EKWB has officially announced all-new "Active Backplates" for the reference designed RTX 3080 and RTX 3090 graphics cards (not the Founders Edition). This new backplate features an actively liquid-cooled water block to cool all the PCB hotspots found at the rear of Nvidia's top-tier Ampere GPUs. Additionally, for the RTX 3090, some of your rear GDDR6X memory modules will be actively cooled by the EKWB backplate.
To keep cable management in check, EKWB designed the backplate to operate with EKWB's regular RTX 3080 and RTX 3090 waterblocks, so you don't need to install extra runs of tubing just for the active backplate itself.
The backplate comes with a custom terminal that replaces one of the terminals on your main waterblock (that cools the GPU). By doing this, the backplate is directly connected to your primary waterblock, turning both waterblocks into a single unit.
The backplate itself is made from CNC-machined nickel-plated electrolytic copper and features a six-channel fin array for improved water flow.
Hopefully, we'll get one of these backplates to test for ourselves in the future; it seems there isn't much benefit in going with a liquid-cooled backplate for the RTX 3080. But the backplate makes a lot more sense for the RTX 3090, as GDDR6X can generally get pretty hot — especially if you plan on mining Ethereum.
In either case, you will be able to order these water blocks early next month, or you can also pre-order one right now at the EK Shop. The Acetal variant can be purchased for $144.99 and features an all-black aesthetic. Or, for $149.99, you can grab the Plexi model with a see-through design.
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Aaron Klotz is a freelance writer for Tom’s Hardware US, covering news topics related to computer hardware such as CPUs, and graphics cards.