While visiting EK in Slovenia, I had a chat with the company's chief of R&D, Niko Tivadar. Among a handful of other topics, one subject that came up was how users would go about expanding the 360 mm Predator liquid cooler.
EK built two EK-XLC Predator liquid coolers – one with a 240 mm radiator, and another with a 360 mm radiator. The latter comes with a quick-disconnect coupling that allows you to expand the loop later on, but many of you have expressed that you're not quite sure how that would work – how would you add a GPU block to a pre-filled loop?
The answer to that question is actually very simple: The GPU block would come pre-filled so that you don't need to mess with any fluids. But that raises another question: How can a GPU block be pre-filled?
What Is Predator Enabled?
EK already announced that on November 5 it will be launching the GPU blocks for the Predator series. Unlike the Predator AIOs, which will be available on shelves at retailers, the pre-filled Predator GPU blocks will be built on-demand. When you browse to the GPU block you want, you'll be able to tick a box labeled "Predator Enabled" in order to pre-fill it.
When you order a Predator Enabled GPU block, EK will take the standalone GPU block, attach its black tubing to it, mount a drip-free medical-grade CPC quick-disconnect coupling, hook it up to a loop to fill it, and ship it to you.
Installation Of A Predator-Enabled Block
When you receive the block, installation should be very simple – you'll mount the GPU block to your graphics card by following the instructions, uncouple the quick-disconnect coupling of the EK-XLC Predator 360, connect the GPU block in the middle of the loop, and that's it.
Of course, it must be noted that while this system makes it very easy to install one extra GPU block, adding a second GPU block to the loop won't really be possible. That's not because the radiator would lack the cooling power, but rather because, due to the placement of the quick-disconnect couplings, it likely won't be possible to route the tubing in a way that fits.
Naturally, if you ever decide to install a second graphics card, and you've already expanded the Predator loop with one graphics card, you'll always be able to install a non-Predator-enabled GPU block on the second GPU, drain the loop, remove one or more of the quick-disconnect couplings, tube it up, and re-fill the loop. All the parts of the Predator series can be used in conjunction with a normal custom loop, but that will require draining the loop.
What Will it Cost?
The prices of GPU blocks vary from graphics card to graphics card, and also per variant. You'll be able to pick any variant of a block you want, with both a plain copper- or nickel-plated base and a black Acetal or clear Acrylic top.
Predator Enabling a GPU block will cost about $30, which is a great value if you consider that they come on a built-to-order basis.
Niels Broekhuijsen has been with Tom's Hardware since 2012, and works as a Contributing Editor on the news team. He covers mostly hardware, components, and anything else that strikes his fancy. Outside of work, he likes to travel, cook, and fix things that are broken.