Ekwb Nickel Plated 2080ti Block After 3 Months Of Use With EK Clear Cryofuel.

Fixall

[H]ard|Gawd
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I think I’m calling it quits on EK.

First my Predator 360 leaks. Then the vortex sponge on my new Predator 360 disintegrated and clogged up my GPU and CPU jet plates. Then they sent me a pre-filled 2080ti Phoenix block with no coolant in it. Now the nickel plating on a three month old block is flaking off. I only noticed it because I just picked up an EK XE 360 rad, EK FLT 120 res/pump combo, and EK Connect 51 to replace the Predator... But now I don’t even know if I want to install them.

426926A5-057D-4959-BAAD-78CD18FEB4BE.jpeg
3EC667A0-E57F-4083-8565-58D33688F306.jpeg
 

Fixall

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I will not put EK anything in any of my systems.

Their old CEO, Mark, did me a solid once so I’d always shown them a bit of loyalty, but fuck that. Time to start researching water cooling again.
 

Fixall

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XSPC and AlphaCool have been tops on my list for a good while.

Thanks, I’ll check them out. I’ve heard good things in passing about AlphaCool, and I actually have a little experience with XSPC, although it’s been about a decade.

Did you have vinegar in system at any point in time?

Nope. I flushed the coolant from the Predator 360 with distilled water several times, and then flushed the entire system with EK clear Cryofuel and then filled the loop with EK clear Cryofuel. Nothing in it other than that.
 
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I only use distilled water with a few of drops of topical iodine and a silver kill coil in my loop. (It's a large one using two rads that covers both the GPU & CPU, but has a very small reservoir.) I change this out maybe once every 2-3 years. Zero issues.
Where I've always experienced problems is when using "custom" coolant solutions - especially those that use dyes/additives. They always seem to cause problems in the long run. That and using ANY kind of dissimilar metals within in a loop.

Not sure what happened in your case - that clear stuff from EK should have been ok... but I still don't trust anything that I haven't mixed/put together myself. No real way to know that their liquids were mixed right... that quality control from whatever vendor they have subcontracted to for producing their coolant products didn't mix up a slightly bad batch.
 

FrgMstr

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I have been driving XSPC additive in 3 systems now for a few years with good results, but I do generally run 2X the suggested ratio on mix.
 

Fixall

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I did some further inspecting and there’s a lot more corrosion. It’s literally all along the rubber gasket that goes around the perimeter of the heat exchange/water chamber (whatever that’s called). It seems like maybe the nickel plating didn’t take too well along the CNC’ed channel or something.

To EKWB’s credit, they replied to my RMA email within a few hours and offered to send me a new GPU base and expedite the shipping.
 

vegeta535

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Sucks. I had a ekwb on my 1080ti for two years and don't see any degrading yet. Using several different fluids over that time. Currently using just distilled water and a corrosion inhibitor.
 

sabrewolf732

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I did some further inspecting and there’s a lot more corrosion. It’s literally all along the rubber gasket that goes around the perimeter of the heat exchange/water chamber (whatever that’s called). It seems like maybe the nickel plating didn’t take too well along the CNC’ed channel or something.

To EKWB’s credit, they replied to my RMA email within a few hours and offered to send me a new GPU base and expedite the shipping.

At least they're offering a new block, everything has a failure rate. My 1080ti ekwb is still doing well. Currently running a bykski block on my 5700xt and no issues yet (about 1 year with red cryofuel)
 

Dan_D

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I have been driving XSPC additive in 3 systems now for a few years with good results, but I do generally run 2X the suggested ratio on mix.

Another one that really works well is the Koolance fluid. I've used that in those Exos 2.5 units for so many years and they are still going strong.
 

Dullard

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Distilled water and Petra PHN Nuke biocide (not the copper nuke) has been running for coming up on 5 years in my oldest watercooled rig, EK blocks on TitanX Maxwell SLI and CPU as well as pump and rads. And this build wasn't too far after they had their original plating failure fiasco, it was a leap of faith for me to use the stuff but was assured that the problems were solved. No issues with that loop, looks clear as the day it was filled. Since then I've gone to HWLabs rads, still used a EK CPU block and res on my last build but a Heatkiller GPU block. When EK started putting aluminum shrouds on their rads I kinda started mentally phasing them out - yeah, the shroud doesn't touch the coolant, but it seems el cheapo to me. Building AIOs seemed like the jumping of the shark point.

The PHN Nuke isn't compatible with most dyes, but I've never used anything but clear water in anything, anyway. Brass rads, nickel Primochill Revolver fittings, nickel blocks, no corrosion.
 

gwertheim

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Did you mix metals? Aluminum fittings with a copper block or the other way around?
 
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THRESHIN

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I only use distilled water with a few of drops of topical iodine and a silver kill coil in my loop. (It's a large one using two rads that covers both the GPU & CPU, but has a very small reservoir.) I change this out maybe once every 2-3 years. Zero issues.
Where I've always experienced problems is when using "custom" coolant solutions - especially those that use dyes/additives. They always seem to cause problems in the long run. That and using ANY kind of dissimilar metals within in a loop.

Not sure what happened in your case - that clear stuff from EK should have been ok... but I still don't trust anything that I haven't mixed/put together myself. No real way to know that their liquids were mixed right... that quality control from whatever vendor they have subcontracted to for producing their coolant products didn't mix up a slightly bad batch.

I second those one. I've used nothing but deionized water and a few drops of PT nuke for probably near 15 years now. No issues.
 
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I ran EK pastel white for almost three years without touching the system, drained it and had no buildup or corrosion. My first build was an XSPC build and the bay reservoir leaked(a known issue.) I also really disliked the look and mounting system of their cpu blocks. I have used a few alphacool products and am not a fan of their reservoirs because the bases are bulky and and awkward looking. EK has a cheap and bad RGB solution for their current gpu waterblocks, plus their products are overpriced. I have had a Singularity reservoir leak due to the O ring being too thin, also their mounting brackets can be easily bent by hand and their mounting clamps do not always line up correctly. I swear by HWlabs, but they have an issue with quality control when it comes to paint. I use whatever I think looks the best and has a decent enough track record.

The OP must have some other issue than just fluid or that many bad products from a manufacturer. Mixed metals? I am not calling him out, this can be an easy thing to miss.
 

Dan_D

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While I mentioned running EK stuff without issue, I've also run a bunch of water cooling parts from just about every other vendor without issue as well. I've never had trouble with anything. Not even when I've mixed different brands of hardware. About the only thing that ever happened was the pump went out in one of my Exos 2.5's back in the day and I simply replaced it. It's been fine ever since. I've never seen corrosion even when I used some retarded silvery bullshit coolant in one setup. It was a mess and hard to clean out. It stained the tubing pretty badly, but it didn't do anything to the metal.

When people experience corrosion issues, I often wonder if there are mixed metals involved or something else going on. I've never seen it myself despite nearly two decades of water cooling with nearly every major brand of blocks etc. out there.
 

5150Joker

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I've had EK stuff running in my PC for some time now. I haven't had any problems with it.

Same, I've had two ek gpu blocks now, one for my Titan XP and now 2080 ti and both are great. The Titan one was run one year without a fluid change and all I had to do was disassemble the block and give it a good cleaning and it looked brand new.

My cpu block is also EK and again I just disassembled and cleaned it with soap and water after one year and it looked completely new. So far I've had zero problems with EK and will continue buying their products.
 

Fixall

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I only use distilled water with a few of drops of topical iodine and a silver kill coil in my loop. (It's a large one using two rads that covers both the GPU & CPU, but has a very small reservoir.) I change this out maybe once every 2-3 years. Zero issues.
Where I've always experienced problems is when using "custom" coolant solutions - especially those that use dyes/additives. They always seem to cause problems in the long run. That and using ANY kind of dissimilar metals within in a loop.

Not sure what happened in your case - that clear stuff from EK should have been ok... but I still don't trust anything that I haven't mixed/put together myself. No real way to know that their liquids were mixed right... that quality control from whatever vendor they have subcontracted to for producing their coolant products didn't mix up a slightly bad batch.

EKWB actually warns people specifically not to use distilled water and a biocide (epecially silver) in their waterblocks with a nickel coating. In fact, they've gone as far as to say they will not replace waterblocks with nickel plating failure if distilled water was used in the loop because it's a known problem.

Did you mix metals? Aluminum fittings with a copper block or the other way around?

I ran EK pastel white for almost three years without touching the system, drained it and had no buildup or corrosion. My first build was an XSPC build and the bay reservoir leaked(a known issue.) I also really disliked the look and mounting system of their cpu blocks. I have used a few alphacool products and am not a fan of their reservoirs because the bases are bulky and and awkward looking. EK has a cheap and bad RGB solution for their current gpu waterblocks, plus their products are overpriced. I have had a Singularity reservoir leak due to the O ring being too thin, also their mounting brackets can be easily bent by hand and their mounting clamps do not always line up correctly. I swear by HWlabs, but they have an issue with quality control when it comes to paint. I use whatever I think looks the best and has a decent enough track record.

The OP must have some other issue than just fluid or that many bad products from a manufacturer. Mixed metals? I am not calling him out, this can be an easy thing to miss.

Nope, no mixed metals (other than nickel and copper). The Predator 360 has a copper radiator, the MX block is also copper, and the fittings are EKWB nickel (ZMT tubing). The system ran for a couple years flawlessly with that setup and a copper ekwb Titan X block with no corrosion or build up (using their previous Ekoolant Evo clear). I didn't have an issue until I swapped in the nickel 2080ti block. Looking at the block, it's pretty clear that it's a plating failure and not corrosion. The plating all along the perimeter of the heat chamber where the rubber gasket goes is just bare copper. I pulled the CPU block apart in case there was gunk or corrosion in the jet plate, but it looks perfect.

The previous leak from the Predator 360 was a known issue. They recalled all those units and replaced them with revision 1.1 units. The disintegrating vortex sponge was also a known issue caused by degradation from the warm, pressurized coolant.

In any case, the system is up and running with the Supremacy MX CPU copper block, Vector 2080ti nickel-copper block, XE 360 copper radiator, FLT 120 res/d5 pump combo, and Mayhems Ultra Clear tubing with quick disconnects. :)
 
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EKWB actually warns people specifically not to use distilled water and a biocide (epecially silver) in their waterblocks with a nickel coating. In fact, they've gone as far as to say they will not replace waterblocks with nickel plating failure if distilled water was used in the loop because it's a known problem.

Of course they do! It's helps them sell their coolant and why would they encourage potential customers to not buy their pre-mixed coolant products?!

Was curious, so I checked out what they actually say on their site:

"Never use distilled water alone as your main coolant! Pure distilled water offers no protection against biological growth or corrosion."

Check, I don't use it alone - good advice. They go on to state:

"Refrain from using strips of Silver (Ag), also known as “Kill Coil”, with distilled water alone in your water cooling loop. Besides introducing another metal into the already mixed-metal loop with no corrosion protection, the concentration of Silver ions may not be enough to prevent or to suppress biological growth in the liquid cooling loop."

Again, I don't rely on a kill coil alone - and at least they are honest enough to state that it "may not be enough" rather then outright claiming it doesn't work. As I stated, I also add several drops of topical iodine (cheap and available at any drugstore) to my loop as well.

I've got well over a dozen years of first hand experience with what I use - and that's been primarily using EK blocks... what's in my rig now. What I've been using simply works and I've never had any issues. If you'd rather spend $30 on a bottle of pre-mixed coolant for your loop and feel safer doing so, I'm not stopping you.
 

Fixall

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Of course they do! It's helps them sell their coolant and why would they encourage potential customers to not buy their pre-mixed coolant products?!

Was curious, so I checked out what they actually say on their site:

"Never use distilled water alone as your main coolant! Pure distilled water offers no protection against biological growth or corrosion."

Check, I don't use it alone - good advice. They go on to state:

"Refrain from using strips of Silver (Ag), also known as “Kill Coil”, with distilled water alone in your water cooling loop. Besides introducing another metal into the already mixed-metal loop with no corrosion protection, the concentration of Silver ions may not be enough to prevent or to suppress biological growth in the liquid cooling loop."

Again, I don't rely on a kill coil alone - and at least they are honest enough to state that it "may not be enough" rather then outright claiming it doesn't work. As I stated, I also add several drops of topical iodine (cheap and available at any drugstore) to my loop as well.

I've got well over a dozen years of first hand experience with what I use - and that's been primarily using EK blocks... what's in my rig now. What I've been using simply works and I've never had any issues. If you'd rather spend $30 on a bottle of pre-mixed coolant for your loop and feel safer doing so, I'm not stopping you.

Nah, I'm talking about this...

https://www.overclock.net/forum/61-...lated-blocks-update-revised-plating-info.html
 

86 5.0L

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Ek can suck a big one after their whole nickel plating fiasco and how they treated customers

EDIT: yup thats the thread above, damn its been 10 years already???
 

drutman

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IMHO. I am a retired director of a characterization research center with a specialty in Analytical Chemistry. I used to do metallurgical failure analysis for some industrial clients. The problem is even with a QC certificate what metals/alloys the customer thought they had were often not the case and would fail. Just because the radiator/water loop part says Al or Cu this may not be true. Can't tell by looking, electrochemical /corrosion process are complex and not fully understood. For example steel can look ok to the naked eye but when Hydrogen embrittlement advances it will catastrophically fail. See photo below of so called QC verified Pacific Rim sourced steel. Counterfeiting and deception is not solely based to graphic cards, etc.


Electron Microscope Image

1586192182721.png


Section of collapsed tower
 

Fixall

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Just glad your system is back up and running. Did EK follow through and replace parts?

Yea, they shipped me a new nickel plated base to swap in and a bottle of coolant. :)

EK’s customer service has always done right by me for the most part, it’s just the amount of issues I’ve had with new parts from them. I’ve dealt with EK’s RMA department 3 or 4 times in the last decade. The only other RMA department I’ve had to deal with in that time is Thermaltake for one of their PSUs that died in a build I did for a buddy.
 

jyi786

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I have an MSI RTX 2080Ti that has a EKWB block preinstalled....and I'm seeing the same thing as the pic in the OP. The block hasn't failed though, nor has performance diminished in any way. I am NOT mixing metals.

That being said, I AM using just distilled water as my coolant, plus drops of Mayhems biocide. It's been running this way for 7 months now. Am I to believe, based on what EKWB is stating, that I'm not supposed to be using just distilled water? That sounds like marketing speak to me: to get you to buy their premixed coolants. Plenty of other places where people recommend and have used just distilled water in their loops for years and years on end.
 

Zarathustra[H]

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I will not put EK anything in any of my systems.

I'm leaning that direction too.

It's tough though because sometimes for GPU blocks they are the first available and sometimes the only choice for some designs.

I haven't had any issues like this with any of my EK blocks, which I bought early on before learning about their many issues, but I have also dotted my I's and crossed my T's when it comes to following their recommendations.

No PT nuke, Silver coils or anything like that when running nickel plated blocks. I've been using EK coolant just because I figured that is what they test with, so it should be the safest.

When I took my old Nickel Plated EK Supremacy EVO block off when I upgraded to Threadripper, I disassembled it to look at the insides because I was curious. (I hadn't seen the insides before, because I don't like clear plexi)

It came out nice and clean for 3.5 years of use, without any evidence of plating degradation.

IMG_20191222_031649.jpg

I've never opened up my black acetal GPU block though, so who knows what's hiding in there.

My plan is to move away from EK blocks though.

When I upgraded to Threadripper I went with a Watercool Heatkiller IV. My EK GPU block is still on my GPU, but the next time I upgrade the GPU, I'll likely be looking at other brands first.

I do still have some other EK parts in my loop, and even some new ones. For instance I have an EK X4 250 reservoir. It fit right in my new build and had the volume I was looking for. I figured it would be pretty difficult to mess up a reservoir in a way I wouldn't be able to tell when installing it, in which case I'd return it.

I also have an EK dual D5 pump top. The pump top is just machined black acetal with o-rings. I figured that was pretty safe too.

I also have dual EK D5 G2 PWM pumps. Main reason I went with EK on the pumps this time around is because I already had one and wanted them to be matching. My existing one was also nicer and quieter than the XSPC D5 pump it replaced, so I had high hopes there. (The new one is not as quiet as evidenced in this video, pardon my holy sweater, we are under lockdown after all, who even gets dressed anymore)


I have a support ticket in with them and hope to RMA it. We will see how that goes. I'm a little disappointed.

Again, I figured EK doesn't manufacture the D5 pumps themselves (no PC water cooling company does) so they should be pretty equivalent from manufacturer to manufacturer

So, mixed blessings. I'm intent on not using their blocks in the future as I phase out my GPU blocks, but I'll consider their other accessories on a case by case basis. Sometimes you just need what's going to fit in your build and there aren't too many options.
 
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Fixall

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The new GPU base and coolant came in a few days ago from EK.

IMG-1098.jpg


But more importantly the new monoblock from Bitspower came in. Bye bye EK Supremacy MX. :)

IMG-1099.jpg
 

primetime

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I'm leaning that direction too.

It's tough though because sometimes for GPU blocks they are the first available and sometimes the only choice for some designs.

I haven't had any issues like this with any of my EK blocks, which I bought early on before learning about their many issues, but I have also dotted my I's and crossed my T's when it comes to following their recommendations.

No PT nuke, Silver coils or anything like that when running nickel plated blocks. I've been using EK coolant just because I figured that is what they test with, so it should be the safest.

When I took my old Nickel Plated EK Supremacy EVO block off when I upgraded to Threadripper, I disassembled it to look at the insides because I was curious. (I hadn't seen the insides before, because I don't like clear plexi)

It came out nice and clean for 3.5 years of use, without any evidence of plating degradation.

View attachment 236934

I've never opened up my black acetal GPU block though, so who knows what's hiding in there.

My plan is to move away from EK blocks though.

When I upgraded to Threadripper I went with a Watercool Heatkiller IV. My EK GPU block is still on my GPU, but the next time I upgrade the GPU, I'll likely be looking at other brands first.

I do still have some other EK parts in my loop, and even some new ones. For instance I have an EK X4 250 reservoir. It fit right in my new build and had the volume I was looking for. I figured it would be pretty difficult to mess up a reservoir in a way I wouldn't be able to tell when installing it, in which case I'd return it.

I also have an EK dual D5 pump top. The pump top is just machined black acetal with o-rings. I figured that was pretty safe too.

I also have dual EK D5 G2 PWM pumps. Main reason I went with EK on the pumps this time around is because I already had one and wanted them to be matching. My existing one was also nicer and quieter than the XSPC D5 pump it replaced, so I had high hopes there. (The new one is not as quiet as evidenced in this video, pardon my holy sweater, we are under lockdown after all, who even gets dressed anymore)


I have a support ticket in with them and hope to RMA it. We will see how that goes. I'm a little disappointed.

Again, I figured EK doesn't manufacture the D5 pumps themselves (no PC water cooling company does) so they should be pretty equivalent from manufacturer to manufacturer

So, mixed blessings. I'm intent on not using their blocks in the future as I phase out my GPU blocks, but I'll consider their other accessories on a case by case basis. Sometimes you just need what's going to fit in your build and there aren't too many options.
Me personally.....I would not hear a thing after a couple of days :) That kind of sound sorta disappears from my hearing after a while. If it were always starting and stopping then that be different very much. I have a fair amount of hearing loss, so im sure that helps.;)
 

Fixall

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Is that for the motherboard it self? Or just for the big ass cpu die?

Yep, motherboard and CPU like Tsumi said. I have a Phanteks Evolv ATX which has somewhat stagnant airflow (even with six 120mm Varder's in push/pull for intake), so I figured the extra cooling on the VRM couldn't hurt.

I also picked up some Fujipoly thermal pads and some more Thermal Grizzly Kryonaut... Might as well refresh everything while I'm at it.
 

Iratus

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I just don’t look. Isn’t there if I can’t see it 😀

ok, I’m scared to look. I know my blocks are a bit screwed because the old ekwb coolant I had seperated (clear one too) because of cavitation bubbles and it ended up clogging the crap out of everything, depositing shit all on the inside of the tubes. Plus my radiator leakedat the connectors because they weren’t torqued in properly when I got them.

This was after a ridiculously difficult, drawn out build had me just going fuck it so just went back to “distilled water with an additive” and it’s been fine for over 2 years. Little Top up after a year as the water level dropped a bit during a hot summer. Otherwise fine, but there is still a bit of gunk in blocks for sure.

so yeah, moral being fuck EK, I contacted someone about a custom distribution plate just last week, willing to pay a few hundred more saying “I don’t want to give EK any money” even though they do one for the case I’m getting.

Voting with your wallet and spreading the word is the only thing that you can do.
 
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I'm not defending EK here, but I think this might actually be normal. My Alphacool blocks look similar after using exclusively Alphacool Eiswasser Crystal coolant. Also not apologizing for Alphacool - I'd say it's still TBD if their parts will be on my next build.

We tend to be surprised when we actually look closely at these things since we just never see this stuff from techtubers and other reviewers. That part I think is because 1) they rarely use the systems they build, and 2) they're paid to overlook these things.
 

Sharky7337

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I think I’m calling it quits on EK.

First my Predator 360 leaks. Then the vortex sponge on my new Predator 360 disintegrated and clogged up my GPU and CPU jet plates. Then they sent me a pre-filled 2080ti Phoenix block with no coolant in it. Now the nickel plating on a three month old block is flaking off. I only noticed it because I just picked up an EK XE 360 rad, EK FLT 120 res/pump combo, and EK Connect 51 to replace the Predator... But now I don’t even know if I want to install them.

View attachment 234969View attachment 234970

That happened on my 1080 block also. I thought it was due to me running g sysprep in the loop. I scrubbed it off down to the cooper in some places. Was an eyesore for sure.
 

thesmokingman

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Back in the day I sold a pair 580s with waterblocks. I advertised them as pre-corroded so you don't have to worry about it. 🤞

Jokes aside, the plating corrodes sooner or later, ek, koolance, or x brand. I don't buy plated blocks anymore... unless the bastages don't make a bare block which happens a lot with EK.
 

Badluck

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IMHO. I am a retired director of a characterization research center with a specialty in Analytical Chemistry. I used to do metallurgical failure analysis for some industrial clients. The problem is even with a QC certificate what metals/alloys the customer thought they had were often not the case and would fail. Just because the radiator/water loop part says Al or Cu this may not be true. Can't tell by looking, electrochemical /corrosion process are complex and not fully understood. For example steel can look ok to the naked eye but when Hydrogen embrittlement advances it will catastrophically fail. See photo below of so called QC verified Pacific Rim sourced steel. Counterfeiting and deception is not solely based to graphic cards, etc.


Electron Microscope Image

View attachment 235977

Section of collapsed tower
I dont get it, whats wrong with this image?

Back in the day I sold a pair 580s with waterblocks. I advertised them as pre-corroded so you don't have to worry about it. 🤞

Jokes aside, the plating corrodes sooner or later, ek, koolance, or x brand. I don't buy plated blocks anymore... unless the bastages don't make a bare block which happens a lot with EK.
Soooo you're gonna buy pure metal blocks of only one specific metal type? Like a pure copper block or pure silver block?
 
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