Introduction

When it comes to the liquid cooling, the first name that comes to one’s mind is EK Water Blocks. EK® Water Blocks, the premium liquid cooling manufacturer, bears the name of its founder Edvard König. It all started with the enthusiasm of one man and his ventures with liquid cooling back in 1999. Ever since its inception, the EK Water Blocks has become the premium brand in liquid cooling solutions and this brand is highly popular among the modders, PC Builders, and water cooling enthusiasts alike. Today, the products of EK® are available in more than 30 countries worldwide and the company holds several partnerships with some of the most recognized brands. Not only their products are of high quality but their customer support is up to the bar as well and this is what really matters.

EK Water Blocks has recently released their value-oriented water cooling kits for the newcomers and price-conscious users who would like to get firsthand experience in the custom loop arena. Their Classic lineup is specifically designed and tuned to address this market segment. The Classic line refers to the core values of liquid cooling, hence the main motto: Less talk, more cooling! The Classic line of liquid cooling components and accessories ensures a cost-effective solution without a compromise on the quality and performance. This is the bottom line for the Classic series if I am to put it that way. EK Water Blocks has also released their 4 water cooling EK-KITs in the Classic line up of the products. The basic concept of the kit is to take care of everything in a single box (hence a term pre-defined) a user would need for water cooling experience. This is very why I also mentioned the first-timers above. For those who don’t have experience with water cooling but wish to take a spin, can simply buy these kits without worrying about compatibility and sizing issues as kits take care of every such detail at minute level. All that you would need is reading the user manual thoroughly and again or even better watch the tutorial videos on EK Water Blocks YouTube channel and start assembling your very first water cooling setup. Coming back to the main topic, EK Water Blocks has released 4 kits in the Classic line up:

These kits start at $269 for the S240 and go to $319 for the P360. Mind you these kits don’t have aluminum made components but copper and brass. For aluminum kits, they have their Fluid lineup. These kits are easily expandable and upgradeable. The maintenance is easy as the optimized fin structure helps to reduce the risk of clogging.

EK Water Blocks has sent us their EK-Kit Classic RGB P360. As the name indicates, this kit comes with slim-dual 360mm radiator. Here P signifies the Performance. The S series signifies the Slim. The EK-Kit Classic RGB P360 is a value-oriented, high-performance RGB liquid cooling kit with low noise emissions, ready to be expanded with a GPU water block, while also enabling overclocking and efficient cooling of any mainstream Intel or AMD CPU on the market. The kit comes with everything ready and many components pre-assembled for ease of the users. The kit includes the EK-CoolStream Classic PE 360 which is a 45mm thick 360mm length radiator. This radiator is coupled with their high-performance Vardar RGB fans. EK-XRES 140 SPC PWM Classic RGB (incl. pump) is included to provide silent pump operations while maintaining adequate coolant flow in the loop. It is coupled with the EK-Supremacy Classic RGB CPU Water block with a low resistance to the coolant flow. EK-CryoFuel Clear Concentrate (100ml) is bundled which the user is required to mix with 900ml distilled water to give 1 liter of coolant. The very reason for not providing the ready to use coolant is obviously the cost. 2 meter of EK-DuraClear will get you going in no time. EK-STC Classic 10/13 compression fittings are included. The EK Water Blocks has included ATX bridge, RGB LED splitter cables, 3-way PWM splitter cables, 8mm Allen key, Pump adapter cable and thorough written with pictorial illustration user manual. The majority of components has been pre-assembled resulting in a quick and painless installation procedure. Once installed, this kit is a full custom loop solution. It can be upgraded with additional water blocks and components, such as additional radiators or GPU blocks.

Product:               EK-Kit Classic RGB P360

Manufacturer:      EK Water Blocks

Price:                    $319 [At the time of the review]

Packaging and Unboxing

The kit is shipped inside a white color cardboard box. There is wrapper over the white box with all the marketing and technical literature of the kit.

This side has EK Water Blocks brand logo printed on the top left. There is a picture of the assembled kit in the main section. The model of the kit is printed on the top right. Three main features of the kit are printed at the bottom left side: Overclocking, Expandable, and Silent.

The model of the kit printed on the top left side. There is a colorful EK Water Blocks logo on the right side. The salient features of the kit are highlighted in the main section. The company’s contact information is printed at the bottom. Various certifications are printed at the bottom right.

The contents of the box printed are at the bottom.

Technical data printed in 3 languages. The minimum requirements are printed as well. These include a PC with compatible CPU socket and a chassis with support for 360mm radiator. Make sure your chassis has 120mm fan size mountings or mounting that supports pump installation at its base as the pump/reservoir combo of this kit comes with their universal DDC spider 120mm fan bracket which can be mounted on the base if the reservoir is to be oriented in standing position. If chassis does not have such mounting holes then either the user will need to drill the holes or install the 120mm fan bracket on the radiator assembly in which case the reservoir will be in the horizontal position. Else the user can buy a ring mounting bracket.

Removing the wrapper cover will show the white color box.

Opening the box will give a sneak peek of the contents.

Contents

Following is included in the box:

  • Universal CPU water block: EK-Supremacy Classic RGB – Nickel + Plexi (incl. thermal paste)
  • Radiator: EK-CoolStream Classic PE 360 (Slim Dual)
  • Radiator size: 393 x 120 x 45mm (L x W x H)
  • Radiator fan: EK-Vardar F4-120ER RGB (500-2200rpm) (3pcs)
  • Water pump-reservoir combo: EK-XRES 140 SPC PWM Classic RGB – Plexi (incl. pump)
  • Tubing: EK-DuraClear 9,5/12,7mm (3/8” – 1/2”) (2 meters)
  • Compression fittings: EK-STC Classic 10/13 (3/8” – 1/2”) – G1/4 Nickel (6 pcs)
  • Coolant concentrate: EK-CryoFuel Clear rev.2 (100mL; for 1L of coolant)
  • EK-UNI Pump Bracket (120mm FAN)
  • Y-cable splitter: EK-Cable Y-Splitter 3-Way Fan PWM (10cm)
  • EK PWM Cable Extender 500mm
  • EK-Cable Pump testing adapter
  • ATX Bridging Plug
  • RGB 4-Way Splitter Cable
  • Allen Key 8mm

Closer Look

Let’s start off by saying a disclaimer that this content will be a lengthy one as each and every component will be looked upon and mentioned. So, please bear with me.

EK-Supremacy Classic RGB

EK-Supremacy Classic RGB CPU water block is based on their award-winning EK-Supremacy block cooling engine which has been further tweaked for performance and optimal coolant flow. Low hydraulic flow restriction enables this product to be used in setups using weaker water pumps or lower pump speeds for added silent operation. The block is made of the Nickel plus Plexi. The block is compatible with Intel LGA115x/20xx sockets. For AMD sockets, EK Water Blocks has bundled an accessory AMD mounting kit separately.

The block is shipped inside a cardboard box. There is a large sticker pasted on the top which extends towards the side of the box. There is a symbolic picture of the block showing the In and Out ports as well as the RGB LED cable.

The sticker side shows the technical data of the block.

Opening the box will show the contents. The mounting hardware is placed over the top.

Removing the top cover of the packing box will show the block itself nicely packed inside the transparent container. Each of such container has EK seal pasted on it guaranteeing the original part from the EK Water Blocks.

The contents of the box include:

  • 1x EK-Supremacy Classic RGB Block
  • 4x Intel LGA-20xx thumb screws
  • 4x Intel LGA-115x thumb screws
  • 1x Allen Key
  • 1x EK-TIM Ectotherm
  • 2x Jet plates
  • 4x Coiled Springs
  • 4x Thumb Nuts
  • 1x Intel LGA-115x Gasket
  • 1x Intel LGA-115x Backplate
  • 5x PVC Washers

The top of the block is made from CNC machined high-grade acrylic glass. There are two G1/4” threaded ports. Each port is clearly labelled as In and Out. There is a shiny EK brand logo on the bottom right side. It has a foil cover which needs to be removed to show the logo. The bottom section of the top side has hard brushed aluminum themed cover in a style. It is covering the EGB LED strip pasted on the block’s side.

The finishing of the block speaks for itself; an output of a perfect machining work can be seen.

Another side of the block with top-notch finishing.

The identical layout and finishing on all the sides can be seen.

Looking at the base of the block, there is a yellow color sticker asking the user to remove it before using. The black pattern on the yellow background reminds me of the radiation danger zone warning!

Removing the warning sticker will show the nickel-coated copper base. It is mirror finished. Every EK-Supremacy Classic water block comes with a precisely machined copper base (sometimes referred to as ‘cold plate’) which is made from purest copper available on the market and is treated with nickel electroplating. The base measures 57x57x5mm. The Intel mounting bracket is already installed on the block using 4x screws.

The thick nickel-coated copper base measures approximately 5mm.

I opened the block after completing the testing of the kit. The above picture shows the inner underside of the Plexi.

The cooling engine in its entirety. There is a jet plate over the cooling fins.

As the name indicates, the EK-Supremacy RGB CPU Water Block comes with an RGB LED strip pre-installed in it. It is using 12V,G,R,B pin format and has a 4-pin female connector. The length of the cable is 30cm. Looking closely at the connector, you can see the improper finishing on one side. This product is compatible with popular RGB sync technologies from all major motherboard manufacturers. The arrow marking on the 4-pin LED connector is to be aligned with the +12V marking on the RGB header. You can easily remove the LED strip cover which is mounted with two screws to replace the LED strip with some other type (compatible) LED strip.

AMD Mounting Kit Classic

The included block is compatible with Intel sockets but EK Water Blocks has provided an AMD mounting kit separately in the kit which will enable the user to install the block on the AMD motherboard.

The kit comes placed inside a transparent container on a brown color cardboard box. The kit is pre-assembled.

The top side has 4 spring-loaded screws pre-installed. It uses the stock backplate of the AMD socket.

The user is required to remove the stock brackets off the AMD motherboard and use EK bracket on the stock backplate.

EK has provided an Allen key as well for the block.

In order to install the AMD Mounting Kit Classic, the user will need to remove the pre-installed Intel kit from the block by removing four screws from the bottom of the block. Place the AMD bracket between the Plexi top and the nickel-coated copper base and secure the installation using the same 4 screws. For more details, please refer to the manual or watch the tutorial video.

EK-XRES 140 SPC PWM Classic RGB – Plexi (incl. pump)

EK-XRES 140 SPC PWM Classic RGB – Plexi (incl. pump) is a value-oriented water cooling pump-reservoir combo. The unit houses an RGB LED strip for some stunning looks which complements the hydraulic performance of the pump. The unit is made of the PPS-GF30, EPDM O-rings, Aluminum oxide, and graphite materials.

The unit comes in EK styling cardboard box. There is a sticker pasted on the top which extends over to the opening cover side. A symbolic picture of the unit is printed on the top right side of this sticker. Salient features are printed on the left side.

Specifications of the combo unit are printed on the extended portion of the sticker.

Opening the box will show the combo unit placed inside a transparent sheet. The black color Styrofoam is wrapped around the reservoir portion of the unit. There is another black color Styrofoam placed at the bottom. Accessories are placed under the reservoir.

The contents of the box are:

  • 1x Pump/Reservoir Combo unit
  • 1x PWM Power Cable extension
  • 5x screws
  • 5x PVC washers
  • 2x Allen Key

Taking a look at the front side of the combo unit, there are two G1/4” threaded ports with In and Out labeled on them. The outlet port is at a lower height than the inlet port. This is because the Outlet port is coming from the pump portion whereas the Intel port is in the reservoir portion. The reservoir tube is made of quality acrylic material. The core of the unit is the EK-SPC 60 water pump that uses only a 4-pin PWM FAN header for operation. The pump top is housing the anti-cyclone insert.

The specifications of the pump are:

  • Motor: Electronically commuted motor
  • Rated voltage: 12V DC
  • Power consumption: 6W
  • Maximum pressure head: 2.2m
  • Maximum system temperature: 50°C
  • Materials: PPS-GF30, EPDM O-rings, Aluminium oxide, graphite
  • Power connector: 4-Pin PWM FAN connector
  • RGB connector – 4-pin 12V ( G R B )
  • PWM duty cycle: ~ 20-100%
  • Default behavior: Runs at 100% duty cycle when no PWM feedback signal is present

The pump operates between 20% and 100% of the PWM cycle and in case of no PWM signal, it will operate at 100% speed which is a smart implementation. The user can control the speed of the pump through UEFI/BIOS or supported fan control software. The maximum pressure head is 2.2m. The power consumption is 6W which makes it highly energy efficient.

Taking a peek from this side, we can see an EK brand logo covered with a foil. The cover pattern is similar to what we saw on the EK-Supremacy Classic RGB CPU Water Block.

This side is where the RGB LED strip is installed under the stylish cover.

This side has the pump’s 4-pin power cable coming out from the center.

The In and Out ports can be seen in a close-up view. They are G1/4″ threaded.

The middle portion has 4 cutouts design sitting between the reservoir tube and the pump. The combo unit has an anti-cyclone insert. The coolant goes directly to the pump chamber through this middle portion and comes out from the pump through the dedicated Outlet port. The outlet port is designed to be lower than the inlet port. The reservoir tube was removed after completion of the testing to take pictures.

Taking a look at the base of the combo unit, there are 4 feet here with each having threads in the golden color. This design allows the user to either install the unit directly to the frame having the same dimension or install the bundled 120mm fan bracket to the combo for ease of installation. One foot’s threads are coerced and I faced a hard time installing the screw in it. There is an EK brand logo etched in the middle.

The inner side of the top lid has a gray color thick gasket.

There are two cables using the 4-pin PWM connector and a 4-pin RGB LED connector. It is using 12V,G,R,B pin format and has a 4-pin female connector. The length of the cable is 30cm. This product is compatible with popular RGB sync technologies from all major motherboard manufacturers. The arrow marking on the 4-pin LED connector is to be aligned with the +12V marking on the RGB header. The EK Water Blocks has included a PWM extension cable for the small length 4-pin PWM cable coming out from the pump housing.

EK-UNI Holder DDC Spider

Since we are talking about the pump/reservoir combo unit, it is better if we take a look at the bundled 120mm fan bracket for the combo unit. EK Water Blocks has provided EK-UNI Holder DDC Spider (120mm FAN) which is a mounting adapter plate for attaching any Laing DDC powered EK-XRES and EK-XTOP series water pumps to a standard 120mm fan mounting hole pattern in your computer chassis. Product is made from black coated steel.

The product comes in a stylish paperboard box of gray, white and pink colors. The front side of the box has EK Water Blocks brand logo in the center. Seems like the same box is being used for multiple accessories. As the only accessory text is printed on the packing box and there is sticker pasted on the backside.

Looking at the backside of the packing box has EK brand logo printed on the top left. There is a symbolic picture of the bracket printed on the right side. Compatibility of the product with the supported ones is printed at the bottom along with the contents of the box.

The contents are:

  • 1x EK-UNI Holder DDC Spider
  • 5x Bolts
  • 5x Nuts
  • 5x PVC Washers
  • 1x Allen key

The top plate has 4 mounting holes to which the combo unit is installed using the bolts and washers. The legs are finished in quite a style. The legs have 120mm fan mounting holes pattern. This product is compatible out-of-the-box with the following products:

  • EK-XRES 100 DDC MX
  • EK-XRES 100 DDC 3.1 MX

The finishing on the backside is equally well executed.

This is how the installed EK-UNI Holder DDC Spider bracket on the EK-XRES 140 SPC PWM Classic RGB – Plexi (incl. pump) will look like.

Another view of the assembled combo unit on the bracket.

EK-CoolStream Classic PE 360

EK-CoolStream Classic PE 360 medium thickness copper radiators are designed for optimal airflow throughout the radiator surface with low-density fin structure. Built for EK-Vardar 120mm high static pressure fans, these radiators are optimized for maximum heat dissipation at low and medium airflow operations which are most common in consumer scenarios.

The radiator is shipped inside a cardboard box with EK styling. There is a sticker pasted on one side which extends over to the left side of the packing box.

EK brand logo is printed on the top left side. There is a symbolic picture of the radiator on the right side. Salient features and specifications are printed in the main section.

This side of the sticker has the contents of the box printed on it.

Opening the box will show the radiator packed inside the bubble sheet for protection. There is a paperboard box in the brown color with the supplied screws in it.

The dimension of the radiator is 393 x 120 x 45mm (L x W x H). 45mm is the thickness of the radiator. Adding 25mm fans will increase the thickness to 70mm. Taking the heads of the screws in the equation the total thickness of the fully assembled radiator with the fans is approximately 72mm (rounded). It is made of copper fins, brass chambers, and steel housing. The FPI count is 13 which goes to show that fans at slow speed will still be able to push the air through to give you the high performance. The coolant flow channels are made of 90% copper (H90). The radiator can hold 210mL of the coolant. The tested pressure rating is 1 bar. Fans of 120x120x25mm are supported with UNC 6-32 thread tapping.

The housing of the radiator is made of the steel and it is quite a fingerprint catcher so look out for that. There is an EK Water Blocks logo etched on one side of the radiator housing. The other side of the radiator is identical in layout.

The near chamber has rounded finish on all sides and it bodes well with the overall design.

The far chamber has the extended G1/4” threaded ports with covers on them for the protection. As mentioned above the chambers are made of the brass as are these extended threaded ports.

EK Water Blocks has included:

  • Phillips Slotted UNC 6-32 screws (l=30mm)
  • Phillips Slotted UNC 6-32 screws (l=5mm)

40mm thick design with low FPI allows for high-performance cooling at low fan speeds due to the thicker core and low restriction making it ideal for users who wish a truly silent system.

EK-Vardar EVO RGB 120ER Fans

If there is anything which is not originally a part of the Classic series of the products from EK Water Blocks, it is probably their EK-Vardar EVO RGB 120ER fans. The EK-Vardar EVO 120ER RGB is a high-static pressure cooling fan, designed and built primarily for highest-performance computer liquid cooling systems. Beside the RGB lighting effect, the new fan also packs the Extended Range (ER) of PWM operation feature and the special Start-Stop function which brings a true 0dB experience for the absolute silent fan operation.

The Vardar family of cooling fans carries the notorious name of a type of the cold northwesterly wind blowing from the mountains down to the valleys of Macedonia. It is a type of ravine wind, enhanced by a channelling effect while blowing down through the Moravia-Vardar gap, bringing cold conditions from the north to the Thessaloniki area of Greece. Most frequent during winter, it is blowing in the rear of a depression when atmospheric pressure over Eastern Europe is higher than over the Aegean Sea.

EK Water Blocks has included 3 packs of these fans in the kit. The front side of the main packing box has an RGB version of the EK Water Blocks logo printed on the top left side. The model of the fan is printed on the top right side. There is a picture of the fan in red color lighting on the main section. 0 dB is highlighted as the fan comes with Start-Stop function depending upon the temperature of the set source.

The backside of the packing box has the specifications of the fan printed.

The left side of the packing box has EK Water Blocks RGB logo printed on the left side. The model of the fan is printed in the main section.

This side of the packing box has EK Water Blocks RGB logo on the rightmost side. The model of the fan is printed in the main section. Maximum silence with PWM settings is once again highlighted here. A serial no sticker is pasted on the left side.

The top side of the packing box has the EK Water Blocks RGB logo on the left side followed by the model information of the fan. This is the side, from where the box is opened.

The bottom side has the same layout as is on the top side.

The fan and the 4 screws are placed inside a solid transparent container.

Here are the specifications of the fan:

  • Maximum speed: 2200 RPM (+/- 10%)
  • Rated Voltage: 12V DC
  • Power Draw: 2.16W
  • LED Power Draw: ~2.4W (0.2A)
  • PWM Duty Cycle: 25-100% – ER (Extended Range)
  • Connector: 4-pin PWM header
  • Shaft bearing: Dual-Ball bearing
  • Bearing durability: 50.000 hrs @ 40°C (MTBF)
  • Dimensions: 120 x 120 x 25 mm
  • Black cable length: 50cm
  • RGB cable length: 50cm
  • RGB connector classic 4-pin (12+ R G B)
  • Max Air Flow: 77 CFM = 131 m³/h
  • Static Pressure: 3.16mm H2O = 31 Pa
  • Noise Level: 33.5 dBA

The perfectly balanced milky colored 7 fan blade design is optimized for light dispersion and high-pressure operation while maintaining the low noise profile throughout the whole operation range of the fan. Under the motor hub, there is a total of 9 LEDs. The lighting on these fans is right on the money. They are evenly diffused and are bright enough to make up your day. There are no anti-vibration rubber pads on the mounting corners. There is a distance of 105mm between any two mounting holes. New electrical design, actively cooled motor windings and the Dual-Ball bearing with 50.000 hours of lifespan (MTBF) ensures uninterrupted operation for years to come. The classic, yet effective square shape of the fan casing provides optimal performance in either pull or push regime without hydraulic losses thus ensuring the optimal cooling capacity of your liquid cooling radiators. The classic shape of the fan frame also allows easy cable routing while grouping more fans on one radiator.

The backside shows the 4-arm assembly holding the impeller and the motor section. There is a sticker pasted in the center. Vardar EVO RGB is printed on the top. The fan is designed in Slovenia and manufactured in China. One of the arms has a widened body as the power and LED cables are routed on it. EK-Vardar EVO features a unique Start-Stop function which ensures the user a true 0db noise environment. When the fan curve is set with the minimum threshold point below 25-30% PWM duty cycle (depending on motherboard model), the motor and the electronics will turn off and the fan will simply stop spinning. EK-Vardar EVO restarts operation automatically as fan control ramps up its operational duty cycle past threshold start-stop point.

There is an EK Water Blocks logo etched on this side. There are no airflow and blade spin direction arrows marking on any side of the frame.

There are two flat cables coming out of the fan. One is 4-pin PWM cable having a length of 50cm. The other is RGB LED cable with the same length. It is following the +12V,G,R,B pin format. The fan can be used with any standard 4-pin 12V RGB controller or any of popular RGB sync technologies from all major motherboard manufacturers. The arrow marking on the 4-pin LED connector is to be aligned with the +12V marking on the RGB header.

EK-Cable Y-Splitter 3-Fan PWM

EK Water Block has included an EK-Cable Y-Splitter 3-Fan PWM which allows the user to connect 3 PWM/DC fans to it and control all the connected fans from one fan header or the controller. Please note RPM sensing will only work for one fan when using this cable.

The cables are sleeved with a total length of 100mm. One connector has 4-pins while the other two have 3-pins. This is standard implementation on the Y-splitters as only one cable is needed for PWM signal. The cable is RoHS compliant.

EK-STC Classic 10/13 Compression Fittings

EK Water Blocks has included 6x EK-STC Classic 10/13 compression fittings in the kit. These are nickel color version. These are used with flexible soft tubing. With a high-quality finish, the EK-STC Classic Fittings are an aesthetically appealing and secure option for custom loop liquid cooling system. A non-intrusive, minimalistic look, with NO added branding at all to reduce the pricing.

The locking ring is compressing the tubing wall underneath the ring, and this prevents the flexible tube from being pulled off the barb of the fitting. The barb and the ring are made of CNC machined brass and the seal is made quality rubber O-rings. The fitting barb surface is smooth and has no adequate gripping surface, but the inside of the bard is socketed with an 8mm hex Allen key pattern. It’s highly recommended to use an Allen Key 8mm to prevent skin damage to the fingertips while installing the fitting. Please, be advised not to use excessive force when attaching fitting barbs using Allen Key 8mm in order to prevent damage to other liquid cooling products!

Here are the specifications of the fittings:

  • Thread: G1/4″ BSP; 4.5mm male thread length
  • Supported tube: 10 / 13mm ID / OD – (3/8″ / 1/2″ ID / OD)
  • Outer diameter of a fitting: 19mm
  • Installed height: 14.5mm
  • Compatible tubing: PVC, EPDM, Norprene, silicone, most types of flexible tube

Allen Key

EK Water Blocks has included an 8mm Allen key in the kit following the DIN 911 standard. It is used to fit the EK-ACF compression fittings of 10/13 and 10/16mm.

EK-CryoFuel

EK Water Blocks has included their 100ml of EK-CryoFuel Clear Concentrate in the kit.

EK-CryoFuel contains synergistic corrosion inhibitors to protect metals commonly found in computer liquid cooling systems. It has been tested in accordance with BS5117 (ASTM D1384) and found to meet corrosion standards for copper, brass, aluminum and stainless steel. This coolant also contains scale and biological inhibitors to help prevent fouling – thus promoting long operational life and high thermal efficiency.

The bottling date is printed on the top cover along with the instructions on how to open the cover. All EK-CryoFuel mixtures are biodegradable (90% in a period of 10 days) and will not remain in the environment or cause any bioaccumulation. EK-CryoFuel offers a 2-year shelf life from the date of bottling.

Here are the characteristics of the EK-CryoFuel:

  • Low electrical conductivity
  • Biological growth inhibition
  • Corrosion protection according to BS5117 (ASTM D1384) standards
  • High quality concentrated pigments for intense, vivid and saturated colors
  • Compatible with Acrylic, PETG, POM Acetal, rubber (NBR, EPDM, and Norprene) materials
  • Eco-friendly (90% biodegradable in 10 days)
  • RoHS compliant
  • 2-year shelf time after bottling

Here are the specifications of the EK-CryoFuel:

  • Color: Clear (transparent)
  • Content: 100 mL
  • Electrical Conductivity (mS/cm): 1,04 ±10%
  • UV Reactive: No
  • Neutral pH: 6 – 8
  • Decomposition temperature: >65°C (>150°F)*
  • Recommended use temperature range: 5- to 60°C (40- to 140°F)

The user is required to mix the concentrate in 900ml of distilled water to prepare the 1-liter coolant for the loop.

EK-DuraClear

EK Water Blocks has included 2 meters of EK-DuraClear flexible soft tubing. The tubing is packing free which is another measure to reduce the price.

The EK-DuraClear structure is formulated to enable it to perform in a wide range of closed-loop cooling systems with the main feature of preventing any kind of bacterial adhesion which is achieved with very smooth inner walls. Another important feature is the flexibility and good bend ratio without kinks.

Here are the general features of the EK-DuraClear:

  • Highly durable
  • Transparent
  • UV Resistant
  • Logo Free (no print on tube)
  • Inner Wall resilience
  • Environmentally responsible, safe and non-toxic product

Here are the specifications:

  • Material: PVC
  • Color: Clear, not UV-reactive (resistant to UVA & UVB)
  • Length: 3 meters
  • Operating temperature range: -20°C to 80°C
  • DEHP Free
  • Phthalate Free
  • California’s Prop 65 compliant
  • FDA Approved ingredients
  • ROHS Compliant PVC

Here are the dimensions:

– Internal diameter (ID): 9,5 mm (3/8″)

– Outer diameter (OD): 12,7 mm (1/2″)

EK-RGB 4-Way Splitter Cable

The EK-KIT Classic RGB P360 has a total of 5 RGB LED devices. In order for the user’s convenience EK Water Blocks has included two packs of their EK-RGB 4-Way Splitter Cable. This allows users to connect up to four RGB products to one RGB source so that they can build an aesthetically beautiful lighting system. It features standard 4-pin RGB headers and the male-male connector pins are also included in the packaging. The splitter cable can be used with any standard 4-pin 12V RGB controller or any of popular RGB sync technologies from all major motherboard manufacturers. The RGB connector is using +12V,G,R,B pin format.

The cable and the connector pins are provided in a transparent container with a paper board in it. The model of the cable is printed on the top. The length of the cable including the split cables length is pictorially printed on the right side. Technical specifications and the contents are printed on the left side.

The user can see the contents of the pack from this side. The maximum total cable length is 300mm +/- 5mm and that of split cables is 135mm +/- 5mm.

The arrow marking on the 4-pin LED connector is to be aligned with the +12V marking on the RGB header.

A glance on the 4-pin connectors of the cable and the splitter cables.

EK-Cable Pump Testing Adapter

EK-Cable Pump testing adapter is a simple adapter cable for connecting any liquid cooling pump (with 4-pin fan header) or computer cooling fan with SATA power cable. This adapter is recommended to be used only for testing purposes while leak-testing your loop and is intended to be connected directly to PSU, without the need for powering up the entire system. The cable is approximately 15cm long.

EK-ATX Bridging Plug

EK Water Blocks has included an ATX bridge plug which is a 24-pin connector with green and black wires bridged. This bridging is needed to power on the PSU. This connector is connected to the 24-pin ATX power connector of the PSU to power it up without using the motherboard. This is handy when you are leak testing the loop.

A hint on how to use the ATX bridge connector.

Assembly and Installation

The installation of the EK-KIT Classic RGB P360 is relatively a simple task. Here are some pointers before you venture into the custom loop arena:

  • Know your PC Chassis from A-Z particularly giving due consideration the radiator support on the front, and top in particular.
  • Give due consideration to the maximum thickness or displacement support from the chassis from the top side and on the front side. For example, with EK-Vardar EVO RGB 120ER fans installed on the EK-CoolStream Classic PE360 radiator the total thickness including the screws’ heads is approximately 72mm. This much thickness is not supported in Cooler Master H500P Mesh on the top. But, this much thick assembly is supported on the front side of the same chassis. This is important as installing the assembly on the front vs the top have different loop design considerations.
  • If your chassis only supports 240mm radiator then take a look at EK-KIT Classic RGB P240/S240.
  • Order of the loop does not matter though EK Water Blocks has suggested making the order in this sequence: Pump-Radiator-Water Block-Reservoir.
  • The EK-Supremacy Classic RGB CPU Water Block and EK-XRES 140 SPC have dedicated Inlet and Outlet ports. Make sure to use them in that sequence particularly on the Reservoir/Pump combo as the outlet port on this unit is coming from the pump though altering the In/Out on the water block may have little to no effect. Nothing wrong in playing by the book!
  • Never run your pump dry as it may get damaged which may not be covered in the warranty.
  • In general, better go through the entire manual beforehand and in case there is any doubt, watch the tutorial videos.
  • It is always better to run the loop for leak testing and bleeding without powering on the PC. You can do that by using the bundled ATX bridge which is connected to the 24-pin ATX connector of the PSU. Use paper towels under the blocks as they will come handy in case of leakage.

I started off by installing the CPU Water block. EK Water Blocks has suggested to take out the motherboard from the chassis if it is already installed. There are gasket and backplate provided in the box of the block.

There is an inner layer of the gasket which needs to be removed for the Intel LGA-115x sockets. Remove that inner layer and carefully place the gasket around the ILM socket area on the backside of the motherboard. Consult manual for the proper orientation of the gasket. Now place the bracket on the gasket such as the ribbed side is facing opposite to the motherboard and that its holes are aligned with the tips of the screws on the ILM socket. Keep your one hand on the backplate so that it does not move from its current position.

Now, take the Intel LGA-115x thumb screws from the block’s packing box. They have more length than the other 4 thumb screws which are for the Intel LGA-20xx socket. Place the PVC washers under each thumb screw and pass each through the mounting holes around the CPU socket from the front side of the motherboard. Hand-tight them till the threads run out. Go diagonally or in a cross pattern as this will be convenient for you. As soon as two thumb screws are installed in a cross pattern you don’t need to hold the backplate any further.

Apply the thermal paste on the IHS of the CPU. Remove the warning sticker from the base and place the block on the CPU by aligning the holes on the Intel bracket (pre-installed on the block) with the threaded side of the thumbscrews. Once place, insert the coiled springs on each of the thumbscrews.

Now, place the thumb nuts on top of the coiled spring loaded thumb screws and start hand tightening them. Again, go in a cross pattern for even pressure. You don’t need to use any tool for this installation.

Install the compression fittings using the bundled 8mm Allen Key. Remove the fitting ring from the fittings before. Make sure to use the 8mm Allen Key as the threads on these fitting barbs are sharp and may damage your skin. Don’t overtighten them. Do it until the gasket underneath is compressed and you run out of the threads.

Decide upon the location of the radiator and fans. Install the radiator and the fans. Then install the pump/reservoir combo unit. You are almost done.

Decide upon the length of the tube run between any two fittings. The length should be enough to avoid kinking and bending. You may have to use a bit of force to mount the tube on the compression fitting alternatively you can use the heat gun to make the tips of the tube softer before installation. That is it. Your loop is ready. Now, take a bottle and pour 900ml of distilled water in it. Mix it with the EK-CryoFuel concentrate bottle which is provided in the packing box. This will give you a liter of coolant for your entire loop. Connect the Pump adapter cable to the pump’s 4-pin PWM connector and the SATA connector to the PSU cable. Take the top lid or cover off from the reservoir and start pouring the coolant in it. Fill it up till the mark which is roughly 2cm from the top. Now, start the PSU. It will only power the pump and pump will start filling the loop with the coolant. As soon as the coolant level drops in the reservoir, power off the PSU. Never let the pump run dry! Never! Repeat the process until the loop is filled with the coolant and the reservoir is filled as well. Let it run (without powering the PC) for some time to check for the leakage and bleeding. You may have to carefully tilt the chassis around as this will help in removing the bubbles.

You will have to daisy chain the RGB LED cables using the bundled 4-way LED splitter cable and connect this cable to the 12V lighting header(s) of your motherboard. Connect the power cables of the fans to the Y-splitter cable and connect the Y-splitter cable to the CPU fan header or any other PWM fan header. Better connect the PWM power cable of the pump to the Water Pump designated header on your motherboard. You can use any 4-pin header though. Make sure to control the PWM signaling from the UEFI/BIOS.

Here are some pictures of the test build:

Testing

Following configuration was used to test the EK-KIT Classic RGB P360:

  • Intel i7 8700k (5.0GHz)
  • Asus ROG Strix Z390-E Gaming Motherboard
  • Corsair Vengeance RGB Pro 16GB @ 3200MHz
  • Samsung PM961 256GB NVMe SSD
  • Antec HCP1300 PSU
  • Cooler Master H500P Mesh

Here is the configuration table:

ParameterSetting/Value
VCore1.310V Manual
All Cores Synced5.0GHz
Turbo BoostDisabled
C-StatesDisabled
Speed SteppingDisabled
Thermal PasteNoctua NT-H1
Stress Software (CPU+Cache+FPU)AIDA64 Extreme 5.99
Stress test run60 minutes
System Idling Time15 minutes
Pump Speed100%
Fans Speed100%

 

I am using Noctua thermal paste for testing of all the coolers and kits. The use of the same thermal paste will ensure the standardization and mitigate any benefit that may come using the bundled thermal paste. The Alphacool kit was also tested using the Noctua NT-H1 thermal paste. Following tests results are included:

  • Pump’s PWM Range
  • Pump’s Flow Rate
  • Fans’ PWM Range
  • Fans’ Airflow
  • Thermal Performance

Other coolers and kit(s) included in the graph are:

  • Alphacool Eissturm Hurricane 360 Copper
  • Asus ROG Ryujin 360
  • Asus ROG Ryuo 240
  • Noctua NH-D15

The Alphacool kit and other coolers have been re-tested for this content and graph are updated. Many peeps have asked for a comparison between custom loop versus All-In-One and high-end CPU Air Cooler. The Asus ROG Ryujin 360 and Asus ROG Ryuo 240 are toppers in their respective category in our testing plus they carry a premium charge which is very why they are included for the testing. Noctua NH-D15 was an obvious choice for a premium air cooler.

Let’s start taking a look at each result one by one.

The PWM range for the Pump is from 20% to 100%. The pump can’t go below 20%. The PWM range was tested from within the UEFI. On each PWM cycle mentioned in percentage, the pump’s speed in RPM was also monitored. There was little to no fluctuation in the pump’s speed at a given PWM cycle. The maximum speed as reported in the UEFI at 100% PWM cycle was 2500 RPM.

The pump’s flow rate was tested using the Thermaltake Pacific TF1 meter. The flow rate was measured across the PWM range as can be seen in the graph. For this testing, the flow meter was installed between the pump and the reservoir with the following configuration: Pump-TF1-Reservoir. The maximum flow rate was 320 L/H. This test was done without any block or radiator in the loop. Adding components in the loop will reduce the flow rate as more resistance is added to the flow.

EK-Vardar EVO RGB 120ER fan’s speed was tested across the PWM range from within the UEFI. Below 30% PWM cycle the fan would simply stop spinning. It is better to set the PWM parameters manually as per the requirement. The fan’s maximum speed was 2198 which validates the specification. Another key aspect is that the 80% PWM cycle is the sweet spot for these fans as they are almost silent at this level. At 90% one can hear these fans but still, they are not that loud but at 100% speed they are loud.

The airflow of the fan was tested using the PerfectPrime WD9819 Anemometer. The maximum airflow comes out to be 83 CFM.

Coming to the actual thing which is the thermal performance of the kit, the i7 8700k was set at 5.0GHz and stress test was run using AIDA64 5.99 for an hour. We are reporting delta temperature in °C in the graphs as testing is done in an uncontrolled environment. The EK-KIT Classic RGB P360 has performed superbly with 44.97°C delta temperature under stress test.

Acoustic

I am not using a sound meter to measure the noise level of the given system as there are certain environmental noises that are beyond control and would impact the overall reading. But based on my experience in testing the fans and coolers, I can say for sure that with fans at 80-90% of the PWM cycle and pump at full speed, the system was not audible. Noise-to-performance (judgment) ratio is definitely good with the EK-KIT Classic RGB P360.

Kit Price vs Individual Components’ Price

The EK-KIT Classic RGB P360 is listed at $319 at the time of the review. EK Water Blocks has mentioned that every component of the kit can be purchased separately from their shop under the Classic lineup. This gave me an idea to make a cart of every single component or near match (as some are pre-assembled) and check the cart’s total price against the listed price of the kit.

The cart’s price comes to $405.91 without tax. $319 vs $405! Who is the winner? Self-Explanatory though EK Water Blocks will be an ultimate winner! Pun intended.

Conclusion

EK Water Blocks with their Classic series of the water cooling products are targeting the budget-conscious users who would like to try custom loop benefits without breaking the wallet (Comparatively). EK Water Blocks is a premium brand offering custom loop products in high quality backed by superb customer service (Saying this from my personal experience, not as a reviewer). EK Water Blocks has released 4 EK-KITs in their Classic line up. These kits are aimed at the new users and obviously the budget-conscious users. Kits come with everything a user would need to assemble a full custom loop build without graphics card water block. These kits start at $269 and go to $319. There are four versions in this lineup:

The S series has a slim radiator whereas the P series has a slim-dual radiator. 360 versions allow the user to expand the kit by adding GPU blocks with overclocking headroom. We have tested their EK-KIT Classic RGB P360. This kit includes:

  • Universal CPU water block: EK-Supremacy Classic RGB – Nickel + Plexi (incl. thermal paste)
  • Radiator: EK-CoolStream Classic PE 360 (Slim Dual)
  • Radiator size: 393 x 120 x 45mm (L x W x H)
  • Radiator fan: EK-Vardar F4-120ER RGB (500-2200rpm) (3pcs)
  • Water pump-reservoir combo: EK-XRES 140 SPC PWM Classic RGB – Plexi (incl. pump)
  • Tubing: EK-DuraClear 9,5/12,7mm (3/8” – 1/2”) (2 meters)
  • Compression fittings: EK-STC Classic 10/13 (3/8” – 1/2”) – G1/4 Nickel (6 pcs)
  • Coolant concentrate: EK-CryoFuel Clear rev.2 (100mL; for 1L of coolant)
  • EK-UNI Pump Bracket (120mm FAN)
  • Y-cable splitter: EK-Cable Y-Splitter 2-Way Fan PWM (10cm)
  • EK PWM Cable Extender 500mm
  • EK-Cable Pump testing adapter
  • ATX Bridging Plug
  • RGB 4-Way Splitter Cable
  • Allen Key 8mm

The cooling engine of the kit is based on tweaked Supremacy block with optimized fin structure designed to offer less resistance to the coolant flow. This enables the block to be used with weaker pumps without compromising the performance. The EK-Supremacy Classic RGB CPU Water Block comes with Intel mounting bracket pre-installed for LGA-115x and 20xx sockets. EK Water Blocks has provided AMD Mounting Classic kit as well in the kit. The block has two dedicated inlet/outlet G1/4” threaded ports.

The EK-KIT Classic RGB P360 comes with EK-XRES 140 SPC PWM Classic RGB – Plexi including the pump reservoir combo unit. The pump is SPC-60. The pump operates between 20% and 100% of the PWM cycle and in case of no PWM signal, it will operate at 100% speed. The maximum pressure head is 2.2m. The power consumption is 6W which makes it highly energy efficient. The product page of the combo unit lists the flow rate of the pump to be 250 L/H whereas the manual says this pump can do above 400 L/H. The flow rate will come down with the addition of more components in the loop. In our testing, the maximum flow rate was 320 L/H without any component in the loop. In order to install the unit in the chassis, EK Water Blocks has included EK-UNI Pump Bracket DDC Spider in 120mm fan mount spacing. The pump top has two dedicated inlet/outlet G1/4” threaded ports.

To remove the heat from the loop, there is an EK-CoolStream PE 360 radiator coupled with three EK-Vardar EVO RGB 120ER fans. These are high static pressure fans optimized for radiator and PC Case cooling purpose. The radiator has low FPI design which helps in running the fans at lower speed without compromising the thermal performance much. The radiator has two extended G1/4” threaded ports. Each EK-Vardar fan has 9 RGB LEDs in the motor hub to create one heck of a stunning look. The maximum speed is 2200 RPM (+/- 10%) at a rated voltage of 12V DC using power draw of 2.16W. The PWM Duty Cycle is 25-100% -Extended Range with Stop-Start feature. The maximum airflow is 77 CFM with static pressure rating of 3.16 mmH₂). The noise level rating is 33.5 dB(A). Each fan has two 50cm flat cables. One is 4-pin PWM cable and the other is 4-pin RGB cable.

EK Water Blocks has provided 6x EK-STC Classic 10/13 (3/8” – 1/2”) – G1/4 Nickel compression fittings. They have also included 8mm Allen key as the barb head of these fittings has socket for this purpose. The threads on these fittings are sharp and may damage your skin so it is highly recommended to install/remove these fittings using the 8mm Allen key. EK Water Blocks has included 2 meters of their premium EK-DuraClear flexible soft tubing having ID/OD of 9,5/12,7mm (3/8” – 1/2”). They have also bundled EL-CryoFuel 100ml Clear Concentrate rev 2.0 which the user is required to mix with 900ml distilled water for 1-liter coolant formulation.

EK Water Blocks has included an ATX bridging plug which allows the user to fill and leak test the loop without powering on the entire PC. They have included EK-Cable Y-Splitter 3-Way Fan PWM (10cm) which allows the user to connect all three fans to a single fan header. There is EK-Cable Pump testing adapter as well which allows the user to connect the pump power cable directly to the PSU SATA connector. There are two packs of the RGB 4-Way Splitter Cable. The user can daisy chain the RGB devices using these splitter cables and connect them to an RGB lighting header of the motherboard. The RGB lighting solution on EK-KIT Classic RGB P360 is using +12V,G,R,B pin format and they are compatible with Asus AURA Sync, ASRock Polychrome, Gigabyte RGB Fusion 2.0, and MSI Mystic Lighting Sync 12V lighting headers. Make sure to align the arrow symbol on the connector cables to the 12V pin of the lighting header.

The EK-KIT Classic RGB P360 is listed at $319 at the time of the review and comes with 2 years of limited warranty. We put the EK-KIT Classic RGB P360 on the Intel i7 8700k with all cores set to 5.0GHz and run the stress test for an hour. The performance of the kit is superb as the delta temperature comes to 44.97°C. There was not a significant difference in thermal performance when the fans were set to operate between 80-90% of the PWM cycle. But this resulted in more silent operations. The kit is definitely giving you a better noise-to-performance ratio. Adding the prices of the individual components of the loop we get a bar of $405 whereas this complete kit is listed at $319. With this level of the performance and this price, the EK-KIT Classic RGB P360 is giving a better value of your bucks. You can add GPU block in the EK-KIT Classic RGB P360 without needing another radiator. Not to mention the RGB lighting on this kit is right on the money and looks that good in person. It is no surprise that EK-KIT Classic RGB P360 has won our Performance Award and comes recommended by us.

Many thanks go out to EKWB for sending in their EK-KIT Classic RGB P360 for this review!