The EK-Predator, Because it Feasts on Heat
We’ve seen quite a few AIO coolers hit the market in recent years. Scratch that! We’ve seen a BUNCH of AIO coolers hit the market in recent years. Actually, let me try this again. We’ve seen an ASTRONOMICALLY HUGE AMOUNT of AIO coolers hit the market in recent years. Whether or not you think that’s an over exaggeration, the fact remains that many companies have tried to make their mark in the liquid cooling market. The problem is, very few coolers actually come close to accomplishing what a decent custom loop can do. However, that may begin to change because EK is deciding to try their hand at the AIO market, and they look like they’re doing it right.
EK is going to have two variants of the Predator AIO Cooling unit, the 240 and 360. As you can already guess, one has a 240mm rad with the other running a 360mm rad. Normally, a 240mm might be a little small for expanding, but considering how thick the radiator is on this unit, adding a GPU or VRM heatsink to the loop should be just fine. With the 360mm I’m sure there will be plenty of cooling for some more extra components and adding radiators or reservoirs down the road should be a snap. This AIO is more of a cooling kit than it is an AIO, but at this point that is exactly why it seems like it will perform so good. Taking it from the level of an AIO though, let’s look at why it is the kind of unit that we should really consider buying.
The pump and reservoir on the end of the radiator is a stroke of genius. This will add some extra consideration as to how it will fit in certain cases, but the design does a couple of things for the unit. First, we have an AIO that has a legitimate reservoir. This may not be the first time anybody has tried this, but the size of that block on the end looks like it will legitimately add some volume to unit which should help with heat dissipation, re-filling and bleeding, as well as ensuring that pressure stays balanced at the pump. Not only is the reservoir on the end, but the pump is sitting beside it. This should help ensure that a higher quality block can be used and probably helps in giving a higher flow rate than traditional AIOs have. EK claims that the DDC pump on the unit has a 2-3X flow rate than other AIO solutions have. I can’t find exactly what that is, but based on what other units typically rate at, as well as the fact that this pump is about a third of the power of EK’s other DDC pumps, I would guess that the flow rate will come in around 300 L/h, but take that with a grain of salt.
The design that EK is bringing with the Predator series is top notch, but the price premium is as well. The units will come in at $200 and $240 respectively. That seems insanely high for an AIO, but when you consider that most starter custom 240mm cooling kits start at around $300, that 360mm AIO starts looking like a very tempting offer. My feeling on this is that the performance will be great and if you’re trying to get into liquid cooling, you should just save up until you can buy one of these units. I believe that in the long run, this is the kind of product that will actually leave a user satisfied with the purchase they made. Most AIOs pale in comparison to custom loops, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see some reviews showing these units coming fairly close to that level of performance.