Hot on the heels of Nvidia's GeForce RTX 4090 announcement, Alphacool and EKWB today introduced waterblocks for Nvidia's GeForce RTX 4090 Founders Edition and reference graphics cards. The waterblocks will enable owners of custom-built liquid cooling systems to push these shiny new graphics boards to their limits. In fact, EKWB already says that a 3 GHz GPU frequency is possible for Nvidia's AD102 graphics chip with proper cooling.
Alphacool's Eisblock Aurora Acryl GPX-N RTX 4090 is aimed at Nvidia's GeForce RTX 4090 reference design, though the company's datasheet vaguely mentions GeForce RTX 4XXX graphics boards. The waterblock consists of a chrome-plated copper coldplate that cools down the GPU, memory, and the voltage regulating module with transparent acrylic top. To increase performance of the waterblock, Alphacool adapted its fin structure to maximize both waterflow and cooling surface area — fins are now 0.4 mm thick and are located on a 0.4 mm distance from each other. To ensure that the card does not bend, Alphacool's Eisblock Aurora Acryl GPX-N RTX 4090 comes with an aluminum backplate.
EKWB's EK-Quantum Vector² water blocks are designed for Nvidia's GeForce RTX 4090 FE boards and closely follow the company's Quantum Vector concept of covering the whole board — thereby cooling down the GPU, memory, and power delivery circuitry. The new waterblock uses an 11mm nickel-plated copper coldplate with an optimized fin design and comes with either a transparent plexiglass or all-black acetal top. Both versions include a black-anodized aluminum backplate.
Waterblocks from Alphacool and EKWB are compatible with standard G1/4-inch connections and also feature addressable LEDs that can be controlled using software from leading makers of motherboards.
One of the things to note about waterblocks from EKWB is that they are designed only for Nvidia's own Founders Edition GeForce RTX 4090 graphics cards and not for reference boards or custom boards from the company's partners. While the green company equipped its GeForce RTX 4090 FE with an extremely sophisticated triple-slot air cooler that suggests overclocking, power consumption of the card is capped at 450W and so far Nvidia has not announced any plans to supply overclocking BIOS for the product to unlock higher power delivery. Thus, while Nvidia's GeForce RTX 4090 Founders Edition promises to be a good overclocker (at least from Nvidia's own words), some of its partners' offerings — which rumors suggest may have overclocking BIOSes — may offer even better potential.
Waterblocks for custom liquid cooling systems are rarely cheap. EKWB will sell its EK-Quantum Vector² FE RTX 4090 D-RGB (nickel + plexi or nickel + acetal) for €240 ($237), while Alphacool's Eisblock Aurora Acrylic GPX-N RTX 4090 will sell for €160 ($158). The waterblocks for Nvidia's top-of-the-range Ada Lovelace GPU are no available for order from both companies, with Alphacool setting delivery at three to four weeks from now.
Stay on the Cutting Edge
Join the experts who read Tom's Hardware for the inside track on enthusiast PC tech news — and have for over 25 years. We'll send breaking news and in-depth reviews of CPUs, GPUs, AI, maker hardware and more straight to your inbox.
Anton Shilov is a Freelance News Writer at Tom’s Hardware US. Over the past couple of decades, he has covered everything from CPUs and GPUs to supercomputers and from modern process technologies and latest fab tools to high-tech industry trends.
Kinda disappointed they didn't put the terminals in the same spot as the last gen FE blocks. It really helped with case compatibility, especially for sff cases.Reply