EVGA CLC 120, 240, 280mm Liquid / Water CPU Cooler RGB Roundup Review: Page 4 of 8

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Posted by Mark Taliaferro on Monday, October 9, 2017 - 8:00am

A Closer Look EVGA 280mm CLC Cooler RGB (Water Cooler) (EVGA # 400-HY-CL28-V1)




The largest of the three EVGA CLC Coolers the 280mm should give slightly better performance than the 240mm version due to the larger fans and greater surface area of the radiator. As we’ve previously seen EVGA went with the Johnny Cash style (Black on Black) packaging.


Well planned and well executed our 280mm EVGA CLC Cooler shows the same resilient foam and just as important that heavy cardboard radiator cover we like so much. Some radiators just picking them up touching the fins will bend the fin and without the cardboard sleeve pinching the fins could happen with this packaging. The cardboard sleeve effectively spreads the force across a larger area preventing bent fins. You should never handle and radiator by grabbing anything but the sides. Never haul it up by the hoses, water block or by grabbing the fins.


All three models of CLC share the same CPU block and hold down hardware and from what we are seeing it’s the exact same waterblock with the same wiring, There is nothing wrong with that arrangement and it’s cost-effective to produce and helps cut costs to the consumer.


We had to get in close to this waterblock and we did notice a few mill marks on this one. The 240 and 120mm were completely smooth with no obvious mill marks. We don’t think these mill marks are significant enough to affect performance. The stamped metal waterblock hold downs are nice thick metal and bent for extra structural integrity which will help them not bend. Some AIO coolers have a flat stamped metal hold down that isn’t as thick as the metal on a tin can (not the new pull off type the old need a can opener type). Some AIO’s you can fumble the waterblock and just a 6-inch drop can bend the hold down, these look like they can survive a reasonable amount of abuse without damage.


Here’s the mini USB port used to pass data to the USB port on your motherboard and subsequently to EVGA Flow control. Notice this isn’t the mini-USB like the charger on your phone, you know the one we replace them like 3 times a year. Once again we are impressed with the braided cloth over the hoses. So many AIO’s use a heavy black rubber tubing with nothing over it, we like the braided coverings much better.


Here we see the curved sides of the fan casings and just how far they have been carved back which we suspect is the way EVGA gets 113.50 CFM with only 39.5 dBA.  Back in the day, 90 CFM fans were screamers only used by cooling fanatics that could stand the loud noise. Notice the ridges on the fans those probably help cut the noise by deflecting the airflow a tad.

It is worth noting that the 280mm CLC pushes 113.5 CFM while the 120mm push 74.82 CFM that’s a huge airflow difference but we will have to see if it yields a big difference in CPU heat reduction.


The fins on the EVGA 280m CLC Cooler are perfection incarnate and we see no sign of bent fins or mars on the powder coated surface of the radiator or fins. We got 3 samples the 120mm, 240mm and the 280mm and none of them show the slightest imperfection on the radiator, hoses or powder coated surfaces.


We mentioned it earlier and it will take some zip ties to run all the wires to the CPU block without running a spaghetti nest to the CPU. With the monitoring and control, EVGA Flow Control software offers we could see this becoming the new standard but with shrink sleeves for the fan wires. Optionally I suppose you could forgo EVGA Flow Control software and plug the fans into motherboard headers and the block into a CPU/pump power header but then you lose the ability to control and monitor. Likely by default without EVGA Flow Control, everything runs at maximum speed.


Here again, it’s the same exact hardware kit to hold down the waterblock in all the kits.

Specs Waterblock:

  • Premium Retention parts for Intel LGA2066/2011/2011-v3/1150/1151/1155/1156/1366 and upcoming variants
  • AMD retention ring for supporting AM2/AM3/AM4/FM1/FM2/TR4 and upcoming variants
  • 100% Copper
  • Fully controllable RGB LED
  • Noise Level = 20dB(A) (MAX)

Specs Radiator:

  • 312mm X 139mm X 27mm (LxWxH)
  • Aluminum

Specs Fan:

  • Size: 140 x 140 x 25mm (x2)
  • Teflon Nano Bearing
  • Speed = 600-2200RPM
  • Airflow = 113.50 CFM (MAX)
  • Static Pressure = 4.20 mmAq (MAX)
  • Noise Level = 16.0 dB(A) (MIN) – 39.5 dB(A) (MAX)
  • Lifespan = 80,000 Hours


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