Today what I have is the Creative SXFI GC7, a desktop audio interface with Creative’s Super XFi baked right in. External audio solutions are growing in popularity due to ease of use as well as cross compatibility with platforms other than just PC. Join me to see what I find out about the Creative GC7.
EK has been at the forefront of custom PC water cooling solutions since 2003. As one of the early pioneers and today as one of the industry’s best, EK has had a long history of products for the custom PC water cooling market. Today we are privileged to be able to review one of their coolers from a new line of Budget-Oriented AIO coolers they have brought to market. Journey with us as we see what this line of AIO coolers has to offer.
Specifications and Features
The EK-AIO Basic 360 is a closed loop, All-In-One cooler designed for today’s desktop computers. EK takes the approach of offering a user-friendly form factor experience, versus traditional custom water cooling loops. Even though EK may call this a Basic AIO, the details show it to be much more.
An all ABS housing mated to a copper cold plate sandwiches the steel mounted pump together in a compact unit. This combined with the slick all black housing gives a very sleek appearance. Leaving the pump housing you are greeted with a beautiful set of nylon-braided sleeving over rubber tubing that finishes off at the 360mm aluminium radiator dressed in black as well.
The copper cold plate of the pump body has a 56mm x 58mm x 2mm footprint.
- Easy installation with Universal Compatibility – The EK AIO Basic comes with a universally compatible CPU water-block, fitting all the latest Intel & AMD CPU sockets as well as featuring a tool-less mounting mechanism for easy installation. Requiring just a single radiator mount, with diamond cut rotary fittings for easy tube adjustment, the EK AIO offers compatibility with almost all modern case designs.
- Ultra-durable design with diamond-cut rotary fittings – The EK AIO Basic comes pre-installed with reinforced and sleeved rubber tubing, each fitted with an aluminium cover to ensure they’re ultra-durable. Its diamond-cut rotary fittings allow for easy installation and adjustment of the rubber tubing, featuring a full range of movement to make the EK AIO suitable for installation in even the tightest spaces.
- EK-Vardar High-Performance Fans – Three EK-Vardar S Black Edition fans included with the EK AIO are industrial grade high-static PWM fans, designed and built primarily for high-performance liquid cooling systems. Controlled by either your motherboard or standalone fan controller, the EK Vardar can be adjusted to run at speeds between 550 – 2200RPM for either high airflow or silent running.
Key Features Source
Packaging and Accessories
When considering budget-oriented products, retail packaging is a concern that is sometimes overlooked. We are happy to report that EK did not cut the usual corners for budget-oriented items and instead we were complemented with your standard AIO packaging. On the outside of the packaging we are graced with full colour pictures of the cooler itself along with general info and specifications on the backside of the packaging.
Once we have the box open we can see the specially made carton used to keep the cooler in place along with all accessories during shipping.
- EK-AIO Basic 360 Unit
- 3x EK-Vardar S 120 Dark Edition Fans
- Tube of EK Thermal Paste
- Mounting Kit
- User Manual
Up Close and Personal
For performance of the AIO, we ran through our Benchmark Test suite and our standard stress test setup. FCLK was set to 1900 and Memory Frequency was set to DOCP of the memory modules at 3800MHz, this was done for all scenarios. For our benchmark suite we allotted 5 minutes between runs and 30 minutes between test changes. To make the most of the stress tests we ran each for 30 minutes and gave 30 minutes between each test.
Stock settings are, outside of the outlined above, just as the setup would perform out of the box. For our PBO runs of testing we set the PBO limits to that of the motherboard. This allows PBO to stretch its legs as far as it will go. Our standard OC profile is 4600Mhz 1.25v all core. While more could be pushed, it was not stable for certain testing scenarios.
As the chart outlines above, the EK Basic 360 AIO keeps the temperatures in check even under the most gruelling of conditions. Prime 95 Small FFT is by far one of the heaviest stress tests you can run on AMD’s Ryzen platform. The EK Basic 360 AIO keeps temps under control during all three scenarios. As to be expected the temperatures for the All Core OC are very high, but still within safe limits.
The outlier here was the stock settings run of Prime95. The temperatures were very low compared to the other two settings, but unfortunately this was due to the factory AMD PBO algorithm keeping clocks and voltage low to maintain temperatures.
For our Benchmark testing we chose to run Cinebench R20 and R23 multi-threaded(average of three runs) and Geekbench 5(average of three runs). Geekbench 5 was chosen for its use case of running single and multi threaded scenarios through its test pass.
Cinebench R20 and R23 put quite a load on the CPU, but the EK Basic 360 AIO does a great job of keeping temperatures in line. Stock settings for both test average out to around 50*C while keeping core frequency to an average of 4000MHz, but with spikes on multiple cores to 4950Mhz. This is as expected due to AMD’s boost algorithms.
Geekbench 5 while not as heavy for multi threaded tests allows the cores to stretch their legs all the way up to 4950MHz across all cores during the single threaded tests.
All Core OC temps were lower overall than PBO, due to the way the boost algorithms work. Since we limited all cores to 4600MHz, we did not have the experience of PBO allowing for 4950Mhz across multiple cores and beyond.
For scores throughout the testing suite, you can notice that as we allow the CPU to increase speed, obviously the scores will rise. Even with PBO allowing CPU speeds in excess of 4900Mhz across multiple cores, because of the way the algorithm swaps frequency between scores it lagged behind our static OC just a bit.
In our opinion, the EK 360 Basic AIO is a phenomenal unit overall, and even more-so for the price. For just $119.99 USD(at time of writing), it is hard to turn down the performance that is achievable. We believe this cooling solution would be well suited for any gaming build entry level through the high end, as well as being right at home for those who would want to get into overclocking and have a bit of headroom for their endeavours. Well done EK on another great product and thank you for allowing us to do this review!
|Sleek Design.||Not an expandable unit as previous liquid cooling solutions from EKWB.|
|Sensible price vs performance point.|
|Complete PWM control for Fans and Pump.|
|No RGB. Considering it is hard to get a product without RGB these days.|
We would like to thank EK for supplying us with this review sample.
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