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EK Nucleus AIO CR360 Dark Review Discussion


Mr. Fox

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The latest entry in EK's treasure trove of winning products is the EK-Nucleus AIO CR360 DARK. They have introduced a host of enhancements over previous generations of their AIO offerings, including a new design of the CPU block and PWM pump. The new EK-Nucleus is available in both 240mm and 360mm variations, in white and black RGB, and the Dark (non-RGB) version that we are reviewing today.

Read the full review HERE

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CPU: Intel Core i9-13900KS - Bare Die
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GPU: Gigabyte RTX 4090 Gaming OC + Alphacool Block
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SSD/NVME: NVMe x8 (11.5TB), SATA SSD x2 (3TB), HDD x1 (2TB)
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CPU: Intel Core i9-13900KS - Delidded w/ Copper IHS
MOTHERBOARD: MSI MPG Z790i Edge WiFi (ITX)
RAM: G.SKILL Trident Z5 32GB DDR5 @ 8000 + Noctua Fans
GPU: ASROCK Arc A770 Phantom Gaming OC
PSU: GameMax 850W Gold ARGB
SSD/NVME: NVMe x3 (4TB), SATA SSD x4 (4TB)
CPU COOLER: EK Nucleus CR360 Dark AIO
CASE: ASUS Prime AP201 Micro Tower TG
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Release

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£3000

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SSD/NVME: 256GB Samsung NVMe
NETWORK: HP 561T 10Gbe (Intel X540 T2)
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Thank you, sir! Have a nice evening.

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CPU: Intel Core i9-13900KS - Bare Die
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GPU: MSI RTX 4090 Suprim-X + Byski Block
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SSD/NVME: NVMe x9 (11TB), SATA SSD x1 (1TB), HDD x1 (4TB)
CPU COOLER: MO-RA 360, D5 x4, 5 Gal Reservoir, Hailea HC-500A
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CPU: Intel Core i9-13900KS - Bare Die
MOTHERBOARD: ASUSTeK ROG Maximum Z790 Apex Encore
RAM: G.SKILL Trident Z5 48GB DDR5 @ 8600 - On Water
GPU: Gigabyte RTX 4090 Gaming OC + Alphacool Block
PSU: Corsair RM1200x Shift
SSD/NVME: NVMe x8 (11.5TB), SATA SSD x2 (3TB), HDD x1 (2TB)
CPU COOLER: Alphacool NexXxoS XT45 1080 Nova, D5 x2
CASE: be quiet! Dark Base Pro 901
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CPU: Intel Core i9-13900KS - Delidded w/ Copper IHS
MOTHERBOARD: MSI MPG Z790i Edge WiFi (ITX)
RAM: G.SKILL Trident Z5 32GB DDR5 @ 8000 + Noctua Fans
GPU: ASROCK Arc A770 Phantom Gaming OC
PSU: GameMax 850W Gold ARGB
SSD/NVME: NVMe x3 (4TB), SATA SSD x4 (4TB)
CPU COOLER: EK Nucleus CR360 Dark AIO
CASE: ASUS Prime AP201 Micro Tower TG
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They are noted for having a focus on quality

OK, my personal opinions about EK aside, that was a good read and fantastic performance. Once again top notch formatting on the review too. I will need to learn your ways...

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SSD/NVME 2: Crucial MX500 1TB
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CPU: Intel Core i7-4790K, Core i9-10900K, Core i3-13100, Core i9-13900KS
GPU: various
RAM: Corsair 32GB DDR3-2400 | Oloy Blade 16GB DDR4-3600 | Crucial 16GB DDR5-5600
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OPERATING SYSTEM: Windows 10 LTSC
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5 hours ago, Sir Beregond said:

OK, my personal opinions about EK aside, that was a good read and fantastic performance. Once again top notch formatting on the review too. I will need to learn your ways...

Thanks for the kind words brother. Have a nice Friday and a good weekend.

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MOTHERBOARD: ASUSTeK ROG Maximum Z790 Apex
RAM: G.SKILL Trident Z5 48GB DDR5 @ 8600 - On Water
GPU: MSI RTX 4090 Suprim-X + Byski Block
PSU: Thermaltake Toughpower GF3 1650W
SSD/NVME: NVMe x9 (11TB), SATA SSD x1 (1TB), HDD x1 (4TB)
CPU COOLER: MO-RA 360, D5 x4, 5 Gal Reservoir, Hailea HC-500A
CASE: Lian Li O11 Dynamic XL EVO
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CPU: Intel Core i9-13900KS - Bare Die
MOTHERBOARD: ASUSTeK ROG Maximum Z790 Apex Encore
RAM: G.SKILL Trident Z5 48GB DDR5 @ 8600 - On Water
GPU: Gigabyte RTX 4090 Gaming OC + Alphacool Block
PSU: Corsair RM1200x Shift
SSD/NVME: NVMe x8 (11.5TB), SATA SSD x2 (3TB), HDD x1 (2TB)
CPU COOLER: Alphacool NexXxoS XT45 1080 Nova, D5 x2
CASE: be quiet! Dark Base Pro 901
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CPU: Intel Core i9-13900KS - Delidded w/ Copper IHS
MOTHERBOARD: MSI MPG Z790i Edge WiFi (ITX)
RAM: G.SKILL Trident Z5 32GB DDR5 @ 8000 + Noctua Fans
GPU: ASROCK Arc A770 Phantom Gaming OC
PSU: GameMax 850W Gold ARGB
SSD/NVME: NVMe x3 (4TB), SATA SSD x4 (4TB)
CPU COOLER: EK Nucleus CR360 Dark AIO
CASE: ASUS Prime AP201 Micro Tower TG
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8 hours ago, Sir Beregond said:

OK, my personal opinions about EK aside

 

Lol you were the first person I thought of when I read the opening line about EK quality 😂

 

As much as I'm not into AIO coolers, it's hard to deny that they are a great option for the majority of people. Anything short of the top end CPUs don't really need the extra cooling potential of a custom loop. GPUs are an easier argument for custom loop because you typically cut your temps in half. Also these days the stock air coolers are getting comically large so slapping a block on is almost a necessity if you need to plug anything into any of the other PCIe slots.

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CPU: 7800X3D
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WC RADIATOR: MO-RA3 with 4x180mm Silverstone fans
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Great read,well written review. My ONLY question is in regards to the OCCT testing, it seems strange that the custom loop and air cooled score the same while I believe the AIO score a touch lower? (or maybe higher,not sure how the ratings are figured in OCCT) I would have figured the air cooled to be the odd man out if there was going to be 1.  Edit: Also curious what EK considers "normal wear and tear" my previous AIO had 1 year or 3600 hours. (they figured a work day) It lasted me less then a year because I rarely turn my comp off.

3.5.3. Cases when EKWB AIO product Warranty does not Apply

The EKWB AIO product Warranty does not apply if the AIO product has been installed and/or used in a mfanner that does not comply with user instructions, or has been fitted on unsuitable materials.

  1. Normal wear and tear
  2. If the EKWB AIO product has been modified or repaired by personnel other than EKWB’s
  3. If the defect or damage has been caused by accident, lightning, or other electrical discharge, fresh or salt water immersion or spray (outside EKWB AIO product specifications); or exposure to environmental conditions for which the EKWB AIO product is not intended
  4. where the EKWB AIO product is damaged as a result of abuse, accident, or other causes beyond our reasonable control
Edited by schuck6566
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Great review bro.

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RAM: Corsair VENGEANCE LPX 4000MT (4x8)
GPU: ASROCK Formula RX 6900 XT
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OPERATING SYSTEM: Dual Boot - Windows/Linux
OTHER: Custom Loop
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On 11/08/2023 at 14:14, RageSet said:

Great review bro.

Thanks, brother. 

Edited by Mr. Fox
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CPU: Intel Core i9-13900KS - Bare Die
MOTHERBOARD: ASUSTeK ROG Maximum Z790 Apex
RAM: G.SKILL Trident Z5 48GB DDR5 @ 8600 - On Water
GPU: MSI RTX 4090 Suprim-X + Byski Block
PSU: Thermaltake Toughpower GF3 1650W
SSD/NVME: NVMe x9 (11TB), SATA SSD x1 (1TB), HDD x1 (4TB)
CPU COOLER: MO-RA 360, D5 x4, 5 Gal Reservoir, Hailea HC-500A
CASE: Lian Li O11 Dynamic XL EVO
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CPU: Intel Core i9-13900KS - Bare Die
MOTHERBOARD: ASUSTeK ROG Maximum Z790 Apex Encore
RAM: G.SKILL Trident Z5 48GB DDR5 @ 8600 - On Water
GPU: Gigabyte RTX 4090 Gaming OC + Alphacool Block
PSU: Corsair RM1200x Shift
SSD/NVME: NVMe x8 (11.5TB), SATA SSD x2 (3TB), HDD x1 (2TB)
CPU COOLER: Alphacool NexXxoS XT45 1080 Nova, D5 x2
CASE: be quiet! Dark Base Pro 901
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CPU: Intel Core i9-13900KS - Delidded w/ Copper IHS
MOTHERBOARD: MSI MPG Z790i Edge WiFi (ITX)
RAM: G.SKILL Trident Z5 32GB DDR5 @ 8000 + Noctua Fans
GPU: ASROCK Arc A770 Phantom Gaming OC
PSU: GameMax 850W Gold ARGB
SSD/NVME: NVMe x3 (4TB), SATA SSD x4 (4TB)
CPU COOLER: EK Nucleus CR360 Dark AIO
CASE: ASUS Prime AP201 Micro Tower TG
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On 11/08/2023 at 08:23, schuck6566 said:

Great read,well written review. My ONLY question is in regards to the OCCT testing, it seems strange that the custom loop and air cooled score the same while I believe the AIO score a touch lower? (or maybe higher,not sure how the ratings are figured in OCCT) I would have figured the air cooled to be the odd man out if there was going to be 1.  Edit: Also curious what EK considers "normal wear and tear" my previous AIO had 1 year or 3600 hours. (they figured a work day) It lasted me less then a year because I rarely turn my comp off.

3.5.3. Cases when EKWB AIO product Warranty does not Apply

The EKWB AIO product Warranty does not apply if the AIO product has been installed and/or used in a mfanner that does not comply with user instructions, or has been fitted on unsuitable materials.

  1. Normal wear and tear
  2. If the EKWB AIO product has been modified or repaired by personnel other than EKWB’s
  3. If the defect or damage has been caused by accident, lightning, or other electrical discharge, fresh or salt water immersion or spray (outside EKWB AIO product specifications); or exposure to environmental conditions for which the EKWB AIO product is not intended
  4. where the EKWB AIO product is damaged as a result of abuse, accident, or other causes beyond our reasonable control

Thanks for the compliment, brother. I am not sure about your questions on the warranty issues. EKWB would need to answer. Normal wear and tear covers a wide gamut of things. One aspect is time and hours of use, but there are other aspects of wear and tear might not be time or use frequency dependent.

 

The benchmark scoring is a reflection of clock speed and the BIOS settings were the same with all three cooler tests, and the results were within a normal margin of error. If there were a hard thermal throttle that dropped clock speeds then there would be a lower score for the system that throttled due to overheating.

 

It bothered me that the custom loop didn't fare better, but it kind of makes sense. Where the AIO would have not done as well is under long term stress. I was not attempting to prove the custom loop better in the review. Had I run the stress test for longer we would have likely seen the water in the AIO get hotter and the temperatures increase, but the 5 minute stress test is already "more than normal" use scenario and my goal was to replicate the fringe of what a typical user would see in normal use. 

 

After the review was completed it continued to bother me that the custom loop didn't have more distance between it and the AIO. It occurred to me that I had not cleaned the waterblock in a while, so I took it apart and found the fins in the jet plate had some crud in them. After cleaning it the custom loop was a couple of degrees cooler in the same test. 

 

If the ambient temperate is the same, flow rate is sufficient and the contact adequate, allowing the AIO to efficiently remove heat from the CPU and whisk it away to the radiator at a rate equal to the custom loop the thermals will be the same until the water in the AIO gets hotter. The real benefits of the custom loop are greater coolant capacity (takes longer to get hot) and greater ability to keep the water closer to the ambient temperature for a longer period of time. Also, the ability to add more components in the loop, like GPU and RAM.

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CPU: Intel Core i9-13900KS - Bare Die
MOTHERBOARD: ASUSTeK ROG Maximum Z790 Apex
RAM: G.SKILL Trident Z5 48GB DDR5 @ 8600 - On Water
GPU: MSI RTX 4090 Suprim-X + Byski Block
PSU: Thermaltake Toughpower GF3 1650W
SSD/NVME: NVMe x9 (11TB), SATA SSD x1 (1TB), HDD x1 (4TB)
CPU COOLER: MO-RA 360, D5 x4, 5 Gal Reservoir, Hailea HC-500A
CASE: Lian Li O11 Dynamic XL EVO
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CPU: Intel Core i9-13900KS - Bare Die
MOTHERBOARD: ASUSTeK ROG Maximum Z790 Apex Encore
RAM: G.SKILL Trident Z5 48GB DDR5 @ 8600 - On Water
GPU: Gigabyte RTX 4090 Gaming OC + Alphacool Block
PSU: Corsair RM1200x Shift
SSD/NVME: NVMe x8 (11.5TB), SATA SSD x2 (3TB), HDD x1 (2TB)
CPU COOLER: Alphacool NexXxoS XT45 1080 Nova, D5 x2
CASE: be quiet! Dark Base Pro 901
Full Rig Info

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CPU: Intel Core i9-13900KS - Delidded w/ Copper IHS
MOTHERBOARD: MSI MPG Z790i Edge WiFi (ITX)
RAM: G.SKILL Trident Z5 32GB DDR5 @ 8000 + Noctua Fans
GPU: ASROCK Arc A770 Phantom Gaming OC
PSU: GameMax 850W Gold ARGB
SSD/NVME: NVMe x3 (4TB), SATA SSD x4 (4TB)
CPU COOLER: EK Nucleus CR360 Dark AIO
CASE: ASUS Prime AP201 Micro Tower TG
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