Friday, September 18th 2020

EK Releases Water Blocks for Reference Design NVIDIA RTX 30 Series Graphics Cards

EK, the leading computer cooling solutions provider, is ready to offer its premium high-performance GPU water block for reference PCB layout NVIDIA GeForce RTX 30 Series graphics cards. The brand new water block is aptly named EK-Quantum Vector RTX 3080/3090 D-RGB, and it is very important to keep in mind that this reference design water block is not meant for Founders Edition graphics cards - those will get their own, separate, specifically designed EK water blocks.

"This latest graphics card launch was no different from the last one. The information that was available to us prior to the launch was very scarce. With new information surfacing each hour, we had made some drastic decisions that we thought were the best choice for both our customers and our partners. Over the night, we have completely redesigned our 2nd generation Vector water blocks aimed for reference layout graphics cards," said Edvard König, the founder of EK.
This also means the water blocks that were showcased in the EK webshop until today are no longer relevant, along with the pricing that has been updated.

An EK Water Block for Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080 and 3090 Graphics Cards

The new water block is purpose-designed with a much thicker 11.2 mm copper base to clear the tall capacitors on most reference design graphics cards. This gives the water block advantage on the market of having a clean design and a wider compatibility list, without sacrificing any coolant flow restriction.

These 2nd generation Vector water blocks directly cool the GPU, VRAM, and the VRM (voltage regulation module) as cooling liquid is channeled right over these critical areas. The water block is in contact with MOSFETs and chokes to maximize cooling and minimize the chances of coil whine, unlike some products that are currently available on the market.

These newly developed water blocks feature optimized flow paths that reduce hydrodynamic instabilities and vortexing (dead spots) inside of them. Additionally, this new design allows the terminal to be screwed directly onto the copper cold plate of the GPU block, making it more rigid and reducing the chances of damaging the water block.

An Open Split-Flow cooling engine design is implemented, which proved to be a superior solution for GPU water blocks. It is characterized by low hydraulic flow restriction, meaning it can be used with weaker water pumps or pumps running on low-speed settings, and still achieve top performance. The jet plate and fin structure geometry have been optimized to provide even flow distribution with minimal losses and optimal performance when used in any given coolant flow orientation, again, unlike some products that are currently available on the market.

The fin array is populated by 27 microfins with 0.5 mm wide microchannels that provide optimal cooling performance, without unnecessary flow restrictions or clogging hazards. The machining time of cold plates for these new reference design water blocks is almost twice as long compared to any other EK water block ever made.

The base of the block is CNC-machined out of nickel-plated electrolytic copper, while its top is CNC-machined either out of glass-like cast Acrylic or durable black POM acetal. To cater to the old-school liquid cooling enthusiasts, EK is still offering bare copper models of these water blocks, which are not equipped with any RGB effects whatsoever. The 2nd generation Vector GPU water blocks also feature plexi and acetal terminals that match the top cover material. The watertight sealing is ensured by high-quality EPDM O-rings, while brass standoffs are already pre-installed and allow for a safe and easy installation procedure.

Current Compatibility List for EK-Quantum Vector RTX 3080/3090 Water Blocks
  • Gainward GeForce RTX 3080 Phoenix
  • Gainward GeForce RTX 3080 Phoenix GS
  • Gainward GeForce RTX 3090 Phoenix
  • Gainward GeForce RTX 3090 Phoenix GS
  • GALAX GeForce RTX 3080 EX Gamer
  • GALAX GeForce RTX 3090 EX Gamer
  • KFA2 GeForce RTX 3080 SG 10GB (38NWM3MD99NK)
  • KFA2 GeForce RTX 3090 SG 24GB
  • Palit GeForce RTX 3080 GamingPro (NED3080019IA-132AA)
  • Palit GeForce RTX 3080 GamingPro OC (NED3080S19IA-132AA)
  • Palit GeForce RTX 3090 GamingPro (NED3090019SB-132BA)
  • Palit GeForce RTX 3090 GamingPro OC (NED3090S19SB-132BA)
  • PNY GeForce RTX 3080 10GB XLR8 Gaming EPIC-X RGB Triple Fan Edition (VCG308010TFXPPB)
  • PNY GeForce RTX 3090 24GB XLR8 Gaming EPIC-X RGB Triple Fan Edition (VCG309024TFXPPB)
  • Zotac GAMING GeForce RTX 3080 Trinity (ZT-A30800D-10P)
  • Zotac GAMING GeForce RTX 3090 Trinity (ZT-A30900D-10P)
D-RGB Lighting on EK-Quantum Vector RTX 3080/3090 D-RGB Water Block

The aesthetic end-piece is housing the addressable D-RGB LED strip. This water block boasts a total of 12 individually addressable RGB LEDs, and it is compatible with popular RGB sync technologies from all major motherboard manufacturers. The arrow marking on the 3-pin D-RGB LED connector is to be aligned with the +5V marking on the D-RGB (addressable) header.

Backplate for the 3080/3090 Water Block

EK recommends the purchase of a retention backplate, which improves the overall aesthetics of your graphics cards, and also provides additional passive cooling for the GPU core, VRAM on the 3090 cards, and backside of the printed circuit board VRM section.

Upcoming NVIDIA RTX 30 Series Water Blocks

There are probably a lot of questions about other RTX 30 Series water blocks as well - for the AIB cards and Founders Edition especially. EK water blocks for the Strix and TUF Series graphics cards will follow in a matter of days, while the Founders Edition water blocks will take a bit longer since EK is preparing something really special for those graphics cards.

Availability and Pricing

The EK-Quantum Vector RTX 3080/3090 full-cover water blocks and backplates are made and assembled in Slovenia, Europe, and are available for pre-order through the EK Webshop and dedicated reseller network. The water blocks and backplates are expected to ship out early October, or possibly even sooner.
  • EK-Quantum Vector RTX 3080/3090 D-RGB - Nickel + Plexi |164.90€
  • EK-Quantum Vector RTX 3080/3090 D-RGB - Nickel + Acetal | 159.90€
  • EK-Quantum Vector RTX 3080/3090 - Copper + Plexi | 149.90€
  • EK-Quantum Vector RTX 3080/3090 - Copper + Acetal | 149.90€
  • EK-Quantum Vector RTX 3080/3090 Backplate - Black | 36.90€
  • EK-Quantum Vector RTX 3080/3090 Backplate - Nickel | 43.90€
Source: EK
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7 Comments on EK Releases Water Blocks for Reference Design NVIDIA RTX 30 Series Graphics Cards

#1
bogami
Nice , such a massive block will perform very well cooling.
The EK once again maintains its tradition of the highest quality of style and function.
Posted on Reply
#2
Nephilim666
bogami
Nice , such a massive block will perform very well cooling.
The EK once again maintains its tradition of the highest quality of style and function.
Sweet marketing tagline.
Posted on Reply
#3
lZKoce
Nephilim666
Sweet marketing tagline.
I think he's from Slovenia as well if I remember correctly. But I don't mind, a lovely country and EK seem to be an active company. I don't do water cooling, so I am not a target market for their stuff anyway.
Posted on Reply
#4
MDWiley
That’s a thicc block! I’m glad the reference and FE PCB’s are so short. It’s a dream for ITX builders. Now to actually get a card...
Posted on Reply
#5
Bubster
The RTX 3000 FE looks fantastic it would be a shame to ruin the look and spend a couple hundred dollars more on a water block that will slightly be beneficial for temps...as ampere is supposed to be better cooled (according to Nvidia)
Posted on Reply
#6
skizzo
I'm surprised Nvidia and AMD don't treat at least certain water block manufacturers like AIB manufacturers. As in, couldn't they provide some sort of documentation on the layout that would be beneficial to the water block manufacturer, prior to release? Surely NDAs and contracts of the sorts could be signed to hold some accountability on keeping anything they want private and out of the public domain? Anyone have some insight on why it seems like EK and others basically have to go buy a GPU off the shelf to design their water blocks?
Posted on Reply
#7
cyrand
Just a warning, at the time this article was posted that was the list of compatible GPU Ekwb was showing but if you go there now the 2 Zotac models are no longer showing up on the compatible list for there reference design waterblock.
Posted on Reply