EKWB Predator 240 AIO Cooler Review
EKWB Predator 240 AIO Cooler Review
As you may know, EKWB recently released its new pre-filled and pre-assembled Predator 240 All-in-One liquid cooler. It was time to bring something simplified, easy to use and powerful to the market of AIO liquid cooled systems. EKWB simply put together their top performing components from their existing product line, and assembled them into one compact cooling solution.The results are performance, silence and less cable mess at affordable price. EKWB is offering two AIO sizes to the mainstream, a 240mm radiator and for users with higher performance requirements, the 360mm radiator with a included QDC( Quick-Disconnect Coupling). Thus, you are able to simply and quickly add more components to your loop.
Package is simple yet informative, giving us the first impression about the product. Front side of the package includes information about which parts have been assembled together for this AIO. EKWB Predator 240 AIO Cooler Revision 1.0 is compatible with Intel socket only. Although, there may be some restrictions when using with LGA-2011-3 motherboards that do not have mounting holes through the circuit board (e.g. some ASRock and Gigabyte motherboards). The problem can be solved by purchasing separate EK-Supremacy EVO PreciseMount mounting mechanism. Part list as well as main dimensions can be found at the bottom side of the package.
As we can see the AIO unit is nicely fixed inside the polystyrene protection layer. It should withstand even bigger shocks during transport. After unboxing the unit, it is ready to use. All you have to do is just mount it in your case and connect the SATA power cable to power the pump combo as well as connect the PWM cable to mainboard. Thus, you are able to control the RPM and so the noise of the fans.
The proper air flow is controlled by two EK Vardar fans F4-120ER Predator Edition (550-2200rpm). Should you still need to get higher cooling performance you can add another two Vardar fans in front to get push/pull configuration. At this point we would like to mention that even the standard pull setup as pre-assembled is pretty good.
One of the features we really like at this unit are the rotary fittings (on radiator side) allowing you to rotate tubing and thus prevent unnecessary bends or kink of tubing. As we already mentioned the power HUB is placed directly at the radiator side. Thus, you get clean looking cooler without any cables mess. Although, you still have to connect SATA and RPM signal cable to this HUB.
The Predator is powered by DDC Laing DDC3.1 6W pump which is more than two times stronger as those pumps in other standard AIO coolers. Predator is offering us the option to add more restrictions to the loop. With other words, adding of GPU block to the loop would be no problem at all.
One specialty of this cooler is the mounting method, where you practically have to remove original socket backplate and replace it with the one included in package. The CPU waterblock is well known EK-Supremacy MX, which is delivering decent cooling performance. We highly recommend to remove the CPU before replacing the backplate.
After mounting of proper backplate the rest of assembling process is just as simple as it can be. As always, don’t forget to remove the protection foil from the cold plate. The contact surface is mirror polished pure copper.
As we already mentioned this baby has to be connected to SATA power cable and should you wish to control the RPM of those fans you have to connect the PWM cables as well to the HUB. After powering the system the red LED will light up.
Technical specifications Predator 240 AIO Cooler:
Dimensions: 295 x 133 x 68mm (L x W x H)
Fan type: EK-Vardar F4-120ER Predator Edition (550-2200rpm)
Tube lenght: ~400mm (15.75in)
Fitting type: EK-ACF Fitting 10/16mm
Coolant type: EK-Ekoolant EVO Clear
Pump type: Laing DDC3.1 6W
Total liquid capacity: ~290mL
CPU socket compatibility:
– Intel LGA-1150/1151/1155/1156
– Intel LGA-2011(-3)
– EK-XLC Predator 240
– EK-TIM Ectotherm (1g syringe)
– Main Power and PWM signal cable
– Torx T20 key
– Installation manual (ENG)
Warranty: 2 Years Limited International Warranty
To ensure that the results from one review to another are comparable, the Testing Methodology will be the same throughout all reviews, otherwise we will make a note if somethings changed and keep it separately from other results.
All testing was done on test Bench-table with a room ambient temperature of 22- 23°C and if temperature changes we will add delta T °C to the results.
Before testing we run 10 minutes of Prime95 followed by 30 minutes of idling. This warm up period was done at stock CPU core frequency. For noise testing we ensure the PSU fan is isolated or using fanless PSU. We mostly do fan noise test over night so we have our room as silent as possible.
We take noise values from distance of 30cm at IDLE and full load – where all fans are running at their maximum RPM.
Testing System :
For testing we used OCCT software and between each test we leave the PC at least 15 minutes to rest so that the temperature went back to the IDLE state. Followed by overclocking with help of Easy Tune Software (for Gigabyte mainboard) or for ASUS mainboard (BIOS CPU Ratio only). Each test lasted for 15 minutes. If the temperature of any CPU core exceeded 85°C the test was automatically turned off and the value of the results we have marked as “failed”. The resulting temperature in the tables are the average temperature of all cores. The results of the tests are influenced by many factors such as: the amount of thermal paste, pressure between the processor and CPU block, humidity, thermal conductivity of thermal paste, etc.. Therefore this results should be considered as indicative only.
For this test we use it’s own thermal paste provided by manufacturer.
EKWB Predator is nice and compact AIO liquid cooler with decent cooling performance. What makes it special? Well, not only the that its pump is directly mounted at the radiator but also nice fan HUB which is also on the other side of the radiator. Fan cables are tied together so you only connect one SATA power cable to the HUB as well as PWM signal cable (should you wish to control the fan RPM). We have been little critical for using of tubing with bigger diameter for this kind of AIO loop, but when we take in account that this kit should be expandable, then it makes perfect sense. Also the water flow has less restrictions, while using bigger tubing. One very important fact is that EK is using EK ZMT tubing which is free from plasticizer and so users don’t have to worry about their waterblocks getting blocked by gunk. Also the tubing is flexible, but still giving a little resistance against kinking. There chrome fitting are not the best color match, and it would look much better with black fitting. But as we use to say very often “it’s a matter of taste again”. The mounting of the backplate may look little scary for first time builders. You have to remove the original Intel socket backplate using Torx key T20 (also included in package) before you install the EKWB backplate for any 115x Socket. Mounting on 2011-v3 socket was as easy as it can be. Although, keep in mind before you purchase that:
- EK-Supremacy MX is not compatible with LGA-2011-3 motherboards that do not have mounting holes through the circuit board (e.g. some ASRock and Gigabyte motherboards). The problem can be remedied by purchasing separate EK-XLC Predator LGA-2011 Screw Set mounting mechanism.
We wish to see small rubber anti-vibration pieces isolating the chassis against any vibrations made by pump and fans. But the true is, that EKWB Predator 240 AIO Cooler is nice and quiet during gaming as well. We have measured the noise from distance of 30cm away from the fans to get more precise values and less disturbance from the testing room itself. Values were pretty good at IDLE: 31dB(A) , in PWM mode: 33dB(A), but at full 2200RPM the fans were pretty loud at 47dB(A). We have to mention, that the 2200RPM scenario applied only during overclocking setup using manual fan controller. We also understand the pull configuration of fans even they are actually high speed fans, but most of a time running at 1000-1500RPM at most. Also there is an option to add two more fans, should you wish to squeeze the last drops of performance out of the high density radiator. We didn’t find any issues at all actually and some small details are more like wishes than any kind of critics. With that said, this little “monster” has won our hearts as well as our Editor’s Choice Award.
Predator 240 will launch on September 23rd 2015, priced at 199$/199 EUR, with Predator 360 following on October 19th 2015, priced at 239$/239 EUR. Both units will only be available for Intel CPU sockets. AMD versions are planned for release in 2016.
Silent fans @IDLE and PWM mode
Louder fans @2200 RPM