An In-depth Look at EK CryoFuel Solid
When it comes to watercooling, coolant choice is one of the hardest decisions to make. Especially in 2020 when there’s dozens of different coolants to choose from. You’ll always get differing opinions on various brands of coolant if you ask around the web as well. I am frequently asked, “what coolant is best for my loop?”.
I even uploaded this video to our Youtube channel awhile back to give newcomers a better idea of what to look for when shopping for coolant. I’ve spent quite a lot of time over the years, running various coolants in my personal builds as well as my test bench. Over this past year I have been running EKWB’s CryoFuel Solid - Scarlet Red in my test bench. If you follow our Youtube channel, you may have seen a few streams on this coolant and how it’s been working in my loop. It has been awhile since I’ve given our followers an update on this coolant, so I hope this blog will give everyone the information they need when looking at EK’s CryoFuel Solid line of coolant.
This whole testing adventure with CryoFuel Solid started all the way back in December of 2018. I tested the coolant in the GPU loop on my test bench which has consisted of a 980 Ti with a Singularity Computers Protium D5 pump/res, as well as a Thermochill 240mm radiator and a HWL 360mm GTS at times. In the time that the coolant has been in the loop I have put it through all kinds of use cases from running benchmarks for 24hrs + to letting the loop sit for weeks at a time without any flow. I tested two different radiators both separately and together to ensure the copper in them wouldn’t mess with the coolant’s color as you quite typically see with red based coolants. I’ve run a couple different loop layouts to see what changes to the flow rates and paths do to the coolant as well. Overall I would have to say I’ve put this coolant through the paces and it has held up quite well in most scenarios. As long as you put the time into properly preparing your loop for a new coolant, and don’t use aluminum parts, this coolant should work very well for you too!
The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly
“Slight particle build up in soft tubing”
I’ve already started to mention the good aspects of this coolant, but there are still more to go. From the performance tests I ran I couldn’t see any difference in cooling capacity than plain distilled water. In my opinion, this is more than acceptable and what I would expect to see from any name brand coolant. This means those of you that prefer to have a little more color in your loop, don’t need to sacrifice performance for it if you go with the likes of EKWB’s CryoFuel Solid. Having experienced some amount of failure with this coolant I can also attest to the fact that it isn’t terribly hard to clean out of your loop. This is especially true if you use hard tubing like acrylic/PMMA. Even after the coolant had fallen out to some degree and left some residue on both the soft and hard tubing walls in my test bench loop, it was still easily flushed out with some Mayhems Blitz Part 2 and some distilled water. Note that EKWB does not recommend using Mayhems Blitz products on your loop prior to using their coolants, however I’ve still successfully used Blitz by properly flushing after use with 1-2 gallons of distilled water. The CryoFuel Solid always seemed to leave some amount of residue in the soft tubing, no matter the brand. I tried Mayhems Ultra clear, Primochill Advanced LRT, and EKWB’s Duraclear tubing. Each one ended up looking nearly identical after several months of use. Perhaps those of you that use soft tubing may see this as a reason to stay away from this coolant, however I found it to be a very minor issue as soft tubing is easily replaced with routine maintenance. I spent a fair amount of time conversing with an EKWB employee about how the coolant was reacting in my loop because my first couple batches didn’t work out very well. I experienced some pretty extreme color fall out and particle build up within the first few weeks of use when I began testing back in 2018. After some conversations with EK, we narrowed down the culprit to two sources. Either the radiator in the loop was reacting poorly with the coolant (EK’s guess), or the places with next to zero flow in my loop were causing the coolant to fall out (my guess). So I doubled down on my bet by adding a HWL radiator to the loop as EK suggested that I needed to use an EK branded radiator. Adding the radiator eliminated the low/no flow areas in my loop so I was pretty positive this would result in a more successful test. It’s been well over a year now since I’ve put the last bottle of EK CryoFuel Solid in the loop and I have not experienced any discoloration or particle build up since, even with two non EKWB radiators in the loop and a Koolance block. With these tests under my belt I can now confidently say you can use just about any brand of components with EK CryoFuel Solid, as long as they are not aluminum and you do not have any low or no flow areas in your loop (a long drain tube that runs to the lowest point in your loop would be a fine example of a low or no flow area in your loop). At the end of the day, in order to use EK’s CryoFuel Solid in your loop you just need to take the time to properly clean your loop prior to use, don’t mix metals, and stick to simple loop designs.
“Complete particle fall out due to low flow”
EKWB’s CryoFuel Solid is nearly “old” at this point in time, however I feel that without taking the necessary time to fully test a coolant, there would not be much point at all to write about it. For those of you that have been on the fence about this coolant, or if you’re just new to the watercooling scene, I hope this blog has helped you decide what coolant is right for your loop. I’ll be sure to keep testing more coolants as often as I can and keep all of the wonderful customers of PPCs posted with all the details!