EK is a stalwart in the liquid cooling business and a well-known brand among overclocking enthusiasts. The company's efforts have mostly been focused on custom loops and modular kits. That just changed. The new EK-AIO family is a line of proper all-in-one (AIO) liquid coolers for CPUs, and they will go up against crowded field of competitors.
The EK-AIO family appears to be a successor to the Phoenix series, which EK previously billed as an AIO line as well. Technically they are AIO designs, though they are also modular solutions—you would select a "core module" (radiator and pump assembly) and a separate CPU block, then attach them.
These new AIO coolers are different. They're like other AIO coolers in the market, in that they come fully assembled (or "plug-and-play," as EK says) with a universal CPU block. As with most AIO coolers, hardware is included to support a bunch of sockets, including Intel LGA 1150, 1151, 1155, 1156, 1366, 2011, 2011-3, and 2066, and AMD AM4, AM3+, AM3, AM2, FM2+, FM2, and FM1. So other than Threadripper sockets, pretty much any CPU built in the past decade or more.
Judging solely by the images/renders, the EK-AIO series is sleeker looking than the Phoenix series. There's no break in the lines connecting the CPU block to the radiator, because these are not modular coolers, and the RGB lighting shines on both the fans and CPU block assembly.
Users can choose from three different coolers: EK-AIO 120 D-RGB, 240 D-RGB, and 360 D-RGB. The number denotes the radiator size (120mm, 240mm, and 360mm), with one to three high-static pressure Vardar fans included.
"The perfectly balanced milky colored 7-blade rotor 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 are a total of 9 addressable D-RGB LEDs ensuring perfect light diffusion at broad daylight as well," EK says.
According to EK, the 120 D-RGB is suitable for small form factor PCs where space is limited, and can accommodate "any mainstream processor" at basic settings. Meanwhile, the 240 D-RGB is a bigger cooler with "enough headroom for overclocking," and the 360 D-RGB can handle "even the toughest processors" available.
Those are relatively vague descriptors, and I hope we get these in for review to see how they actually perform. I'm optimistic, given EK's track record.
For those who want to take the jump without waiting for reviews, all three coolers are available to order now with a 10 percent introductory discount. Pricing works out as follows:
- EK-AIO 360 D-RGB—$139.99 (down from $154.99)
- EK-AIO 240 D-RGB—$107.99 (down from $119.99)
- EK-AIO 120 D-RGB—$80.99 (down from $89.99)
One weird quirk though—a couple of other editors are seeing higher pricing on the product pages than what's listed on the landing page. For example, the 360 D-RGB product page reflects a $170.18 discounted price and $189.09 MSRP for both Jarred and Corbin, while Joanna and myself both see the cheaper pricing outlined above. I also noticed that one of the landing pages says "Phoenix" in the URL (this one).
My hunch is that the cheaper pricing is correct, and there's something wonky going on causing Phoenix price points to display on the new EK-AIO coolers for some people, but there does not appear to be a rhyme or reason—it's not regional as far as I can tell. I've reached out to EK for clarification and will update this article when I hear back.
As to availability, the coolers will begin shipping on February 28, 2020. Each one is backed by a 5-year warranty. However, even if you're taking a leap of faith on performance, I would not advise completing a purchase if you're seeing the higher prices.