Lepa EXllusion 240 Liquid Cooler Review

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Posted by Paul Malfy on Tuesday, January 5, 2016 - 8:00am

Introduction

In a market flooded with all in one cpu coolers, it can be over whelming trying to decide what one is right for your system.  There are so many factors in take into consideration.  What brand, length, width, fin density, pump rpm and noise are just some of the factors one must think of when making a decision.  Do you go with an all in one cooler, or go all out with a custom loop? Although a custom loop offers the best performance, putting one together can be intimidating. For this reason, many people steer clear of building custom loops. Is it possible to get the performance of a custom loop, from an all in one? With their 400 watt TDP, EXllusion 240, Lepa may say so. But are all these expandable aio coolers just a fad, or a great way for someone to get into the DYI cooling market?

LEPA’s Take on the EXllusion 240

Their slogan for the EXllusion 240 is “Break your own OC record with 400 watt TDP.”  The 400 watt TPD ensures cpu stability under intense and prolonged overclocking. The 240mm radiator enhances heat exchange capacity and cooling performance. The large copper base with their patented “Dual-CDP (central diffusing passage) micro-fin structure accelerates heat absorption and helps to eliminate CPU hot spot efficiently. The ceramic bearing features anti-corrosive, durable, and silent operation.The Dual Convex Blades Fans design boosts downforce air pressure and creates high-volume airflow. Refillable design allows you to add to, and or coolant. 500ml coolant included for future usage which you can customize the color of with the 3 different R.G.B. dyes. The universal metal mounting kit, supports the latest Intel® and AMD® desktop sockets with easy and solid installation.

Let us move on to the packaging and accessories on the next page

 

Packaging and Accessories

The top view shows the cooler with different color combinations for the coolant and the bottom view of the box includes the specifications and features, as well as the dimensions of the radiator, tubing and pump.

The EXllusion 240 comes pre-filled and ready to use. It’s packaged with 2-120mmfans, a 500 ml bottle of Lepa brandedcoolant for refilling the pump, as well as red, green, and blue dyes. This gives you all the possibilities for coloring the coolant to match your build. 16.8 million to be exact. A feature that any enthusiast will appreciate. Also in the box is Thermal paste with a scraping tool, and all the necessary hardware for mounting, including screws, washers and standoffs. Lepas’ universal back plate and mounting bracket are capable of fitting almost all modern consumer Intel and AMD sockets going back to LGA 775 and AM2.To make sure that fan headers aren’t an issue, Lepa includes both a Molex to 4 pin adapter as well as a PWM Y cable. The 24 pin adapter is included so you can fill the pump, assuring the system will not run while the pump is dry. Last is the filling tray with fixing ring. At first glance, it looked like packaging and nothing more since the included dyes were inside of the tray.

The cooler comes very well packed in soft, protective foam. This insures that it’ll arrive to you, the way it is meant to.

The EXllusion comes packed with all necessary screw, washers and standoffs. The PWM splitter and Molex adapter assures that fan header will not be an issue. The 24 pin adapter is a nice added touch. Also included is Lepa branded thermal paste with a spreader

Lepa branded coolant provides anti-freezing to -5°c. Here's the back plate and mounting bracket. The red, green and blue dyes can turn the coolant an almost endless number of colors.

Specifications and Features

The included reservoir has ceramic bearings pump with a speed of 3000 rpm and an MTBF (mean time between failures) of 50, 000 hours. The pump and reservoir is affixed with their dual patented CDP (Central Diffusing Passage) cold plate. Its micro-fin design helps to eliminate CPU hot spots. The Radiator is all aluminum and measures 275x120x32 mm. The clear plastic tubing measures 350 mm in length. It has an inside diameter of 9.5 mm and an outside diameter of 12.5 mm. The mounting bracket has a wide range of compatibility. This includes Intel sockets LGA 775/1150/1155/1156/1151/1366/2011/2011 v.3 and AMD sockets AM2/AM2+/AM3/AM3/FM1/FM2/FM2+. The 2 included 4 pin PWM, 120 mm fans have a range of between 500 and 1800 rpm,providing airflow level range between 38.2 ~ 137.8 m3/h, and static pressure level between 0.2 ~ 2.8 mm-H2O. The Dual Convex Blades are designed for great air flow and low noise levels of about 14~30 dec      

 Dual Convex Blades create excellent and quiet air flow.

Bottom view of the pump, reservoir and cold plate.

Central Diffusing Passage Cold Plate.

Installation

Compared to many other AIO coolers, installation was rather simple and straight forward.  The foam on the back plate made have to hold the screws in place while screwing in the standoffs, completely unnecessary. I simply put the screws in the holes on the back plate and it basically held itself in place while I screwed in the standoffs. The mounting bracket then attached to the four standoffs. It was at this point that I added the dye into the reservoir, I went with blue.  Next step was attaching the fans to the radiator. I attached them on the bottom the radiator, drawing air in from the top of the case. The fans have plenty of excess cable. However, I would have liked to see the wire on the pump just a bit longer. The simple design of the mounting bracket made the actual installation of the actual cpu block, extremely easy. Two screws that come affixed to the actual cpu block attach to the mounting bracket.

The inlcluded dyes allow for 16.8 million different color combinations. With the red, green and blue dyes, you’ll be able to match the coolant to go with any color scheme in your build.

Installing the standoffs was simple but do not forget the washers. The universal mounting bracket is one of my favorite features of this cooler.

In the NZXT H440, a few washers were needed for top mounting the radiator installed in the Asus Z97-A.

Testing and Performance

One thing that really stuck out to me was the quality on the radiator and how dense and thick the fins are. When compared side by side with the Corsair H100i, there’s really no competition.  The 8 screws used to mount the radiator could have had a wider head, or at least, they should have included washers. The reason being is the head of the screws were too small for the case I was using, The NZXT H440. Luckily, I had some washers that worked. My only other issues with the design overall would be the tubing. Although the flexibility of the tubing was rather helpful during installation, I could see it also being an issue in a smaller case. For example, this cooler would be perfect in a small form factor build. In a mATX build where space is much tighter, I could easily see the tubing kinking easily. Thicker, more durable tubing could prevent this from ever being an issue. Both the pump and radiator are fitted with high quality compression fittings. This makes it very easy to remove and replace the fittings as well as the tubing. In theory, you could change the tubing to something with a solid color or even rigid tubing.

The pump and reservoir come with a QR code. This code provides a link to a video that shows the proper way to fill the system.

Top view of both the pump and radiator.

Bottom view of the radiator.                                                                                                                                                  

Top view of the radiator.

A close up of the fins on the radiator.

                                                                                                                                                               

Top view of the reservoir and pump.

Testing Methodology                                     

Test System                                                                                                

Case:   NZXT H440 Mid Tower
CPU:   I7 4790k
Motherboard:  Z97-A/USB 3.1
GPU:   EVGA GTX 980 ti SC+
RAM:   16gb of Crucial Ballistix Sport ddr3 1600mhz

Test Program

Prime95

Prime95 is an application dedicated to finding new Mersenne prime numbers.  Prime95 is very popular in both the PC enthusiasts and overclocking communities as a stability testing utility. It includes different modes designed specifically for testing PC subsystems for errors in order to help ensure the correct operation of Prime95 on that system. The stress-test feature in Prime95 can be configured to better test various components of the computer by changing the fast courier transform(FFT) size. In this stress test, there are three pre-sets available. They are small FFTs, in-place FTTs and Blend. Small and In-place modes mainly test the CPU. We will be focusing on Blend mode since it tests everything, including the memory.

The i7 4790k used in testing was tested at both stock speeds and overclocked to 4.7ghz at 1.35 volts. All tests were run twice, with 30 minutes in between each test. This was to allow the CPU time to cool in between each test. Ambient temperature was 21°c. I first checked the temperatures of my Core i7 4790k at its stock speeds. From a cold boot, I let the system idle for about 45 minutes. At this point I recorded a max temp of 29°c on the hottest core while drawing only 3.3 watts. I then ran Prime95 in blended mode for total of 20 minutes. Running at its stock frequency of 4.0ghz at 1.09 volts, and drawing 97.1 watts, the 4790k hit 65°c on its hottest core.  I then overclocked the 4790k as high as it could go, while still staying stable. I was able to reach a stable overclock of 4.7ghz at 1.36 volts. After stabilizing the overclock, I booted back to the desktop and this time, let the system idle for just over an hour. While idle, the CPU hit 35°c on its hottest core and drew 8.1 watts. Temperatures while running Prime95 were much higher overclocked. With the CPU running at 4.7ghz at 1.36 volts, it hit 100°c while drawing 103.3 watts. 

Conclusion

When I was first told I would be reviewing this cooler, I had expected it to be like many other AIO coolers on the market. However, when I realized that it was not only refillable, but also expandable, I must admit, my eyes lit up. I’ve considered myself a PC enthusiast since the days of the first Athlon 64. I’ve always wanted to build myself a custom loop, but never really felt it was totally necessary. Your average AIO cooler always did the job, but was lacking something. That “wow” factor that made you do a double take. I honestly feel that with the Lepa EXllusion 240 in my system, I finally had the look and performance I wanted, without the time, effort and cost of a custom loop. I’d say at best, I’m a novice when it comes to water cooling. So the expandability of the EXllusion 240 is a great feature for someone who’s new to water cooling.

This was one of the easiest AIO coolers I’ve ever installed. The foam padding on the back plate held the screws in place, making the rest of the installation a breeze. The universal back plate and mounting bracket are one of my favorite features. This is because there is no need to store, and possibly misplace important parts that may be needed for a future install on a different motherboard. The RGB dyes make for almost endless combinations of colors. This assures that whatever your color scheme, you can get this cooler to match any build. Unlike many other coolers, the stock fans are exceptional. Due to their dual convex blades, they perform great and manage to stay relatively quiet.

With its sleek design, the EXllusion 240 would be a welcome addition to any system. Whether you’re just looking for an excellent preforming all in one cooler, or you’re looking to get into the DYI water cooling scene.  If you decide to pick up this cooler, you won’t be disappointed, especially at the price point. At the time of this review, the Lepa EXllusion 240 can be picked up at Fry’s for $119.99**. That places it around the price and average aio cooler. However, well below the custom loop kits and other expandable AIO coolers that can run anywhere between $150 to $250 and even higher. For these reasons, I’d recommend the Lepa EXllusion 240 as one of the best bang for your buck AIO coolers on the market today.

Pros

  • Great aesthetic
  • Easy to install
  • Excellent performance
  • Quiet operation
  • Expandability
  • Customizable
  • RGB Dyes
  • The Fans

Cons

  • Tubing could be thicker
  • Heads of screws should be wider or include washers
  • Wire on the pump should be longer

Highly Recommended

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