EK Water Blocks EK-Velocity CPU Water Block Review
Its been about six years since EK launched their very successful lineup of Supremacy water blocks. However, as processors evolve to include more cores and higher TDPs, as too must water blocks. This has led to EK’s new Velocity line up of high-performance CPU water blocks with the 5th iteration of their EK cooling engine. Part of the new Quantum lineup of cooling products, the EK-Velocity block is the CPU-oriented piece of a new complete picture with the philosophy that everything in the liquid cooling loop is interconnected.
Velocity is a completely new design both inside and out. There is a new reinforced mounting bracket, which will introduce smaller mounting screws. Like most hardware you can buy in 2018, the EK-Velocity does have an RGB version. The RGB version comes with 24 LEDs which are evenly spaced around the outer edge of the block housing. The RGB blocks will be labeled so and are compatible with all of the more popular RGB lighting software such as ASUS Aura Sync and RGB Fusion just to name a couple.
ProClockers would like to thank EK Water Blocks for sending over the new Vector lineup to test out!
EKWB’s take on the Velocity CPU Water Block:
EK-Velocity is the new high-performance flagship premium quality CPU water block for modern Intel processors. It features a fresh design that will enable a vast number of variations and options for enthusiasts and demanding users as well!
EK® Velocity series CPU water blocks embed the 5th generation of the award-winning EK® CPU water block cooling engine, further tweaked for performance and optimal coolant flow! Low hydraulic flow restriction enables this product to be used in setups using weaker water pumps or lower pump speeds for added silent operation, while still achieving top performance! The water block also comes with the most sophisticated RGB lightning implementation on the market to this day. A total of 24 LEDs are housed under the aesthetic shroud which connects to a standard 4-pin 12V RGB header.
EK-Velocity has a beautiful new design. The top piece comes is a variety of materials from full nickel, to black POM, or Polyoxymethylene, also, known as Acetal. There is also an acrylic version that is see through. The cold plate is pure copper with nickel plating. The detail piece is interchangeable. It has a new notched design that also helps to diffuse light on the RGB version of the block. One note worth difference between the Supremacy and Velocity is the placement of the ports. When compared to the Supremacy, the hand port has been moved slightly to the right. The Velocity series features a universal mounting solution that offers tool-less installation. The Velocity series supports all modern sockets including all LGA 15XX and 20XX sockets as well as AMD’s AM4 socket. The EK-Velocity series are up for pre-order on the EK Webshop now and come in 14 different versions. These blocks range in price from $69.90 USD to $99.90 USD. Pre-Orders will begin to ship on October 1, 2018.
Features & Specifications
The new name “Velocity” was inspired by the necessity to be lean and agile in the world of liquid cooling. A high-performance CPU water block is no good if it’s too restrictive on the flow and bottlenecking your entire cooling loop. Efficient coolant flow and performance should go hand in hand, and neither of the two should be sacrificed for one another.
EK-Velocity, the new high-performance flagship premium quality CPU water block, is featuring the 5th iteration of the award-winning EK® cooling engine which is further tweaked to perfection. Built upon a decade of experience in liquid cooling, EK® Velocity series CPU water blocks are a product of countless hours of simulations, research and market-leading engineering.
The water block was updated on the inside as much as it was redesigned on the outside. The changes led to a design that is simple, yet still striking and eye-catching. A new reinforced mounting bracket is introduced with smaller streamlined mounting screws. RGB versions of the block are equipped with 24 LEDs that are evenly surrounding the water block housing to create the most sophisticated lightning effect on water blocks so far. The simplified cooling engine brings performance optimizations through more efficient flow and also easier maintenance for users.
Products marked with the EK RGB logo are compatible with all popular RGB sync technologies from all major motherboard manufacturers. The arrow marking on the 4-pin LED connector is to be aligned with the +12V marking on the RGB header.
The changes to the positions of the ports compared to the EK-Supremacy CPU blocks are minimal. The left-hand side “In” port has moved to the right for 3.7mm, while the “Out” port remained in the same position. The entire top surface of the EK-Velocity water block is 0.9mm lower than of the EK-Supremacy. With only these small changes, users can easily upgrade their existing hard tubing loop with the new water block.
The new CPU water block will be available in a total of 14 versions, from intricate RGB models to simple minimalistic bare copper cold plate versions.
New EK Velocity series CPU water blocks are compatible with all popular CPU sockets on the market. They feature a universal mounting mechanism that offers error-preventing, tool-less installation, supporting Intel 115x and Intel 20xx Sockets or AMD AM4 sockets, respective to the CPU block model.
Supported Intel Sockets are:
- LGA 1155
- LGA 1156
- LGA 1150
- LGA 1151
- LGA 2011
- LGA 2011-3
- LGA 2066
Supported AMD Sockets are:
Availability and pricing
The EK Velocity series water blocks are made in Slovenia, Europe, and are available for pre-order through EK Webshop and Partner Reseller Network. All pre-orders will start shipping on Monday, the 1st of October, 2018! In the table below, you can see the manufacturer suggested retail price (MSRP) with VAT included.
|EK-Velocity – Copper + Plexi|
|EK-Velocity – Copper + Acetal|
|EK-Velocity – Nickel + Plexi|
|EK-Velocity – Nickel + Acetal|
|EK-Velocity RGB – Nickel + Plexi|
|EK-Velocity RGB – Nickel + Acetal|
|EK-Velocity RGB – Full Nickel|
|EK-Velocity – AMD Copper + Plexi|
|EK-Velocity – AMD Copper + Acetal|
|EK-Velocity – AMD Nickel + Plexi|
|EK-Velocity – AMD Nickel + Acetal|
|EK-Velocity RGB – AMD Nickel + Plexi|
|EK-Velocity RGB – AMD Nickel + Acetal|
|EK-Velocity RGB – AMD Full Nickel|
Packaging & Unboxing
EK’s new packaging is all white with a picture of the block inside gracing the front. No more having to find the label on a back corner to figure out what the box contains.
The rear of the box has some technical data down the left, a short blurb about the block as well as what is included, and a QR code to take you to the user manual and installation instructions.
Inside the outer box is a Grey box with the EK logo.
Inside the box is a baggie of hardware for the CPU block sitting on the top flap.
Under the flap, sitting on foam is the CPU block as well as a tube of thermal paste.
In the very bottom of the box is the mounting backplate.
The complete list of things in the box is the CPU block itself, the backplate kit, the hardware kit and a tube of Thermal Grizzly thermal paste.
The mounting hardware in each block is the exact same, and you get the rubber isolation pad in both Intel and AMD kits. The only difference is the backplate, the AMD plate on the right and the Intel plate on the left. Both appear to be the same as previous mounting solutions as far as the backplate goes.
A Closer Look
We have a couple to choose from, so we’ll try to take a look at all of them. RGB and non-RGB, Intel and AMD.
This is the Intel Nickel/Acetal version. The trim ring is a chromed ring that strikes a great contrast against the block top and mounting,
The Intel RGB Nickel/Plexi also has the chrome trim ring, but it shows through the clear ‘plexi’ top and gives an almost silver satin contrast against the nickel-plated base. The mounting bracket is still black. It’s a little subjective, but this is one amazing looking block in person and it’s really hard to capture its beauty on camera. The lighting is completely hidden inside and can’t be seen from any angle outside sans the RGB cable itself.
The AMD RGB Nickel/Acetal is another all black block but trades the chrome trim ring for a translucent white one to glow in glorious RGB.
The trim rings extend all the way around the block and protrude just a bit on one corner to show the Velocity logo.
Most water blocks on the market have a protective film over the cold plate, but those films are a little too easy to forget. EK uses a bright yellow, caution inspired paper film that is REALLY hard to forget to remove as indicated.
Under the film is a mirror finish that should perform really well.
The four screws that hold the entire assembly together are recessed into the base plate quite well and pose no danger of keeping the block from sitting level. If you get a little over-zealous with the thermal paste, they may hold quite a bit of it though.
The new Velocity block is just slightly larger than the previous EK Supremacy blocks but still fits within the spec Intel mounting footprint. Our Supremacy block was removed from a test bench for a quick photo shoot here and has been in service for a few years at this point, please forgive it for not being perfectly clean or dry.
Side by side you can tell the new Velocity block is ever so slightly shorter than the Supremacy, as well as having a more elegant design than the square slab of acrylic.
The new mounting brackets are a stamped piece of metal with angles and curves to give it greater rigidity while being thinner and lighter.
The bracket is quite different from the previous slab.
The overall mounting is still the same as previous gens and a spring and cap tighten the block down precisely.
The included allen key is all you need to take the blocks apart.
The 4 screws on the bottom sandwich everything between the top and baseplate.
The cold plate has dozens of small fins that a jet plate directs flow into the center of.
There is a little difference in the fins around the edges, but the center area remains pretty similar to the older cooling engine.
The big difference Is in the jet plate this generation. Formerly there was a plastic flow guide insert under the jet plate.
This Velocity blocks no longer have this, the top and flow guide is one solid piece.
The RGB versions of the Velocity blocks have a ring of 24 LED’s around the interior of the block.
The ring is a rigid PCB style that is attached to the mounting ring with double-sided foam tape.
The lighting is very intense and bright, which is to be expected given the 2 dozen LED’s inside.
The sheer number of LED’s inside lets the Velocity blocks produce some very rich and saturated colors, even with the brightness turned down a little.
The white translucent rings on the RGB Acetal top blocks produce a rich and even light as well. It’s hard to capture on camera given how bright the LED’s are, it tends to wash out the camera but it does look really good in person.
If RGB is your thing, EKWB delivers in spades with the new Velocity blocks.
AMD Socket AM4 (and Intel LGA 115x sockets)
Installation of the Velocity water block is very similar to the previous generations if you are familiar with them. We’ll start by installing the CPU, in this case, a Ryzen 7 2700X. Intel LGA 115X will be the same process mostly.
We’ll need to remove the factory back plate by loosening four screws and pulling the front clips away.
Next, line up the EK backplate with the rubber spacer between it and the motherboard.
Insert one of the longer mounting standoff’s with a plastic washer on between it and the front of the motherboard and tighten just enough to keep it from falling out.
Install the remaining three the same way and then tighten finger tight to secure the backplate.
Next, prepare the water block by removing the protective sticker from the bottom.
On the RGB model, we recommend placing it over the mounting posts ‘dry’ with no thermal paste yet to make sure you have a route planned for the RGB cable to reach a motherboard RGB header.
Once you have this figured out, lift the water block off and put thermal paste on the CPU per the directions. Place the water block back over the posts and press down gently.
Install the springs and caps and tighten down evenly in a crisscross pattern. Until they stop. The springs will provide the correct pressure and the mounting posts will keep the block level. EK makes the mounting just about foolproof.
At this point, you are done and can continue to install the rest of your loop.
Intel LGA 2066 (& LGA 2011 series sockets)
Intel’s High-End Desktop uses the LGA2066 socket or LGA2011-3 on the previous generation. Installation is the same on both.
You’ll need to select the shorter for mounting posts, pictured on the bottom here.
The longer posts will screw into the integrated mounting system, but the block will not sit down on the CPU and will not cool.
After threading the four short mounting posts into the factory mounting points, we set the block on the CPU to check how to run the RGB cable.
Once you have this figured out, lift the water block off and put thermal paste on the CPU per the directions. Place the water block back over the posts and press down gently. Install the springs and caps and tighten down evenly in a crisscross pattern until they stop.
Installation of the block is complete and ready for the rest of your loop, but we couldn’t help but power it up for just a second to snap a picture of it lit up.
Testing & Performance
- EKWB EK-Supremacy Evo
- EKWB EK-Velocity
Using our longtime standard block, the EK -Supremacy Evo, we test Intel’s flagship CPU under FPU stress loads with AIDA64 and see peak core temps of 74C at stock settings with an average of 71.3C
Once we install EK’s new EK-Velocity block and run the same FPU testing, out peak temps drop to 72C on one core with an average of 68.3C.
This gives us a 2C peak temp drop but an average of 3C overall cooler than the former flagship.
AMD AM4 – Ryzen 5 2600
- Bykski FOUR FR-XPR-AM
- EKWB EK-Velocity
When we run the same testing on AMD’s Ryzen 5 2600 CPU at stock settings with Bykski’s FOUR series water block, we get a peak temp of 83C with an average of 75C.
We put the computer to sleep and swapped blocks over to EK’s new EK-Velocity block and powered back on. Running the same test, we see a radical drop in temps, falling 24C from the peak of 83C to a comparatively chilly 59C. Our average temp also fell 20C from 75C to 55C.
Final Thoughts & Conclusion
EK Water Blocks has one-upped its own flagship with the new Velocity CPU Blocks. The minor changes to the cooling engine make a small but noticeable increase in cooling power over the previous Supremacy flagship. The smaller number of pieces make tearing a block apart to clean and reassembly really easy, not that it was all that difficult before. The overall aesthetic is (subjectively) second to none on the market. Every single one we pulled out of the box made us say ‘wow’. The lighting on the Plexi topped RGB models is extremely intense, it will easily light up your entire case interior and likely part of the room your computer is in as well. We don’t normally use the brightness slider in RGB programs, but you might want to here.
The lower profile mounting system looks great, the thumbscrews don’t stick up much above the block, but that is also a bit of a double-edged sword, you need a lot of power in your fingertips to get them tight as they hug the block corners closely and don’t have as much room around them as the former generation. We would love to see a tool included to be able to adapt them to use a screwdriver similar to how some cases come with a small tool for screwing in motherboard standoffs. If you aren’t putting them on and taking them off as frequently as we do, it probably won’t matter much to you though.
Awesome job EK, you raised the bar again.
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