Fractal Design Kelvin T12 Expandable Pre-Filled CPU Water Cooler Review

Introduction


Fractal Design has won virtually countless awards over the years, many of them from us here at eTeknix. Their chassis products are some of the best made, best looking and best performing in the industry, and they continued that success with their power supplies, and more recently, their coolers. Their latest cooler, the Kelvin T12 looks set to take the AIO market by storm, not only is it perfectly suitable for AIO plug-and-play deployment, but it’s also expandable, much like a custom loop cooler.

The Kelvin T12 is certainly well equipped, with a thick-style 120mm radiator, high-quality Fractal Design branded fans, extensive socket support, a high-quality pump and much more.

General Specifications

  • Block/pump assembly measurements: 69*69*40 mm
  • Tubing Measurements: 320mm long, 11mm outer and 8mm inner diameter
  • Fitted with anti-kink coils for worry-free installation
  • Kelvin T12 Radiator Measurements: 46*132*163 mm
  • Thread class for fill port and all tube fittings: G 1/4″
  • Supported sockets: Intel: 775,1150,1155,1156,1366,2011,2011-v3; AMD: AM2,AM2+,AM3,AM3+,FM1,FM2,FM2+
  • Fans included: 2 pcs
  • Fractal Design Zero Thermal Paste ; 1 g syringe, sufficient for multiple mountings
  • Colors Available: Black
  • Net weight – Base unit only, not including mounting or fans: 1.1 kg
  • Net weight – Dynamic GP-12 PWM fan, per fan: 159 g
  • Net weight – Total excluding packaging and manual. Includes fans, mounting kit for all platforms, cooling paste (including packaging for the cooling paste) and adapter cable: 1.7 kg
  • Package dimensions – W x H x D: 350*250*151 mm
  • Package weight: 2.4 kg

Fan Specification

  • Fractal Design Dynamic GP-12 PWM fan
  • 500 – 2000 RPM
  • PWM control
  • Max air flow: 87.6 CFM
  • Max pressure: 2.30 mm H2O
  • Acoustical noise: 32.2 dB(A)
  • DC 12V, 0.20A

Pump Specification

  • Ceramic bearing
  • 2400 RPM
  • Voltage control
  • Maximum water flow: 72 l/h
  • Maximum pressure: 1.0 m H2O
  • Acoustical noise: 25.0 dB(A)
  • DC 12V, 0.27A

The packaging is the usual theme for Fractal and has a nice image of the cooler on the front of the box.

Around the back and the sides of the box, there are plenty of details on the main specifications and features, which we’ll take a closer look at in a moment.

In the box, you’ll find the user guide, a fan adaptor cable and Y-splitter, some high-quality thermal paste, as well as the Intel and AMD mounting brackets.

The fans are both Fractal Design’s own Dynamic GP-12 PWM fans; a very high-quality set of fans that should provide us with great airflow and low noise.

This may be an expandable unit, but it comes pre-built and pre-filled as an AIO unit. I wouldn’t normally look at a solution like this if I wanted a custom loop, but it’s certainly nice to have the option to expand it should you feel the need. The thick radiator looks great and its chunky design looks and feels durable. There’s a large copper base to the pump, which will provide excellent coverage to your CPU of choice.

The radiator is nice and thick, which will help it handle higher cooling loads. Along the base of the built-in reservoir, there’s a small stopper cap that can be removed to top up the coolant levels.

On the other end, we’ve got two G 1/4″ fittings, which are widely compatible with other cooling products, pipes, radiators, etc. The pipes themselves are very flexible and come with a coil that looks great, but also helps with overall durability and prevents kinks.

The pump is nice and compact and quite minimalist in terms of design; the gloss finish on the top is going to look great in any system.

The pump also features the same G 1/4″ fittings, meaning you’ve got more points you can expand the loop from and to.

You don’t have to look hard here to see that the build quality and finish on this cooler are exceptional, it looks stunning and everything looks premium-grade for every angle.

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.