When you think of EK's line of liquid cooling products, you probably think ultra-premium liquid loops. And price. EK has been known for top liquid solutions for people who drop $350 or more on custom thermal components.
EK has heard the demand for a more budget solution and released their new Fluid Gaming line of kits. Announced at Computex 2017, we are able to get a kit early for a quick unboxing. Keep an eye out for our full build next week.
Below, our recent EK build using the top EK Extreme 360mm kit plus EK extras. Expect to see more on June 7th 2017:
Now, these aren't All-In-One units. Rather, the EK Fuild Gaming kits are bundles with everything you need including pumps, tubes, fittings and reservoirs to put together your own custom loop. And it's easy! Believe us, the EK compression fittings are tight and nearly leak-proof. I mean, unless you don't stick the tube on, but it's hard to imagine how you'll get leaks with a kit like this. Just don't fill your reservoir while the PC is on.
The Fluid Gaming Models include the A120 which has a 120mm radiator for $150, the A240 has a 240mm radiator for $160, and the A240G, which includes the 240mm radiatior as well as a GPU block for $240.
(Less) Heavy Metal
The basic tenet of cooling anything is efficiently transferring heat, and metal is very good at that. Some metal is better than others, which is why premium blocks are often made of copper.
Aluminum is still an efficient conductor, but it’s not quite up there with copper. It’s also substantially cheaper, which is the primary way EK was able to bring down the cost for their Fluid Gaming line. That means a pretty substantial overhaul; everything that was once copper and nickel has been replaced with aluminum. That means radiator, fittings, GPU block, even the primary CPU cooling block.
It also means everything is substantially lighter.
It’s not just the metal either, pretty much everything has been altered to keep costs down. The pump is lighter and doesn’t have a metal heatsink, the CPU block is now aluminum in an solid top with substantially less weight.
Everything is different, there’s no doubt about that, but it’s important to remember that for some people aluminum fittings are perfectly sufficient if it means keeping temps and price low.
If you’re thinking about mixing and matching, think again. Keep in mind, you don't want to use aluminum and other metals in your loop, as that can lead to corrosion and all sorts of nastiness. If you pick up the Fluid Gaming line, then you’ll need to stick to aluminum, so says EK.
The metal and quality of the materials may have changed, but that’s about it. The installation process is more or less the same, and the concept and functionality is still there. This is still EK we're talking about, and a full liquid cooled loop on your GPU and CPU is probably going to be superior to air or even an AIO, regardless of what kind of metal you’re using.
Early tests indicate the kit, while not as effective as EK's copper systems (they're pricier for a reason) is still ahead of most every closed AIO cooler on the market.
Downsides? Well, since you can't mix aluminum with copper products, you'll have a tough time finding additional parts to add to your Fluid Gaming setup. Right now, EK does not sell 280mm, 360mm or 480mm aluminum radiators. The reservoir is standard so you can upgrade to a tall tube, but that's about it. Will EK build out their aluminum line? Time will tell.
But we’re looking forward to doing a build with these aluminum pieces and seeing how it stacks up against other EK cooling kits performance wise, so stay tuned.
You can pick up your EK liquid cooling kits here.