Arctic Liquid Freezer 240 AIO Cooler Review

Introduction


Arctic are well-known for their air cooling products, but today we’ll be taking a look at one of their first entries to the high-end AIO water cooling market; the Arctic Liquid Freezer 240. Designed for high-performance cooling for gaming systems, overclocking, workstations and more, you’ll find a fairly thick 240mm radiator, backed up by four high-quality 120mm fans, there’s little doubt that it’ll be able to shift some serious heat from your system. With a max TDP of 300 Watts, as well as support for all major Intel and AMD sockets, the Freezer 240 can easily handle some of today’s fastest CPUs.

Water cooling is becoming increasingly popular, especially with many consumers now running overclockable processors. Being able to push your systems limits to get the most value for money out of your hardware is no bad thing. When you’re gaming, editing video, rendering and more, the CPU get’s pretty toasty, which in turn causes fans to spin faster and can result in more noise. Having a more powerful cooler should help ensure that not only do your temps stay nice and low, but you’ll also be keeping the acoustics in check too; let’s hope the new cooler from Arctic can tick both of those boxes.

The packaging is pretty straight forward, with a good image of the cooler on the front and a bit of branding.

Around the back, things get a lot more technical, with some relative performance figures and specifications. Of course, we’ll be doing our own independent testing, so I won’t focus on their figures too much.

The packaging is pretty crammed, with components and hoses next to each other and minimal padding around anything in here. I would hope then when shipped, the item comes in another box with bubble wrap around this one, as it doesn’t seem sufficient.

In the box, you’ll find all the usual nuts and bolts, a universal backplate, AMD and Intel brackets, as well as a small sachet of Arctic MX-4 thermal paste.

There are four high-quality fans included with this cooler. Each measure 120mm and are Arctic’s own design, promising high airflow and low noise. Each fan comes with a built-in fan header splitter, making it super easy to daisy chain them on a single fan header. Each fan has extra long cables, with black sleeving and a PWM header.

EKWB Launch Pre-Filled Graphics Blocks for Predator AIO

The mighty impressed EKWB Predator AIO is a revolution in terms of water cooling, offering you all the ease of an AIO, with all the thrills of custom loop cooling. Aside from looking gorgeous, the cooler can be quickly modified to add additional cooling components to the loop, such as a GPU block.

EKWB have now launched their Predator ready GPU blocks, which come pre-filled, making them ready to plug and play. You just fit it to your graphics card, hook up the quick-disconnect couplings and you’re good to go.

The Predator-enabled GPU block comes bundled with an EK-AF Angled 90° G1/4″ fittings, two EK-ACF Fitting 10/16mm – Nickel fittings, one quick-disconnect coupling, EK-Tube ZMT Matte Black tubing, and clear coolant, which comes fully assembled, making this seriously high-end pro cooling hardware as beginner friendly as possible.

The new AIO coolers and the GPU blocks are certainly (no pun intended) cool, but they’re obviously not going to be cheap. The pre-filled EK-FC980 for example, is $149.99 and another $29.99 for the interconnect tubing. This is on top of the $199 for the EK-Predator 240 or the $239 for the larger 360mm model. Even then, it’s Intel only until early 2016 when we expect to see an AMD version being launched.

EK Water Blocks Enter the AIO Market like a Predator

EK Water Blocks is mostly known for their do-it-yourself parts for liquid cooling enthusiasts, but that isn’t enough for the company. They have set out “to shake up the liquid cooling market” with their newly presented Predator AIO CPU coolers.

EK has taken their top performing and market proven components from the existing enthusiast product line and assembled them together into one compact pre-filled solution. The result is the EK Predator 240 and 360 coolers that promise performance without compromise in a compact form factor, yet expandable, out-of-the-box liquid cooling solution. Being a AIO solution, the EK Predator is pre-filled and pre-assembled and comes with the EK-Vardar high static pressure fans with PWM controls to provide a minimal noise footprint, and noise is a common issue for existing AIO users.

The EK Predator uses the industry standard G1/4 threaded ports and 10/16 mm Zero Maintenance rubber tubing (EK-ZMT) and it is therefore fully expandable with all custom loop gear available on the market. The Predator 360 also features an integrated Quick Disconnects (QDC), a special connector that allows quick and tool-less expansion of the system without the need to drain the unit. This could for example allow you to add a prefilled QDC-enabled GPU water block, something that EK Water Blocks will release too.

The dimensions of the main radiator unit on the Predator 240, with integrated pump and reservoir, are: 295mm x 133mm x 68mm. This should be small enough to fit into most modern computer cases. The Predator 360 is a bigger beast as it measures 415mm x 133mm x 68mm. EKWB will provide a list of compatible cases before launch.

Speaking of launch, the EK-Predator 240 will launch on September 23rd and will come with a $199 USD/€199 EUR MSRP. The EK-Predator 360 will follow and be released on October 19th and cost you $239 USD/€239 EUR. Both units will only be available for Intel CPU sockets, but AMD versions are planned for a release in sometime during 2016.

Technical Highlights

  • Hovercore is a revolutionary design of radiator dampeners that prevents a transfer of pump vibrations further down the unit and into the chassis, thus resulting in vibration free and silent operation.
  • Supremacy MX CPU water block, a top performer in the Enthusiast segment, is specifically designed for Intel CPUs and offers great hydraulic and thermal performance. Carefully machined copper base is made from purest copper available and is further polished to absolute mirror finish. This alone greatly improves the cooling performance of the block.
  • CoolStream PE radiator – 240mm or 360mm, has full Copper core being superior to aluminum alternatives in terms of heat dissipation. In conjunction with EK-Vardar fans, the result is increased performance across entire fan operational range thus delivering results both at low and high airflow operation.
  • Vardar fans – two on Predator 240 and three on Predator 360 – are high static pressure fans developed in-house specifically for liquid cooling systems. With low noise profile and PWM technology built in, you can always control the RPM and keep the fans silent while maintaining excellent cooling performance.
  • DDC pump is a powerful 6W liquid cooling pump providing 2-3x higher flow rate compared to other AIOs on the market. It’s also PWM controlled allowing for automatic pump speed regulation depending on your CPU temperature. Full performance on demand or whisper quiet operation in idle mode!
  • Integrated Fan splitter hub reduces cable clutter and keeps the unit aesthetically clean. Predator pump and fans plug into the unit itself with only one PWM cable going into CPU Fan socket while a single SATA Molex cable powers the complete unit.

Cooler Master New Year New Cooler Competition

The new year is almost upon us and to celebrate, we’ve teamed up with the good people of Cooler Master to help you welcome in 2015 with style. A great PC deserves a great cooler, so we’ve grabbed three of the most popular Cooler Master coolers to help you upgrade your rigs. We’ve got a Nepton 120XL and a Nepton 240 water cooling radiator, as well as the awesome Hyper 612 Ver.2 air cooler.

We’ll be picking three lucky winners at the start of 2015:

1st place

2nd place

3rd place

If you would like to show your support to eTeknix and Cooler Master you can like your respective Facebook pages. It’s a great way to stay up to date with the latest news, reviews and competition announcements.

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Corsair Carbide Air 240 Micro-ATX Chassis Review

Introduction


Since I first saw this chassis at Computex earlier this year I have been eager to get my hands on it. I absolutely loved the Air 540 chassis, but I had one minor gripe about its design, it was too big! I wanted to use the chassis for my own system build, but it wouldn’t fit under or on top of my desk due to its box like form factor. Either way, the Air 540 was a lovely looking and very capable chassis, but Corsair know people want something a little more compact and have come back with the Air 240, a mini-ITX / MicroATX compatible HTPC / LAN box style chassis.

Corsair already have a stunning range of chassis products on the market, but they’ve often dominated the larger form factors, now with the release of the Air 240 they have their targets set on the smaller form factor market and the Air 240 looks like a promising product for those who are limited on space, or need a high-end system with some level of portability. With the rise in popularity of LAN gaming events, having a rig you can put in the boot of your car and take with you is a welcome bonus and it also helps if the chassis is still capable of packing huge amounts of hardware despite its smaller size.

As you can see from the specifications below, the Air 240 is small, but it is far from lacking in ability. There is room for six hard drives, seven fans, room for 240mm water cooling radiators, ATX power supplies, mATX motherboards and a dual graphics card setup of up to 290mm in length, meaning many of today’s high-end cards will fit with ease.

The packaging features a few details on the front as well as a small representation of the chassis overall design.

Around the back we have a technical breakdown of all the major components.

In the box you’ll find the quick start guide and all the major fittings needed to install your components, including some handy rubber grip fee for the bottom of the chassis.

NZXT Phantom 240 Mid-Tower Chassis Review

Introduction


NZXT have become legends in the eyes of many PC gamers, their chassis designs are highly focused on gaming builds and often offer loads of innovative features, cool designs, great build quality and more, the only downside being that all this glorious quality comes at a price. With many of the best NZXT chassis costing in excess of £100, it can leave many of us feeling left out as not everyone is comfortable with spending that kind of cash on a PC case, which is why NZXT has created the Phantom 240.

Based around the design of the rest of the Phantom range, the P240 has been cut down a little to offer the consumer a little extra value for money. Priced at just $69.99 / £55 it is taking on the very competitive mid-budget market, typically the price bracket most people aim for before you start getting into high-end and enthusiast level products. There are virtually countless great chassis in this price range and you often find each manufacturer offers something unique, most often in terms of design, to try to tempt you into a purchase, so it will be interesting to see what NZXT have to offer for this kind of money. Even more interesting is to find out if saving some money means loosing out on some of that legendary NZXT quality.

As you can see from the specifications below, the P240 is rather well equipped; it has room for three 5.25″ drives, plenty of hard drives, lots of fan mounting positions, with room for large graphics cards and CPU coolers.

The packaging has been kept nice and simple, likely in a bid to save costs, which means you’re spending more of the money on the product rather than on fancy packaging, which is never a bad thing.

In the box you’ll find lots of labeled bags of screws and fittings, all of which are high a quality and finished in black, perfect for getting all your major components installed. you’ll also find a fold-out user guide which talks you through all the major features and the installation process.

New AMD Never Settle Forever Gaming Bundle Launching Next Week

AMD have had massive success from their Never Settle bundles, offering gamers a huge saving on their graphics cards by bundling many of today’s top gaming titles. Of course some of those games are getting a little older now, but that’s spurred AMD to go back to the drawing board and make a few tweaks to their playlist, and they’ll be relaunching the revised bundle on the 21st of this month.

The bundle will be divided over three tiers, those who buy a R9 295X2, R9 290(x) or R9 280(x) will be entitled to pick three games, R9 270(x) and R7 260 purchasers can pick two games and finally R5 250 and R7 240 will allow you one title from the list. The keys that are bundled with the cards can be activated up until August 2014.

The latest title to the list will be Murdered: Soul Suspect, which is not yet released, but will pre-activate for download in June and you’ll also not the addition of 4 indie games which will be available in packs of two (of your choosing).

The rest is pretty much the same, so you can still expect the big hitters such as Tomb Raider and Hitman, but BioShock, Crysis and Far Cry are unfortunately gone in favour of Thief, which now supports both AMD TrueAudio and Mantle.

Check out the list below for full details and thank you VideoCardz.com for providing us with this chart.

Thank you VideoCardz for providing us with this information.

Images courtesy of VideoCardz.

Enermax Liqtech 120mm & 240mm AIO Water Cooler Review

Introduction


It was just over a year ago that Enermax first entered the water cooling market with their ELC 240 and 120 all-in-one water coolers and while we loved their overall performance, Enermax needed to be just that little bit more competitive to take the crown from the slightly better Corsair range at that time. Since then, the water cooling market has become saturated with great products and some impressive budget ranges that make finding the best product harder than ever.

Their new Liqtech range looks set to take the premium end of the all-in-one water cooling market by storm. Everything has been tweaked and improved to offer a high quality, high performance product. The only downside of it being targeted at the upper end of the market is that the new coolers are not cheap. However, paying a little extra is no problem, so long as the actual quality and performance are there to ease the burden of the price tag. The Liqtech 120X will set you back around £79.90, which the Liqtech 240 should be priced around £99.90.

Air cooling is more than enough for most users, even for an overclocked high-end i5 or i7 CPU you can get do just fine with a product that costs no more than £40 and still get great temperatures, acoustics and performance. Water cooling, especially custom loop water cooling, can cost hundred of pounds to get all the required components and requires a lot of maintenance and a fair bit of skill to install. The advantage of an all in one unit such as the Liqtech is that it requires almost no knowledge of water cooling, you just bolt it into your chassis, attach the block to the CPU and you’re good to go. Minimal maintenance, easy installation and a much lower cost than custom loops are just some of the reasons that all in one units are so attractive to system builders. While I know I said you can get great performance from air cooling, water coolers typically offer even greater cooling performance and nine times out of ten, significantly quieter acoustics.

As you can see from the specifications below, both coolers come with wide support for all major socket types, a high quality pump, 310mm long rubber tubes and 2 x high quality Enermax Twister Pressure fans with 4-pin PWM connections.

The coolers both come nicely packaged and wrapped to keep them protected prior to use. In the box of each you will find the following:

  • Liqtech 120 Liquid Cooler (ELC-LT120X-HP) or Liqtech 240 Liquid Cooler (ELC-LT240-HP)
  • 2x High Pressure Twister Fans
  • 1x Universal Back Plate for Intel and AMD
  • 4x Spacers
  • 2x Intel Clip
  • 2x AMD Clip
  • 4x Intel LGA 2011 Screws
  • 1x Square Spacer for Intel LGA 775 socket
  • 4x Insulating Sheet for AMD sockets
  • 4x Position Screw
  • 4x Spring Screws
  • 8x Fan Screws
  • 8x Case Screws
  • 1x Dow-Corning Thermal Grease (TC-5121)
  • 1x PWM Fan Y-Cable

The screws and fitting are all really high quality, nicely finished and should look great once installed.

Both fans are of a high quality construction, with strong fan blades and a switch on their motor that allows you to change the peak RPM to no more than 1300, 2000 or 2500. We will of course be leaving ours at maximum performance. Maintenance should be relatively easy too, thanks to removable fan blades.

Also included in the box is an easy to follow user’s manual which will guide you through the installation process.