noisy, high-airflow ventilation or low-noise, restricted airflow designs, the 600Q and 600C are able to deliver the best of both. The distinctive inverted-ATX internal design places the heat producing components in the direct airflow pathway of the two AF140L 140mm intake fans and single AF140L 140mm exhaust fan, providing powerful and efficient cooling, with extra wide vents ensuring unimpeded airflow.
Specially tuned for low-noise operation, the 600Q and 600C’s three included fans have been redesigned for excellent airflow at lower noise levels, with an integrated external 3-speed fan controller allowing users to reduce the fan RPM, further lowering noise with a minimal impact on cooling performance. The result is a no-compromise approach to cooling that delivers fantastic system temperatures at extremely low noise levels.
The 600Q dedication to low-noise continues well beyond fan speeds. High density sound deadening material fitted in the front panel, side panels, and roof works to further mute system noise and ensure that the 600Q is as quiet as it is beautiful."
The Carbide 600 enclosures have an unobtrusive steel constuction, and the hinged front panel opens to reveal a pair of 5.25" optical drive bays. The interior features includes a PSU/drive bay cover to help keep things looking clean (especially for the windowed 600C version), and support for up to a 280 mm liquid cooler up front, and up to 360 mm on the bottom.
The Carbide 600C with hinged door open
Here are some of the specs and features from Corsair:
- Inverse-ATX Layout: With this new layout, airflow is easily directed at the hottest devices in your system; the GPU and CPU, and not wasted on drive cages.
- Sound Damping Throughout (600Q only): Keep your system quiet and cool with high-density sound damping material on side panels, front panel, and top panels. It’s so quiet, you’ll find yourself wondering if your PC is even powered on.
- Hinged and Latched Full Side Panel Window (600C only): Easily access your components with a single touch – and when closed, enjoy viewing every part of your build through the full size side panel window.
- Steel Exterior: Get rid of those plastic cases – the 600Q and 600C have full steel exterior panels for extra durability and gorgeous good looks.
- Three Included AF140L fans: Great airflow doesn’t have to be noisy – the three AF140L fans can push large amounts of air across your hottest devices without that annoying fan hum, and the three-speed fan controller lets you decide exactly how fast they run.
- PSU and 5.25” Bay Cover: Clean up the inside of your case by tucking all those cables and less-attractive drives behind a clean, refined PSU and 5.25” bay cover. Or remove them for assembly – it’s up to you.
- Watercooling Ready: Fit up to a 280mm radiator up front and up to a 360mm radiator on the bottom – along with a 140mm rear fan mount.
- Easy to Clean: Easily access dust filters on front and bottom meaning you’ll never spend more than a minute getting dust out of your system.
- Easy to Build: Tool-free drive installation, tool-free side panel access, and tons of cable routing options and tie downs means you can spend less time building your PC and more time using it.
The Carbide 600Q and 600C will be available in this month, and both models carry an MSRP of $149.99.
Subject: Cases and Cooling | December 8, 2015 - 07:01 AM | Scott Michaud
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.
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.
Subject: Cases and Cooling | December 7, 2015 - 02:20 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: scythe, Ninja 4, air cooling
The Scythe Ninja series of coolers have been around for a while and they have recently updated their design with the Ninja 4. Including the packaged PWM fan the cooler measures 130x155x155mm (5.1x6.1x6.1") and weighs 900g, hopefully not heavy enough to bend your pins. The cooling performance that Modders-Inc saw was impressive at high speed but even more impressive at the meduim setting which saw temperatures within 3C of the high speed results but with reduced noise generated by the fan. Keep your eyes out for more on this cooler as it will appear in an upcoming review right here on PCPer.
"If at first you don't succeed, try, try, try again. Nobody gets things right the first time and even if done well, needs change over time so a revision is almost always guaranteed to happen. It is not about striving for perfection because what that is cannot be a clearly defined point, but it can be approached."
Here are some more Cases & Cooling reviews from around the web:
- CRYORIG M9i @ techPowerUp
- NZXT Kraken X61 280mm All-in-One Liquid Cooling Solution @ Bjorn3d
- EK-XRES 140 Revo D5 PWM inclusive Pump @ HardwareOverclock
- Cooler Master MasterGel Maker Nano @ eTeknix
- SilverStone RAVEN RVZ02 @ Benchmark Reviews
- Thermaltake Suppressor F31 Silent @ eTeknix
- IN WIN 805 Midi Tower Chassis Review @ NikKTech
- Phanteks Enthoo Evolv ITX Case Review @ Neoseeker