EKWB EK-XLC Predator 240 Review

Manufacturer: EKWB
UK price (as reviewed):
£159.94 (inc VAT)
US price (as reviewed): $199.99 (ex Tax)

The all-in-one (AIO) liquid cooler craze is far from over and as we enter new realms with the latest models offering refillable reservoirs, expandable loops and bigger radiators, the lines are definitely blurring that once separated full-on custom liquid cooling and AIO liquid coolers. You might think EKWB, originally known for its waterblocks but now all manner of other water-cooling accessories too, would be dead-against AIO coolers and instead promote it's own custom gear. However, it's latest product - the EK-XLC Predator, which we've finally got round to testing, adds further fuzzyness to the equation.

EKWB EK-XLC Predator 240 Review EKWB EK-XLC Predator 240 Review
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Available with a selection of radiator sizes (more are meant to be coming this year) and our sample sporting a 240mm, 40mm-thick CoolStream PE radiator with a single row of EKWB's 120mm Vadar fans, the Predator is essentially an AIO liquid cooler on steroids. Rather than use one of the comparatively weak pumps that most AIO liquid coolers use and water-cooling enthusiasts cringe at, the Predator is equipped with a low power version of the well-regarded Laing DDC.

EKWB EK-XLC Predator 240 Review EKWB EK-XLC Predator 240 Review
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Rather than having to mount this separately, EKWB has cleverly integrated it onto the end of the radiator along with a small reservoir that includes a fillport and internal sponge filter. This does increase the size of the already hefty radiator, though, which is further extended by a power board for the pumps and fans plus another fillport at the other end. It measures 295mm end to end as a result, so while it uses the usual 15mm fan spacing and should fit fine in most cases with a dual 120mm fan mount free, you'll need to check there's enough clearance for this. You can check a user-generated list of compatible cases here.

EKWB EK-XLC Predator 240 ReviewEKWB EK-XLC Predator 240 Review
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There are two versions of the Predator available, with both the 360mm radiator model offering a built-in quick release version, while our sample was the 240mm non quick release model. The idea behind the quick release versions is that it makes it easier to expand the system, specifically with pre-filled, quick release GPU waterblocks that EKWB will soon be offering that you whack onto your graphics card, connect to the rest of the Predator system, and away you go - no draining or filling involved.

EKWB EK-XLC Predator 240 Review EKWB EK-XLC Predator 240 Review

Of course, as the whole kit uses G1/4in ports and the Predator's 16mm black rubber tubing is freely available too, it's pretty easy to do it yourself, or even to add other components such as extra radiators or reservoirs. The pre-filled kit included everything you need to cool your CPU and mount the radiator, which has the fans in 'pull' mode on the rear of the radiator so you can use standard fan screws to secure it to the roof of the case, but you can just as easily reverse them and have them in push mode if you prefer, or indeed to mount it in the base or front of your case.

EKWB EK-XLC Predator 240 Review
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The pump and fans are powered by a small PCB at one end of the radiator, which itself is powered by a single SATA power connector. It offers three 4-pin fan headers with two of these already taken up by the included 120mm fans, plus there's a 2-pin header for an included PWM cable, should you wish to tap into your motherboard's fan control - otherwise the fans are running at their full 2200rpm.

Installation has been modified since our sample was received and has been simplified so you no longer have to remove the motherboard backplate on LGA115X systems. Both LGA115x and LGA2011/LGA2011-v3 sockets are supported. It's a two-second job to fit or remove the thumbscrew-equipped waterblock using the included backplate on LGA115X systems or the usual four socket pins on LGA2011 systems.



Specifications

  • Compatibility LGA115x, LGA2011/LGA2011-v3
  • Size (fans and radiator) (mm) 295 x 133 x 68 (W x D x H)
  • Fan(s) 2 x 120mm, 550 ~ 2,200 RPM
  • Stated Noise Not stated
  • Extras None

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