Many vendors have been doing their best to stand out in the pre-filled liquid cooling market, but the truth is that many are doing the same thing. While there are subtle and less subtle differences in some coolers, there aren't many of them that really stand out. Something we've been long awaiting is for EKWB to reveal a pre-filled kit, and now, that day has finally arrived. Meet the EK-Predator series.
The EK-Predator liquid coolers are all-in-one liquid coolers done the EKWB way, meaning that they are basically custom loops, except that they are pre-assembled and pre-filled at the factory. There will be two versions: one with a 240 mm radiator called the EK-Predator 240, and another with a 360 mm radiator, which is the EK-Predator 360. Their radiator size isn't the only difference between the two, however.
Let's start with what's the same on both units. They are made using CoolStream-PE radiators, use 6 W DDC pumps, cool with an EK-Supremacy MX CPU water block, and feature EK-Vardar fans. Integrated into the units is a fan splitter hub, which provides each of the fans with a PWM signal, although there is only one PWM connector that hooks up to the motherboard. Power for the fans is drawn from a SATA power connector to avoid overloading the board's connector.
The biggest difference between the two (aside from the size, pun not intended), is that the 360 mm variant will come with a quick-disconnect system. You can rip apart one of the tubes without needing to drain the unit. Of course, you must ensure that the pump is switched off before you do so.
When disconnecting it, no fluid will leak from the loop, and EKWB will be building QDC-enabled GPU water blocks in the future. You'll be able to take these blocks, which also come pre-filled, and hook them up. This combination offers you the cooling power and some of the adjustability of a custom loop without actually having to deal with complicated tubing, filling a loop, bleeding it of bubbles, or anything. You won't even have to worry about the liquid at all; it will be like essentially plug-and-play.
We're actually quite looking forward to seeing how well the quick-disconnect units will do. It's certainly not something we've ever seen or heard of before. (Quick disconnect fittings aren't anything new, but this is a new way of using them.)
EKWB will first be unleashing the EK-Predator 240 for $199 on September 23, with the EK-Predator 360 following on October 19 for $239. These versions will only work on Intel sockets. The AMD versions are slated for a 2016 release.
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I see units like this as a gateway drug into the world of custom water cooling, which of course is to EK's benefit.