Thursday, December 14th 2017

CORSAIR Opens Port to ex-EKWB Top Management

It was a month ago that TechPowerUp broke the news about EK Water Blocks parting ways with then CEO, CTO and Head of Marketing, among others. Speculations arose from readers concerning what could have happened behind the scenes to result in such a dramatic change to what was otherwise a successful time period for the company. Since then, EKWB did just what they promised and delivered new products in time including additions to their Fluid Gaming lineup as well as introducing a new modular AIO MLC series. It appears that in the short term at least, they have continued on unaffected.

Today we can let everyone know what happened to those who left the company, and this news has deeper potential implications to the PC DIY market. Both Mark Tanko, ex-CEO, and Niko Tivadar, ex-CTO, confirmed to us that they have officially joined CORSAIR. Mark is now "Vice President & BU General Manager at CORSAIR", whereas Niko is "Director Of Engineering at CORSAIR". We contacted them for a statement, and it can be seen following the break.
I can confirm that Niko and I joined CORSAIR team and look forward to the upcoming challenges. I cannot comment on our future activities at this moment but will gladly disclose them to TechPowerUp! readers next year. Happy Holidays, stay cool everyone! -Mark Tanko
CORSAIR showed off some custom DIY water cooling components at Computex this year, with those being born out of a cooperation deal with Aqua Computer. With the acquisition of the new talent, and the job title hinting towards a new business unit being created inside CORSAIR, we speculate this is the beginning to CORSAIR getting into the PC DIY water cooling market as well. It makes all the more sense considering their competitors have already done so, including Phanteks with their Glacier series, and Thermaltake with their Pacific lineup. Assuming this is the case, it will be interesting to see how the larger retail channels and liquid assets of CORSAIR help offset the loss of manufacturing connections and assets that the two had access to while at EKWB. Similarly, brand recognition will be a challenge no matter what, since CORSAIR have been otherwise associated with CLC AIOs when liquid cooling is being discussed.

We have contacted CORSAIR, EKWB and Aqua Computer to provide further context to this, and will update the post accordingly if we hear back. In the meantime, please feel free to share your thoughts and comments.
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22 Comments on CORSAIR Opens Port to ex-EKWB Top Management

#1
jsfitz54
I don't know who has the manufacturing arm at Corsair for these AIO's but could they contract with EKWB in the future?
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#2
phanbuey
Not sure what happened at EK... but I would definitely keep those guys on a short leash if I was Corsair's management...
Posted on Reply
#3
VSG
Editor, Reviews & News
jsfitz54 said:
I don't know who has the manufacturing arm at Corsair for these AIO's but could they contract with EKWB in the future?
I don't think that will be happening anytime soon.
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#4
StrayKAT
Not to be insensitive, but maybe it's an E. European thing? /shrug. Maybe they play hardball in business over there.
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#5
Totally
"...EKWB did just what they promised and delivered new products in time..."

I'm sorry that's bullshit the MLC finally was released after delays of upwards of a year, and all other products weren't previously announced or announced shortly, within a couple weeks, of a the launch. They never delivered in that is an illusion.
Posted on Reply
#6
VSG
Editor, Reviews & News
Totally said:
"delivered new products in time" I'm sorry that's bullshit the MLC finally was released after delays of upwards of a year, and all other products weren't previously announced or announced shortly, within a couple weeks, of a the launch. They never delivered in that is an illusion.
The timeline was in reference to their statement provided in the original news post. If they never announced anything till then, how can it be delayed?
Posted on Reply
#7
Chaitanya
jsfitz54 said:
I don't know who has the manufacturing arm at Corsair for these AIO's but could they contract with EKWB in the future?
Corsair's current OEM and Patent troll won't be too happy to lose their biggest client to EK.
Posted on Reply
#8
Totally
VSG said:
The timeline was in reference to their statement provided in the original news post. If they never announced anything till then, how can it be delayed?
If you delay something internally repeated and then announce when you are finally just about done then claim that you are timely isn't that just patting yourself on the back?
Posted on Reply
#9
VSG
Editor, Reviews & News
Totally said:
If you delay something internally repeated and then announce when you are finally just about done then claim that you are timely isn't that just patting yourself on the back?
The MLC series was alluded to multiple times this year with reps saying it "could be coming in..", "might be coming in.." etc but until a product is actually announced and a release date given, I don't bother holding any expectations for a timely release or delay. Doing otherwise means going through what you and others did, and what I've been through far too many times lol.
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#10
StrayKAT
Chaitanya said:
Corsair's current OEM and Patent troll won't be too happy to lose their biggest client to EK.
Who is that? I thought Corsair's stuff was made by "CoolIT", but wasn't sure.
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#11
Slizzo
StrayKAT said:
Who is that? I thought Corsair's stuff was made by "CoolIT", but wasn't sure.
I believe he means AseteK?
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#13
Chaitanya
StrayKAT said:
Who is that? I thought Corsair's stuff was made by "CoolIT", but wasn't sure.
CoolIT was manufacturer of following AIO for Corsair rest all is AseTek. Majority of these CoolIT AIOs have been now discontinued and replaced by AseTek units.
H60
H80
H80i
H100
H100i
H100i GT
Posted on Reply
#14
StrayKAT
Chaitanya said:
CoolIT was manufacturer of following AIO for Corsair rest all is AseTek. Majority of these CoolIT AIOs have been now discontinued and replaced by AseTek units.
H60
H80
H80i
H100
H100i
H100i GT
Thanks. I knew CoolIT must've had a hand in some of them...

In any case, I've never owned anything from EKWB, but I keep hearing good things.
Posted on Reply
#15
Totally
VSG said:
The MLC series was alluded to multiple times this year with reps saying it "could be coming in..", "might be coming in.." etc but until a product is actually announced and a release date given, I don't bother holding any expectations for a timely release or delay. Doing otherwise means going through what you and others did, and what I've been through far too many times lol.
They had a webpage dedicated it to saying coming in Q3 2016 before the delays
Posted on Reply
#16
bogami
OMG. The EK has home in Slovenia (Central Europe) and many do not know this ! I have to tell you that this was necessary because Taxes in this small EU country are crazy and they reach 28% (not TAIPO).and that's not all because this basic tax then comes more taxes ! They successfully destroying all small economy in slovenia .
A strategic link is needed for EKWB and we will see what will bring us in the field of liquid cooling.
Marko želim vam veliko uspeha.
Posted on Reply
#17
Toya DIY
"...it will be interesting to see how the larger retail channels..."

Good luck to Corsair with that.

There is a reason you won't find watercooling DIY parts at larger retail channels. Several have tried just to find out they need dedicated people at sales and support plus they need to stock 1000+ different SKUs for a market that is very small and has slim margins.

I never believed in those quick disconnect kits as it doesn't make much sense to try to bridge the AIO and DIY markets.
Posted on Reply
#18
RejZoR
What I don't understand is how Corsair didn't buy the EKWB (either buyout or merger). Predator AiO's would be interesting for broader consumer market and knowhow and manufacturing would allow them to provide special systems with built in water cooling. Like for example water cooling ready case with built in radiators and AiO water block that can be replaceable with quick disconnect thingies. So you can either use AiO systemn on it or a full fledge custom water cooling. There is so much potential, if only someone would see it and use it.
Posted on Reply
#19
Chloe Price
bogami said:
OMG. The EK has home in Slovenia (Central Europe) and many do not know this ! I have to tell you that this was necessary because Taxes in this small EU country are crazy and they reach 28% (not TAIPO).and that's not all because this basic tax then comes more taxes ! They successfully destroying all small economy in slovenia .
A strategic link is needed for EKWB and we will see what will bring us in the field of liquid cooling.
Marko želim vam veliko uspeha.
And I thought that we have high taxes here in Finland. :o
Posted on Reply
#20
thebluebumblebee
RejZoR said:
What I don't understand is how Corsair didn't buy the EKWB (either buyout or merger).
This is purely conjecture. This is what I think might have happened: Corsair approached the management of EKWB about a merger. EKWB's management approached the EKWB owners with a recommendation for the merger and promptly got themselves fired.
Posted on Reply
#21
RejZoR
Why would you fire people over potential massive expansion opportunity idea? Seems unlikely. Founder could still say "nope" and that would be it. Unless they got into an argument about it. That however is possible.
Posted on Reply
#22
notb
9700 Pro said:
And I thought that we have high taxes here in Finland. :eek:
What he wrote is not true. I don't understand his reasons.

Slovenia has a progressive (and steep) income tax: 16-50%. Other than that their taxes are pretty ordinary for Europe.

Edit:
Check their tax burden. Nothing special.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tax_Freedom_Day#Around_the_world
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