Building a custom liquid cooling solution requires time and money, things that not every enthusiast has. But the benefits of liquid cooling are accessible to many users thanks to the existence of AIO liquid coolers. As a matter of fact, they have gotten so popular over the years that nowadays one can find specialized units on the market for cooling graphics card as well. But perhaps the biggest drawback with closed loop liquid coolers is the lack of expandability. If the plan is to cool both the processor and the graphics, the user would need to buy two different AIO liquid coolers to accomplish this task. In the end, this results in spending more money and ultimately requiring more space inside the computer case to accommodate both units.
The ideal situation would be to invest in a single AIO liquid cooler that gives the user the option for expansion. That’s where the new EKWB Predator 360 comes to mind. It’s a 360mm liquid cooling unit that is capable of cooling the processor and graphics card simultaneously. But the most innovative feature is the Quick Disconnect Connector (QDC) that is built into the hoses that allows users to expand their loop without having to drain the whole system.
Liquid Cooling Poseidon Graphics Cards The Poseidon graphics cards are probably the easiest models to liquid cool because they already come with an integrated waterblock. The user isn’t required to buy and install an aftermarket waterblock to get it up and running. The model used in this demonstration is ASUS’s latest GTX 980 Ti Poseidon.
The GTX 980 Ti Poseidon utilizes 2 industry standard G1/4” threaded ports making it compatible with the EKWB Predator 360. In order to connect the graphics card to the AIO unit, it is necessary to order the expansion kit from the EKWB store. The expansion kit comes in the form of 2 EK-AF Angled 90° G1/4" Nickel adapter fittings, 2 EK-ACF 10/16mm Nickel fittings and the EK-Tube ZMT Matte Black 15.9/9.5mm that contains the QDC.
Installation is pretty much straightforward. The first step is to connect both tubes to the GTX 980 Ti Poseidon’s threaded ports by screwing in the EK-AF Angled 90° G1/4” fittings. This can be done inside or outside the case.
Once the tubes are connected to the GTX 980 Ti Poseidon and the graphics card is installed inside the case, the next step is to connect the tubes to the Predator 360. To do so, the user must locate the connector button to release the connectors. Then all that is left to do is insert the male connector from the Predator 360 into the female connector on the GTX 980 Ti Poseidon and vice versa.
This is how the final result looks like. The entire installation process requires little to no effort and can be done within a few minutes.
Liquid Cooling Standard ASUS Graphics Cards Integrating the other ASUS models to the Predator 360 will require a little more work. Overall, the steps are identical. The only difference is that the user must remove the stock heatsink and install the aftermarket waterblock. EKWB sells full cover waterblocks for most of the ASUS models. A handy Cooling Configurator is available for users to choose an adequate waterblock for the model that they own. The graphics card used in this demonstration is the ASUS Strix GTX 980 along with the EKWB Nickel waterblock.
At the moment of purchase, EKWB gives the user the option to have the waterblock pre-filled and equipped with the QDC making it ready to connect to the Predator 360. However, this service requires a small fee but is very practical for users who want the easiest installation possible.
Removing the stock heatsink and installing a waterblock can be overwhelming and scary at first. So it’s recommended to read the installation manual a few times before tackling the task. In a nutshell, the procedure consists of:
Removing the screws to take off the stock heatsink
Cleaning the GPU
Applying fresh thermal compound to the GPU and thermal pads on the chips
Attaching the waterblock to the graphics and tightening screws
With the Strix GTX 980 installed into the case, the user will proceed to release the connectors using the special button. Then connect the tubes from the graphics card to the AIO unit and the other way around.
While the installation process for non-Poseidon models might take a little longer to carry out, the benefits certainly outweigh the work.
How Does It Perform? Under liquid cooling, the graphics cards perform slightly better at stock and at overclocked speed. But given the less than 1% difference, the results can be considered within the margin of error between each benchmark run.
The biggest gain from liquid cooling the graphics card is the significant reduction in GPU temperature. Typically, lower temperatures result in longer device life as well as more margin for overclocking. With sufficient cooling, the temperature is removed from the overclocking equation. The end result comes down to the quality of the chip.
On stock cooling, the fans are in charge of maintaining the operating temperature as low as possible. But when a heavy workload is present, the fans have to spin faster than normal generating more unpleasant noise. With liquid cooling, the noise is eliminated. In the case of the Poseidon models that can function on both cooling methods, the speed for the fans decreases significantly when using liquid cooling.
I will done exactly that with Pascal. EKWB Predator 360 CPU+GPU. I would like from parts but that's max I can afford and temps are fine for gaming. But this Poseidon is very cool because you don't need to pay GPU waterblock, only to connect him on EKWB Predator.
At the moment no faster for installation, easier and better for beginners CPU-GPU watercooling solutions than EKWB Predator + Poseidon. It's ideal for people who build first time loop. Only need 20-30 euro more investment in two 45 angled adapters for CPU, shine quick dicsonnect and maybe 2-3 90 adapters. And tubes could look really nice. I mostly like clear with red liquid, black and red tubes. Strix is excellent with Predator as well because she don't need to be overclocked at all, same as Matrix and Matrix Gold. Only need investment in GPU waterblock.
i cant find the kit either. they dont offer the qdc connector separately, so we cant select the parts individually. right now im using the predator 360 with a monoblock on the r5e and i have connected a second radiator to it. i also bought a prefilled fullblock for my 980ti which has the "expansion kit" prefilled installed, so its just plug and play. im propably just selling the card once the pascal equivalent to a 980ti poseidon gets released and use the kit for it.
The QDC Kit is not available in the EKWB store at this moment. But it can be purchased separately if you request for it. Please send them an email at email@example.com and they will gladly send you a quote for the QDC kit. 🙂
Excellent topic... Graphic card GTX980Ti and CPU are on 360mm radiator. CPU is Haswell-EP or Skylake EKWB Predator is so cool but I would change him a lot.
10/13mm fittings. Primoflex LRT Onyx Black, 2x EK AF 45 Angled Nickel and 2x 90 Angled just in case and off course two Koolance Quick Disconnect Couplings. Without discussion this simply this is best cooler for CPU, GPU on market. I look on Predator as liquid cooler for Processor and Graphic card.
I really can't remember before how many years I played games in complete silence. Many years on reference graphics, than fabric overlocked and all of them produce heat and air cooler can't silently to cool them down. Nothing best when you play 2h and your CPU and GPU are not over 55-56C and you can't hear fans because they spin on 1500RPM.