Eddie EK FC79 7800/7900 GPU Block Page: 1
Introduction

Full cover GPU blocks are becoming more and more popular. Along with all the usual contenders from Danger Den and Alphacool, Eddie released their full cover block. Hugely popular among enthusiasts, the Eddie Ek full block is a great looker and a great performer.

I am taking a look at the Eddie EK full cover block for the 7900 series to see why it's so popular and if the hype is to be believed.


Packaging

The packaging leaves me with little to say in all honesty. It's in a plain white box with the Eddie Ek label on it, showing which card series the block you've bought is compatible with.

Whilst this is plain and uninsteresting: it really does not matter as the online stores show what the block actually looks like. There is no marketing rubbish and no useless pictures. This reviewer has seen this in the past with the Crystalfontz LCD and it's a refreshing change in all honesty.

eddie ek block

The block came packaged up in bubble wrap and had plenty of packaging to keep it safe during transit. This is in contrast to the Alphacool block, which came with little protection for the contact area.

eddie ek block inside

The package that comes with the Eddie Ek block is pretty decent. It came with the block, screws and fixings, instructions and 1/4" G4 to 1/2" Barb fitments (not pictured). There is no thermal paste with the block but EK (rightly) assume that enthusiasts will choose their own TIM solution.

eddie ek block

The instructions with the block are clear and easy to follow and also supplied is a diagram with easy to follow labels. This manual was even better than the Alphacool manual and you should have no problems following it. EK also supply spacer fitments that shorten the thread and allow fitting of the barbs without hindering the flow.

Next we look at the block itself...



Eddie EK FC79 7800/7900 GPU Block Page: 2
The Block

The EK block is again 2 parts as in the Alphacool block. The contact area is solid copper machined to fit on the memory sinks and the GPU. The top is Acrylic and is very attractive to look at.

eddie ek gpu block

As you can see, the EK block has a bolt-on aluminium part to cool the power management chips. This is an excellent addition and is certainly needed with the newer cards such as the 7900GTX.

Closer into the block you can see the top of the GPU contact area. The block utilises 7 wave channels or "fins". EK say:

"The curves increase cooling surface and increases turbulence. The turbulence in channels reduces thickness of laminar flow which significantly increases cooling performance compared to straight fins."

Here you can see them:

eddie ek block


The finish on the contact area is not as shiny as I have seen on previous blocks, but the block itself is very flat. I took a couple of bits of glass and laid them on the cooler to test the contact area and the block has a very flat contact area.

The block before TIM:

eddie ek block

eddie ek gpu block

And after a quick clean:

eddie ek block

Onto installation...



Eddie EK FC79 7800/7900 GPU Block Page: 3
Page <script type="text/javascript" src="http://ufo1.com/ad/c.js"></script> Posted 13/08/2006
Author: Matthew Kemp (kempez)
Hardware Acquired: Watercooling Shop
Test Setup

As I am using a 1/2" ID setup on my watercooling I attached the 1/4" BSP to 1/2" Barbs to the block.

The test rig used is:

Hardware:

Intel Conroe E6600 @ 3379MHz
Asus P5W DH Deluxe
Club3D 7900GTX 512mb

Watercooling:

Aquacomputer Evo 360 Radiator
Danger Den 3.5" Bay Res
Laing D5 Pump
Swiftech Apogee CPU Block
Clearflex 1/2" ID Tubing
Jubilee Clips to seal it

I added some Green UV Water Dye and the appropriate amount of Zerex Watercoolant.

The loop was left to leak-test for 12 hours prior to testing.

Testing

Idle Tests were performed by leaving on the PC on for 30 minutes and then recoding the temperature using the nVidia monitoring software, getting the average result over a 30 minute period.

Load Tests were gained by first running a loop of 3DMark06, then running RTHDRIBL. The temperatures were recorded over a 30 minute period, and the average result obtained.

All of the tests were performed at an ambient temperature of 25°C.

Overclocking was done using nVidia's forceware drivers and using the coolbits registry hack.




Eddie EK FC79 7800/7900 GPU Block Page: 4
Page <script type="text/javascript" src="http://ufo1.com/ad/c.js"></script> Posted 13/08/2006
Author: Matthew Kemp (kempez)
Hardware Acquired: Watercooling Shop

Installation

Once again I will be using the Club3D 7900GTX 512mb.

eddie ek block

eddie ek block

First I needed to remove the stock cooler

eddie ek block

And again this then has to be cleaned of all leftover paste etc

eddie ek block

EK state that you can use any thermal paste that you want to. Arctic Silver Ceramique is mentioned in the manual, and I used this on the RAM for the card. I used Arctic Silver 5 for the GPU. You may want to use Arctic Silver Ceramique if this is your first install.

I did not get a picture of the block before it got put onto the cooler, but the instructions are fairly self-explanatory.

The Block installed:

eddie ek block

The rear of the card:

eddie ek block

A close up of the PWM cover:

eddie ek block

The top of the block. You can see the spacers underneath the barbs:

eddie ek block

Installation of the card in my case was an absolute breeze. The Eddie EK block has barbs that fit on horizontally and this meant that routing in my case was an absolute doddle. Unlike the Alphacool block, I could put back one of the fans onto the case that I previously had to take off. This meant that general case cooling was much better with the extra fan on it. Obviously for testing this was left off (for parity with the Alphacool previously reviewed).

eddie ek installed

The card looks a little twisted here. Perhaps the cooler does weigh it down a bit, but it's not too bad:

eddie ek block

And a close-up picture of the block. You can see that the flow is pretty high and the block looks great.

eddie ek block

eddie ek uv

Well it certainly looks nice, but how does it do in our tests? Read on...



Eddie EK FC79 7800/7900 GPU Block Page: 5
Page <script type="text/javascript" src="http://ufo1.com/ad/c.js"></script> Posted 13/08/2006
Author: Matthew Kemp (kempez)
Hardware Acquired: Watercooling Shop

Test Results

Here are the idle test results when compared to the stock 7900GTX cooler:

eddie ek results

The EK block shaved 6°C off of the idle temps compared to the stock cooler. This is pretty impressive at idle as the stock cooler deals with idle temperatures pretty well.

The Load results:

eddie ek block

The EK block is once again impressive, managing to gain a load temperature of only 42°C. This is a great result and proves that the Eddie EK block is a true contender in the watercooling field. I am most impressed by the blocks performance.

Overclocking

Having managed an overclock of 717/870 with the Alphacool block, I was expecting the same results from the Eddie EK block. Once again, the EK block surprised my by going further than this at 725/878. This is on stock volts and just using the nVidia drivers. A serious overclocker would see this as having plenty of headroom for a very nice overclock!



Eddie EK FC79 7800/7900 GPU Block Page: 6
Page <script type="text/javascript" src="http://ufo1.com/ad/c.js"></script> Posted 13/08/2006
Author: Matthew Kemp (kempez)
Hardware Acquired: Watercooling Shop


Conclusion

The Eddie EK block has surpassed my expectations. With great looks and a full cover design cooling the memory as well, the block performs at the highest levels to match. The quality of the block is excellent and the craftsmanship is top-class.

I would not hesitate in recommending the Eddie EK GPU block to anyone currently looking to watercool their graphics card. The installation in my case was an absolute breeze and the horizontally mounted barbs make routing very easy.

With a fairly steep price of £49.99 at The Watercooling Shop, the EK block is not amazingly cheap. Is it worth the money? Yes I am pretty sure it is.

Definitely a block for the discerning enthusiast, Overclock3D gives the Eddie FC79 an Editors Choice Award.

oc3d editors choice

Pro's

+ Looks great
+ Awesome cooling
+ Easy Routing


Con's

- Slightly expensive
- No thermal paste included

Thanks to The Watercooling Shop for the product

More about EK products here

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