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Question EKWB vs EVGA waterblock for 3080Ti FTW Ultra

HomerJS

Lifer
Feb 6, 2002
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I'm considering doing an EK water cooling kit solution. Looking at the GPU waterblock would you stick with EVGAs or go with an EK waterblock? EK costs will be 40-80 more (not sure yet)

Would I expect better performance with EK? If so enough to justify additional cost? I noticed installing a waterblock doesn't void the warranty so that's good.
 
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aigomorla

Cases and Cooling Mod PC Gaming Mod Elite Member
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Sep 28, 2005
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what about alphacool?


Its a nice block, even comes with a blackplate.


It also uses injectors like eK. (So make sure you get in your Inlet and Outlet proper.)


And they perform pretty darn nice.


And can i also say its probably cheaper then both the eVGA stock and eK.


BTW this is for 3090 FTW Ultra
Which i am going to bet is going to be the same block for your 3080ti.

Here is my current idle @ 78F ambient


overall i think you should give alphacool a option. I am pretty glad i was forced on it.
Originally i wanted an Optimus, but they went pretty much up in limbo, and eK took way too long.
 
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Justinus

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Oct 10, 2005
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@aigomorla Is that a power virus load in the GPU-z screenshot? Looks like power limit pegged with very low voltage. What kind of coolant temps in that test?
 

aigomorla

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@aigomorla Is that a power virus load in the GPU-z screenshot? Looks like power limit pegged with very low voltage. What kind of coolant temps in that test?
*shrug*

i have not touched the oc switch on the card if that is what you mean.
The load was simulated on Furmark.



I could also be GPU-Z just wrong, as when i did that, the 3090 was still relatively new, and gpu-z could be not calibrated.
 

Justinus

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*shrug*

i have not touched the oc switch on the card if that is what you mean.
The load was simulated on Furmark.



I could also be GPU-Z just wrong, as when i did that, the 3090 was still relatively new, and gpu-z could be not calibrated.
Furmark is considered a "power virus" meaning it loads the GPU in such a targeted synthetic way it creates egregiously unrealistic power draw, which is demonstrated by being maxed at the power limit and resulting in voltage dropping well below normal operating levels during gaming.

So yes, it was a power virus load. That's not a bad temp, do you know what the coolant temps are to determine a delta from coolant to core temp?

The performance does look good, similar to EK. I think the blocks that EVGA has made are custom designs, but I've never seen a thorough, comprehensive review to show if they perform as well as ek or alphacool.

Obviously Optimus would be the best possible choice but most expensive. I'd agree with you it seems like if alphacool offers a block for the OPs card it would be the best price/performance option.

To the OP: I never buy cards with a custom waterblock from the AIB because it makes it hard to resell later vs. having an air cooler so anyone could buy and use it. I also like having more control over mounting/modification/etc. where with an AIB waterblock you really can't modify it without risking warranty issues. With an air cooler you can always revert the card to for warranty, I feel more comfortable.
 

Aikouka

Lifer
Nov 27, 2001
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To the OP: I never buy cards with a custom waterblock from the AIB because it makes it hard to resell later vs. having an air cooler so anyone could buy and use it. I also like having more control over mounting/modification/etc. where with an AIB waterblock you really can't modify it without risking warranty issues. With an air cooler you can always revert the card to for warranty, I feel more comfortable.
Keep in mind that EVGA is one of the few (only?) AIBs that sells their custom cooling solutions separately. In this case, I believe that @HomerJS is referring to buying the waterblock itself from EVGA, which I've done in the past. EVGA also lets you buy their AIO cooler if you'd prefer that.

As for why to buy EVGA, I believe the common advantage of their HydroCopper blocks is that they're usually compatible with the stock backplate. Having to buy a backplate from EKWB is usually about another $50. (It was $45 for me for the 3080.)
 

aigomorla

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As for why to buy EVGA, I believe the common advantage of their HydroCopper blocks is that they're usually compatible with the stock backplate. Having to buy a backplate from EKWB is usually about another $50. (It was $45 for me for the 3080.)
but that alphacool block has injectors, comes with a free but weak backplate (pretty inadequate, but so is everyone else except optimuspc.)
And is cheaper to make things even more valid.

so it really makes no sense to get the stock eVGA block.
Its really poorly designed... well very LAZY design, that has no injectors, and to me looks bascially like it didn't even require a complicated CnC with micro channels on the base plate.
 

Aikouka

Lifer
Nov 27, 2001
29,966
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but that alphacool block has injectors, comes with a free but weak backplate (pretty inadequate, but so is everyone else except optimuspc.)
And is cheaper to make things even more valid.

so it really makes no sense to get the stock eVGA block.
Its really poorly designed... well very LAZY design, that has no injectors, and to me looks bascially like it didn't even require a complicated CnC with micro channels on the base plate.
Don't get me wrong. I'm not necessarily stating that the EVGA option is the best one to go with, but rather, just noting that EVGA sells their cooling hardware separately, so you're not stuck with a watercooling-only card.

In regard to the quality, I haven't had too many blocks to compare it with, but I wasn't super enthused with my Hydrocopper block that I used on my 2080 Ti. There wasn't anything wrong with it; however, when I had to tear it apart to clean it after my pumps died and spewed oil into my loop (thanks EK!), it took way too long to get into the block just due to the accents and junk that EVGA stuck on the block.
 

aigomorla

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omg dont get me started on how difficult it is to put the top back on a gpu block after the orings have warped.

This is why i don't do it.... and i don't run any premix or additives.
 

Justinus

Platinum Member
Oct 10, 2005
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omg dont get me started on how difficult it is to put the top back on a gpu block after the orings have warped.

This is why i don't do it.... and i don't run any premix or additives.
It's not that hard if you put a light coating of synthetic silicone grease on the oring to hold it into the groove, there's some play so you can stuff a moderately stretched oring back in and it will stay while you reassemble the block.

Obviously it's much easier with an acrylic top but I have several metal or acetal blocks that I have done this to reassemble without a hassle.
 

aigomorla

Cases and Cooling Mod PC Gaming Mod Elite Member
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It's not that hard if you put a light coating of synthetic silicone grease on the oring to hold it into the groove, there's some play so you can stuff a moderately stretched oring back in and it will stay while you reassemble the block.
i completely +1 this... however this can also lead to mystery jelly depositing on injectors.

Everything i run has an injector.... so its going to end up somewhere if it gets rubbed off the waterblock, especially with dual pumps adding pressure to those injectors.
 

Justinus

Platinum Member
Oct 10, 2005
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i completely +1 this... however this can also lead to mystery jelly depositing on injectors.

Everything i run has an injector.... so its going to end up somewhere if it gets rubbed off the waterblock, especially with dual pumps adding pressure to those injectors.
Interesting, I just took apart a loop that was running >3 years nonstop with no coolant change after being reassebled with silicon grease on the orings. The injector plates were pristine.

I tore everything down just because I let it run so long without a flush/changing coolant. The only problem was my alphacool radiator corroded and some corrosion deposited on the block fin cores I had to chip off. Other than that, the loop looked and worked like it did day 1. I checked GPU load temps before tearing it down out of curiosity - Still 35C max on the 1080ti.
 

aigomorla

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The only problem was my alphacool radiator corroded and some corrosion deposited on the block fin cores I had to chip off.
alphacool should be all brass/copper.
What corroded?
 

Justinus

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Oct 10, 2005
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alphacool should be all brass/copper.
What corroded?
The.. brass and copper? The interior you could see through the ports was covered in green copper corrosion. I gave it a mayhems acid bath and it took it all out. The other two radiators (EK and HWLabs) had zero signs of internal corrosion (I still acid bathed them, but nothing really came out). And the corrosion didn't do much except deposit on the fin cores in a few places. After chipping it off the fin cores were still pristine nickel plating.
 
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HomerJS

Lifer
Feb 6, 2002
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but that alphacool block has injectors, comes with a free but weak backplate (pretty inadequate, but so is everyone else except optimuspc.)
And is cheaper to make things even more valid.

so it really makes no sense to get the stock eVGA block.
Its really poorly designed... well very LAZY design, that has no injectors, and to me looks bascially like it didn't even require a complicated CnC with micro channels on the base plate.
I'll have to search for more info on the EVGA block design. I was thinking the advantage going with theirs is you don't have to remove stock air cooler to install EK's. From everything else I read EK gets good reviews.
 

Aikouka

Lifer
Nov 27, 2001
29,966
620
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omg dont get me started on how difficult it is to put the top back on a gpu block after the orings have warped.

This is why i don't do it.... and i don't run any premix or additives.
That's one interesting aspect of the EVGA block though... their O-ring didn't "match the namesake". In other words, it wasn't just a giant circle stuffed into the groove. It was actually pre-shaped to match the pattern required for the block's grooves. So, it was actually really easy to fit back into place!
 

KentState

Diamond Member
Oct 19, 2001
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I know I'm late to the post, but I have the EK block on my 3090 FTW3. Have not decided if I want to do it on my 3080Ti FTW3 as well. I would suggest looking at the Optimus block as another solid option. I originally wanted to go that route, but it was going to be months before I got it. The EK block does a wonderful job, but there are a number of posts with people bricking their cards when installing it. I may be lucky, but luck should not be a factor in a $800 GPU when installing $200 worth of block and backplate.
 

Justinus

Platinum Member
Oct 10, 2005
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I know I'm late to the post, but I have the EK block on my 3090 FTW3. Have not decided if I want to do it on my 3080Ti FTW3 as well. I would suggest looking at the Optimus block as another solid option. I originally wanted to go that route, but it was going to be months before I got it. The EK block does a wonderful job, but there are a number of posts with people bricking their cards when installing it. I may be lucky, but luck should not be a factor in a $800 GPU when installing $200 worth of block and backplate.
I've got to ask, why is the card getting bricked? People have been installing custom waterblocks from various brands for decades without completely breaking a card simply by installation being commonplace.

Is it a poor PCB design that is prone to breakage or a poor block design that interferes with important components?

Or is it the classic EK move of incomplete/outright incorrect installation instructions, which I've experienced on every single EK block I've installed?
 
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KentState

Diamond Member
Oct 19, 2001
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I've got to ask, why is the card getting bricked? People have been installing custom waterblocks from various brands for decades without completely breaking a card simply by installation being commonplace.

Is it a poor PCB design that is prone to breakage or a poor block design that interferes with important components?

Or is it the classic EK move of incomplete/outright incorrect installation instructions, which I've experienced on every single EK block I've installed?
I'm not sure what the root cause was. I just follow the EVGA forums and the reddit channel and it's a pretty common issue. EVGA had a lot of issues with the 3080 and 3090 FTW3 cards so I wouldn't be surprised if it was a variation in the design.

Here is a pretty lengthy thread about the issue:

 
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aigomorla

Cases and Cooling Mod PC Gaming Mod Elite Member
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Sep 28, 2005
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My 3090 ftw3 is sn: 2012 so its not 2014 which many people are ranting about.

I have the alphacool block on mine.
My card has survived Amazon's "New World" on ultra settings for 81 hours without dying once.
It did have an issue of wanting to run the game on medium settings tho.... it didn't like that at all, and instacrashed my system.

I haven't had any problems on it yet... *knocks on petrified wood*
Its been a great card so far.... i just want a better aftermarket solution for the rear tho, and not the ugly solution i made with random heat sinks and heat pipes.
 

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