I must say that the packaging chosen by EK Water Blocks is minimalist and unassuming to say the least. It hasn't changed a bit since the last time I bought some EK kit. A small rectangular cardboard box is all that houses the EK Supreme and it is even missing the customary sticker on the outside....Is this any way to treat a future king of cooling! On the flip-side, cost cutting on the packaging means that more money can be spent on R&D and I have no problems with that.
Included in the packaging is the EK Supreme's mounting hardware and the water block itself is enclosed in bubble wrap. The bubble wrap kept me engrossed for hours. Furthermore; please excuse the background change from white to royal blue...I thought the royal blue was quite fitting for the occasion.
Now I now you're just sitting there mesmerised by the beauty of the EK Supreme aren't you. Well let's not stop while we're on a roll and have a little bit of a closer look.
A Closer Look
I was a little surprised that Eddy shipped the EK Supreme without some form of anti-oxidation measure in the packaging, nor was there any plastic protection on the base to prevent accidental scratching. The EK Supreme that I received had considerable oxidation already, and as such, would benefit from the inclusion of an silica crystal sachet.
You will notice that the EK Supreme comes with a universal mounting plate which is nice for those on older platforms, or alternatively, those who upgrade quite regularly.
After consulting with Rob from WaterCooling UK about the state of the copper base we have come to the conclusion that Australian Customs may have put their greasy mits over the block on its way to me. Rob kindly supplied me with a photograph showing the condition of this very block the day it was shipped. I have included the image below.
I'm sure many of you have already seen internal shots of the EK Supreme, but it wouldn't be a review if I didn't include some here. There are 4 Allen head screws to remove and the block is then able to be pulled apart.
The EK Supreme uses a thin metal plate which has been laser cut to force coolant onto the 47 thin copper fins of the base. The plate is able to be removed for both maintenance purposes, and according to Eddy, there will be both a performance plate and high-flow plate made available.
The coolant enters into the block via the slightly off-set inlet (below) and is forced directly through the metal plate and on to the copper base. I can't help but feel that this is going to be very restrictive to flow...perhaps as restrictive as the Swiftech Storm G4.
The image above of the Delrin top clearly shows how the coolant is forced through the large inlet (half obscured by the chamber itself) and the coolant can then travel around the extremities of the base before heading out the outlet barb (bottom of image). The inclusion of the rubber 'O' ring around the inlet chamber ensures that the incoming cool fluid doesn't mix with the outgoing fluid that is carrying heat away from the processor. Quite an ingenious setup really.
There are two particular areas of the EK Supreme that warrant a mention, simply because they may be an issue if you decide to purchase the block. First of all I suggest that you purchase a back plate to help reduce some of the stress placed on your motherboard by the included springs. They are exceptionally stiff, and subsequently, you run the risk of breaking traces on your motherboard by tightening the block down too hard. I lost my test rig's P5B Deluxe as a result of running without a back plate. You have been warned.
Secondly, you may run into compatibility problems with the mounting plate. On my P5B Deluxe the mounting plate got in the way of the heatpipe cooling solution covering the mosfets. The EK Sepreme is able to be rotated 90 degrees, and doing so aleviated the problem. I did try the EK Supreme on my ASUS Blitz Formula SE, and again the mosfet cooling on the side and top of the motherboard were an issue. If you are looking at purchasing this block, I would suggest getting yourself some copper BGA heat sinks at the same time.
Now that we have had a look at the sexy exterior and interior of th EK Supreme let's head over the page to see how we're going to test it...