GPUs Hardware Practice Reviews Watercooling

EK Waterblocks EK RTX 2080 Ti RGB in Review – Custom Loop Water Cooling and a Showdown at 380 Watt | igorsLAB

In my two articles "GeForce RTX 2080 Ti – Why water cooling is more important than manual overclocking and this brings very little" and especially "Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 Ti Founders Edition water-cooled? Forget it, here's the much faster alternative!" I've already detailed the cooling problem and the advantages of a potent water cooling. Forget air cooling and AiO compromises, because the real roar is only possible with a custom loop solution!

That's why I'll first test all the available models and then face them again in a special and determine the winner. Today, EK Waterblocks (EKWB) starts with the EK RTX 2080 Ti RGB. And without wanting to spoil: you have already raised the bar for the other test samples. Others have to do that first. But there are always surprises, both positive and negative. You have to live with that.

But since the Otto Normal customer can check the GPU temperatures at most, I now also offer the rest of the temperatures, because there are sometimes extreme differences in memory and voltage converters, which can hardly be determined with normal tests. Testing is always carried out with a maximum power consumption of just under 380 watts for the board of the graphics card and a constant water temperature of 20°C, as well as a room temperature of 22°C and the same Witcher 3 gaming loop

Unfortunately, some test samples have been delayed or were released late for my test, so the sequence of these tests will again be expected. But don't worry, because if someone has something to keep quiet about, I buy the part anonymously if necessary.


Unboxing, scope of delivery and assembly

The pre-assembled and also tight-tested water block, screws including washers, hexagonal socketwr, thermal guide pads, thermal conductive paste and two plugs are supplied. The RGB light chain has also been installed ex-factory. Even if there is currently no information on the homepage and in the data sheet (EK will supplement this according to my notice), it is currently the 12V version. A 5V version for e.g. MI's Rainbow is yet to follow.

What is always striking at EK, however, is the fact that the thread attachments screwed in on the back are very loose. If you want to tighten a screw here and remove it later, you almost always turn out these inserts and not the screws themselves. This is then extremely fiddly, brings senseless voltages into the board and can only be solved again by means of pliers. However, this remains the only criticism I would have to make.

Thanks to the EK Vector RTX 2080 Ti RGB, EKWB works with thin 0.5 mm pads for memory, which indicates good temperatures of the modules and also hardly provokes tensions in the PCB. The GPU is therefore absolutely flat. The Smart Power Stages (SPS) are connected to the cooler via 1 mm pads. Here the manufacturer obviously lacked the courage to stay thinner and pull the heatsinks deeper. That is a bit of a pity.

Cooling of coils and caps is self-consciously dispensed with. If you want, you can also order a backplate optionally, which could be included in the cooling system once again by means of thermal pads. We tested this with plugged-in sensors and were unable to measure any real temperature improvements. It looks nicer, but would also go loose without. That's why I didn't do it in the end, because she had to leave anyway for the measurements.


Technical data and manual

Before I put this conversion into operation on the next page and measure it, quickly see everything tabularly for all readers at a glance:

  • Material: nickel-plated electrolyte copper (bottom), acrylic (lid)
  • Thread: 4x G1/4 inch
  • Connection LED: 4-pin RGB 12VGRB
  • Compatibility: NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 Ti Reference Design




Test system and measurement methods

We have already described the new test system and the methodology in detail in the basic article "How We Test Graphics Cards, as of February 2017" and therefore refer to this detailed basis for simplicity. Description. So if you want to read everything again, you are welcome to do so. However, we have again improved CPU and cooling to largely exclude possible CPU bottlenecks for this fast card.

If you are interested, the summary in table form quickly provides a brief overview:

Test systems and measuring rooms
Intel Core i7-6900K -4.5GHz
MSI X99S XPower Gaming Titanium
G.Skill TridentZ DDR4 3600
1x 1 TByte Toshiba OCZ RD400 (M.2, System SSD)
2x 960 GByte Toshiba OCZ TR150 (Storage, Images)
Be Quiet Dark Power Pro 11, 850-watt power supply
Alphacool Ice Block XPX
5x Be Quiet! Silent Wings 3 PWM (Closed Case Simulation)
Thermal Grizzly Kryonaut (for cooler change)
Lian Li PC-T70 with expansion kit and modifications
Monitor: Eizo EV3237-BK
Power consumption:
non-contact DC measurement on the PCIe slot (Riser-Card)
non-contact DC measurement on the external PCIe power supply
Direct voltage measurement on the respective feeders and on the power supply
2x Rohde & Schwarz HMO 3054, 500 MHz multi-channel oscillograph with memory function
4x Rohde & Schwarz HZO50, current togor adapter (1 mA to 30 A, 100 KHz, DC)
4x Rohde & Schwarz HZ355, touch divider (10:1, 500 MHz)
1x Rohde & Schwarz HMC 8012, digital multimeter with storage function
Optris PI640, infrared camera
PI Connect evaluation software with profiles
NTI Audio M2211 (with calibration file)
Steinberg UR12 (with phantom power for the microphones)
Creative X7, Smaart v.7
own low-reflection measuring room, 3.5 x 1.8 x 2.2 m (LxTxH)
Axial measurements, perpendicular to the center of the sound source(s), measuring distance 50 cm
Noise in dBA (Slow) as RTA measurement
Frequency spectrum as a graph
Operating system Windows 10 Pro (1803, all updates)


EK Water Blocks Quantum Line EK-Quantum Vector RTX 2080 Ti RGB, Nickel, Acryl (3831109810477)

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About the author

Igor Wallossek

Editor-in-chief and name-giver of igor'sLAB as the content successor of Tom's Hardware Germany, whose license was returned in June 2019 in order to better meet the qualitative demands of web content and challenges of new media such as YouTube with its own channel.

Computer nerd since 1983, audio freak since 1979 and pretty much open to anything with a plug or battery for over 50 years.

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