Ek Water Blocks Cooling Solutions


Mar 22, 2012

Kepler arrives, so does the EK-FC680 GTX series water block

One of the most anticipated piece of computer hardware, the nVidia GeForce GTX 680, has arrived. This is the first card of the Kepler architecture. EK has already developed a high performance Full Cover water block. This arcticle will present the thermal and hydraulic characteristics of the EK's latest water block.




The test has been conducted using the following water cooling components and measuring equipment:


- EK-FC680 GTX prototype (RTM) water block

- EK-RAD CoolStream XT 360

- 3x Yate Loon D12SH-12 120mm 2200rpm fans

- 2m 12mm ID tubing (1/2" ID)

- D5 Vario water pump + EK-D5 X-TOP V2

- EK-RES X2 Multioption 250 Advanced

- EK-12mm High Flow fittings


Measuring equipment:


- Greisinger GTH 175/Pt J-type thermometer, calibrated

- Voltcraft IR-800 20D IR thermometer

- Digmessa digital flow meter FKHU series



Furmark torture benchmark which stresses the graphics card to the maximum was ran for more than one hour. Graphics card GeForce GTX 680, running at factory set frequencies and voltage (706/1502MHz, Vgpu = 0.987V) yielded the following results:


Tgpumax = 39°C

Th2omax = 30.8°C


dTmax = 8.2°C = ~ 8°C


The new 28nm litography offers great overclocking potential therefore we felt it is vital to test the cooling performance of our water block under such condition. Furmark torture benchmark which stresses the graphics card to the maximum was (again) ran for more than one hour in order to assume stability. Overclocking the graphics card from factory set 706/1502MHz (default Vgpu = 0.987V) to 1097/1752MHz (GPU/RAM respectively) with Vgpu voltage set at 1.15V and Power Target at 132% yielded the following result:


Tgpumax = 43°C

Th2omax = 33.2°C


dTmax = 9.8°C = ~ 10°C



Where Tgpumax is the highest temperature of the GPU core, logged by software; Th2omax is the highest temperature of the coolant measured by thermometer; dTmax is the highest delta (difference) between the GPU core temperature and the coolant temperature - lower is better.



Please note that the smallest resolution for Tgpu probe is 1°C therefore a rounding error is present. Considering this fact we can see that dT does not increase more than a 2°C even at overclocked conditions. The VRM (voltage regulation module) also remains cool, the hottest measured temperature was ~ 54°C (behind the MOSFETs, on the back side of the PCB; 60°C in overclocked mode).



The EK-FC680 GTX water block - like it's Radeon cooling counterparts- excells in hydraulic performance chart. The design once again features very low flow resistance, somewhere in the range of the EK-Supreme HF CPU water block. As a result any medium performance water pump will run three or four of these water blocks yet still offer enough flow for optimal system operation. Picture below shows the hydraulic curve:



The EK-FC680 GTX water block - which comes in all four versions (Copper Plexi, Copper Acetal, EN Nickel Plexi, EN Nickel Acetal) - is already listed in the EK webshop and will be available for purchase on Monday, April 2nd 2012. The first batches are already manufactured and are being assembled on daily basis to prevent stock shortages. The matching FC Backplate is also in the works and will be available in the following weeks.


Niko Tivadar - tiborrr - for EK Team

March 22nd 2012

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