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Just my luck or is EK's quality slipping?

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
Bought an EK XE 240 radiator from PerformancePCs based on the excellent review of the XE 360 unit by Stren, as well as the equally good thermal results Stren obtained with the XE 240 itself. However I have to say I was very disappointed with the build quality of the rad I received. I have 3 major complaints which I'll categorize below:

1. Deformed fins:



I'm not sure what the acceptable "standard" is for deformed fins on new rads, but you can clearly see there's a cluster of them near the vicinity of the return end tank. Since all I've ever used before are Alphacool rads, I can only say there were much fewer deformed fins I had on the 4 different aCool rads I own.

2. Bent fan mount tabs:






The fan mount tabs in each of the 4 corners on both sides are noticeably bent upwards in the above pictures. I didn't bother taking a picture of them all but hopefully the above should give you a good idea what I'm dealing with.

3. Dirty, dirty interior:



HOLY CRAP. Never have I seen so much crud flush out from a rad with Mayhem's Blitz. Everybody says Alphacool has the dirtiest rads in the industry, well I can say with 100% confidence the last two Alphacool rads I bought (ST30 and XT45) came out much cleaner, as in not even half as dirty as what you see in the picture above. This is especially bad considering EK advertises "Ready for use; no need for internal flushing/clearing" on the packaging. Clearly this wasn't the case.

Now I bought this rad because the XE 360 reigned supreme at nearly every flow rate and fan RPM that Stren tested. I could live with cosmetic imperfections, and any of the 3 issues I raise above individually probably wouldn't bug me that much. However I do feel the combination of all 3 issues above is a bit too much, so I wanted to see if anyone has had similar experiences with the XE line of rads, or maybe if I'm just overly nitpicking.
post #2 of 6
Quote:
Originally Posted by magnek View Post

or maybe if I'm just overly nitpicking.

Your probably nit picking a little on the first two issues - I don't think I have seen an absolute perfect rad with all of its fins 100% straight - I usually also end up bending a few with my fat fingers when cleaning/installing them anyway...biggrin.gif

Nothing a small set of needle nose pliers cannot sort out. I'd just put that down to general minor shipping/handling causes.

On the cleanliness issue - I have also read one or two other posts where people have experienced the same - I guess the old watercooler's adage still applies to ALL rads - ie. ensure that you clean/flush them thoroughly before use just to make sure they are clean...thumb.gif

BTW - You still have an excellent performing rad there...smile.gif
Edited by Costas - 2/11/16 at 8:08pm
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post #3 of 6
First thing I'll say is I love EK, still my favorite water cooling company, BUT, I don't think it's nitpicking at all. Like you said if it was only 1 of those things fine no biggie. I have an older PE rad that has beautiful fins, not one bent fan tab, and not one spec of crud in it when I first flushed it, so what's changed now...?

2015 was not kind to EK and they had several QC issues across thier product lines on premier products. Not to mention they discontinued products that users still wanted badly and released products that were practically useless and made no sense imo.

Not sure what is happening at EK, maybe growing pains, maybe complacent attitudes with thier reputation, but the more I see stuff like this the more I worry about buying their products.

Edit: I wasnt going to mention this but it really seems valid on this topic, nickel plating issue anyone?
Edited by Radnad - 2/11/16 at 9:50pm
 
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post #4 of 6

Errr... then how about this one. Also from PPC, but an XSPC RX360.

We're just unlucky I guess. Most of the folks here said its acceptable. Likewise for PPC and even XSPC.

Phil
post #5 of 6
The slightly bent fins and that amount of solder flux are actually somewhat typical, you'd have to go back to the old Thermochill PA days to see enough solder flux to turn water into mud. Fan mount tabs being bent like that... not sure I've seen that all that often. They might straighten out when you actually mount fans, though. Generally that kind of rad quality is to be expected from outsourced production (not knocking it, it's just something to live with), you'd have to pay extra for Thermochill/Aquacomputer/Watercool/HWLabs rads to mitigate build quality issues, and even then it's not a guarantee.
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post #6 of 6
Looks like its has been assembled early monday morning after a w-e of hard partying
Take it up with one of the EK representatives here, say that you expect better than this from them. If you they want to be the biggest player on the market, they have to do better... not let QC slide
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