EK Fluid Gaming 270 Conquest Review: Immaculate PC Gaming
EK Fluid Gaming 270 Conquest: Built By Innovators In PC Liquid Cooling And It Shows
Back at PAX East 2020 in March, we were captivated by the systems we saw at the EK booth that all featured an incredibly clean looking hard line liquid cooling setup. We were surprised to learn, however, that these were not custom builds on display to showcase EK’s renowned water blocks and fittings. Instead, EK has jumped into the boutique pre-built computer space with a line-up they are calling EK Fluid Gaming.
The Fluid Gaming systems are a bit of natural offering for EK. The bulk of the gaming PC market is incredibly competitive and price sensitive. Instead of wheeling and dealing in this space with razor-thin margins, EK can leverage their custom liquid cooling pedigree to offer computers with a more premium, high performance experience. As a result, every Fluid Gaming system features not only custom hard line liquid CPU cooling, but the graphics card is included in the loop as well.
The Fluid Gaming family is divided into two lines with three tiers. The company's Vanquish line features NVIDIA graphics cards, while the Conquest line uses AMD’s GPUs. The tiers are stacked up by CPU, wherein the 250’s use an AMD Ryzen 5 3600X, the 270’s use a Ryzen 7 3800X, and the 275’s top out with a Ryzen 9 3900X. We will note that EK is working on bringing -XT refreshed components to each of the systems, but currently only the Vanquish PCs have them on the site. Storage, memory, and power supply options vary somewhat across the tiers, but the excellent ASUS Prime X570 Pro motherboard unites all models.
The unit we have in for review is an EKFG 270 Conquest with a Ryzen 7 3800X and Radeon RX 5700 XT. A one-two combo of a 500GB Samsung 970 Evo boot drive with 2TB Seagate 7200 RPM HDD for bulk storage, 16GB of Crucial Ballistix 3200MHz RGB DDR4 and a 650W EVGA GQ power supply rounds out the system specs. Let's give you a quick guided tour of this beauty...
|Processor||AMD Ryzen 7 3800X (8 cores, 16 threads, 32 MB L3 Cache, 4.5 GHz max boost)|
|Cooling||EK Custom Hardline CPU + GPU Liquid Cooling Loop with 360mm Radiator|
|Memory||16 GB dual-channel Crucial Ballistix DDR4-3200 speeds|
|Motherboard||ASUS Prime X570-Pro|
|Graphics Card||AMD Radeon RX 5700XT 50th Anniversary Edition|
|Storage||500GB Samsung 970 Evo M.2 NVMe SSD
2TB Seagate 7200RPM HDD
|Networking||Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 3168
Intel I211 Gigabit NIC
|Power Supply||EVGA GQ 650W Gold|
|Lighting Options||ASUS Aura Sync|
|Operating System||Windows 10 Home|
|Ports (rear)||1x PS/2 Combo Mouse+Keyboard
4x USB 3.1 Gen 1 Type-A
3x USB 3.1 Gen 2 Type-A
1x USB 3.1 Gen 2 Type-C
1x RJ-45 Gigabit Ethernet
1x S/PDIF Digital out (optical)
1x Microphone in
1x Line in
1x Line / Stereo Speaker out
2x Additional Line Out for use with 7.1 surround
|Ports (front)||2x USB 2 Type-A
1x USB 3.1 Gen 2 Type-C
1x Headphone/Line Out
1x Microphone/Line In
|Dimensions||10.7 x 17.6 x 17.5 inches (272 x 446 x 445 mm) W x H x D|
|Maximum Weight||22.3 lbs (10.1 kilograms)|
|Warranty||3 Years Standard Warranty|
|Pricing||As tested $2,299.99|
Because It's Built By EK, It's All About The Cooling
EK's liquid cooling setup is truly the prime attraction here. The CPU and GPU are each shrouded in one of EK’s D-RGB plates. Clear acrylic tubes extend in parallel from 90-degree elbow fittings to the monolithic front panel reservoir.
The front liquid cooling distribution plate is designed by EK to perfectly fit in the Lian Li PC-O11D chassis. The distribution plate integrates the reservoir with a pump at the bottom. Liquid zig-zags from the GPU to the CPU to the radiator with a return to the distribution plate between each component. The returns remain in their own channel of the distribution plate so there is no mixing with the reservoir, but it helps additional heat dissipate between the graphics card and processor. The front panel also provides the power button, a pair of USB-A ports, headphone and microphone jacks, and a USB-C Gen 2 port.
Of course, this would not be a boutique build without a dash of RGB. We would actually describe the level of RGB bling in the 270 Conquest as “tasteful”. It has a definite presence, but does not overwhelm. EK largely diffuses the RGB lighting through the build’s glass and acrylics. The clear Cryofuel liquid used does not pick up much of the color on its own, which allows the acrylic edges to be pleasantly highlighted.
The RGB can all be controlled using the ASUS Aura Sync utility. Aura Sync has several built in pattern profiles with a healthy level of customization. Users can select any configuration from pulsing rainbows to two-tone gradients or configure each component to shine with a unique color. The black and white scheme of the hardware means users are not locked into any particular accent color or look.
EK Fluid Gaming 270 Conquest Layout And Design Is Next Level CleanThe 270 Conquest looks impressively clean with obvious care put into its assembly. Cable management in this Lian Li chassis is a minimalist’s dream. In fact, the only obviously visible cables are the braided and combed 24-pin connector on the motherboard and 8+6-pin runs to the graphics card. There are also front panel cables connected along the bottom and CPU power cables at the top, but they are all tucked away with a neat flip to the backside of the chassis. The hardware and plumbing is on full display, no distractions.
Even on the backside, the system looks sharp. With the rear side panel removed, a drive mounting bracket shields the view of any excess cables while also offering a place to expand the system with an additional 3.5-inch and 2.5-inch drives.
For users who demand even more storage, there is also a two-drive hot swappable bay in the rear. This is where we find the system’s 2TB Seagate HDD tucked away. Like the rest of the chassis, this is accessible with a thumb screw.
We can also see the system's expansive I/O offerings on display here. The back side offers a total of seven USB-A ports (4x USB 3.1 Gen 1 and 3x USB 3.1 Gen 2) as well as a Type-C Gen 2 port. The Radeon RX 5700 XT offers a standard mix of three DisplayPort 1.4 and an HDMI 2.0 port. Wi-Fi arrives care of an add-in card featuring dependable Intel dual-band wireless-AC.
The front panel extends an additional two USB-A 2.0 ports, a USB-C 3.1 Gen 2 port, and the standard headphone and microphone jacks.
The chassis features a total of four magnetic mesh filters. One is fitted over the 360mm radiator (above) to reduce the amount of dust settling in from above. Two more mesh filters cover vents on the right side panel while a final mesh filter protects the vents on the bottom of the system. Even still, the system is not impervious to dust but mileage may vary depending upon the environment it is placed in.
Let's get the system fired up and burn it in to see if the custom liquid loop can keep it cool...