Leo loves his custom loop cooling. It's no surprise, then, that he got pretty excited when visiting EKWB at Computex 2019 as the custom loop specialists had a variety of new blocks and fully-built systems on show. Leo gives you the low-down on everything there was to see.
There was a lot of hardware on show at EKWB's suite in the Hyatt, Taipei. Not all of it was new – we've seen things like the Lignum wooden blocks before, as well as the entry-level Fluid Gaming series – but the whole suite was covered top-to-bottom with custom loop gear.
Not least of this was the new Magnitude CPU block, which is specific for LGA 2011/2066 sockets. These come in a range of different colours and finishes, but the main selling point is the G1/4 threads are symmetrical. This is because you can disassemble the block itself and reverse the cooling engine depending on which port you want to be the inlet and which you want for outlet. This saves having to rotate the whole block 180 degrees (and potentially having the logo upside down). We've been told to expect pricing around the £150 mark.
Leo also got a look at the Quantum range, which is EKWB's high-end series. Specifically, we saw a range of fittings which have small cut-outs built into the fitting itself, so when combined with one of the ‘accent rings', you will see just a flash of colour amidst the otherwise uniform fitting. It's a small detail but could definitely help give your custom loop that extra bit of ‘pop'.
We already mentioned Fluid Gaming which has been around for a couple of years now – but Fluid Gaming SI is entirely new. The ‘SI' refers to ‘system integrator', and the whole idea is local system integrators (think PCSpecialist, Cyberpower, etc) can buy Fluid Gaming kits, including a case with a distro plate, as well as whatever CPU/GPU block is required, and create a high-end custom loop with minimal fuss – and hopefully a lower price tag for the customer.
On top of individual components, EKWB was also displaying a variety of ‘showcase' builds, many of which were designed by esteemed modder Joe Robey. These included a blue-themed system using a custom InWin 909-inspired case – the rear of which is taken up by a huge distro plate, while main side houses an inverted motherboard. The airflow in this case is also very interesting as air comes in either side of the chassis, and is drawn through two 60mm-thick radiators at the front of the case before being exhausted out again. It's really quite something.
Alongside this system, Joe was also showing off a stealthy all-black build, with a monoblock that extends over almost the entirety of the motherboard. On top of that, the GPU blocks (aside from weighing 2KG each) seemingly connect to this monoblock completely seamlessly – from the front, you wouldn't know they were connected to the block at all. The whole loop only uses two tubes inside the main chamber, too, creating a sleek and understated aesthetic – as you can see in the video, Leo thinks its absolutely fantastic!
KitGuru says: EKWB had a lot of products on show this year, covering a range of price-points and target markets. Is anyone planning on building a new custom loop this year?