For EK-MLC Phoenix series units | 2nd revision, 2018
Pre-filled Modular Liquid Cooling
EK-MLC PHOENIX
USER GUIDE
EK Water Blocks bears the name of its founder Edvard König, who
started experimenting with liquid cooling in 1999. From the humble
beginnings in the early years of the previous decade, the company grew
steadily to become a global premium liquid cooling gear manufacturer.
Today, EKWB offers a complete range of products for liquid cooling,
from a renowned Supremacy line of CPU water blocks, to a wide range
of CoolStream radiators, from in-house developed Vardar High pressure
fans, to market-proven DDC and SPC series of liquid cooling pumps and
thus provides overclocking enthusiasts and PC builders with the best of
what the market can offer. Phoenix all-in-one Modular Liquid Cooling
solution is the next step to bring extreme liquid cooling performance in
the hands of dedicated gamers and PC enthusiasts around the world.
Welcome to EK-World!
Safety precautions
1.Keep and store the product away from the reach of children.
2.Check the component list and condition of the product before installation.
If there is any problem, contact the shop where you have purchased the
product to get a replacement or refund.
3.EKWB d.o.o. is not responsible for any damages due to external causes,
including but not limited to, improper use, problems with electrical power,
accident, neglect, alteration, repair, improper installation and improper testing.
4.CPU, GPU and motherboard are subject to damage if the products are
incorrectly installed.
5.This product is All-In-One Modular liquid cooling solution. Disassembling it
and combining with parts, other than EK Water Blocks products, may lead
to warranty loss.
6.Product warranty period is 24 months.
/1/
TABLE OF CONTENT
SCOPE OF DELIVERY
REQUIRED TOOLS
VIDEO INSTALLATION GUIDES
3
3
3
QUICK INSTALLATION GUIDE
RADIATOR SPACE CONSTRAINT REQUIREMENTS
EK-MLC PHOENIX 120
EK-MLC PHOENIX 240
EK-MLC PHOENIX 360
EK-MLC PHOENIX 140
EK-MLC PHOENIX 280
UNIT ORIENTATION LIMITATIONS
EK-MLC PHOENIX QDC CONNECTIONS GUIDE
ELECTRICAL CONNECTIONS
CONNECTING THE HUB TO THE POWER SUPLY
CONNEECTING THE HUB TO THE MOTHERBOARD REMOVING THE EXPANSION BALLOON
INSTALLING THE PUMP/FAN/RADIATOR UNIT
INSTALLING THE COOLING MODULES
GENERAL INFORMATION ON WATERBLOCK COMPATIBILITY
INSTALLING THE CPU COOLING MODULE
LGA-2011(-3) SOCKET MOTHERBOARDS
LGA-115X SOCKET MOTHERBOARDS
AM4 SOCKET MOTHERBOARDS
CONNECTING THE LED
CONNECTING THE MODULES WITH QDC
FILLING UP THE SYSTEM
MAINTENANCE
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
TROUBLESHOOTING
IN CASE OF CPU OVERHEATING
THE COOLER IS TOO LOUD
/2/
4
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
10
10
10
11
12
13
14
15
15
16
19
22
22
25
27
27
30
30
31
GENERAL LIQUID COOLING PARTS CLEANING GUIDE
PREVENTIVE STEPS
PART SPECIFICATION LIST
PUMP
FAN SPLITTER HUB
FANS
THERMAL GREASE
TUBING
SUPPORT AND SERVICE
SOCIAL MEDIA
31
32
33
33
33
35
35
35
38
38
SCOPE OF DELIVERY
RAD unit
CPU unit
All-in-one expandable liquid cooling unit
GPU unit
CPU liquid cooling unit
CPU
Backplate
mechanism
CPU Mounting mechanism
Thermal
grease
EK-MLC Phoenix (incl. QDC)
GPU liquid cooling unit
120
240
360
140
280
Installation manual
REQUIRED TOOLS
Phillips-head screwdriver
GPU Mounting
mechanism
Thermal
grease
VIDEO INSTALLATION GUIDES
Our official YouTube channel features
video installation guides, that can help you
with Phoenix installation. Scan the QR
code to visit our YouTube channel.
/3/
RADIATOR SPACE CONSTRAINT REQUIREMENTS
EK-MLC PHOENIX 120
68 mm (2,68 in)
133 mm (5,24 in)
120 mm (4,72 in)
177 mm (6,97 in)
Radiator
Pump
/4/
EK-MLC PHOENIX 240
133 mm (5,24 in)
68 mm (2,68 in)
15 mm (0,59 in)
295 mm (11,61 in)
120 mm (4,72 in)
Radiator
Pump
/5/
EK-MLC PHOENIX 360
415 mm (16,34 in)
15 mm (0,59 in)
133 mm (5,24 in)
120 mm (4,72 in)
68 mm (2,68 in)
Pump
Radiator
/6/
EK-MLC PHOENIX 140
68 mm (2,68 in)
140 mm (5,51 in)
195 mm (7,68 in)
142 mm (5,59 in)
Radiator
Pump
/7/
EK-MLC PHOENIX 280
68 mm (2,68 in)
142 mm (5,59 in)
15 mm (0,59 in)
335 mm (13,19 in)
140 mm (5,51 in)
Radiator
Pump
/8/
UNIT ORIENTATION LIMITATIONS
CAUTION:
The orientation of the unit is very important, as wrong installation may
lead to insufficient cooling performance and premature failure of the unit.
The orientation limitations stand for all versions of the Phoenix unit.
Pump
Pump
Pump
Pump
Pump
Pump
/9/
EK-MLC PHOENIX QDC CONNECTIONS GUIDE
EK-MLC Phoenix 120
EK-MLC Phoenix 240
EK-MLC Phoenix 360
EK-MLC Phoenix 140
EK-MLC Phoenix 280
Only CPU Module
Only GPU Module
CPU & GPU Module
Two GPU Modules (no CPU Module)
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ELECTRICAL CONNECTIONS
CONNECTING THE HUB TO THE POWER SUPLY
STEP 1:
Take the enclosed power cable and plug the two-pin PCI-express minifit power connector
to the fan splitter hub.
STEP 2:
STEP 1
STEP 2
Use the SATA POWER connector at the other end and plug it to the female connector
found on the main power supply.
CONNEECTING THE HUB TO THE MOTHERBOARD
In order to obtain the PWM fan speed control you must follow the steps below:
STEP 3:
Take the enclosed connection cable and plug the two-pin cable connector to the fan splitter hub.
STEP 4:
Use the 4-pin connector at the other end and plug it to the male connector header located
on the motherboard. Always use CPU-dedicated fan headers if possible.
STEP 3
/ 10 /
STEP 4
Always use CPU fan header. On majority of motherboards these headers
usually offer best PWM regulation.
REMOVING THE EXPANSION BALLOON
Please remove the expansion balloon from your EK-MLC Phoenix and
GPU/CPU water blocks; it is recommended that you do this before installing the units into your chassis, to
prevent any coolant spillage on your
PC components.
STEP 1:
Rotate your Phoenix unit so that expansion balloon is facing upwards as
shown in the picture to remove any
potential air bubbles and to prevent
any unnecessary coolant spillage.
STEP 2:
2
1
Firstly, have some paper tissues or
a towel ready, because you may spill
some coolant during the balloon removal. Grab the braided tube just below the QDC system and wrap it with a
paper tissue or a towel. Disconnect the
expansion balloon installed on your
EK-MLC Phoenix using the QDC. First
you need to press the button on the
QDC to release the mechanism which
holds it together. After that you should
be able to gently pull the expansion
balloon away from the unit.
Repeat the process with your GPU
and CPU water blocks.
STEP 1
STEP 2
/ 11 /
INSTALLING THE PUMP/FAN/RADIATOR UNIT
STEP 1:
Mounting of the pump/fan/radiator unit requires special attention.
Please take the unit and find the enclosed standard fan mounting screws. You will need
4 screws for the 140mm and 120mm version, 8 screws for 240- and 280mm version
or 12 screws for 360mm version and a phillips-head screwdriver which is not enclosed
in the package.
STEP 2:
Prepare your suitably-sized PC chassis for installation of EK-MLC Phoenix.
The position of the unit in the chassis depends on the size, fan mounting holes and the
hardware you have installed.
STEP 1
You must make sure that the unit fits into the chassis. Usually the chassis have standard fan mounting holes pre-drilled so you should look for holes with spacing of 105mm
(a standard computer 120mm cooling fan) or 125mm (for 140mm cooling fan).
Out-of-the box, the Phoenix is set to work in overall hot air exhaust (by placing the radiator on the exhaust) configuration. This results in overall decrease of
temperature throughout the entire computer chassis but also leads to slightly
higher liquid temperatures. A reversed air flow is aviable option but one should always strive to achieve unidirectional flow of air throughout the chassis. See page
28, chapter Frequently Asked Questions, on how to change fan orientation.
STEP 3:
When you have selected the mounting position within the chassis you must align the
Phoenix cooling fan mounting holes with the ones on the chassis.
STEP 2
STEP 3
Use enclosed self-tapping screws to firmly install the unit. Self-tapping screws require
more torque than threaded screws, but overall do not exaggerate with the force applied.
Check again that the unit isn’t touching the chassis anywhere except at the
mounting region. Some unwanted noise may occur if the vibrations are
transferred from the unit to the PC chassis.
/ 12 /
INSTALLING THE COOLING MODULES
Only CPU Module
If you bought the Phoenix with CPU water block,
follow the instructions for CPU block installation
on pages 15-21 and on pages 22-24 for QDC
connections guide.
Only GPU Module
If you bought the Phoenix with GPU water block,
follow the instructions in the GPU water block
user manual, and when you are done, read the
pages 22-24 for QDC connections guide.
CPU & GPU Module
If you bought the Phoenix with CPU and GPU
water blocks, please read pages 15-21 for CPU
block installation and your GPU block user
manual; follow the instructions on pages 22-24
for QDC connections guide.
/ 13 /
GENERAL INFORMATION ON WATERBLOCK COMPATIBILITY
CPU liquid cooling units are pre-assembled for use with modern Intel and AMD desktop socket type
motherboards. By default (out of the box), our water blocks support the following CPU sockets:
- Intel® Socket LGA-115x
- Intel® Socket LGA-2011(-3)
-AM4 Socket Motherboards
Narrow server type LGA-2011 is not supported by default – a mounting plate
Supremacy LGA-2011 narrow ILM (EAN: 3830046990600) is mandatory to install
this water block on narrow server type LGA-2011 motherboards. Replacing the
mounting plate requires disassembly of the water block.
Legacy sockets LGA-775 and LGA-1366 are compatible when installed using
optional EK-Supremacy EVO Backplate.
Compatibility with AMD socket type motherboard is ensured via optional mounting plate add-ons, available for separate purchase. Please visit
www.ekwb.com for more details.
WHAT IS ENCLOSED
The following items are enclosed with EK-MLC Phoenix unit CPU water block
- EK-MLC Phoenix CPU water block
- PreciseMount universal CPU mounting mechanism:
• M4 threaded thumb screws (4 pcs)
• LGA-2011 M4 threaded mounting studs (4pcs)
• AM4 threaded mounting studs (4pcs)
• Springs (4 pcs)
• M4 threaded thumb nuts (4 pcs)
• Washers (4 pcs)
- EK-Backplate
• Backplate for Intel LGA-115x
/ 14 /
INSTALLING THE CPU COOLING MODULE
LGA-2011(-3) SOCKET MOTHERBOARDS
LGA-2011 M4
Thumb Screw
LGA-2011 M4
Thumb Screw
STEP 1:
Prepare the zip bag containing CPU mounting mechanism screws which was
enclosed with the EK-MLC Phoenix unit.
Install four (4) specific LGA-2011 M4 thumb screws into four M4 threaded stubs
on the LGA-2011 socket integrated latch mechanism (ILM). The screws are to be
installed using no tools (i.e. pliers).
It is not necessary to remove the LGA-2011(-3) type motherboard from
the PC chassis in order to install CPU water block mounting screws
unless forced to do so due to space constraint limitations of certain
computer chassis.
STEP 1
STEP 2:
Cleaning the CPU: Wipe the CPU’s contact surface (by using non–abrasive
cloth or Q-tip, as shown on sample photo).
Th
er
m
al
gr
ea
se
Non-abrasive
cloth
IHS
Applying thermal compound: EK recommends blob or line method of applying
the enclosed EK-TIM Ectotherm thermal compound to the CPU heat spreader
(IHS) - see sample photo on right.
The quantity of about two rice grains is just about right. There is no
need to cover the whole IHS. Applying too much thermal grease will
have negative impact on the cooling performance!
STEP 2
/ 15 /
STEP 3:
Align the water block over the mounting screws on the LGA-2011(-3) motherboard
with pre-installed CPU.
Before proceeding with the installation It is mandatory to remove the
protective foil from the backside of the water block.
Place an enclosed compression spring and thumb nut over each M4 thumb
screw. Start fastening two thumb nuts at a time, preferably in cross pattern and
do not tighten them fully until all of them are partially screwed in. Then - using
your fingers only - screw in all four thumb nuts until you reach the end of the
thread. Do not use any tools (such as pliers) during this process.
CPU Module installation is now complete. Continue to page 22 for connecting
the module with QDC.
Starting your computer up:
Before you add the power to your computer please check if everything
is installed according to the installation manual.
When turning on the computer be careful nothing is leaking and that the
temperatures of the CPU are normal. It is best practice to enter BIOS/
UEFI and check hardware health monitoring section on initial boot!
STEP 3
LGA-115x SOCKET MOTHERBOARDS
Outer part
STEP 1:
If already installed, please remove the motherboard from your computer and place
it on an even surface with front facing down.
STEP 2:
Preparing backplate rubber gasket
The enclosed rubber gasket is essential part of the backplate and mounting system
and must be used every time you install this water block on your motherboard.
Inner core
(removable)
STEP 1
/ 16 /
STEP 2
The rubber gasket has a partially cut inner part which needs to be
removed when installed on Intel LGA-115x motherboard. The rubber is
held on four places and can be peeled away with hand.
STEP 3:
Metal
Backplate
M4 Thumb
Screw
PVC
washer
Rubber gasket
Install backplate rubber gasket and place metal backplate for Intel
LGA-115x socket to the back of your motherboard RIBBED SIDE
UP! (facing away from the motherboard). Align the holes on the
motherboard with holes on rubber gasket and backplate.
Make sure to orientate the rubber gasket to fit past the
CPU socket ILM backplate.
Carefully rotate motherboard assembly with front side facing up
with one hand while holding the backplate and rubber in place with
the other hand.
STEP 4:
Motherboard
STEP 3
STEP 4
Install four (4) M4 thumb screws onto your motherboard. It is
mandatory to put 0.7mm plastic washer underneath each of the
M4 thumb screws. Tighten the screws to the metal backplate until
you reach the end of the thread. Using tools (such as pliers) is not
recommended.
STEP 5:
Install the motherboard back into the computer chassis
STEP 5
/ 17 /
STEP6:
Cleaning the CPU: Wipe the CPU’s contact surface (by using non–abrasive
cloth or Q-tip, as shown on sample photo).
Non-abrasive
cloth
Th
IHS
er
lg
ma
r ea
se
Applying thermal compound: EK recommends blob or line method of applying
the enclosed EK-TIM Ectotherm thermal compound to the CPU heat spreader
(IHS) - see sample photo on right.
The quantity of about two rice grains is just about right. There is no
need to cover the whole IHS. Applying too much thermal grease will
have negative impact on the cooling performance!
STEP 6
STEP 7:
Align the water block over the mounting screws on the LGA-115x motherboard
with pre-installed CPU.
Before proceeding with the installation It is mandatory to remove the
protective foil from the backside of the water block.
Place an enclosed coiled spring and thumb nut over each M4 thumb screw.
Start fastening two thumb nuts at a time, preferably in cross pattern and do not
tighten them fully until all of them are partially screwed in. Then – using your
fingers only screw in all four thumb nuts until you reach the end of the thread.
Thumb nut
Coiled spring
CPU Module installation is now complete. Continue to page 22 for connecting
the module with QDC.
Starting up your computer
Before you add the power to your computer please check if everything is installed according to the installation manual.
STEP 7
/ 18 /
Turn on your computer. When turning on the computer check that the
temperatures of the CPU are normal. It is best practice to enter BIOS/
UEFI and check hardware health monitoring section on initial boot!
AM4 SOCKET MOTHERBOARDS
STEP 1
Install mounting AMD bracket add-on over the Intel mounting
plate. Use Philips screw driver to tighten four M4x5 DIN7985
screws to secure it.
Please note the orientation of the add-on brackets. It is mandatory to install them with raised side facing towards copper base.
STEP 2
If already installed, please remove the motherboard from your
computer and place it on an even surface with front facing up.
STEP 2
STEP 1
UNC 6-32
Screws
AMD® factory backplate
STEP 3
Removing of the original plastic hold-down clamps and
the factory backplate:
Using Philips-head screwdriver remove the four UNC 6-32
screws securing the original plastic hold-down clamps around
the socket as shown on the sketch. Remove the original
AMD® backplate and the hold-down clamps and store them
away. See sketch for further part identification.
Hold-down
clamps
STEP 3
/ 19 /
STEP 4
Metal
Backplate
Outer part
Preparing backplate rubber gasket
The enclosed rubber gasket is essential part of
the backplate and mounting system and must be
used every time you install this water block on your
motherboard.
With AMD® Sockets you should use whole
rubber backplate including the inner core.
STEP 5
Inner
core
(removable)
Rubber
gasket
Motherboard
STEP 5
STEP 4
M4 Thumb Screw
Install backplate rubber gasket and place metal backplate for AMD® socket to the back of your motherboard RIBBED SIDE UP! (facing away from the motherboard) Align the holes on the motherboard with holes
on rubber gasket and backplate.
Carefully rotate motherboard assembly with front side
facing up with one hand while holding the backplate and
rubber in place with the other hand.
STEP 6
Install four (4) M4 thumb screws onto your motherboard. It is mandatory to put 0.7mm plastic washer
underneath each of the M4 thumb screws. Tighten the
screws to the metal backplate until you reach the end
of the thread. Using tools (such as pliers) is not recommended.
PVC
washer
STEP 7
Install the motherboard along with the thumb screws
back into the computer chassis.
STEP 6
/ 20 /
STEP 7
STEP 8
Non-abrasive
cloth
Th
IHS
STEP 8
er
m
al
gr
ea
se
Cleaning the CPU: Wipe the CPU’s contact surface (by using non–
abrasive cloth or Q-tip, as shown on sample photo).
Applying thermal compound: EK recommends blob or line method of
applying the enclosed compound to the CPU heat spreader (IHS) - see
sample photo on right.
The quantity of about two rice grains is just about right. There
is no need to cover the whole IHS. Applying too much thermal
grease will have negative impact on the cooling performance!
STEP 9
Align water block with pre-installed mounting mechanism above the
AMD socket with pre-installed CPU. Place an enclosed coiled spring
and thumb nut over each M4 thumb screw. Start fastening two thumb
nuts at a time, preferably in cross pattern and do not tighten them fully
until all of them are partially screwed in.
Then – using your fingers only screw in all four thumb nuts until you
reach the end of the thread.
CPU Module installation is now complete. Continue to page 22 for
connecting the module with QDC.
STEP 9
/ 21 /
CONNECTING THE LED
Plug the LED connector from your Phoenix CPU block to the FAN HEADER (usually labelled
as SYS_FAN or CPU_FAN) on your motherboard. Be careful about the orientation of the
connector (use picture below as reference).
CONNECTING THE MODULES WITH QDC
Being modular in design, the EK-MLC Phoenix can be fitted with CPU or GPU water blocks (or
both, depending on the variant-see EK-MLC Phoenix QDC Connections Guide).
There is no need to unmount the unit from the chassis unless you face serious tube
routing constraints. Because of the no-spill quick disconnect couplings the expansion
is very quick, easy and safe when using QDC-enabled water blocks.
2
1
STEP 1 and 2
/ 22 /
Required tools (in case of need to refill the loop):
- 6mm Allen key (usually enclosed with the water block)
- ATX Bridging plug
STEP 1:
Turn off your computer and unplug the computer from power.
STEP 2:
Disconnect the QDC installed on the EK-MLC Phoenix with QDC. First you need to press on the button on
the QDC to release (disconnect) the mechanism which
holds it together. After that you should gently pull it apart
and you are done.
STEP 3:
Male QDC
Female QDC
Install the QDC enabled pre-filled water block onto your
graphics card or CPU as per installation manual (which
came with the water block) and install it into your PCIexpress expansion slot on your computer.
STEP 4:
STEP 3 and 4
Route the tubes in the way that the QDC’s can be connected with the present ones on the EK-MLC Phoenix.
The tubes should be long enough to do so.
STEP 5:
Connect the QDC couplings according to the sketch
on the right. You will feel the locking click sound when
assembled correctly.
STEP 5
/ 23 /
STEP 6:
Plug in the ATX bridging plug. Make sure nothing except the fan splitter hub is
plugged to the power supply. You must also unplug the fan and the PWM connectors from the fan splitter hub (Page 10)
Power supply
ATX cable
STEP 7:
Turn the power supply on and check that only the pump is running.
STEP 8:
EK-ATX
Bridging Plug
It is always a good practice to conduct a 24-hour leak test to ensure the system
is leak free and safe to use. Once the test is complete power off the power supply unit and remove the EK-ATX Bridging Plug from the main 24pin ATX cable.
STEP 6 and 7
Upon completing the leak test you can safely reconnect all motherboard, graphics card and SATA power cables. Your computer is now ready to use.
Before you add the power to your computer please check if everything
is installed according to the installation manual.
STEP 9:
Starting up your computer
Turn on your computer. When turning on the computer check that the temperatures of the CPU are normal. It is best practice to enter BIOS/UEFI and check
hardware health monitoring section on initial boot!
STEP 8
/ 24 /
FILLING UP THE SYSTEM
Before starting to fill the system, you should prepare some paper
towels in case of dripping. In order to fill up successfully please follow the steps below.
STEP 1:
Use the 6mm Allen key (supplied with every EK water block) to
unscrew the plug on the back side of the Phoenix Radiator Core.
STEP 2:
STEP 1 and 2
Start filling process by adding coolant through the port on the back
of the unit as shown on the picture on STEP 2. Pour the coolant
slowly until the unit is full, then shake it a bit, to get out as much air
as possible. You can alternatively screw the plug in and rotate the
unit in multiple directions and then repeat the procedure unit until
there is no air left in the unit.
It is essential to get as much air as possible out of the system at this stage!
STEP 3:
Reinstall the plug, removed in STEP 1 using the 6mm Allen key. Afterwards place the unit on the firm surface with fans facing upwards
as pictured in STEP 3 and 4.
STEP 4:
Unscrew the integrated reservoir plug in counter-clockwise direction. Add more coolant until the unit seems full.
STEP 3 and 4
/ 25 /
STEP 5:
Power supply ATX cable
EK-ATX
Bridging Plug
Plug in the EK-ATX Bridging Plug (EAN 3831109867716) to your male 24pin ATX PSU cable to jump-start your computer. It is a good practice to also
unplug the fans from the fan splitter hub (see page 10).
Make sure nothing except the fan splitter hub is plugged to the power supply.
All motherboard-, graphics car- or SATA power should be disconnected!
Before powering up the Phoenix, make sure that water block is connected to the Phoenix Radiator Core module, so that coolant can circulate!
STEP 6 and 7:
STEP 5
Upon powering up the Phoenix, coolant level will most likely drop and the unit
(namely pump) might operate loudly. This is caused by air still present in the
loop. When it does, you must add additional coolant until the liquid line is clearly visible and the unit is full.
The air is being bled from the system as the pump is running. The procedure
for assisted bleeding air from the system is as following:
Coolant
1) Turn off your computer (or power supply unit)
2) Add more coolant to the unit (top it off)
3) Turn the power on, let it run for 5 minutes
4) Shake and tilt the unit to force the remaining air bubbles out. Reinstall the plug to prevent coolant spillage during this substep.
5) Repeat substeps 1 to 4 until the unit is full
Diminished rattling is a good sign that the loop is free of air!
STEP 6 and 7
/ 26 /
MAINTENANCE
In order to obtain the best performance through
whole lifespan of the product it is crucial to follow
these maintenance tips:
TIP 3: CLEANING THE UNIT (RELATED TO CHAPTER
TROUBLESHOOTING)
TIP 1: DUST REMOVAL
TIP 4: USE EK DESIGNED AND MANUFACTURED PARTS
ONLY
It is mandatory to remove the dust every 2-3 months. EK recommends to
use a vacuum cleaner or compressed air to blow the dust away. Radiator is
usually the most dusty, so pay special attention to that. Do not forget to turn
off the computer and unplug the power supply. It is recommended to remove
the dust outside.
Every 3 years the unit should be thoroughly cleaned. You must let all the
coolant out. The radiator must be flushed and the pump checked and cleaned.
It is recommended to use only genuine EK Water Blocks liquid cooling gear, parts
and add-ons to prevent any performance, compatibility and warranty issues.
TIP 2: CHECKING ELECTRICAL COMPONENTS
Once a year you should check the pump and the fans, if they are running as
they should. The pump and fans must run silently without any rattling noises
and must react to PWM duty cycle changes. All imperfections may lead to
overheating and breakdown.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Q
Is MLC Phoenix compatible with all desktop LGA-2011(-3) motherboards? How about older LGA-1366 and -755?
It is possible to use the Phoenix on the older LGA-1366 and
LGA-775 type motherboards by purchasing the optional
EK-Supremacy EVO Backplate [EAN: 3830046990648]
A: Yes, due to the use of new mounting mechanism the MLC Phoenix is
fully compatible with all standard LGA-2011-3 motherboards, regardless
of whether the motherboard has a hole cut-outs on the circuit board.
/ 27 /
Q
How many water blocks can you add to the loop?
A: The EK-MLC Phoenix liquid cooling unit can be upgraded with several additional parts. However in order to keep performance at a reasonable level
it is recommended not to upgrade EK-MLC Phoenix with no more than:
- one (1) GPU or CPU water block (Phoenix 120, 140)
- two (GPU & CPU) water blocks (Phoenix 240, 280, 360)
Additionaly you can add another GPU water block to Phoenix 280 and
360 (see EK-MLC Phoenix QDC Connections Guide on page 10).
Q
A: Yes, however this requires cutting of the zip-ties holding the cables
together. The fans can be removed by the use of enclosed Allen key
(2.5mm). When flipping the fan orientation it is crucial to keep the zip
ties in place (which function as a washer as well), otherwise the fan
screws might pierce and thus irreparably damage the radiator core.
Such damage is not covered by warranty.
Q
NOTE: To achieve the best performance it is highly recommended
to run pump at full speed when expanding the Phoenix unit with additional water blocks. Please consult page 34 of this manual.
Q
What flow rates are to be expected with EK-MLC Phoenix?
A: The Phoenix units typically operate at about 150L/h at full speed respectively.
Installing a typical GPU pre-filled water block with Quick-Disconnect Couplings (QDC) typically drops flow rates from 150L/h to about 120L/h. Adding two such water blocks would result in flow rates of around 100L/h.
Flow rates of around 100L/h is considered adequate for efficient cooling of
the modern high-power GPUs.
NOTE: To achieve the best performance it is highly recommended
to run pump at full speed when expanding the Phoenix unit with additional water blocks. Please consult page 34 of this manual.
/ 28 /
Is it possible to flip the fan orientation?
Is it possible to ‘daisy-chain’ the integrated PWM splitter?
A: Yes, the integrated PWM splitter allows for daisy-chaining of additional
PWM splitter cables, such as EK-Cable y-Splitter 2-Fan PWM (10cm)
[EAN: 3831109867860], as long as the total power draw does not exceed 25W (2A on +12VDC) - the limit of SATA power connector of the
Phoenix unit.
Q
Is it possible to add additional radiators (daisy-chain) to the
Phoenix loop?
A: It is possible, although not recommended, because the pump may have
some problems sending the fluid around the expanded system.
Q
What thermal performance is to be expected from the Phoenix
unit?
A: The nominal cooling capacity of the Phoenix units is listed in the table
below:
dT=10K
dT=15K
Phoenix 240 *
287W
430W
Phoenix 360 *
425W
637W
Phoenix 140 **
179W
269W
Phoenix 280 **
358W
537W
* = Vardar 120 @ 1850rpm
** = Vardar 140 @ 1500rpm
The nominal capacity tells how much heat is the Phoenix unit able to move
with 10°C (10K) or 15°C (15K) increase in liquid temperature over ambient.
Example: Ideally, the Phoenix 140, cooling an overclocked LGA-1151 Skylake
Core i7 CPU (150W) and the Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080 class GPU (225W)
would achieve liquid temperatures of about 21°C above ambient during maximum combined (synthetic) workload. given the ambient temperature of 22°C,
this would result in liquid temperature of around 43°C in ideal situation. One
can usually expect 10-15°C higher GPU core temperature (GPU 53-58°C).
The same formula works for majority of hardware as long as the
correct TDP value is used.
/ 29 /
TROUBLESHOOTING
IN CASE OF CPU OVERHEATING
Very high CPU temperatures are usually the symptoms of malfunctioning
liquid cooling loop, assuming the contact between CPU heat spreader and
water block itself is good and that the water itself is adequately cooled within
the radiator. This can occur either due to:
1. Malfunctioning or non-working water pump: The symptoms usually
include rapid spike in temperature when stressing your CPU to the maximum (for example with Prime95 software). Make sure the pump is plugged
in to the power connector and that the liquid is indeed flowing in your system. You should feel the pump vibrating in your hand. Observe the flow
indicator or flow meter reading if present. »The PWR GOOD LED indicator
on the PWM splitter should glow red when working. No light means no
power is getting through – please check electrical connections.
2. Malfunctioning or non-working cooling fans: TThe symptoms
usually include rapid spike in temperature when stressing your CPU to the
maximum. make sure the cooling fans are plugged in to the power connector hub and that the blades are indeed rotating. »The PWR GOOD LED indicator on the PWM splitter should glow red when working. no light means
no power is getting through – please check electrical connections.
3. Kink in the liquid cooling tubing: Very similar symptoms to both above
described. Thin-walled tubing may collapse easily under low radius turns or
when obstructed by other computer chassis elements such as closing side
panel doors. Check the tubing for any signs of kink which restrict the flow.
This is normally not the case when using original tubing.
4. Clogged microchannels in the water block: Clogged microchannels in the water block: microchannels can get clogged easily with various
dirt particles and impurities, especially with plasticizer powder which has
leached from the tubing (When using unsafe liquid cooling tubing). The
symptoms usually include rapid spike in temperature when stressing your
/ 30 /
CPU to the maximum, flow rates are very low. Visually inspect the water
block internals for any buildup or contamination and clean the system if
necessary. In case the water block with translucent acrylic top is employed
this inspection can be done without disassembling the system.
5. Thermal interface material (paste/grease) not applied or appied improperly: Lack of - or even too much TIM - may result in CPU overheating.
Please refer to STEP 2 in INSTALLING THE WATER BLOCK section.
Another culprit could be partially or completely defective CPU. Some CPUs
run at higher temperatures than the others. Overheating of the CPU can also
occur due to:
1. Poor thermal contact within the CPU itself: Some CPUs, such as Intel
LGA-1151 socket based Skylake, Intel LGA-1150 based Haswell and older,
socket LGA-1155 based Ivy Bridge are notorious for their poor thermal contact between the CPU die and the heat spreader (IHS) itself due to the use
of poor TIM. This is the problem of the processor and not the Phoenix CPU
liquid cooling unit. These CPUs are known to run very hot (80°C+) even on
factory set frequencies. For best performance it is usually recommended
to replace the TIM between the die and the IHS or to even run the processor de-lidded. Both require hazardous IHS removal which voids processor’s
warranty but can lead to temperature decrease of 30°C and higher.
EKWB deems der8auer Delid Die Mate tool safe to be used by
experts for de-lidding of the Intel Skylake CPUs.
Upon exhausting all options please consult EK knowledge base at
http://support.ekwb.com . Raise a question through EK Support
ticketing system if needed.
THE COOLER IS TOO LOUD
The Phoenix unit is equipped with fast-spinning EK-Vardar high-static pressure PWM controlled fans, which run at very high speed if the UEFI/BIOS is
not set to control fan speed. make sure to set control mode to PWM (instead
of DC)! On majority of motherboards this feature can be found in ‘Hardware
monitoring’ section of the UEFI/BIOS. Please consult your motherboard
manual on how change fan speed.
General ASUS Z170/X99 motherboard guide:
1. Enter UEFI and go to QFAN Control
2. Select the FAN header you wish to edit (the one that you have connected the Phoenix’s PWM cable to)
3. Select PWM mode (instead of DC)
General ASRock Z170/X99 motherboard guide:
1. Enter UEFI and go to H/W Monitor
2. Choose the FAN header you wish to edit (the one that you have connected the Phoenix’s PWM cable to)
3. Change from ‘Full Speed’ to ‘Silent’, ‘Standard’ or ‘Performance’ mode
General Gigabyte Z170/X99 motherboard guide:
1. Enter UEFI and go to M.I.T. - > PC Health Status
2. Select (CPU Fan) Speed Control optionbox and select ‘Auto’, ‘Normal’
or ‘Manual’.
General MSI Z170/X99 motherboard guide:
1. Enter UEFI and go to Hardware Monitor
2. Select the FAN header you wish to edit (the one that you have connected the Phoenix’s PWM cable to)
3. Enable Smart Fan Mode Checkbox
4. Change ramp-up curve by dragging and dropping 4 coloured squares
Make sure the 4-pin PWM Fan connector is indeed plugged in correctly
into the appropriate FAN header on your motherboard. Please consult
page 10, chapter Connecting the hub to the motherboard.
GENERAL LIQUID COOLING PARTS CLEANING GUIDE
Liquid cooling parts may be disassembled for cleaning purposes
on an occasional basis. your warranty is not voided on disassembly of the water block but the customer loses the EK leak-free guarantee which comes with a factory tested component. And old, but
soft toothbrush is an excellent cleaning tool!
1. Cleaning bare copper: When cleaning bare copper is it recommended to
use slightly acidic cleaning agents which include the following organic agents:
- (white) vinegar (acetic acid up to 5-10%)
- lemon juice (citric acid up to 5-10%)
Certain food can also be used for cleaning copper:
- cola (contains phosphorous- and citric acid)
- ketchup or tomato extract (contains acetic- and citric acid)
- mustard (contains acetic acid)
/ 31 /
5% vinegar, dilluted with 95% water is enough to kill 99.9% of algae
and bacteria that could be present on copper in an unmaintained
cooling loop as well.
Upon cleaning is it necessary to flush the water blocks in water and rinse them
with distilled water. After rinsing we recommend soaking the water blocks in
paper towels until completely dry. It is nearly impossible to avoid the naturally
occurring copper tarnishing (oxidation) as the oxidation will reoccur the moment the copper is cleaned of the all oxides.
2. Cleaning nickel plated copper: When cleaning nickel plated copper it is
forbidden to use any aggressive chemicals (neither vinegar) or rough materials as you may damage the plating and thus void the warranty. Please note
also that due to presence of dye additives and other chemicals the nickel layer
may also become discolored/stained over time period. However the staining
is normally reversible by simple flush and rinse. Cleaning the nickel plated copper should consists of these steps:
- flush the nickel plated copper under warm water
- clean the surface using wet non-abrasive cloth and rinse with clean water
- polish the hardened deposits (such as algae or dirt) from the nickel plated
copper if necessary.
EK recommends the use of automotive soft, non-abrasive metal polish
cremes. After you finish using other cleaning methods, give the nickel plating a good polish with a non-abrasive metal or chrome polish. Apply a small
amount of polish to a cloth or to the surface of the nickel. Wipe the entire
surface of the nickel with the polish, using small circular motions, until it looks
shiny and clean. Use another clean cloth to remove the remains of the polishing paste from the surface. Always rinse with distilled water after you are done
with polishing.
/ 32 /
3. Cleaning acrylic (plexi) glass tops:
Acrylic will fail prematurely if subjected to even small amounts of
alcohol, acetone or other aggressive chemicals.
Please do not use anything but warm, soapy water and a toothbrush to clean
the acrylic (plexi) glass water block tops and reservoir tubes. Using aggressive chemicals will surely void your warranty!
Algae- or dirt deposits may be rubbed out using soft cloth in
combination with warm, soapy water. Rinse with distilled water
after cleaning.
4. Cleaning POM (acetal) tops: POM (polyoxymethylene) or Acetal can
withstand chemicals such as alcohol or acetone but EK recommend to use
these very sparingly as the drying chemicals will surely leave some residue.
Usually the POM can be cleaned easily just be the use of soft cloth and
warm, soapy water - without the use of any chemicals. Rinse with distilled
water after cleaning.
PREVENTIVE STEPS
1. Using corrosion inhibiting coolant (such as EK-CryoFuel or other
market proven coolant) is highly recommended for any water cooling loops.
Since EK-CryoFuel is also a surfactant is will prevent algae growth and dirt
deposition on all wetted surfaces.
2. Refrain from using Copper Sulphate based additives in your loop in order
to prevent tarnishing on your water cooling gear internals!
PART SPECIFICATION LIST
PUMP
Pump Type
Bearing Type
Rated Voltage
Operating voltage
Pump RPM
Dimensions (LxWxH)
Life Expectancy
Max head of pump
EK-SPC 60A
DC centrifugal Pump
Ceramic Bearing Ball
12V DC
8*-13,2 VDC *9v starting
2500 RPM
61,5x61,5x17,5 mm
>50 000 h
1,9 m
Operating environment
Ambient temperature........................ 10-50°C
Fluid temperature(coolant).......... 10-60°C
FAN SPLITTER HUB
To the Power supply unit
All the elements that need electricity to run are connected to the fan splitter
hub, located on the bac k of the unit.
This fan splitter hub contains three 4-pin PWM Fan headers for
three fans and one pump.
Pump
Fan 3
Fan splitter hub
Fan 2
Fan 1
A two-pin header is used to connect Phoenix unit to motherboard CPU Fan
header in order to allow for speed regulation of fans and pump. 2-pin PCIexpress miniFIT power header is used to provide power to Phoenix unit.
/ 33 /
General characteristics:
- 3x 4-pin PWM fan header (Molex KK 254 standard)
- 1x 4-pin PWM pump header (Molex KK 254 standard)
- 1x 2-pin tacho/PWM header (Molex KK 254 standard)
- 1x 2-pin power header (Molex miniFIT standard)
- 1x Power LED indicator diode (red) - rectified PWM input
- Uniform PWM control on all headers
RPM (tacho) and
PWM header
Pump
header
Fan 1/2/3 header
Power
LED light
Connecting the pump directly to motherboard
fan header (OPTIONAL)
If you want to control the speed of the pump and the fans separately you should follow the steps below:
STEP 1:
Disconnect the pump’s cable from the fan splitter hub. you will
need to remove cable ties in order to do so.
STEP 2:
Connect the pump’s connector to the CPU fan header (preferably) on the motherboard.
STEP 1
STEP 2
/ 34 /
Unit main power
header
FANS
Fan type
Rated Voltage
Power Draw
Max Air Flow
Static Pressure
Noise Level
Max speed
Life Expectancy
Dimensions
EK-Vardar EVO 120ER
PWM
12V DC
2.16W
77 CFM = 131 m³/h
3.16mm H2O = 31 Pa
33.5 dBA
2200 rpm (+/- 10%)
50.000 hrs @ 40°C (MTBF)
120 x 120 x 25 mm
EK-Vardar EVO 140ER
PWM
12V DC
3.86W
108 CFM = 184 m³/h
3.15 mm H2O = 30.9 Pa
40.7 dBA
2000 rpm (+/- 10%)
50.000 hrs @ 40°C (MTBF)
140 x 140 x 25 mm
It is normal for the EK-Vardar EVO fan to stop spinning at low workload and during PC idling.
THERMAL GREASE
EK-TIM Ectotherm
Purchase spare thermal grease here:
Type.......................................................................Low Viscosity
Electrically conductive...........................No
Optimal working temperature.........+100 to -50(°C)
Thermal conductivity.............................8,5 W/mK
Density................................................................3 g/cm3
TUBING
EK-Tube ZMT Matte Black 15,9/9,5mm
Purchase spare tubing here:
Material...............................................................EPDM
Color......................................................................Black, not UV-reactive
Operating temperature range.........-30°C to 110°C
Dimensions.....................................................9,5 mm / 15,9 mm (ID/OD)
/ 35 /
100232
SUPPORT AND SERVICE
For assistance please contact:
http://support.ekwb.com/
EKWB d.o.o.
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