EK Water Blocks revealed an upcoming water block that it designed for Gigabyte’s flagship 1080 Ti graphics cards.
Traditionally, EKWB wouldn’t build a water block for the top tier graphics cards from any manufacturer, but as they say, the times they are a-changing. In recent years, EKWB forged partnerships with a handful of component OEMs, which opened the doors for a wider selection of water cooling products.
EKWB’s partnerships allowed the company to pursue the monoblock market with vigor. It’s unlikely that the small Slovenian water cooling company could have supported the investment into such a niche market if the manufacturers weren’t onboard to supply CAD information and/or hardware to work with.
The partnerships that EKWB forged also opened the door to supporting the bespoke graphics cards that each OEM creates. EKWB would traditionally shy away from supporting those cards because they're often sold in low volume. If EKWB must buy the cards to support them, the company has to pick and choose which ones it supports, and that card must have large enough sales volume to likely recoup the R&D costs and turn a profit. When an OEM gets on board and provides resources, EKWB’s costs go down, and it can, therefore, justify creating products that may sell a small handful of copies like a water block for a flagship graphics card.
Last year, when Gigabyte launched the GeForce GTX 1080 Xtreme Gaming, EKWB decided it wouldn’t build a water block for the card, even though Gigabyte’s flagship card appeared to be the perfect candidate for a full cover water block. Now, though, EKWB chose differently for Gigabyte’s Aorus GeForce GTX 1080 Ti Xtreme Gaming.
EKWB is offering two versions of the EK-FC1080 GTX Ti Aorus full cover water block. You can get the block with a black Acetal top or a clear acrylic top. The transparent version includes two pre-drilled holes for 3mm LED diodes. Both versions of the block feature nickel-plated electrolytic copper base plates that make direct contact with the GPU, memory, and VRMs.
EKWB’s EK-FC1080 GTX Ti Aorus full cover water blocks support two of Gigabyte's top graphics cards, the Gigabyte Aorus GeForce GTX 1080 Ti and the Gigabyte Aorus GeForce GTX 1080 Ti Xtreme Gaming.
EKWB is taking pre-orders for both versions of the EK-FC1080 GTX Ti Aorus water blocks. The company said the first shipments would go out on May 31. EKWB sells both full cover water blocks, which you can find here and here, for $132. The company also offers a backplate, which comes in black for $35, or nickel-plated for $44.