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EK Supremacy EVO CPU Waterblock Review

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Introduction

Slovenia based EK Water Blocks is certainly one of the best known names in computer water cooling. Some of the most well known custom builds feature EK products.  While EK does regularly release new products, these are almost usually an expansion to a current line of video card and motherboard water blocks. While there are many an enthusiastic that eagerly awaits EK to release a new water block for one of these products, nothing gets them more excited than a new CPU water block. That brings us to where we are today, the EK Supremacy EVO.

EK Supremacy EVO, a direct successor of EK Supreme, a CPU water block that was used as the standard to judge all other CPU water blocks. The EK Supreme is the basis for the design of the EK Supreme EVO. It still fits all modern CPU sockets and is equipped with a universal mounting mechanism that offers error-preventing, tool-less installation. The pure copper cold plate is there as well. Even from the outside the EK Supremacy EVO seems to differ little from its predecessor. Don’t let that fool you though, there was plenty of revisions on the inside.

Inside, EK has changed the way water flows through the block. There is now a multi-piece insert that allows better control over the water flow. The insert is removable and can be changed as necessary. When combined with the included jet plate, the EK Supremacy EVO can be configured to all popular modern Intel and AMD processors.

Let’s take a closer look on the next page.

Packaging

The EK Supremacy EVO comes in a small orange and white box.

The back of the box contains a limited bit of technical data.

There is a sleeve that wraps the box, once removed, we find an orange box. warranty information is listed on the bottom.

Because the EK Supremacy EVO has not been released at the time of this review, technical data is limited.

Technical Data

  • Excellent cooling performance and thermal characteristics.
  • Industry standard G1/4″ port threads.
  • Low flow restriction and pressure drop.
  • Mounting mechanism included.
  • Made of high quality materials.

Closer Look

With the box opened, we see the Installation Manual, mounting hardware, and AMD mounting plate.

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Our first tease of what in store for us.

Includes are an Installation Manual, mounting hardware, a tube of EK branded Gelid GC Extreme thermal compound, the AMD mounting plate, Installation Manual, I1 Insert, and mounting hardware.

The version of the Supremacy EVO that EK sent us it the acrylic and copper version.

The block features 3mm holes in the block top for adding LED lighting.

EK had added a sticker to the bottom on the block. The sticker is designed to protect the block’s matting surface. It being as very obvious as it is, it is very unlikely that the installer will forget to remove it.

The mounting surface of the block is nearly perfect. The mirror finish is quite impeccable.

The heart of the Supremacy EVO. The cold plate is crafted from high quality copper and sealed with an o-ring. The bottom left is the jet plate. The bottom middle is the insert. The acrylic top is extremely clear and should give fantastic views of the interiors of the block once mounted.

A close up of the Supremacy EVO’s cold plate. The fins are extremely small and create a large cooling surface.

Testing is up next.

System Configuration, Installation, and Performance Testing

Testing Hardware:

  • Gigabyte Z97X-SOC Force Motherboard
  • Intel Core i7 4790K Processor
  • Kingston HyperX Beast 16GB 2400MHz Memory
  • Crucial M550 240GB Solid State Drive
  • In Win GRone Case
  • XFX PRO850W XXX Edition 850w Silver Power Supply
  • EVGA Nvidia GTX 760 Graphics Card

CPU Cooling:

  • EK Supremacy EVO
  • XSPC RS360mm Radiator
  • XSPC X2O 750 Dual 5.25” Bay Reservoir/Pump
  • 6 Corsair 120MM .38A fans in push/pull configuration

General System Testing:

  • Prime 95

Installation

Installation starts with the mounting backplate. There is the backplate and rubber gasket that are held to the motherboard via four 4mm studs and four washers. This is a two handed job. It was a bit difficult to do with the motherboard mounted in the case, but not too difficult.

Here we see what it looks like from the front of the motherboard.

While it is hard to tell from this photograph, there is a dab of the supplied thermal compound the size of 2 grains of rice, as per EK’s recommendation.

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The block then simply slides over the studs and is held down by 4 springs and nuts. The springs required some compression before the nuts could be threaded onto the studs. The pressure was not to extreme, but longer studs would ease installation. All four spring and nuts should be loosely installed first. Then alternately tightened incrementally in a crisscross pattern until tight.

The EK Supremacy EVO looks the part once installed. The bright copper block combined with the shiny mounting hardware make it a stand out.

Mounting

A test fitting was done  with a smaller then recommended amount of thermal compound. In this example, the block pushed the compound towards the left. In other instances, it would push in either of the other directions. This is more than likely caused by the need to compress the springs to install the nuts. Once the first spring and nut is installed, there is already tension on the side of the block. Of the 5 test fittings I did with the block, 4 were less then optimal. The result was a temperature deviation of  4° Celsius under load.

 

Performance Testing

Prime 95

“Prime95 is a small and easy to use application that allows you to find Mersenne Prime numbers. Mersenne numbers can be proved composite (not prime) by either finding a factor or by running a Lucas-Lehmer primality test.

Prime numbers have long fascinated amateur and professional mathematicians. An integer greater than one is called a prime number if its only divisors are one and itself. The first prime numbers are 2, 3, 5, 7, 11, etc. For example, the number 10 is not prime because it is divisible by 2 and 5. A Mersenne prime is a prime of the form 2P-1. The first Mersenne primes are 3, 7, 31, 127, etc. There are only 40 known Mersenne primes.”

Testing started with allowing the block some time to settle in. The Intel i7 4790K was set to run at 4.7 GHz and 1.34 volts. After a hour, I started Prime 95 running in “Blend” mode. In this mode, Prime creates large amount of CPU heat, making it the defacto choice for maximum CPU temperature testing. Prime 95 is allowed to run for 20 minutes to allow the CPU to reach maximum temperature. The CPU is then allowed to cool off for 20 minutes. A second run run for 20 minutes is done again. At this point the maximum temperature is recorded. After a second 20 minute cool of period, then idle temperature is recorded. All blocks were tested in their defalt configuration.

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Idle temperature very little, even between air and water cooled systems, so we see almost no variance here. Load temperatures are quite a different story however. The EK Supremacy EVO outperformed all the other CPU water blocks we have at our disposal. Both the Koolance CPU-380i and XSPC Raystorm are considered some of the better blocks on the market. The 7° Celsius difference between the Supremacy EVO Copper and the Supremacy Clean CSQ Nickel is amazing.

Now on to the Final Thoughts and Conclusion.

Final Thoughts and Conclusion

The EK Supremacy EVO is hands down the best performing CPU water block I have ever tested. This actually surprised me somewhat. While EK has never been know to make a poor performing water block, they have typically fallen somewhere in the middle of the pack though. That has now changed.

One of EK’s strong suites has always been with their product quality and cosmetics. The Supremacy EVO does not disappoint. I was unable to find a single notable flaw in the quality. The fit and finish are a sight to behold. The copper glistening from behind the clear acrylic cover put a smile on me face as soon as I opened removed the protective bag. Not a single detail has been overlooked, a point made very clear by EK including Gelid Solutions GC-3 Extreme thermal compound, instead of something of lesser quality.

The EK Supremacy CSQ Clean Acrylic/Copper version can be found online from around $72.95. For more information, you can visit the EK Water Blocks website at: http://www.ekwb.com/shop/blocks/cpu-blocks/supremacy-evo.html 

Likes

  • Top Notch Build Quality
  • Wonderful Fit and Finish
  • Excellent Performance
  • Great Attention to Detail

Dislikes

  • A Bit Difficult to Install

1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Admin1

    August 30, 2014 at 10:56 am

    Good review !
    Good job on the EK EVO CPU Block review ! Hope to see more water cooling reviews very soon.

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