Custom liquid-cooling systems can deliver amazing looks and unbeatable cooling performance, but considering all the variables of such a system is tricky and the costs of all those individual parts add up quickly. EK Water Blocks' EK-MLC Phoenix line of pre-filled waterblocks and radiator-pump units lets liquid-cooling fanatics assemble a custom loop tailored to their systems without spilling coolant, purging air out of lines, or worrying about fitting tightness.
The ease-of-use of EK's Phoenix system stems from the company's quick-disconnect couplings. These fittings let users add components to a loop without having to drain and refill coolant. The Phoenix system's pump and radiator are combined into a single unit that serves as the foundation for the rest of the loop. Builders can then add the combination of CPU and graphics-card water blocks needed to complete the system. All Phoenix components have relatively short pre-mounted inlet and outlet tubes that can connect to other parts in the family.
EK sells five different sizes of Phoenix radiator, from 120-mm and 140-mm units all the way up to a plus-size 360-mm model. All the units are based on the company's CoolStream products and come with enough of EK's Vardar Evo fans to cover one side of the radiator. An integrated fan splitter on the radiator module makes wiring neater and lets users power the pump and the fans with a single power connector.
The company offers two different CPU blocks for Phoenix loops at the moment. Most buyers will probably pick the Intel LGA 115x and LGA 20xx block, but EK also offers a model designed to mount atop AMD's mighty Threadripper CPU in its enormous TR4 socket. The company says the bigger block will also work with AMD Socket SP3 processors like Epyc server CPUs.
The Phonenix system also offers 13 different nickel-plated water blocks for liquid-cooling the GPU, memory, and voltage-regulation circuits on high-performance graphics cards. Ten of those blocks are also available with transparent acetal covers. The launch lineup of graphics water blocks will fit cards based on Nvidia's GP102 and GP104 graphics chips, as well as AMD's Radeon RX Vega graphics cards. The company says that it will add additional graphics card water blocks in the future. The nickel-and-acetal blocks further include holes for mounting 3-mm LEDs.
EK expects Phoenix components to start shipping on December 1. The pump-and-radiator modules range in price from $150 for the 120-mm unit to $195 for a 360-mm radiator. The CPU block for AMD AM4 and Intel sockets costs $80, and the lower-volume TR4 block curiously bears a lower asking price of $70. Graphics cards blocks are priced from $136 to $156. The company backs all EK-MLC Phoenix components with a two-year warranty.