If you're packing a full water cooling loop in your machine, or are planning one before you get your hands on a new Nvidia GeForce RTX 30-series (opens in new tab) GPU, you're going to want a water block that can handle the heat. Just now, Inno3D has announced the iChill Frostbite, an RGB waterblock for the new Ampere cards with a "radical approach" to its design.
Successor to the 20-series, the new iChill Frostbite water blocks (via TechPowerup (opens in new tab)) have had their components rejigged, and the thermal pad thickness reduced to just 1mm. The pure copper, nickel plated base plate which seals the heatsink has also been reduced to 5.5mm thick, and the flow of water around its translucent design has been optimised since the old block fit Nvidia's 20-series cards.
After all this redesign work, these water cooling solutions boast a 17 percent decrease in operational temperature when used in conjunction with the R=Nvidia RTX 3080 (opens in new tab) or RTX 3090 (opens in new tab) Founders Editions. Supposedly, that's 60-65°C under load, down from the 75°C Inno3D has the FE pegged at, although our review RTX 3090 FE only peaked at 70°C, with an average gaming temperature of 65°C. I'll leave you to do the maths, there.
iChill Frostbite models may at least be more readily available than the Founders Editions, with Inno3D "working hard" to make Frostbite GPUs available across the board—although perhaps that's wishful thinking. There's no word on pricing yet, but these water blocks will be available pre-installed on a host of AIB RTX 3080 and RTX 3090 cards (if you can ever get your hands on one (opens in new tab)).
EK, on the other hand, is coming out with a stand-alone water block to keep up with the liquid-chilling hype. EK has finally released its Special Edition EK-Quantum Vector water block (opens in new tab), which, although it's limited to use with the RTX 3080 Founders Edition cards, it does look like a tasty piece of component candy.
These D-RGB water blocks are the "most complex GPU cooling solution developed by EK to date," with the largest cooling engine EK has ever used, and an extremely thick copper base. These weighty beasts cover about 30% more surface area than any other Vector series water block, and come with pre-installed brass standoffs to keep them secured in place.
The FE EK-Quantum Vector also features low hydraulic flow restriction, so it can apparently manage top performance even when used with weaker or low-speed water pumps. And, the high-quality EPDM O-rings will help keep all that lovely liquid inside, where it belongs.
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The first batch of EK-Quantum Vector water blocks is looking to ship around the start of December, and come in black or silver colour variations to complement your battlestation style choices.
So, if all this talk of water cooling has got you excited, you can pre-order a model now from the EKWB store (opens in new tab) for a whopping $280—yep, that's just the water block, no GPU included.