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EK Hardware Owners

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a c 324 K Overclocking
April 3, 2012 2:28:55 PM

Welcome to the EK Owners thread.

Here we will discuss different EK hardware used for watercooling, including blocks, pumps radiators, fittings, etc...anything EK. Current owners are welcome to offer their suggestions to other users and Q/A is encouraged when it comes to comparison shopping and/or advice.

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a b K Overclocking
April 3, 2012 6:18:43 PM

This thread should be of utmost importance to any potential EK Nickel block owners: http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/266834-29-before-nick...


As for my most recent experience with them a few months ago (Nov-Dec 2011):

Just wanted to make this knowledge public since we'd discussed this a while ago. This is going to be a long post just FYI.

I run distilled + 3 drops PT Nuke (Copper Sulfate) in my loop.

I bought a FC6970 EN (the "fixed" ones) sometime in the September-October time frame when I upgraded to 2x6950 2GBs. At the time I was using one EN block and one non-EN block (purchased used). When I tore down my system, I found that the non-EN block was perfect, but the EN block had spotting on it. So I sold the non-EN block and contacted EK for help with my spotting/potential corrosion issue (the non-EN block started to corrode a few months after I sold it, so in all I think it lasted about 2 years total).


I contacted EK (which is somewhat of a pain - they're located in Slovenia which is like 7-9 hours ahead of EST) and this is the conversation that took place:

Nov 30 2011, 11:49 PM
Hi there,

I took apart my watercooled 6950s and found that my EN-plated FC6970 Nickel/Plexi waterblock has what looks like corrosion spots on it. I don't know what the procedure is for me to RMA an EN block, so that's why I created a ticket.
(had regular photographs here - could clearly see spotting but couldn't tell what it was. Might be able to find old photos)

Dec 1 2011, 8:28 AM
In order to reassure you, I have to say this does not look like a corrosion, but rather a filth from system stuck on block surface.
You may clean the block if it bothers you. It certainly will not have any influence on performance.

Several emails took place that aren't kept in the system. What basically went down was:
-I asked what I was supposed to clean it with - they told me some kind of high-end auto wax that I can't afford :/ 
-Took pictures of the block with a microscope - will try to find the pictures, but they're perfect circles, which is how both corrosion and deposits start initially. They were monochrome, so no indication if the copper was showing or anything.
-EK tells me that they can look at it if I pay for shipping (which is ~$13 using a small Priority Flate rate). I send it off, should get there in 6-10 days.
-One month later (almost exactly 30 days) it arrives (screw you USPS); one of the guys fricking went on vacation in this time. Easily the most frustrating part.
-They clean it off; no corrosion found. Shipped it back to me and got here within 2 weeks.


So why did I write this long a** post? Well, I got the block back (in January) with this nice little pamphlet telling me that any coolant other than a premix is damaging to EK's nickel blocks. They say that silver coils or copper sulfate (PT Nuke) can cause galvanic corrosion. As we saw in the report they issued, this is a total crock since they were having issues with just plain distilled water. Make of this what you will, but it turned me off to their nickel products, and maybe even the rest of their products.




Suggestions:
-Don't buy EK's Nickel blocks until they figure this crap out. Everybody else can make nickel-plated blocks without a problem, so what's going on here?

-In general, I wouldn't buy their products. I'm not one of those "The customer is always right" people (since a lot of people are stupid), but if a large portion of your target market thinks you're wrong based on experience (i.e. the pamphlet I posted), you shouldn't be getting our money. I'm moving to XSPC and Swiftech for future purchases.

-EK needs to open a US distribution center or something. There's no reason I should have to ship it to Slovenia in the event of a problem. Too many things can go wrong shipping internationally, and it's expensive for everybody. It's also really hard to fix and issue when I wake up in the morning to send an email and it's already evening in Slovenia - it took me about a week before I sent it in because we could only send/receive one email per day

-EK's customer service - keep doing what you're doing. It was a pleasure to deal with them, but the entire combination of issues was overall negative. I've dealt with a lot of terrible CS in the past, and EK was stellar (it was similar to my experiences with EVGA).
a b K Overclocking
April 8, 2012 12:06:40 AM

well my experience with EK wasn't that bad, but I still did not like their product overall the construction was cheap, and no forethought was put into the ability to reuse the block later on newer cards. the only option I had to begin with was to use the barb fittings provided, so I built compression fittings out of brass fittings. needed to retap the compression to match the blocks thread, unfortunately for me I used the factory seals with started to leak, after a little more than a year. other than that I haven't had any issues(I use antifreeze and water wetter as a additive flush about once a year). I learned about the corrosion issue years ago with my car 1987 pony it had a aluminum head, iron block, and I had upgraded my fittings to brass, this created a corrosion nightmare within the coolant system the "water/acid" ate through my head. so I learned about what caused it, and how to prevent it.
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June 14, 2012 6:29:07 PM

I've had a EK supreme HF full nickel for about a month and a half and took it apart last sunday and it seemed fine. I'm running distilled with 2 kill coils and a hint of PT nuke.
a c 78 K Overclocking
June 14, 2012 6:33:53 PM

keep a watchful eye... I'd stick my money on the corrosion to pop up soon - very soon.
a c 190 K Overclocking
June 14, 2012 7:05:10 PM

My two Vga HF supremes (copper) have been in about a month now, I can't strip them without having to redo my mods but I've had no problems so far
Moto
a c 78 K Overclocking
June 14, 2012 7:31:56 PM

full copper aren't the issue, its the nickel plating EK use for their stuff... some say its been cleared up but most people yet say that the plating flakes.
a c 190 K Overclocking
June 14, 2012 7:32:54 PM

Aye, I was just reporting in as an EK owner is all :) 
I disagree with the approach/resolution taken by EK over that issue though
Moto
June 14, 2012 7:36:37 PM

all my blocks are from EK, the only problem i had with them is that the support tickets to get 560 ti blocks took them a while to get to, and they are about 8 hours ahead of my time.
a c 190 K Overclocking
June 14, 2012 7:40:56 PM

I never buy anything with customer support in mind, I bought it, I fix it :) 
Moto
June 14, 2012 8:49:43 PM

haha yeah, its just the 560 ti blocks are out of stock almost all the time and i was trying to get them from EK's own store rather than from the states.
a c 190 K Overclocking
June 14, 2012 9:02:39 PM

I had to wait five months to end up buying my resses from FrozenQ and having Alex ship them from the states to the Uk,
So I know the pain of waiting for what you want hehe
Moto
August 26, 2012 5:39:17 PM

Anyone know if this nickel problem has been fixed yet? Been eyeing up a nickel acetal supremacy cpu block, full cover block for the msi gtx 680 lightning (whenever they release it) and possibly blocks for my mobo depending on how they look.
a c 190 K Overclocking
August 26, 2012 7:32:32 PM

The 'problem' has been sort of resolved for some time, their solution is to recommend you only use certain coolants, or your warranty is forfeit, **See above for a pic of**
quite apart from the initial issue, I don't like that kind of behaviour from a vendor.
so you can get the F/c's you've been looking at, but you will either have to use one of thieir approved coolants, or lose your warranty,
I'd try and source either a copper variant, http://www.ekwb.com/shop/ek-fc680-gtx-csq.html
or use another vendors block
Moto
August 26, 2012 8:24:14 PM

Motopsychojdn said:
The 'problem' has been sort of resolved for some time, their solution is to recommend you only use certain coolants, or your warranty is forfeit, **See above for a pic of**
quite apart from the initial issue, I don't like that kind of behaviour from a vendor.
so you can get the F/c's you've been looking at, but you will either have to use one of thieir approved coolants, or lose your warranty,
I'd try and source either a copper variant, http://www.ekwb.com/shop/ek-fc680-gtx-csq.html
or use another vendors block
Moto


See that's the problem. The CPU block comes in a copper acetal variant so that's no problem but the 7970 lightning block only comes in nickel acetal http://www.specialtech.co.uk/spshop/customer/EK-FC7970-... so i'd guess the 680 is going to be the same. There is an aqua computer version http://www.sidewindercomputers.com/aqcofucogpub.html but i think it looks butt ugly which i think ruins half the point of water cooling.
Would using plain distilled water and UV lights work alright?
August 26, 2012 10:25:51 PM

Motopsychojdn said:
http://www.ekwb.com/shop/ek-fc680-gtx-acetal-csq.html
was on the related products tab, is this better?
but yes, with a couple of decent UV cathodes you should be fine if you choose to go EK Nickel
Moto

Neither of those blocks will fit as its not a reference design card as i don't think reference 680's are worth the extra money over 670's. But if the uv light will work then i'll just get a couple of them.
Now just to try and find a couple of uv cathodes that are red not pink :??: 
a c 190 K Overclocking
August 27, 2012 7:45:11 AM

Apologies man, I'd not checked it was ref or non :p 
rarely you find a F/c block for non-ref cards,
http://www.overclockers.com/forums/showthread.php?t=238... may help on the red CC front :) 
http://www.logisyscomputer.com/viewsku.asp?SKUID=CLK12R... seem to be a potential win as well, according to a poster here,
http://www.overclock.net/t/655106/anyone-know-where-to-...
You could always go for a hybrid cooling solution on the card/s,
mod a universal block underneath the original shroud to get the temps of water but the looks of the stock cooler,
Moto
a b K Overclocking
August 27, 2012 11:06:48 AM

FWIW I had an EK Supreme HF EN Acetal + Nickel cpu block and 2 acetal+nickel gtx 580 waterblocks in my loop until my upgrade. I never had any issues with them, but I do need to clean them out (bit of gunk buildup I'm blaming on my old tubing/coolant). After I've cleaned them I'll put up some photos for you guys to see what they look like after about 8 months of use
a c 190 K Overclocking
August 27, 2012 11:26:28 AM

Post before pics as well please to give some perspective :) 
Moto
August 27, 2012 11:43:38 PM

Motopsychojdn said:
Apologies man, I'd not checked it was ref or non :p 
rarely you find a F/c block for non-ref cards

That's cool. The EK cooling configurator says that a block will be announced soon so there should be one hopefully.

Motopsychojdn said:
You could always go for a hybrid cooling solution on the card/s,
mod a universal block underneath the original shroud to get the temps of water but the looks of the stock cooler,
Moto

Could but i don't really have the tools/confidence to go cutting up a £400 card. Maybe i'd try it once i get my next card in a few generations and the warranty has run out. Plus i bet it'll be a pain in the ass to clean each time you drain the loop.

I've read that the EN version of the nickel blocks have fixed the problem so there shouldn't be a problem after all.
a b K Overclocking
August 28, 2012 2:44:49 AM

Well here's a few photos of my blocks before I clean them. The CPU block is a bitch to photograph though, either that or I'm a terrible photographer (likely).

So GPU Block 1:



The only part that looks a little weird is by that center screw, but it doesn't look like corrosion in person. TBH it's hard to tell because of the acetal cover, hopefully after i've run some hot water through it and cleaned it up it'll be easier to tell

GPU Block 2:



CPU Block:


You can see they're gunked up (stupid coolant), but I don't think there's any signs of corrosion.

Long as I'm posting here, when it comes to cleaning GPU/CPU blocks what'd you guys reccommend? I don't want to dissassemble the blocks just yet (warranty voiding), so I was planning to do it the same way as a radiator, hot distilled water and a good shakedown, maybe a miniscule drop of liquid soap.

EDIT: Updating picture links, stupid dropbox
a c 190 K Overclocking
August 28, 2012 3:21:38 AM

Lemon juice and salt, scrub for 30s with toothbrush and rinse, repeat as necessary but do not leave it on the block for more than 30s, its a very corrosive mix,
Then distilled rinse and dry, for the acetal, just scrub with a toothbrush under the tap and rinse with distilled
Moto
a b K Overclocking
August 28, 2012 5:13:57 AM

Motopsychojdn said:
Lemon juice and salt, scrub for 30s with toothbrush and rinse, repeat as necessary but do not leave it on the block for more than 30s, its a very corrosive mix,
Then distilled rinse and dry, for the acetal, just scrub with a toothbrush under the tap and rinse with distilled
Moto

That would be if you're taking it apart right? I don't really want to do that, at least not until I've tried cleaning it without voiding the warranty.
a c 190 K Overclocking
August 28, 2012 5:57:33 AM

Aah, I missed that part of your post, my phones not the best for forum browsing on,
you can try the rad-style rinse but I think you will end up saying 'Screw the warranty, I'm a watercooler goddamnit!' and strip the blocks to brush,
I'm not too held on warranties in general tbh :p 
Moto
August 28, 2012 3:42:51 PM

Almost the 3 month mark of ownership of my EK supreme HF full nickel, disassembled before I started running white dye and no signs of flaking, am very pleased with the quality of the block. Started running Mayhems white dye+distilled recently and seem to be doing fine.
a c 190 K Overclocking
August 28, 2012 4:54:28 PM

Mayhems do seem to be one of the dye forerunners, I'd still prefer coloured tubing over dye but if its working its working :) 
glad to hear about the no flaking too, what were you running through it?
Moto
August 28, 2012 5:08:25 PM

^I've run distilled through this block since I had it.
a b K Overclocking
September 3, 2012 9:05:19 PM

Well a quick photoless update. It turns out both of my GPU blocks are in fact showing signs of corrosion. It turns out the area around the central screw in GPU block 1 (from photos) is beggining to show signs of corrosion, and by the left inlet (in photos again) in block 2. Sent an email over to EK about it, I was planning to sell both of these cards with the waterblocks, but I refuse to sell a fellow watercooler corroded blocks. Hopefully this will go smoothly
a c 190 K Overclocking
September 3, 2012 11:29:56 PM

Sad to hear that man, but I am glad to read you have good morals :-)
Moto
a b K Overclocking
September 3, 2012 11:35:58 PM

Well back before I started liquid cooling I held anyone who did it in high-esteem (it's not easy let's be honest you can have a thousand things go wrong). Not to mention these are blocks for fairly expensive cards, and anyone liquid cooling runs a pricey pc to start with. Don't think I could sleep at night knowing I sold those blocks and they might ruin someone else's loop.

Back to the blocks, has anyone had any experience with returning products to EK for corrosion? Any feedback on the process is appreciated
a c 190 K Overclocking
September 3, 2012 11:50:55 PM

I believe Boiler or Lutfij may have documented an rma, it was a while back during the original furore so I may be wrong
But it was someone on here
Moto
a c 324 K Overclocking
September 4, 2012 3:40:04 PM

Some of this data is also included in the sticky for reference.
!