EKWB 1080ti Block installed - pics, results, + bubbles question

st4rk

Gawd
Joined
Sep 19, 2003
Messages
1,013
A while ago I installed an EKWB kit from Microcenter, it has been great. The 1080ti I have is an EVGA FTW3, the air cooling works very well on it, but can be a bit loud and isn't nearly as cool as running a watercooled card so I bought a block for it.

Keep in mind a few things before reading further:
-This is my first watercooling setup, it's an ever-evolving setup
-It is quite "ghetto"
-It is ugly

If you can handle this stuff then let's proceed. The block itself is the cool-looking nickel one, instead of just the plain boring black one they offered. It was back-ordered so I had to wait about a week. It is extremely well built and pretty heavy. All of this was done on the comfort of my couch with no precautions taken regarding safety of computer components, and being distracted by watching the Astros win the World Series.

Pic of previous setup for reference:
UbQLFs4.jpg


Install:
Taking off the monstrous FTW cooling was very simple. The included instructions are easy to follow but I mostly winged this part. I believe EKWB recommends using a non-abrasive qtip or something and some special alcohol to clean the gunk off; I just grabbed the nearest napkin and went to town, sans alcohol. EKWB recommends a star pattern, I fudged this as best as I could:

ILh9lFP.jpg


I haven't worked with thermal pads since the x1900xt aftermarket cooling I installed a longggg time ago. After slapping on the pads I slapped on the EKWB block and lined up the mounting holes. This was even easier than disassembling. The whole process was a breeze, I'm always nervous about undressing graphics cards but had no issues here.

Block mounted, card resting safely out in the open on the couch, my wife's hair photobombs the pic:

2B6qMb6.jpg


I messed up the thermal pads a bit, part of them stick out on the bottom of the block. I may go back and try and cut them, but I'm definitely not taking off the block and remounting, far too lazy to do that.

Leak test:
Shortly before turning on:
y3Memzp.jpg


No leaks at all. Lots of air though, it took a while to clear out the air and get water flowing throughout the block. I could see bubbles forming in some of the corners, more on that later.

Benching:
Leak test finished and how it sat during benches:
iTtQMPf.jpg


Bench action (I ran 8 threads as I was a bit gun shy doing 12 (the lighting of my keyboard matching furmark is purely coincidental)):
4VKKmmt.jpg


This is how my case has sat for several months and sits now:
87es0Df.jpg


The Air 540 will not suffice for this setup, so I'm not going to bother installing fancy tubes or squeezing the pump in somewhere. A new case is next on my list. I haven't had any dust issues at all and the both sides have been off the case for months. I also haven't spilled or secreted anything into the case and damaged any components. I think it's humorous how many people freak out when I show them I'm running a case with no sides on. I have two dogs in the house and neither of them have bumped, knocked into, or secreted any liquid or other form of matter into the case.

Moving on.

FTW cooling had the 1080ti around 68-75 during the summer (top room in the house, hard to cool), and 58-63 now that it's fall and I keep the room cool (keep in mind - completely open case, no sides). The EKWB cools it down to 45 from what I've seen so far. Not bad, but at least I don't have to listen to the FTW any more.

The CPU does not seem to be affected, since it is the first in the loop anyways. And stressing it does not raise the temps on the 1080, idle or otherwise. 1080ti idles at 27 now vs 35ish.


Now to the bubbles:

I have tipped and shook the case every way imaginable except upside down. As I am typing this it is still running at my house so maybe when I get home from work some bubbles may have cleared up? I read that using a drop of dish soap may help, so I will try that later. I also read that it could take days or weeks for the bubbles to clear.

Temps are great, so even with some bubbles in the corners of the block, it's still cooling it effectively.
 

cageymaru

Fully [H]
Joined
Apr 10, 2003
Messages
20,714
Nice system! You need a pic of everything installed and in place.
 
D

Deleted member 278999

Guest
A while ago I installed an EKWB kit from Microcenter, it has been great. The 1080ti I have is an EVGA FTW3, the air cooling works very well on it, but can be a bit loud and isn't nearly as cool as running a watercooled card so I bought a block for it.

Keep in mind a few things before reading further:
-This is my first watercooling setup, it's an ever-evolving setup
-It is quite "ghetto"
-It is ugly

If you can handle this stuff then let's proceed. The block itself is the cool-looking nickel one, instead of just the plain boring black one they offered. It was back-ordered so I had to wait about a week. It is extremely well built and pretty heavy. All of this was done on the comfort of my couch with no precautions taken regarding safety of computer components, and being distracted by watching the Astros win the World Series.

Pic of previous setup for reference:
UbQLFs4.jpg


Install:
Taking off the monstrous FTW cooling was very simple. The included instructions are easy to follow but I mostly winged this part. I believe EKWB recommends using a non-abrasive qtip or something and some special alcohol to clean the gunk off; I just grabbed the nearest napkin and went to town, sans alcohol. EKWB recommends a star pattern, I fudged this as best as I could:

ILh9lFP.jpg


I haven't worked with thermal pads since the x1900xt aftermarket cooling I installed a longggg time ago. After slapping on the pads I slapped on the EKWB block and lined up the mounting holes. This was even easier than disassembling. The whole process was a breeze, I'm always nervous about undressing graphics cards but had no issues here.

Block mounted, card resting safely out in the open on the couch, my wife's hair photobombs the pic:

2B6qMb6.jpg


I messed up the thermal pads a bit, part of them stick out on the bottom of the block. I may go back and try and cut them, but I'm definitely not taking off the block and remounting, far too lazy to do that.

Leak test:
Shortly before turning on:
y3Memzp.jpg


No leaks at all. Lots of air though, it took a while to clear out the air and get water flowing throughout the block. I could see bubbles forming in some of the corners, more on that later.

Benching:
Leak test finished and how it sat during benches:
iTtQMPf.jpg


Bench action (I ran 8 threads as I was a bit gun shy doing 12 (the lighting of my keyboard matching furmark is purely coincidental)):
4VKKmmt.jpg


This is how my case has sat for several months and sits now:
87es0Df.jpg


The Air 540 will not suffice for this setup, so I'm not going to bother installing fancy tubes or squeezing the pump in somewhere. A new case is next on my list. I haven't had any dust issues at all and the both sides have been off the case for months. I also haven't spilled or secreted anything into the case and damaged any components. I think it's humorous how many people freak out when I show them I'm running a case with no sides on. I have two dogs in the house and neither of them have bumped, knocked into, or secreted any liquid or other form of matter into the case.

Moving on.

FTW cooling had the 1080ti around 68-75 during the summer (top room in the house, hard to cool), and 58-63 now that it's fall and I keep the room cool (keep in mind - completely open case, no sides). The EKWB cools it down to 45 from what I've seen so far. Not bad, but at least I don't have to listen to the FTW any more.

The CPU does not seem to be affected, since it is the first in the loop anyways. And stressing it does not raise the temps on the 1080, idle or otherwise. 1080ti idles at 27 now vs 35ish.


Now to the bubbles:

I have tipped and shook the case every way imaginable except upside down. As I am typing this it is still running at my house so maybe when I get home from work some bubbles may have cleared up? I read that using a drop of dish soap may help, so I will try that later. I also read that it could take days or weeks for the bubbles to clear.

Temps are great, so even with some bubbles in the corners of the block, it's still cooling it effectively.

That's WAY too much thermal paste splugey mc splugerson.
 

st4rk

Gawd
Joined
Sep 19, 2003
Messages
1,013
That's WAY too much thermal paste splugey mc splugerson.

Oh yeah, I was surprised that EKWB didn't recommend a rice sized dot, but I followed their instructions anyways. Never done the star pattern before.
 
D

Deleted member 278999

Guest
Oh yeah, I was surprised that EKWB didn't recommend a rice sized dot, but I followed their instructions anyways. Never done the star pattern before.

I use it.

The key with bare dies is that you want to cover 100% of it hence the * pattern. You can do variations of the /\\-/ and jew star too.
 

Zarathustra[H]

Extremely [H]
Joined
Oct 29, 2000
Messages
32,916
What coolant are you using?

A drop of dish soap is probably safe, but IMHO, I prefer to not stick a bunch of gunk together in mine as you never know how everything is going to react together.

Bubbles at first are perfectly normal. It's good to work out big dry spots by doing case gymnastics as you have but the small bubbles won't disappear due to this. They DO usually disappear on their own though after several hours to a few days, so I wouldn't worry too much.

If they are still there after running for a week, maybe look into adding a surfactant, but otherwise I wouldn't worry about it.
 

Zarathustra[H]

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Joined
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Messages
32,916
That's WAY too much thermal paste splugey mc splugerson.

It's certainly more than you need, but contrary to popular belief, there is no negative performance impact from adding too much. It just squeezes out the sides when tightened.

(It will make a mess though)

I generally err on the "too much" side just to make sure I get complete coverage.
 
D

Deleted member 278999

Guest
It's certainly more than you need, but contrary to popular belief, there is no negative performance impact from adding too much. It just squeezes out the sides when tightened.

(It will make a mess though)

I generally err on the "too much" side just to make sure I get complete coverage.

Always a good idea not to get paste on the board spanning circuits. Even non conductive paste becomes conductive over time.
 

st4rk

Gawd
Joined
Sep 19, 2003
Messages
1,013
Update: GPU hit 50c during Doom (1440p), which I think was a bit high. CPU around 50c.
I used a drop of dish soap and it cleared some of the bubbles on the 1080ti block. This reduced temps to 47c.

There's still a bubble in one corner of the block.
 

nycdarkness

Weaksauce
Joined
Jan 9, 2015
Messages
82
In what timeframe? It's been like that for 5 months.
From the looks of it, you either have a small kink there or your applying pressure to the tube inside the fitting. You cannot see the lift off of the tube vs the base of the barb under the compression collar or if there isn't one. Sure it might not be leaking now but it's an area that can be issue if one were to develop.
 

st4rk

Gawd
Joined
Sep 19, 2003
Messages
1,013
From the looks of it, you either have a small kink there or your applying pressure to the tube inside the fitting. You cannot see the lift off of the tube vs the base of the barb under the compression collar or if there isn't one. Sure it might not be leaking now but it's an area that can be issue if one were to develop.

Yeah, it's not ideal but a big reason I need to find a new case.
 

Zarathustra[H]

Extremely [H]
Joined
Oct 29, 2000
Messages
32,916
Update: GPU hit 50c during Doom (1440p), which I think was a bit high. CPU around 50c.
I used a drop of dish soap and it cleared some of the bubbles on the 1080ti block. This reduced temps to 47c.

There's still a bubble in one corner of the block.

These temps seem right in the ballpark for what to expect with a single 3x120mm radiator.

I have one triple 140mm (45mm thick) up top and a monsta 2x140mm (85mm thick?) up front.

My GPU is usually only a handful of degrees above ambient at load when overclocked if I blast all fans at 100%, but that tends to be very loud, so I usually don't do that. I also ahve a very hot CPU though. The Hexacore Sandy-E's at 4.8 and 1.45v put out a TON of heat.
 

nycdarkness

Weaksauce
Joined
Jan 9, 2015
Messages
82
Yeah, it's not ideal but a big reason I need to find a new case.

The case is fine. 4 years ago I did a loop with 2 240s in that case. What you need is angled fittings to clean it up. You have everything on one side. Look at the other side of your case you have an empty area above your psu, another right behind the mobo by the 24pin. These are two places you could put your pump/res. If you moved your pump onto the other side it would clean things up a lot. Angled fittings are necessary to clean up any loop as well as address the areas that you really cant just run a hardline easily or a soft tube. Given the components in your build 2 240s or 2 280s are more than enough.

An example of what I mean

900x900px-LL-dd657447_01.jpeg


900x900px-LL-0dc6e3a1_16.jpeg
 

hitched

Limp Gawd
Joined
Jan 12, 2011
Messages
220
My Aorus 1080 Ti has a 360 rad right before it and the highest I gave seen it get 39c so I'm pretty excited about that.. it's a little more cluttered with tubing then i envisioned but I love the fact that my gpu block and cpu monoblock have there own 360 radiator

I just changed my reservoir to a 270mm tube reservoir from a d5 tank res and my god it my life so much easier for draining and filling... it may take 10 min to drain and refill and bubbles are gone almost in an instant
 
Last edited:

Zarathustra[H]

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Messages
32,916
My Aorus 1080 Ti has a 360 rad right before it and the highest I gave seen it get 39c so I'm pretty excited about that.. it's a little more cluttered with tubing then i envisioned but I love the fact that my gpu block and cpu monoblock have there own 360 radiator

I just changed my reservoir to a 270mm tube reservoir from a d5 tank res and my god it my life so much easier for draining and filling... it may take 10 min to drain and refill and bubbles are gone almost in an instant


I have the XSPC 270 D5/Res combo.

Its a pain in the ass to fill due tot he quirky fill port, but once filled it works out bubbles fairly quickly, presumably due to the large reservoir allowing ar bubbles to more effectively separate before they are sucked back into the loop.
 

magictoaster

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Joined
Apr 6, 2005
Messages
454
It's certainly more than you need, but contrary to popular belief, there is no negative performance impact from adding too much. It just squeezes out the sides when tightened.

(It will make a mess though)

A mess that will require a lot of Arctic Cleaner + Q-Tips to clean (did mine a few times). Just have to be careful with the SMT components. But the star pattern works great when you apply a little less. :)
 

hitched

Limp Gawd
Joined
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Messages
220
I have the XSPC 270 D5/Res combo.

Its a pain in the ass to fill due tot he quirky fill port, but once filled it works out bubbles fairly quickly, presumably due to the large reservoir allowing ar bubbles to more effectively separate before they are sucked back into the loop.

I know what you mean! I just recently threw mine in the trash after it somehow molded over... I thought the xspc fluid I bought would prevent that but apparently it didnt
 

Nebulous

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Messages
1,678
The case is fine. 4 years ago I did a loop with 2 240s in that case. What you need is angled fittings to clean it up. You have everything on one side. Look at the other side of your case you have an empty area above your psu, another right behind the mobo by the 24pin. These are two places you could put your pump/res. If you moved your pump onto the other side it would clean things up a lot. Angled fittings are necessary to clean up any loop as well as address the areas that you really cant just run a hardline easily or a soft tube. Given the components in your build 2 240s or 2 280s are more than enough.

An example of what I mean

900x900px-LL-dd657447_01.jpeg


900x900px-LL-0dc6e3a1_16.jpeg


Shit dude that's badass! Very nicely done especially in the 540! (y)
 

st4rk

Gawd
Joined
Sep 19, 2003
Messages
1,013
These temps seem right in the ballpark for what to expect with a single 3x120mm radiator.

I have one triple 140mm (45mm thick) up top and a monsta 2x140mm (85mm thick?) up front.

My GPU is usually only a handful of degrees above ambient at load when overclocked if I blast all fans at 100%, but that tends to be very loud, so I usually don't do that. I also ahve a very hot CPU though. The Hexacore Sandy-E's at 4.8 and 1.45v put out a TON of heat.

Thanks for the feedback on the temps for a 3x120 rad. And damn, those are some good temps for your GPU.
 

st4rk

Gawd
Joined
Sep 19, 2003
Messages
1,013
The case is fine. 4 years ago I did a loop with 2 240s in that case. What you need is angled fittings to clean it up. You have everything on one side. Look at the other side of your case you have an empty area above your psu, another right behind the mobo by the 24pin. These are two places you could put your pump/res. If you moved your pump onto the other side it would clean things up a lot. Angled fittings are necessary to clean up any loop as well as address the areas that you really cant just run a hardline easily or a soft tube. Given the components in your build 2 240s or 2 280s are more than enough.

Oh, I know I could definitely use the entire case, but I would like my pump on display instead of hidden in the back of the case, so I want everything to be shown off in front. I plan on using clear hose with colored coolant when I decide on a tube layout in my next case.

And yeah, I need to pick up angled fittings, they're like $8 a pop at my microcenter.

I'm already thinking of doing a separate loop for the GPU now, this stuff is addicting. So my next case would need room for two pumps (tower 900). The Thermaltake P3 looks cool but I don't think two pumps fit in the front.
 
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