Oh my gosh, is this real? Do I actually have an RTX 3080 and a reference PCB card at that? After what seemed like an eternity, not only do I have a compatible GPU but several GPU blocks as well to begin a full GPU water block roundup here on TechPowerUp. There are entries from EK, Alphacool, CORSAIR, Bitspower, and Watercool to begin with, and hopefully, Optimus Cooling, Bykski, and Aqua Computer will join the fray soon. We begin the series with EKWB, whose products came in first here, as well as the retail market more often than not. The company prides itself on extensive coverage coupled with early releases, too, so let's thank EK for the samples that are being reviewed today!
Depending on when you read this review, there is (or hopefully was) a massive chip shortage causing lots of component shortages. But there is another issue compounding DIY watercooling with NVIDIA shifting away from the so-called reference PCB design for its Founders Edition products. This, coupled with the general confusion on some capacitor heights on the reference PCB, resulted in many custom watercooling companies being left in the dark. Indeed, some blocks had to be revised or delayed. What I am testing here is a fully working retail product, which is the case with the others, too. EK, as per usual, has a lot of different options to choose from, be it different top or cold-plate finishes, as well as the Quantum or Classic lineup. The subject of this review is the Quantum Vector GPU block in the nickel/plexi variant for the reference edition (RE) NVIDIA RTX 3080, which is the same PCB design as for the RTX 3090 aside from fewer VRAM modules.
EK-Quantum Vector RE RTX 3080/3090
Full length acetal or plexi
Copper or nickel-plated copper
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080 / 3090 with reference layout
Four, BSP G1/4" threaded
220 x1 24 x 20.5 mm
Yes, five D-RGB LEDs coupled with 50 cm long 3-pin cable