Water Cooling Kit Group-Test

Up Close: EKWB L240

Water Cooling Kit Mega-test

 

Up Close:  EKWB L240

If first impressions count the L240 Kit from EKWB certainly scores higher than any of the other kits here.  Packaging and presentation are second to none.  It's not all style over substance either, the goods within are well protected and separated to keep them both safe and easy to locate. 

Water Cooling Kit Mega-test     Water Cooling Kit Mega-test

 

Priced at £174.95 the L240 is also the most expensive kit on test here.  For the lowdown on what our money gets us let's have a look at the full Technical specification.

 

Technical Specification 

EKWB L240
Price£174.95
Intel CompatibilitySocket 2011     Socket 1366     Socket 1156     Socket 1155     Socket 775
AMD CompatibilitySocket FM2     Socket FM1     Socket AM3+     Socket AM3     Socket AM2+     Socket AM2
CPU WaterblockEK Supreme LTX UNI CSQ 2013
VGA Waterblockn/a
PumpEK DCP 2.2
Pump Flow Rate400 L/ph
ReservoirEK DCP X Res
RadiatorEK CoolStream Rad XT 240
Radiator Dimensions (L x W x H)276 x 123 x 47 mm
Radiator Fans2 x EK Fan Silent 120mm Fans (3 pin)
Fittings6 x EK 3/8" ID - 5/8 " OD CSQ Nickel Compression Fittings
Tubing2 meters EK ZMT Matt Black 3/8" ID - 5/8" OD Tubing
Fluid100ml EK UV Blue Concentrate *
Special FeaturesComplete CPU Watercooling Kit     Plenty of Cooling Capacity for Overclocking     Easy to Expand the Loop to Include a GPU Block     Compression Fittings     Pump and reservoir Combination
Package Contents1 x EK Supreme LTX UNI CSQ Waterblock     1 x EK DCP2.2 with X-Res     1 x EK Coolstream 240 Radiator     2m Tubing     6 x Compression Fittings     2 x 120mm Fans     100ml of EK Concentrate

 

 

Core Components 

The core components of the L240 kit comprise of the 240mm EK Coolstream radiator, the EK DCP2.2 pump with X-Res and the EK supreme LTX UNI CSQ water block.  Seen below right the water block has a clear top allowing the flow of coolant to be seen within, particularly nice when coupled with coloured coolants.  The block comes pre assembled with large oval holes providing accommodation for Intel CPUs, with a separate mounting plate available should you wish to mount to AMD hardware.    

Water Cooling Kit Mega-test     Water Cooling Kit Mega-test  

The Pump res assembly also comes pre assembled but it's worth noting that the blanking plugs capping two of the 3 inlets are not tightened down and will leak if not tightened with the supplied Allen key.  The Radiator is well made with no evidence of bent or buckled fins, and has the EKWB logo embossed onto it's sides.  The separate end tanks have the standard G1/4" fittings for inlet and outlet on only one side.

Water Cooling Kit Mega-test     Water Cooling Kit Mega-test  

 

Assembly and Testing

The water block mounted easily onto our Socket 2011 CPU by means of threaded pins.  The correct pressure being achieved by use of tensioned springs under capped screws which also served to keep the assembly looking clean and tidy.  The reservoir comes with 2 mounting plates, the first of which enables it to be mounted to the holes for a 120mm floor fan, and the second, shown here enabling mounting to the rear of the case via the fan mount holes.  The pump itself is not directly mounted to the plate but rather mated to the reservoir which is attached via rubber isolating feet.  The effect of this is to improve de-coupling of the pump and as such reduce noise and vibration. 

Water Cooling Kit Mega-test     Water Cooling Kit Mega-test  

 

The close proximity of the components makes for a very compact loop and uncomplicated loop, something we're great protagonists of here at OC3D.  and although we're not particular fans of compression fittings ourselves we were rather taken by the effect the chromed compressions had when combined with the unusual choice of matte black tubing.  The whole build process is made much easier by one of the most comprehensive sets of instructions we've ever seen.  Not content with a few fold out sheets EK have actually included a spiral bound A4 booklet to guide you every step of the way.

Water Cooling Kit Mega-test     Water Cooling Kit Mega-test  

 

Installed into our trusty "Test-Trooper" case the EK kit is demure and understated.  The tubing although thick walled is still quite flexible and resists kinking well.  For those more used to bay reservoirs mounting the reservoir like this may seem a little odd however we feel it adds to the aesthetic and assuming you have a window in your case you should be able to keep an eye fluid levels with no problem.  We have to say we were very pleased with the results. 

Water Cooling Kit Mega-test     Water Cooling Kit Mega-test  

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Most Recent Comments

08-07-2013, 06:17:35

tinytomlogan
XSPC, EK, AlphaCool and Phobya do battle. Who will be crowned king of the 240mm radiator Water Cooling kits


http://www.overclock3d.net/gfx/artic...053156396l.jpg


Continue Reading

08-07-2013, 06:38:38

bofeming
Nice review TTL, I really apreciate this beacause I was wondering to buy a kit, and I think the EK looks better for me.
Maybe in the near future I can buy some loop expansion, like other rad, better pump/res and a block for my GC.
Do you think it will be worth? Or should I buy a custom loop directly.
Must say that this gonna be my 1st custom WC project.

Thx again for the review

08-07-2013, 06:45:20

SieB
Interesting read, would be good to see more reviews like this

I'm surprised at the performance of the XSPC RS rad, given that it's the thinnest out of the lot. Not much in it at all though really, unless you are trying to get the lowest temps possible, it doesn't really matter which kit you go with.

08-07-2013, 06:56:13

tinytomlogan
Quote:
Originally Posted by bofeming View Post
Nice review TTL, I really apreciate this beacause I was wondering to buy a kit, and I think the EK looks better for me.
Maybe in the near future I can buy some loop expansion, like other rad, better pump/res and a block for my GC.
Do you think it will be worth? Or should I buy a custom loop directly.
Must say that this gonna be my 1st custom WC project.

Thx again for the review

G-Dubs did this review dude. I may own OC3D but theres VB and Gdubs doing reviews too dudio

08-07-2013, 08:48:35

Greenback
Thanks Gary for the time you put in to this I have been hoping for something like this.
As SieB said the xspc rs240 result was interesting and makes you wonder how the RX240 kit would of done. (I don't expect you to do it you have done a good job here)
I think it also shows that in all fairness if you are only looking at a cpu loop and never want to upgrade the AIO's are a viable option considering they are cheaper and you could put Gt ap15's or nf-f12's with the money you would save, And probably get near on the same results

08-07-2013, 09:35:58

tinytomlogan
Quote:
Originally Posted by Greenback View Post
Thanks Gary for the time you put in to this I have been hoping for something like this.
As SieB said the xspc rs240 result was interesting and makes you wonder how the RX240 kit would of done. (I don't expect you to do it you have done a good job here)
I think it also shows that in all fairness if you are only looking at a cpu loop and never want to upgrade the AIO's are a viable option considering they are cheaper and you could put Gt ap15's or nf-f12's with the money you would save, And probably get near on the same results

The RX240 would have scored much the same as the phobya, the CPU isnt maxing the rads hence the temps. Having a bigger rad just means better low speed fan results if you look........

08-07-2013, 10:21:39

lwatcdr
I was surprised how well the H110 and H100i held up. Seems like AIOs are pretty good these days.

08-07-2013, 10:22:46

tinytomlogan
Quote:
Originally Posted by lwatcdr View Post
I was surprised how well the H110 and H100i held up. Seems like AIOs are pretty good these days.
Its not THAT surprising tbh. These style kits are as low as I would ever go tbh.

IMHO water is all about aesthetics and low fan speeds with better than air load temps.

08-07-2013, 10:41:34

Montysaurus
I just ordered my first XSPC WC kit from Specialtech and find your beginners Vids on their site extremely helpful. This set of reviews has been really informative regarding the instructions which come with the kits and I'm glad I went with XSPC.
Thanks again TTL and all the crew at OC3d for all the hard work and getting us the info.

08-07-2013, 10:47:24

airdeano
i love a good ole shootout.. great review gary!

watching the graphs shrink with voltage increase was interesting, as the 1.45v
"weed out" temperatures showed kit brawniness.
very good..

(side note: in the graphs Raystorm is Raysorm)

08-07-2013, 14:05:02

Mysterae
Great review for wannabe and existing watercooling folk; to learn and compare respectively. Having done a lot of testing with my own rig, I can see the amount of work this group test would have taken.

Testing these kits in the fairest and honest way as has been done here, I think vindicates the AIO market somewhat. Performances almost on par, it's about the kind of experience one wants, and how risk averse they are too .

08-07-2013, 16:02:26

Mgutierrez33
Very informative review (typos aside x-P). May have to do some measurements in my chassis now (Graphite 600T with roof and front mesh removed) based on what I saw here in terms of rad thickness since I want to go for single low-speed fan configs when I DO get a loop going. Also has me considering some other brands as well for components.

08-07-2013, 17:04:19

FTLN
Nice reviews Gary,,

But i wish you guys would change the way you do your graphs..

There so uneasy on the eye....

08-07-2013, 20:53:41

lwatcdr
For me it is all about practicality. I like the reduction in the stress on the motherboard and reduction of RAM clearance issues compared to a large air cooler. I do like less noise as well. That isn't to say that I do not enjoy your builds. I hate windows in cases and just want a nice clean look myself. My wife wants a red case for her next build with a big window and lights. My next build will probably use a Fractal Design case while my wife will probably get a Phantom.

09-07-2013, 09:17:16

kittysniper
Thanks for the review and comparison, nice to know the best way to improve is to use noctua fans instead of stock 1s imo, which seems to be causing the biggest difference.

09-07-2013, 09:34:47

tinytomlogan
Quote:
Originally Posted by kittysniper View Post
Thanks for the review and comparison, nice to know the best way to improve is to use noctua fans instead of stock 1s imo, which seems to be causing the biggest difference.
Doesnt have to be noctua dude...... Just 'better' fans. Also if you READ the whole review youll see the closed loop fans in one of the kits performed the same as the Noctuas

09-07-2013, 10:23:52

d3rrial
That review was very helpful, I now decided I would buy an EK-Kit now, instead of the Alphacool one thank you a lot!

10-07-2013, 12:36:16

SimonB
love xspc raystorm look illuminated with leds of your build color would be just ,och my god geekporn for sure =DD other then that they all are good but i wouldint buy it ;/ since i prefer 360 or 240x6/8 fat rad just to be able having lover noise i become silence adict since i got my sp120QE =DD

24-07-2013, 21:19:38

loglog
honestly i'm kind of dissapointed in these kits. Seeing as how a NZXT-X60 and Corsair H100i can keep up or out preform them for a cheaper price an no maintenance required.
It is true that these have expandability options, but honestly if thats your plan you should save up and do it all at once.

25-07-2013, 01:39:10

NeverBackDown
Quote:
Originally Posted by loglog View Post
honestly i'm kind of dissapointed in these kits. Seeing as how a NZXT-X60 and Corsair H100i can keep up or out preform them for a cheaper price an no maintenance required.
It is true that these have expandability options, but honestly if thats your plan you should save up and do it all at once.
Well the kits don't exactly have much more surface area than the AIOs so for them being as far ahead as they were is pretty impressive.

26-07-2013, 17:36:54

loglog
Quote:
Originally Posted by NeverBackDown View Post
Well the kits don't exactly have much more surface area than the AIOs so for them being as far ahead as they were is pretty impressive.
I certainly dont disagree with you. However I would have imagined being a true WC kit, that having a separate res and rad would have lowered temps a little bit and by holding more coolant, but maybe thats just thining wrong.

26-07-2013, 19:53:47

NeverBackDown
Quote:
Originally Posted by loglog View Post
I certainly dont disagree with you. However I would have imagined being a true WC kit, that having a separate res and rad would have lowered temps a little bit and by holding more coolant, but maybe thats just thining wrong.
You're correct. But think about it.. How much more fluid is actually making contact and how much faster is the fluid going? Not much(mostly) so therefore it as almost always comes down to the fans. So considering how much farther they are it's pretty impressive.

26-07-2013, 21:47:40

loglog
Quote:
Originally Posted by NeverBackDown View Post
You're correct. But think about it.. How much more fluid is actually making contact and how much faster is the fluid going? Not much(mostly) so therefore it as almost always comes down to the fans. So considering how much farther they are it's pretty impressive.
Very true, very true. I guess I was simply over estimating their stock potential. Better fans would definintly have helped; I'm qurious to see how each would have preformed with some GT AP-15's or NF-F12's.
Also having the ability to expand to a second rad or being able to add the GPU into the loop i guess is where the main value comes into play.
Reply
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