EKWB Predator 240i Review | The line between all-in-one liquid coolers and custom kits has suddenly become more blurred recently, thanks to the release of EKWB’s Predator coolers. The company is well known for producing some of the best water-cooling components for custom loops, but its new Predator coolers now cram some of this highperformance gear into maintenance-free, pre-filled units.
The Predator 240 is large, thanks to a full-height double 120mm-fan radiator with a 6W Laing DDC pump and reservoir mounted on the end. The radiator section is nearly 300mm long and 68mm deep, so your case will need plenty of clearance around a double 120mm fan mount for installation. The Predator 240 also features a small reservoir that enables you to drain and fill the loop yourself, and it uses standard tubing and G1/4in fittings. As such, you can easily replace the tubing if you want clear PVC or even hard acrylic, instead of using the black opaque tubing that EKWB supplies by default. All the parts you need are included – there are two EKWB Varder 120mm fans in pull mode, some thermal paste and all the necessary mounting screws. The radiator section has a PCB that powers the fans and pump, with a detachable power cable that sports a SATA power connector on the other end to power the unit. There’s also a 4-pin plug than taps into your motherboard’s CPU PWM fan header, allowing the fans and the pump to run at slower speeds according to load – otherwise they run at 12V all the time. Installation on an LGA2011 motherboard just requires the use of four thumbscrews, which are already attached to the Supremacy MX CPU waterblock. They’re dual-purpose, with thinner sections at the end for LGA115x sockets, but these tips pass through the thread holes on LGA2011 sockets, with the thicker threads below them securing the waterblock. LGA115x sockets also require you to remove the standard metal backplate, but this is a simple job and the right tool is included. When running at 12V, the fans are pretty noisy, but using the 4-pin PWM header solves this problem at a stroke, making the Predator 240 quieter than any other all-in-one liquid cooler we’ve tested. Performance was mind-boggling too. It was quieter and 9°C cooler than the Corsair H110i GT at its maximum fan speed in our LGA1150 system and 8°C cooler in our LGA2011 system. Using the motherboards’ minimum fan profiles, the temperature rose by 2°C in the LGA1150 system, but limiting the fan speed to 12.5 per cent on our LGA2011 system resulted in a much bigger temperature increase of 22°C. Even so, this result still beat the likes of the Corsair H80i GT on its medium fan speed setting and, again, the Predator 240 was far quieter. The EKWB Predator 240 is a stunning CPU cooler that’s easy to install and provides a great starting point for an expandable water-cooling system. The only downsides are the price and the size of the radiator section – many cases’ double 120mm fan mounts simply won’t have enough room to accommodate it. Price-wise, £170 is a lot just to cool your CPU, but the Predator isn’t a run-of-the-mill all-in-one liquid cooler. It’s a full-on custom kit that comes pre-assembled, and buying similar parts separately will cost significantly more money. You’ll obviously miss out on the pleasure of building your own loop, but you’ll benefit from the peace of mind of a leakfree installation and you’ll be able to customise it further using standard parts too. If you’re looking for the quietest and most powerful CPU cooler money can buy, without the hassle of creating a custom water-cooling loop, the Predator 240 is currently the best you can get. ANTONY LEATHERThe Predator is the best all-in-one CPU cooler we’ve tested bar none, and it provides an excellent base from which to expand your water-cooling endeavours too. Compatibility Intel: LGA2011, LGA2011-v3, LGA115x, LGA1366, LGA775Radiator size with fans (mm) 133 x 68 x 295 (W x D x H).