• Welcome to TechPowerUp Forums, Guest! Please check out our forum guidelines for info related to our community.

EK at CES 2021: Active Backplate, New Torque Fittings, Concept Cases!

VSG

Editor, Reviews & News
Staff member
Joined
Jul 1, 2014
Messages
1,501 (0.63/day)
EK Waterblocks, who have decided to go by EK for the brand presence in the retail stream henceforth, had a stronger showing at the virtual CES 2021 than most other brands, and showcased a good deal of new products amidst their EK Expo ongoing as of this post. The most interesting product to me at least was their upcoming actively cooled backplate solution, which is different from what Aqua Computer has done to date in that it has an actual cold plate and coolant going through a small block on the back rather than just a heatpipe. Now I will mention that Aqua Computer had shown off some renders of their own take of this, but this is the first time a retail solution has been shown off by a company.

EK says that the new backplate offering will come in either acetal or nickel-plexi variants, and will incorporate a thicker terminal that splits coolant flow to the front and back. The backplate, first coming for the NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080/3090 reference PCB, will make direct contact with the components on the back as well, with freshly conducted internal testing showing VRAM cooling improvements in significant double digits already. The company plans to make this an option for other popular new GPU releases as well, except for the RTX 3090 FE that gets its own bespoke cooling solution with the backplate connected to the coldplate on the front via thermal pads for a more petite, semi-active cooling solution coming up soon. The first active backplate is due to release in a month, with cost on the order of a typical GPU block itself. Click past the break for more from EK at CES 2021!



Fittings are the bread and butter for most PC DIY watercooling companies, and EK has had a massive refresh in the recent year with their Quantum Torque range of fittings. At CES 2021, the company showcased new additions including compression fittings in all colors match their Quantum Magnitude CPU block accents, as well as new female-female angled adapters and T-splitters that look quite sharp if I say so myself. They also showed off a new drain valve fitting with a locking cap and sliding mechanism that takes far less space compared to a typical ball valve fitting, and fits in with the design aesthetic. Finally, we saw new stop plugs in different sizes and heights to cater to different needs, and these all come in their four Torque fitting finishes.



Joining the new fittings were new pump bodies/heatsinks for the Xylem D5 and DDC respectively, with machining from a single chunk of brass that then gets plated in two finishes as seen in the images below. The DDC heatsink is cleaner in aesthetics with fins that visible when installed anymore, and cutouts for the cables in either pump option.



Taking a sharp right turn, there was a concept case with desk/wall mounting options. EK has dipped toes into the case world from time to time, including the EK-Vulture that seemed ahead of its time in hindsight, and the new concept case is an open frame with 4 mm thick aluminium panels that would not look out of place in an InWin catalog. Indeed, EK is still considering manufacturing from a third-party vs. doing it themselves, and are far enough in this thought process to where I expect the case to become reality sooner than later (maybe Q4 this year at the earliest, though). The case differs itself from other such offerings in providing clamp feet that allow installation on desks similar to monitor arms, as well as standard VESA mounts on the back for wall mounting. There are radiator mount hinges not shown in the image below, and the panels are customizable to allow for a reverse ATX motherboard orientation as well.



You can also see sneak peeks of that concept case in the images below, however those are more relevant to the Lian Li O11-D external cooling unit. This is effectively a pedestal from the Caselabs days, in that it screws into the bottom of the case and re-uses the stock feet that you had to remove in the previous step, except given a modern touch throughout with a custom push-fit distro plate for tubing routes in/out and also radiators that can be installed in either side (or both). The distro plate has built-in D5 pump, and comes with a pump block plate if you want to use an internal pump inside the case. I want to see a version sold without the pump in this case, just to save customers money on the secondary pump that is redundant otherwise. EK plans to also sell this as a standalone external cooling box with a roof panel.



Lastly, there was mention of their recently launched Fluid Works workstation PCs, as well as various partner-specific products from AMD, ASUS, Powercolor MSI etc. We expect to hear (and have already heard in some cases) more about these from the partners themselves in due time.



View at TechPowerUp Main Site
 
Joined
Nov 18, 2010
Messages
5,167 (1.39/day)
Location
Rīga, Latvia
System Name HELLSTAR
Processor Intel 5960X @ 4.4GHz
Motherboard Gigabyte GA-X99-UD3
Cooling Custom Loop. Two 360ies + 280 rad. 8x Nidec Servo Gentle Typhoons. AC CUPLEX KRYOS NEXT.
Memory 4x8GB Corsair Vengeance LPX 3000MHz 15-17-17-36 CR1
Video Card(s) ASUS 1080 Ti FE + water block
Storage Optane 900P + Samsung PM981 NVMe 1TB + 750 EVO 500GB
Display(s) Philips PHL BDM3270
Case Phanteks Enthoo Evolv ATX Tempered Glass
Audio Device(s) Sound Blaster ZxR
Power Supply Fractal Design Newton R3 1000W
Mouse Razer Basilisk
Keyboard Razer Deathstalker
Software Windows 10 insider
If only there would be point water cooling current gen cards... Nvidias doesn't clock, and AMD' s are super power limited.

But the backplate idea is fine... could pay attention to VRM areas more, but that' s left for the version 2 and buy from us again.
 
Joined
Oct 22, 2014
Messages
10,795 (4.72/day)
Location
Sunshine Coast
System Name Black Box
Processor Intel i5-9600KF
Motherboard NZXT N7 Z370 Black
Cooling Cooler Master 240 RGB AIO / Stock
Memory Thermaltake Toughram 16GB 4400MHz DDR4 or Gigabyte 16GB 3600MHz DDR4 or Adata 8GB 2133Mhz DDR4
Video Card(s) Asus Dual 1060 6GB
Storage Kingston A2000 512Gb NVME
Display(s) AOC 24" Freesync 1m.s. 75Hz
Case Corsair 450D High Air Flow.
Audio Device(s) No need.
Power Supply FSP Aurum 650W
Mouse Yes
Keyboard Of course
Software W10 Pro 64 bit
I'd rather see active backplate cooling for Motherboards.
 
Joined
Jul 16, 2014
Messages
4,353 (1.83/day)
Location
SE Michigan
System Name Dumbass
Processor AMD-9370BE @4.6
Motherboard ASUS SABERTOOTH 990FX R2.0 +SB950
Cooling CM Nepton 280L
Memory G.Skill Sniper 16gb DDR3 2400
Video Card(s) GreenTeam 1080 Gaming X 8GB
Storage C:\SSD (240GB), D:\Seagate (2TB), E:\Western Digital (1TB)
Display(s) 1x Nixeus NX_EDG27, 2x Dell S2440L (16:9)
Case Phanteks Enthoo Primo w/8 140mm SP Fans
Audio Device(s) onboard (realtek?) SPKRS:Logitech Z623 200w 2.1
Power Supply Corsair HX1000i
Mouse Logitech G700s
Keyboard Logitech G910 Orion Spark
Software windows 10
Benchmark Scores https://i.imgur.com/aoz3vWY.jpg?2
well this almost like a baby step to right side up gpu cards :rolleyes: :D
 
Joined
May 2, 2017
Messages
3,432 (2.52/day)
Location
Lund, Sweden
Processor AMD Ryzen 5 1600X
Motherboard Biostar X370GTN
Cooling Custom CPU+GPU water loop
Memory 16GB G.Skill TridentZ DDR4-3200 C16
Video Card(s) AMD R9 Fury X
Storage 500GB 960 Evo (OS ++), 500GB 850 Evo (Games)
Display(s) Dell U2711
Case NZXT H200i
Power Supply EVGA Supernova G2 750W
Mouse Logitech G602
Keyboard Lenovo Compact Keyboard with Trackpoint
Software Windows 10 Pro
Why would enyone need such a thing? Remember Thermalright IFX-10? There is a reason it was short-lived.
The rear of the CPU socket can get really, really hot, so although cooling the back of the board is quite inefficient, it's still more efficient than not doing so.
 
Joined
Feb 11, 2009
Messages
3,011 (0.69/day)
System Name Cyberline
Processor Intel Core i7 2600k
Motherboard Asus P8P67 LE Rev 3.0
Cooling Tuniq Tower 120
Memory Corsair (4x2) 8gb 1600mhz
Video Card(s) AMD RX480
Storage Samsung 750 Evo 250gb SSD + WD 1tb x 2 + WD 2tb
Display(s) Philips 32inch LPF5605H (television)
Case antec 600
Audio Device(s) Focusrite 2i4 (USB)
Power Supply Seasonic 620watt 80+ Platinum
Mouse Elecom EX-G
Keyboard Rapoo V700
Software Windows 10 Pro 64bit
damn EK, the active blackplate was MY idea >:L

but yeah, as was mentioned, overclocking on current cards is meh or worse...artifically limited so little point in these
 
Joined
Dec 18, 2019
Messages
98 (0.24/day)
Not sure why everyone's saying this is pointless. The 3090's rear VRAM gets super hot. People are modding their back plates and putting RAM water blocks on them.
This is perfect for 3090 owners, though it looks like it's for reference cards. Wonder what they'll do with the 3090 FE (if anything).
 

VSG

Editor, Reviews & News
Staff member
Joined
Jul 1, 2014
Messages
1,501 (0.63/day)
Not sure why everyone's saying this is pointless. The 3090's rear VRAM gets super hot. People are modding their back plates and putting RAM water blocks on them.
This is perfect for 3090 owners, though it looks like it's for reference cards. Wonder what they'll do with the 3090 FE (if anything).

I've mentioned more about their plans for the 3090 FE in the post, although you will get a better look at it during their expo later today.
 
Joined
Dec 18, 2019
Messages
98 (0.24/day)
I've mentioned more about their plans for the 3090 FE in the post, although you will get a better look at it during their expo later today.
Woops, I missed that in the article somehow. Thanks for the info!
 
  • Like
Reactions: VSG
Joined
Apr 5, 2016
Messages
41 (0.02/day)
System Name Katzi
Processor Ryzen 5 3600X
Motherboard MSI MPG B550 Carbon Gaming WiFi
Cooling Noctua NH-U12S
Memory Corsair Vengeance LPX 3600mhz 32Gb
Video Card(s) MSI Gaming X Trio RTX 3080
Storage 2x Samsung 970 Evo Plus m.2 1tb SSD 1x Samsung 1tb QVL SSD
Display(s) AOC CQ27G2
Case Corsair 4000D AF Black
Audio Device(s) Creative Soundblaster X3
Power Supply Corsair RMx850
Mouse Glorious Model D (White)
Keyboard Logitech G915 TKL White
No word on the new/working software for the EK Connect?

Lame.
 

VSG

Editor, Reviews & News
Staff member
Joined
Jul 1, 2014
Messages
1,501 (0.63/day)
No word on the new/working software for the EK Connect?

Lame.

I did not have enough time to ask this, the AMD keynote was next up. But I understand that they went back to the drawing board for this and are aiming for a new release soon.
 
Joined
Feb 20, 2020
Messages
1,049 (3.09/day)
Location
Texas
System Name Ghetto Rigs x299 & z490 & Q9550 Old timer
Processor 9940x with optimus sigV2 & 10900k with optimus foundation & Q9550 with EK Evo
Motherboard X299 Rampage VI Apex & z490 Maximus XII Apex & Acer WG43M
Cooling D5 combo/280 GTX/ VRM water block copper/280 GTX/ D5 Top/Optimus sigV2/TitanXp/Mora 360x2
Memory Trident-Z 3600C16 4x8gb & Trident-Z 3600c16 2x8gb & 4x2gb crucial
Video Card(s) Titan Xp & 1080ti ftw3 & evga 980ti
Storage 970 evo plus 500gb & 970 evo 500gb many 2.5" ssd's and regular hdd's
Display(s) 1-AOC G2460PG 24"G-Sync 144Hz/ 2nd 1-ASUS VG248QE 24"/ 3rd LG 43" series
Case D450 second floor for 2nd rad x2/ Cherry Entertainment center
Audio Device(s) Built in Realtek x2
Power Supply evga 1200P2 & 1000P2 & 850P2 with APC AX1500 & CyberPower-1325va
Mouse Redragon Perdition x3
Keyboard G910 & G710+x2
Software Win-7 pro x3 and Linux Cinnamon 20x2 & win-10 pro x3
Hi,
New sort of piping system
Using the same port as both inlet and outlet lol
 
Joined
Feb 20, 2020
Messages
1,049 (3.09/day)
Location
Texas
System Name Ghetto Rigs x299 & z490 & Q9550 Old timer
Processor 9940x with optimus sigV2 & 10900k with optimus foundation & Q9550 with EK Evo
Motherboard X299 Rampage VI Apex & z490 Maximus XII Apex & Acer WG43M
Cooling D5 combo/280 GTX/ VRM water block copper/280 GTX/ D5 Top/Optimus sigV2/TitanXp/Mora 360x2
Memory Trident-Z 3600C16 4x8gb & Trident-Z 3600c16 2x8gb & 4x2gb crucial
Video Card(s) Titan Xp & 1080ti ftw3 & evga 980ti
Storage 970 evo plus 500gb & 970 evo 500gb many 2.5" ssd's and regular hdd's
Display(s) 1-AOC G2460PG 24"G-Sync 144Hz/ 2nd 1-ASUS VG248QE 24"/ 3rd LG 43" series
Case D450 second floor for 2nd rad x2/ Cherry Entertainment center
Audio Device(s) Built in Realtek x2
Power Supply evga 1200P2 & 1000P2 & 850P2 with APC AX1500 & CyberPower-1325va
Mouse Redragon Perdition x3
Keyboard G910 & G710+x2
Software Win-7 pro x3 and Linux Cinnamon 20x2 & win-10 pro x3
Seriously EK, spend some damn money on a proper interval of tooling swaps cuz ya still clearly don't care about tool marks.
Hi,
Yep
Bad thing last I saw of optimus gpu blocks they don't care either.
Only the plexi looked nice and clear.
 
Joined
Dec 29, 2010
Messages
1,726 (0.47/day)
Hi,
Yep
Bad thing last I saw of optimus gpu blocks they don't care either.
Only the plexi looked nice and clear.
They're cutting corners with that crap substandard markings. I dunno, I guess us hobbyist are either too clueless or don't care. I suppose we could reach and say the positive thing is that all those markings reduces laminar flow, smh.
 
Joined
Feb 20, 2020
Messages
1,049 (3.09/day)
Location
Texas
System Name Ghetto Rigs x299 & z490 & Q9550 Old timer
Processor 9940x with optimus sigV2 & 10900k with optimus foundation & Q9550 with EK Evo
Motherboard X299 Rampage VI Apex & z490 Maximus XII Apex & Acer WG43M
Cooling D5 combo/280 GTX/ VRM water block copper/280 GTX/ D5 Top/Optimus sigV2/TitanXp/Mora 360x2
Memory Trident-Z 3600C16 4x8gb & Trident-Z 3600c16 2x8gb & 4x2gb crucial
Video Card(s) Titan Xp & 1080ti ftw3 & evga 980ti
Storage 970 evo plus 500gb & 970 evo 500gb many 2.5" ssd's and regular hdd's
Display(s) 1-AOC G2460PG 24"G-Sync 144Hz/ 2nd 1-ASUS VG248QE 24"/ 3rd LG 43" series
Case D450 second floor for 2nd rad x2/ Cherry Entertainment center
Audio Device(s) Built in Realtek x2
Power Supply evga 1200P2 & 1000P2 & 850P2 with APC AX1500 & CyberPower-1325va
Mouse Redragon Perdition x3
Keyboard G910 & G710+x2
Software Win-7 pro x3 and Linux Cinnamon 20x2 & win-10 pro x3
They're cutting corners with that crap substandard markings. I dunno, I guess us hobbyist are either too clueless or don't care. I suppose we could reach and say the positive thing is that all those markings reduces laminar flow, smh.
Hi,
Yeah last I read from someone else is the marks cause turbulence lol
Pretty lame but maybe watercool will serve up some nice offerings.
 
Joined
May 2, 2017
Messages
3,432 (2.52/day)
Location
Lund, Sweden
Processor AMD Ryzen 5 1600X
Motherboard Biostar X370GTN
Cooling Custom CPU+GPU water loop
Memory 16GB G.Skill TridentZ DDR4-3200 C16
Video Card(s) AMD R9 Fury X
Storage 500GB 960 Evo (OS ++), 500GB 850 Evo (Games)
Display(s) Dell U2711
Case NZXT H200i
Power Supply EVGA Supernova G2 750W
Mouse Logitech G602
Keyboard Lenovo Compact Keyboard with Trackpoint
Software Windows 10 Pro
I'm not a fluid dynamics engineer, but I can't imagine tool marks like that having a measurable - let alone noticeable - effect on flow or thermals. They're not that big.
 
Joined
Dec 29, 2010
Messages
1,726 (0.47/day)
I'm not a fluid dynamics engineer, but I can't imagine tool marks like that having a measurable - let alone noticeable - effect on flow or thermals. They're not that big.
We're joking about it. You know its a rationalization.
 
Joined
Feb 20, 2020
Messages
1,049 (3.09/day)
Location
Texas
System Name Ghetto Rigs x299 & z490 & Q9550 Old timer
Processor 9940x with optimus sigV2 & 10900k with optimus foundation & Q9550 with EK Evo
Motherboard X299 Rampage VI Apex & z490 Maximus XII Apex & Acer WG43M
Cooling D5 combo/280 GTX/ VRM water block copper/280 GTX/ D5 Top/Optimus sigV2/TitanXp/Mora 360x2
Memory Trident-Z 3600C16 4x8gb & Trident-Z 3600c16 2x8gb & 4x2gb crucial
Video Card(s) Titan Xp & 1080ti ftw3 & evga 980ti
Storage 970 evo plus 500gb & 970 evo 500gb many 2.5" ssd's and regular hdd's
Display(s) 1-AOC G2460PG 24"G-Sync 144Hz/ 2nd 1-ASUS VG248QE 24"/ 3rd LG 43" series
Case D450 second floor for 2nd rad x2/ Cherry Entertainment center
Audio Device(s) Built in Realtek x2
Power Supply evga 1200P2 & 1000P2 & 850P2 with APC AX1500 & CyberPower-1325va
Mouse Redragon Perdition x3
Keyboard G910 & G710+x2
Software Win-7 pro x3 and Linux Cinnamon 20x2 & win-10 pro x3
Hi,
Yeah it's rough mill is so the nickel has something to hold onto lol
 
Joined
Feb 20, 2020
Messages
1,049 (3.09/day)
Location
Texas
System Name Ghetto Rigs x299 & z490 & Q9550 Old timer
Processor 9940x with optimus sigV2 & 10900k with optimus foundation & Q9550 with EK Evo
Motherboard X299 Rampage VI Apex & z490 Maximus XII Apex & Acer WG43M
Cooling D5 combo/280 GTX/ VRM water block copper/280 GTX/ D5 Top/Optimus sigV2/TitanXp/Mora 360x2
Memory Trident-Z 3600C16 4x8gb & Trident-Z 3600c16 2x8gb & 4x2gb crucial
Video Card(s) Titan Xp & 1080ti ftw3 & evga 980ti
Storage 970 evo plus 500gb & 970 evo 500gb many 2.5" ssd's and regular hdd's
Display(s) 1-AOC G2460PG 24"G-Sync 144Hz/ 2nd 1-ASUS VG248QE 24"/ 3rd LG 43" series
Case D450 second floor for 2nd rad x2/ Cherry Entertainment center
Audio Device(s) Built in Realtek x2
Power Supply evga 1200P2 & 1000P2 & 850P2 with APC AX1500 & CyberPower-1325va
Mouse Redragon Perdition x3
Keyboard G910 & G710+x2
Software Win-7 pro x3 and Linux Cinnamon 20x2 & win-10 pro x3
Hi,
Optimus said nickel shows everything as an excuse for the milling marks lol

Someone posted a copper block and well no kidding optimus made no attempt to remove the imperfections so of course nickel will show them all so this is code for yeah we don't care about smooth milling anymore we're in a hurry to ship out items before people cancel orders :)

EK just pumps items out this has always been the case it's a norm.
 
Joined
Dec 29, 2010
Messages
1,726 (0.47/day)
EK blocks from 5-6 years ago didn't have tooling marks like this from what I can recall. I have some 290x and 7970 blocks I can pull out to confirm later.

And yea, it's just cost cutting. You're supposed to replace the tooling after so many hours because the tooling wears out. And once it wears out it leaves tooling marks cuz your tolerances drop from the wear. There's other things you can do to reduce tool marks, like milling to reduce tooling marks which obviously they don't give two cents about.
 
Joined
Feb 20, 2020
Messages
1,049 (3.09/day)
Location
Texas
System Name Ghetto Rigs x299 & z490 & Q9550 Old timer
Processor 9940x with optimus sigV2 & 10900k with optimus foundation & Q9550 with EK Evo
Motherboard X299 Rampage VI Apex & z490 Maximus XII Apex & Acer WG43M
Cooling D5 combo/280 GTX/ VRM water block copper/280 GTX/ D5 Top/Optimus sigV2/TitanXp/Mora 360x2
Memory Trident-Z 3600C16 4x8gb & Trident-Z 3600c16 2x8gb & 4x2gb crucial
Video Card(s) Titan Xp & 1080ti ftw3 & evga 980ti
Storage 970 evo plus 500gb & 970 evo 500gb many 2.5" ssd's and regular hdd's
Display(s) 1-AOC G2460PG 24"G-Sync 144Hz/ 2nd 1-ASUS VG248QE 24"/ 3rd LG 43" series
Case D450 second floor for 2nd rad x2/ Cherry Entertainment center
Audio Device(s) Built in Realtek x2
Power Supply evga 1200P2 & 1000P2 & 850P2 with APC AX1500 & CyberPower-1325va
Mouse Redragon Perdition x3
Keyboard G910 & G710+x2
Software Win-7 pro x3 and Linux Cinnamon 20x2 & win-10 pro x3
EK blocks from 5-6 years ago didn't have tooling marks like this from what I can recall. I have some 290x and 7970 blocks I can pull out to confirm later.

And yea, it's just cost cutting. You're supposed to replace the tooling after so many hours because the tooling wears out. And once it wears out it leaves tooling marks cuz your tolerances drop from the wear. There's other things you can do to reduce tool marks, like milling to reduce tooling marks which obviously they don't give two cents about.
Hi,
Maybe not 5 years ago but here's a nearly 4 year old 1080ti block that has plenty can't find my titan Xp water block it's the same.
 

Attachments

  • 1080ti ftw3 after 3 years.jpg
    1080ti ftw3 after 3 years.jpg
    2.8 MB · Views: 11
Joined
May 2, 2017
Messages
3,432 (2.52/day)
Location
Lund, Sweden
Processor AMD Ryzen 5 1600X
Motherboard Biostar X370GTN
Cooling Custom CPU+GPU water loop
Memory 16GB G.Skill TridentZ DDR4-3200 C16
Video Card(s) AMD R9 Fury X
Storage 500GB 960 Evo (OS ++), 500GB 850 Evo (Games)
Display(s) Dell U2711
Case NZXT H200i
Power Supply EVGA Supernova G2 750W
Mouse Logitech G602
Keyboard Lenovo Compact Keyboard with Trackpoint
Software Windows 10 Pro
I mean, the only way to avoid milling marks like those is essentially to polish the metal after machining. Which, considering it has zero effect on cooling, is just unnecessary work and thus an unnecessary increase in production costs. Why bother?
 
Top