The third, and final (for now), 120mm radiator line from EK follows up from the Coolstream PE and Coolstream XE respectively. PE stood for Performance Edition, and offered an option in the 45mm thickness class of radiators while the XE (eXtreme Edition) was quite impressive in the populated 60mm thickness class. One can then deduce that the SE (Slim Edition) would accordingly be an option in the 30mm thickness class and one would be right. This class is one of the most important ones owing to the fact that a lot of cases from mainstream companies accommodate AIO coolers which tend to have radiators that are ~27mm thick. 30mm thick rads thus barely make it at times, and even then are left at the mercy of potential motherboard daughter boards interfering or not. Hardware Labs has had 29.5mm thick rads for a while now, and then Darkside took it a step further with their LP series coming in at 27.5mm thick. Note that these are still thicker (just ever so, but still thicker) than the 27mm thick AIO rads in question. The EK SE comes in at an advertised thickness of 26mm making it the thinnest custom loop radiator available for retail purchase at the moment. Assuming no other issues, this is thus the first radiator that is guaranteed to fit in all cases that advertise AIO compatibility in the respective size (a quad 120 AIO is not really a thing). This has me excited, but also cautious to see what has been cut to get the radiator dimensions as such. Thanks then to Niko and Derick from EK, we can now find out.
Let’s take a look at the specs courtesy the product page:
There is also a technical drawing which can be seen here. In addition to the 26mm thickness, we also see that the radiator width is 120mm as well which is the very minimum one can go using 120mm fans. So that’s another plus point when it comes to compatibility. But the radiator is longer than a lot of other quad 120mm rads, so it might be a potential issue. Let’s pretend we have a 240mm SE rad here which is advertised to be 280mm long. The current most popular 240mm AIO is the Corsair Hydro H100i GTX (review coming soon) and the radiator there is rated at 276 x 125 x 30 mm. The erstwhile H110i came in at 275 x 120 x 30 mm. The EK SE is thinner and narrower than the current AIO best seller, but 4mm longer. Most cases should thus have no issues fitting this extra 4mm but this is still a very important metric to keep in mind.
Aside from dimensions, we see that this is using a floating core as seen from aluminum/steel housing which doesn’t contact the coolant in any way. This is a similar construction as what their other rads (PE/XE/WE) use and comes with its own features and drawbacks which we will discuss in more detail along with an overview of the radiator on the next page.