It was a little over four years ago that I decided to take a chance and write up my first public review on a forum, and it just happened to be a review of the EK-Supremacy EVO CPU block. One thing led to another and here I am writing a review of its successor in 2018. A lot of things have happened in these past four years with some new companies forming in this niche field of custom watercooling and others closing down shop. A CPU water block is generally regarded as the one product to best represent a company in this market since it is compatible with multiple generations of CPUs and thus relevant for years. This also means that companies can take their time to develop the next CPU block, with 4–6 years generally being the timeline I see with most. Thanks then to EK Waterblocks (EKWB) for sending review samples of the EK-Velocity CPU block to TechPowerUp.
We got our first glimpse at the EK-Velocity CPU water block at Computex this year, with a few different prototypes shown off to indicate the available retail options that would ship out later—today, as it turns out. One of the things that took over the PC DIY market since the launch of the older EK-Supremacy EVO is RGB lighting, and the new EK-Velocity comes with that in mind depending on the version you go with. Customization was always a high point with these blocks, and we see more of the same here with options of three different tops, two different cold plates, and also two different implementations of RGB lighting depending on the top used as hinted at by the image above. We will explore all this and more, but begin the review with a look at the specifications below.
|EK-Velocity CPU Water Block|
|Top:||Choice of black acetal, polished plexi, or nickel-plated brass|
|Mounting (hold down) bracket:||Metal, black finish|
|Cold plate:||Choice of copper or nickel-plated copper|
|CPU socket compatibility:||Intel version: LGA 115x, LGA 2011(-3), LGA 2066 (Square ILM only); AMD version: AMx/FMx|
|Ports:||Two, BSP G1/4" threaded|
Packaging and Accessories
EKWB's packaging has been revamped recently as well, there no longer being a specific color and pattern associated with the product segment (it used to be orange for water blocks, for example). Instead, we see here a predominantly white cardboard packaging with more color on all sides. Indeed, on the front is a printed illustration of the specific version of the water block you ordered (the one shown above happens to be the Intel nickel/plexi variant with integrated RGB support), and the name is thus marked as well, alongside the company logo. On the back are technical specifications in different languages, a list of included content inside to compare against, and marketing talk above a QR code to get the product manual. More illustrations and details are on the side, which also show how the block looks from that side.
There are seals on two sides, and you have to cut out one to access the contents inside. Once done, we see that what we were looking at thus far was just a wrap of sorts, with another cardboard box inside. This one is mostly gray in color, has the EKWB logo on the front in white, and opens up to reveal a plastic pouch containing the mounting accessories as well as a notice to inform the buyer that EKWB also makes and sells other components they may find useful when it comes to completing the rest of the watercooling loop.
This bag contains a replacement jetplate (0.8 mm thick, referred to as Jet J2) and 2.5 mm Allen key, and four of each of the following: metal Intel LGA 115x mounting posts, metal Intel LGA 2011(-3)/2066 mounting posts, plastic washers (you may even find a spare or two here), metal springs, and metal thumb nuts. In the compartment underneath this is the CPU block itself, alongside a tube of Thermal Grizzly Hydronaut thermal paste. EKWB went from Gelid Solutions GC-Extreme to Thermal Grizzly Kryonaut and now this, which does seem to be a downgrade in thermal performance, although Hydronaut is easier to apply. The block comes on a piece of foam for added protection during transit, and underneath this is yet another plastic bag that contains the backplate rubber gasket and actual steel backplate for Intel LGA 115x sockets.
Missing in the packaging is a hard copy of the installation manual, which is why the QR code was placed on the packaging. EKWB expects users to access it on their phone or other devices already ready to go, and the online copy can be found here. I do not agree with this decision as I feel that components that are required for a PC to work are better off with a printed manual, and no one should assume the customer has access to another device.
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