EK has announced they are expanding their Fluid Gaming lineup with a new water block designed for Nvidia's GeForce RTX 2080 and RTX 2080 Ti video cards which use the reference PCB. The difference in the new EK-AC GeForce RTX block from EK's others is the product is made from aluminum instead of copper. This change allows for the block to be a bit less expensive than copper rivals but likely at the expense of performance, since aluminum lowers thermal conductivity properties.
The EK-AC GeForce RTX block hails from EK's Fluid Gaming lineup, which was created to bring water cooling parts to the market at a lower price while maintaining good performance. Again, generally speaking copper cools better but is more expensive than aluminum. The series targets those looking to get into water cooling at a cheaper entry price and aren't looking for every degree Celsius drop but still want the improvements that can come with water cooling.
The EK-AC GeForce RTX block cools all the critical parts of the video card including the GPU itself, vRAM and VRMs with water flowing directly over these hot spots. If the plexi top doesn't have enough bling, the block includes integrated addressable RGB lights, which will work with all the major RGB LED ecosystems, including ASRock Polychome RGB, Asus Aura Sync, Gigabyte RGB Fusion and MSI Mystic Light. The RGB LEDs appear to give the block a nice glow on the edges. When used with the compatible RGB software, it will meld with your current build theme.
Just note that the change to aluminum means additional loop considerations are in order. When selecting an aluminum-based block or radiator, the rest of the loop should have aluminum parts, as well including the fittings, etc. Copper parts or mixing metals leads to corrosion. If users stay within the EK Fluid Gaming lineup (all aluminum), this will not be an issue.
The EK-AC GeForce RTX full-cover block costs $110/109.90€ compared to their EK-Vector Nickel + Plexi block at $160 or their Classic line at $120. Depending on how these perform and how much that matters to the buyer, it may be worth the $10 to jump up to the classic line though. It will be interesting to see the performance difference between the two versions.
The new block is available now at EK's website. The vendor's product page says Newegg will be the exclusive U.S. retailer, as well as OCUK in Europe and EvoPC in Russia.