Professional workstation graphics cards are quite expensive, which is what makes EKWB’s latest water block announcement a little funny. While normally we’d consider a $160 water block an expensive upgrade for a graphics card, when you consider that the AMD FirePro W9100 costs around $4000, that $160 is actually a very small part of the overall cost and could be a good deal—good enough, in fact, that it might be preferable to use liquid cooling over stock air cooling from a price to performance ratio.
The EK-FCW9100 is EKWB’s latest, and it follows the standard recipe for a graphics water block in that it covers the GPU, memory and VRM circuitry and is made out of nickel-plated copper. It also has a high-flow design and brings the card profile down to a single-slot format.
So, why might using this water block on the FirePro W9100 will give you a better performance-per-dollar ratio? When we reviewed the W9100, one of the key problems we had with it was the cooler. It might perform better than the cooler on the gaming-oriented Hawaii cards, but that doesn’t mean that it’s ideal.
Replacing the stock cooler on a card like the W9100 with a more effective solution can improve performance so dramatically that dropping big money on a water loop and these water blocks could potentially give you enough performance-per-dollar to justify the high cost.
EKWB has made the EK-FCW9100 available for $161.32.