May 29, 2019 | 08:30
At Computex 2019, EKWB hit the show running, with a lot of rather exciting bits and bobs on display at its suite. A number of these you may in fact recognise from either last year or CES, where they were concept pieces or lofty ideas.
First up we have a collaboration piece between EKWB and case manufacturer In Win, dubbed the 909 EK Edition. You may remember the original mod version of this rig that was shown off at CES. It’s since been reworked and refined into a cohesive package and will be available shortly. The case itself features a fully open hardware compartment, with a smooth aluminium cover wrapping around the inside that also contains the power buttons and front I/O ports. Clearly the standout feature is the water-cooling, which is handled by an extensive distribution plate that also doubles as the motherboard tray. To me this was particularly impressive, as the plate itself is plumbed into the chassis at select points using side-mounted ports. This allows for a no-fuss look with no need for tubes in those sections, it’s also a complicated thing to do.
On display were also the new Quantum-line fittings and accessories, including the replaceable accent colour rings that allow you to customise the appearance of the fittings. Similar options will also be available for the pump/reservoir kits and other pieces. Expect to find these parts on shelves in June.
Another exciting part that was initially shown at CES is the upcoming ‘Connect’ controller. This device aims to be a comprehensive hub for all things RGB, fan, and water-cooling. It offers banks of connectors for controlling your fan speed curves, 5V addressable RGB LEDs and also new accessories such as the reservoir coolant height monitor. The software will come equipped with the ability to not only monitor temperatures and change fan curves, but also schedule events such as bleed cycles (raising/lowering the pump speed to encourage air to evacuate the system), dust cycles (same deal but with fans ramping up and down) or alerting you to top up/change the coolant in the loop. To go with the increased emphasis on 5V addressable LEDs, EK is also going to be updating its ‘Classic’ line-up with addressable lighting.
Last of the existing parts were the Lignum blocks and fittings, which were shown off last Computex. These feature walnut covers and collars that aim to bring a very premium and subdued look to the parts without sacrificing performance. They were recently put up for pre-order on EK’s online shop.
Now we get to the meaty goodness! First up was a very exciting concept piece based around the EVGA Z390 Dark motherboard. You may notice that there are essentially no tubes present? That’s because EK chose to have all the parts route their flow through an all-encompassing mono-block on the motherboard. Essentially the coolant enters the block, passes through the CPU section, then passes through the two GPUs via rear-facing terminal. The use of immaculately polished brass tops to the blocks, that were further black-nickel plated, creates an incredibly elegant aesthetic. Even better, not a drop of RGB in sight!
The main announcement, however, is the new ‘Magnitude’ CPU block, which is going to be sold alongside the current Velocity models. The Magnitude features a fully reworked structure, with a colossal emphasis put on customisability.
Everything from the mounting frame to even the cold plate and internal flow directors can be swapped for different aesthetic options. The block is fully CNC-machined and is a real stunner. The new cold plate features a larger and denser fin array with an altered shape designed to improve cooling performance but not hamper things like flow rate. For me the highlight is definitely the ability to customise the block at purchase; EK had a drawer full of potential options that will be available and the possibilities should be vast. Retailers will offer a number of set variants, with full block configuration available through EK itself.
July 1 2020 | 17:34