EK Fluid Gaming A120 Kit Review: Nifty CPU Cooler For Liquid Novices

Status
Not open for further replies.

Olle P

Distinguished
Apr 7, 2010
698
56
19,090
24
...we really would have liked this kit to have instead included a 240mm (2x120mm) radiator...
As even your link show there is such a kit available. That's not the product you tested, and therefore totally off the point.

I also can't understand why the performance wasn't compared to some of the 120mm AIOs available on the market instead of these much larger ones that must be seen as a non option (due to size limitations) for anybody buying this kit.
With a smaller convector the cooling is expected to be less impressive.
 

jpe1701

Honorable
Mar 13, 2015
1,353
32
11,990
200
I understand you are going by price parity, but a couple competing 120mm products would have been nice to see in the comparison. Good review though, thank you. I have always wondered though about this product. I would have to think that someone willing to spend that much for liquid cooling would have planned and got a case that would fit larger than a 120mm rad and not many of these would get sold. And enthusiasts would know if you were stuck using a 120mm rad, use a thicker one for more surface area. Idk, just my 2 cents.
 

rubix_1011

Contributing Writer
Moderator




Yes and no, but let me explain a bit.

Editorial does most of the links to other products, and yes, there is a 240 version of this kit, which is the basis of where my 'wishing' originates. I would have liked to see the base kit be a 240 rather than a 120 because of the exact limitation on cooling you mention. Also, the cost delta between the 120 and 240 kit also is going to be very minimal, assuming all other components are equal between them.

I liked the entire kit overall, and the build quality of the components is the same EK quality you'd expect...It is just that while this is meant to be a beginner's kit, it still requires the larger footprint that a full watercooling loop demands, which doesn't exactly place it in the same category as a 120 AIO.

Another reason why this wasn't directly compared to other 120mm AIOs is due to cost - most 120 AIOs are firmly in the $50-$100 range (at the very upper end) which still falls about $50 short, by comparison.

There is also the issue that we have not received any newer 120mm AIOs to test recently - The Kraken M22 arrived shortly after this was tested and written. Most AIOs we've been receiving for testing (that are also current/relevant product stock) are 240 and 360 AIOs.
 

rubix_1011

Contributing Writer
Moderator


You could, yes, but it would require swapping out the fittings to use hardline fittings. These are also typically brass, which would counter the use of using all aluminium in the cooler design and make it prone to galvanic corrosion.

While there is not any RGB lighting options, you could always add your own. You could also add color dyes or coolants, if you wished.
 

mlee 2500

Honorable
Oct 20, 2014
298
6
10,785
0
Can anyone recommend a good primer/introductory overview for open loop cooling?

I've been building PC"s since '89....both professionally and personally I imagine several hundred by this point....but aside from a few closed-loop components I haven't really gotten into liquid cooling.

My interest is almost entirely in the pursuit of building a QUIET computer rather then overclocking to achieve performance above "stock high end". That is, I tend to buy top of the line CPU's and Graphics cards but run them at factory settings (I play strategy games at high resolution, not so much FPS...squeezing an extra 5%-10% performance isn't THAT important to me personally...certainly not enough to warrant the extra heat or risk instability).

In terms of closed loop systems, the current state of the art doesn't really seem to save you too many decibels, and in fact a pretty good argument can be made that internal Air Coolers are still the best route if you want quiet without serious overclocking.

Does that equation change if you move to Open Loop cooling? And if so, what are the pratfalls someone new to open-loop should avoid?

Thanks in advance for your thoughtful comments.
 

rubix_1011

Contributing Writer
Moderator
I wrote the watercooling sticky hosted on the forums, if you wish to take a look (linked in the Overclocking, Cooling & Watercooling MetaIndex linked in my signature line below).

The biggest noisemakers for liquid cooling are fans, and if you opt to use 140mm radiator sizes, this helps increase your cooling surface area and also often lowers your noise levels, since 140mm fans run slower and quieter than 120mm versions.

In short, yes, you can get very quiet watercooling builds if you wish, but it really depends on matching fans and radiators more than anything else. Pumps are typically very quiet during operation.
 

mlee 2500

Honorable
Oct 20, 2014
298
6
10,785
0
Thanks Rubix, I'll check it out!

I found guru3d.com reviewed the 240mm version of this EK cooler, and even with a GTX 1080 added to the loop, they seem to have achieved much better results.

It's a pretty detailed review (and guide, really) which makes me think this kit might be a good first real LC build for me.

You know, the Radiator/Fan relationship you describe seems to be the same for closed loop components...if there were decent off-the-shelf closed loop coolers for GTX Video Cards then I might never feel compelled to mess with open loop systems. But there isn't....just a couple of very marginal solutions in that space, so it seems that if you want to quiet that blower in your machine you kinda have to fully commit to an open loop system.
 

rubix_1011

Contributing Writer
Moderator
Our testing system for CPU coolers is a bit beefier than some other sites that test, which really raises the TDP of the loaded CPU easily over 200 watts; also 6-cores vs. quad core.

But yes, when I had done thermal delta load testing of the EK Predator 240, you could easily run a 10C delta-T at 300 watts of load, so it is very possible.
 
Status
Not open for further replies.

ASK THE COMMUNITY

TRENDING THREADS