EK Water Blocks today launched the Lignum series, a new signature edition product it said is meant to be a perfect symbiosis of the oldest natural building materials and contemporary high-end cooling solutions. The Lignum line consists of a CPU block, Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 Ti block, and 12mm hard tube compression fittings that round out the woody SKUs.
EK displayed some wood covered blocks at Computex 2018, but those products didn't make it to market, for reasons unbeknownst to us. The company's second attempt to cover its water blocks with wood shouldn't be vaporware, though. The lineup was designed by EKWB founder Edvard Konig, who according to EK wanted to combine his love for woodworking and computer technologies, and it's already available for pre-order.
The Lignum products were engineered to make sure the wood does not come into direct contact with the water and to allow any natural expansion and contraction caused by temperature and humidity changes to occur. The walnut pieces use multiple layers of an open pore matte varnish meant to preserve the wood's smooth touch. Each block will also have a unique pattern of handcrafted wood, making each unit one of a kind.
The EK-CPU Lignum CPU water block is built on the EK-Velocity line, a high-performance block that supports both Intel and AMD processors. The block uses the 5th generation EK CPU cooling engine, which was tweaked for better performance and optimal coolant flow. It also promises low hydraulic flow restriction allowing the use of weaker pumps or lower pump speeds for quieter operation while maintaining performance.
The base/cold plate is made from nickel-plated copper and machined to a dense micro-fin structure. The contact surface is machine-polished to a mirror finish. The top is made from a CNC machined black POM acetyl functional top covered by a layer of walnut as the aesthetic cover. Socket compatibility is listed as 115x, 2011-3, and 2066 for Intel as well as AM4 for AMD.
EK-FC RTX 2080 Ti Lignum
The EK-FC RTX 2080 Ti Lignum is an aesthetic evolution of the EK-Vector RE water blocks designed for several reference design Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 Ti video cards. The block itself covered the entire PCB length with the walnut cover. The wood also covers the block top and terminals, making for a completely wood exterior.
Underneath, the GPU, VRMs, and VRAM all get cooled directly with water running over the top. The GPU block uses what EK calls an Open Split-Flow cooling engine characterized by low hydraulic flow restriction along with an updated jet plate and fin structure geometry optimized for even flow and optimal performance, even in reverse flow situations.
Last but not least are the EK-HTC Lignum 12mm hard tubing compression fittings. EK uses its CNC machined brass fittings with a walnut cover making for a truly unique looking fitting. Threads are the same as the non Lignum line with a G1/4 inch BSP: 4.5 male thread length.
The Lignum line’s pricing fetches a substantial premium over its non-walnut-studded counterparts. If you are on board with this truly unique wood integration from EK, you can find the EK-CPU Lignum priced at $189.99 (€180) versus $80-90 for the regular line, The EK-FC Lignum RTX 2080 Ti a whopping $375 (€350) versus $130-140, and the EK HTC Lignum fittings at $18 (€18) each versus $8 each. All three products from the Lignum line can be pre-ordered now from the EKWB shop and are expected to ship out on June 6.
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.
Joe Shields is a Freelance writer for Tom’s Hardware US. He reviews motherboards.