Testing Results & Conclusion
Using previous testing data, we can evaluate the EK-FB MSI X399 Gaming RGB monoblock against the Swiftech Apogee SKF-TR4 Heirloom block. Our AMD Threadripper test system is overclocked to 4.1GHz at a vCore of 1.40V and provides us with the thermal loads needed for comparison on the TR4 socket platform.
Load temperatures over ambient show the EK-FB MSI X399 Gaming RGB monoblock with a minimal edge over the Swiftech Apogee SKF-TR4 Heirloom block. The EK monoblock also shows a slight edge for motherboard voltage regulators, likely because the block makes direct contact with these components. Keeping your power delivery cool and stable is necessary for overclocking and hardware longevity.
Seeing as our tests include the same cooling-loop components, our pump and fan speeds are identical, which allows us to focus purely on the performance of the blocks in the comparison.
Again, using the same fans and pump highlights the lack of variables in our cooling loop.
With the EK-FB MSI X399 Gaming RGB monoblock posting a slight thermal advantage and every other variable remaining identical, we do see a slight advantage going to the EK monoblock here, as both parts perform very well.
Adding a dollar value to the performance evaluation of hardware allows us to complete the picture of how well the cooling gear completes its mission. At the time of this writing, the EK-FB MSI X399 Gaming RGB monoblock has a retail price of $140, which is a body blow relative to the Swiftech in the chart above. Both the EK and Swiftech parts are considered flagship performance waterblocks, but the 23% price premium of the EK-FB MSI X399 Gaming RGB monoblock over the Swiftech SKF-TR4 Heirloom is a consideration that liquid-cooling enthusiasts will have to ponder.
We know that custom liquid cooling is an expensive hobby. But we also know it can be a very rewarding cooling solution with solid planning and the careful choice of components. Since EK offers several TR4 monoblocks for enthusiast-grade MSI, Gigabyte, ASRock and Asus motherboards, your watercooled Threadripper build has some excellent-performing options.
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