Introduction and Technical Specifications
Courtesy of EKWB
EK's Supremacy line of CPU waterblocks are well known for their performance and style. Their latest version in this block line, the Supremacy MX, advances their design in the hopes of getting more optimized performance out of a less costly version of their award winning block series. The base Supremacy MX CPU waterblock is a copper and plexi construction using the same jet-impingement and micro-channel design as that used in their previous block versions. The block comes fully assembled from the factory with a single CPU mounting bracket type (in this case, the Intel version). Note that additional CPU mounting kits are available for purchase. With an MSRP of $54.99, the Supremacy MX waterblock offers a compelling purchase in light of its performance potential.
Courtesy of EKWB
Courtesy of EKWB
The block is assembled with hex-head screws going through the copper base plate with rubber grommets ensuring the integrity of the block internals. The top aluminum cover plate is held to the plexi top using short hex-head screws that thread directly into the plexi top plate. The center inlet feeds the micro-channels embedded in the copper base plate through the jet-impingement assembly. The mounting bracket sits in between the top plexi plate and the copper base plate, making any an interesting upgrade if you want to switch out the CPU mount plate to use the block on a different CPU family (like going from Intel to AMD Ryzen for example). The aluminum top plate gives the block a sleek appearance and acts to redirect illumination from the side mounted LEDs (if you choose to use LEDs with the block that is).
Subject: Cases and Cooling | January 13, 2016 - 12:11 PM | Sebastian Peak
Tagged: water cooling, recall, Predator 360, predator 240, liquid CPU cooler, EKWB, ek, AIO
EKWB has issued a recall for all first-generation Predator 240 and 360 liquid CPU coolers due to risk of leakage. A new version (v1.1) of both self-contained coolers has been introduced to address the issue, and EK will provide one of the new units for those seeking a replacement.
Visual differences between Revision 1.0 (left) and Revision 1.1 (right) (via EKWB)
EKWB is also taking responsibility for any component damage that may have resulted from any leaks, offering refunds for defective units (if a replacement is not desired) and affected components.
"All Revision 1.0 units produced from October 2015 until end of December 2015 are potentially affected by the risk of leakage and in order to prevent any computer component damage, the units need to be replaced. The leakage may occur between copper cold plate and bracket on the water block after it is heated up and pressure rises. Current statistics show that 1 out of 10 units leaks.
We are warning all customers of EK XLC-Predator units to discontinue use of cooling device and contact EKWB for replacement unit or refund. EKWB is taking full responsibility for this issue and will be:
- Replacing or refunding all returned units to the customers
- Refunding the customer any computer component damage created by a leakage
EKWB has redesigned and released a new version of EK-XLC Predator (Revision 1.1) on the 4th of January 2016 that prevents any leakage under normal working modes. All customers with Revision 1.0 units will be offered a replacement R1.1 unit or a full refund. Revision 1.0 backplate is not compatible with Revision 1.1 backplate!"
Subject: Motherboards | December 30, 2015 - 04:06 PM | Sebastian Peak
Tagged: Z170, water cooling, water block, Maximus VIII Formula, EKWB, ek, crosschill, ATX motherboard, ASUS ROG, asus
ASUS ROG has announced the Maximus VIII Formula, a premium ATX motherboard with integrated EK hybrid liquid cooling which allows users to choose liquid or air cooling for the board's hottest components.
"The latest ROG Z170 motherboard now comes with the exclusive CrossChill EK hybrid cooling block! ROG teamed up with the guys at EK to create a high-conductivity channel, so you will be ready for liquid-cooling goodness right out-of-the-box. Don’t worry if you don’t intend to upgrade to liquid-cooling straight away, because this also runs on air cooling. Why spend more money on a third-party waterblock when it’s already built-in and looks this good?"
In addition to the integrated water cooling support the Maximus VIII Formula includes the usual bells and whistles we've come to expect from these ROG motherboards, including advanced overclocking support and premium audio, and the Formula also offers RGB headers and lighting controls and "ROG Armor". There is also advanced storage support from both M.2 and U.2 connectors, and provides advanced wireless via built-in 2x2 802.11ac with an external antenna included.
Specifications from ASUS:
- Processor: LGA1151 socket for 6th-generation Intel Core i7 / i5 / i3 / Pentium / Celeron processors
- Chipset: Intel Z170 Express
- Memory: 4x DIMMs, up to a maximum of 64GB, DDR4 3733 (OC), Intel Extreme Memory Profile (XMP)
- Expansion slots:
- 2x PCIe 3.0 x16 slots (single at x16, dual at x8/x8 mode)
- 1x PCIe 3.0 x16 slot (maximum at x4 mode)
- 3x PCIe 2.0 x1 slots
- Graphics (Integrated Intel HD Graphics processor):
- DisplayPort 1.2 with maximum resolution of 4096 x 2034 at 60Hz
- HDMI with maximum resolution of 4096 x 2160 at 24Hz
- Intel InTru 3D / Quick Sync Video / Clear Video HD Technology / Insider
- Multi-GPU: Two-way/quad-GPU NVIDIA® SLI and AMD three-way/quad-GPU CrossFireX technology
- 1x U.2 (supports PCIe 3.0 x4 NVM Express storage)
- 1x M.2 Socket 3 with M Key, supports 2242/2260/2280/22110 devices
- 2x SATA Express
- 8x SATA 6.0 Gbps (4 shared with SATA Express)
- Intel I219-V Gigabit LAN and ASUS LANGuard
- Integrated 2×2 dual-band 802.11ac Wi-Fi with external antenna included
- 2x USB 3.1 (1x Type-A; 1x Type-C)
- 10x USB 3.0 ports (6 on back panel, 4 mid-board)
- 4x USB 2.0 ports (mid-board)
- Audio: ROG SupremeFX 2015 8-channel high-definition audio
- ESS ES9023P high-definition DAC
- 2V RMS Headphone Amp into (32-600 ohms)
- SupremeFX shielding technology
- Sonic SenseAmp
- Jack-detection, multi-streaming, front-panel mic jack-retasking
- Optical S/PDIF-out port on back panel
- Dimensions / form factor: ATX, 12.0 x 9.6in (30.5 x 24.4cm)
Pricing and availabilty were not announced. Full press release after the break.
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: General Tech, Cases and Cooling | August 27, 2015 - 12:17 AM | Tim Verry
Tagged: water cooling, liquid cooling, Intel, ek, AIO
EK (EK Water Blocks) is pouncing on the AIO liquid cooling market with its new EK-Predator series. The new cooler series combines the company's enthusiast parts into pre-filled and pre-assembled loops ready to cool Intel CPUs (AMD socket support is slated for next year). Specifically, EK is offering up the EK-Predator 240 and EK-Predator 360 which are coolers with a 240mm radiator and a 360mm radiator respectively.
The new coolers use copper radiators and EK Supremacy MX CPU blocks the latter of which has a polished copper base so there is no risk associated with using mixed metals in the loop. A 6W DDC pump drives the loop with the pump and a small reservoir attached to one side of the radiator (allegedly using a vibration dampening mounting system). EK ZMT (Zero Maintenance Tubing) 10/16mm tubing connects the CPU block to the pump/radiator/reservoir combo which uses standard G1/4 threaded ports.
EK pairs the radiator with two or three (depending on the model) EK-Vardar high static pressure fans. The fans and pump are PWM controlled and connect to a hub which is then connected to the PC motherboard's CPU fan header over a single cable. Then, a single SATA power cable from the power supply provides the necessary power to drive the pump and fans.
The EK-Predator 360 further adds quick disconnect (QDC) fittings to allow users to expand the loop to include, for example, GPU blocks. EK Water Blocks is reportedly working on compatible GPU blocks which will be available later this year that users will be able to easily tie into the EK-Predator 360 cooling loop.
Available for pre-order now, the EK-Predator 240 will be available September 23rd with an MSRP of $199 while the larger EK-Predator 360 is slated for an October 19th release at $239 MSRP.
If the expected performance is there, these units look to be a decent value that will allow enthusiasts to (pun intended) get their feet wet with liquid cooling with the opportunity to expand the loop as their knowledge and interest in water cooling grows. The EK-Predators are not a unique or new idea (other companies have offered water cooling kits for awhile) but coming pre-assembled and pre-filled makes it dead simple to get started and the parts should be of reputable quality. The one drawback I can see from the outset is that users will need to carefully measure their cases as the pump and reservoir being attached to the radiator means users will need more room than usual to fit the radiator. EK states in the PR that the 240mm rad should fit most cases, and is working with vendors on compatible cases for the 360mm radiator version, for what that's worth. Considering I spent a bit under $300 for my custom water cooling loop used, this new kit doesn't seem like a bad value so long as the parts are up to normal EK quality (barring that whole GPU block flaking thing which I luckily have not run into...).
What do you think about EK's foray into AIO water cooling? Are the new coolers predators or prey? (okay, I'll leave the puns to Scott!).
Installation and Overview
While once a very popular way to cool your PC, the art of custom water loops tapered off in the early 2000s as the benefits of better cooling, and overclocking in general, met with diminished returns. In its place grew a host of companies offering closed loop system, individually sealed coolers for processors and even graphics cards that offered some of the benefits of standard water cooling (noise, performance) without the hassle of setting up a water cooling configuration manually.
A bit of a resurgence has occurred in the last year or two though where the art and styling provided by custom water loop cooling is starting to reassert itself into the PC enthusiast mindset. Some companies never left (EVGA being one of them), but it appears that many of the users are returning to it. Consider me part of that crowd.
During a live stream we held with EVGA's Jacob Freeman, the very first prototype of the EVGA Hydro Copper was shown and discussed. Lucky for us, I was able to coerce Jacob into leaving the water block with me for a few days to do some of our testing and see just how much capability we could pull out of the GM204 GPU and a GeForce GTX 980.
Our performance preview today will look at the water block itself, installation, performance and temperature control. Keep in mind that this is a very early prototype, the first one to make its way to US shores. There will definitely be some changes and updates (in both the hardware and the software support for overclocking) before final release in mid to late October. Should you consider this ~$150 Hydro Copper water block for your GTX 980?