RTX 3080 FTW3 EK Vector Waterblock Install & Results

Joined
May 20, 2011
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867
Installed a EK Vector Waterblock on my 3080 FTW3 a few days ago. There's lots of discussion on the EVGA forum about people bricking their 3080/3090's while installing the EK Waterblock, so I decided to document my install and share the results.

The EVGA card is a pain to disassemble. The thermal pads they use is more like thermal putty, it adheres to the cooler and components like glue. Using a hairdryer to heat up the pcb, I was eventually able to separate the cooler from the card. Used a small plastic scrapper and alcohol to clean off the thermal pad/grease residue.
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EK doesn't supply precut thermal pads anymore, pretty lame for such an expensive block. I measured and cut the supplied thermal pads, following EK's directions to the letter. Used the spread method to apply the thermal grease(kryonaut). I installed the block, then uninstalled to check the coverage. Both the pads and grease looked good so I reinstalled and tested the card without water, booted into windows no problems so far.
IMG_20210421_192145.jpg

Next came the backplate. I have been suspecting for awhile that if this is a problem with EK that its the backplate causing problems. I applied the 3 different thermal pads as directed and installed the backplate. While installing, I realized that because the side with the power connectors don't have any thermal pads, as you start tightening the screws the backplate bows slightly. Looking between the pcb and the backplate, some of the components, especially the metal pins on the back of the card come extremely close to the backplate. I know very little on the tolerances for these kind of things, but having less then 1mm gap between metal parts seemed like a bad idea to me. I decided to use kapton tape to apply over any area I thought there might be a chance of touching.
IMG_20210421_213915.jpg


Put the backplate back on, and tested in the system and it booted into Windows just fine. Hooked up the water loop, leaktested for 12 hours and here we are. Card is fully functional, has been running a looped 3dmark test for 4 hours. 48C core, 58C memory junction. I recommend anyone installing this to be very careful with the backplate and not to torque down the screws, especially the ones on the power connector side.

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the_real_7

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Sep 10, 2007
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1,293
Nice write up ,what kind of overclocking are you doing to get such a high port royal score ? I have Evga 3080 Ftw ultra hydrocopper overclocked to 2145 and I can't get my port royal score over 12k. Maybe some setting I'm doing

 

vegeta535

Supreme [H]ardness
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Jul 19, 2013
Messages
6,765
My first ftw 3 card I put on a alphacool block went poof after a day. The card I got back also wouldn't post after trying to again install the block on it. I got pissed off and shoved the entire computer into the corner and didn't touch it for a week. I was about to start taking apart and throw away the block and rma again but it booted up fine when I gave it a shot. Been running beautifully for the past 2 months. My temps don't go past 50c on memory and gpu. All the power delivery stays under 50c but one that sits in the mid 50s under load. The alphacool block came with all the pads pre cut for a 3080 and 3090. I get +125 on the core and +1500 on the memory with no issues mining and games. So in the end I am happy with the block given it was the first to be released for the 3080 ftw3 and cheaper then others.
 
Joined
May 20, 2011
Messages
867
Nice write up ,what kind of overclocking are you doing to get such a high port royal score ? I have Evga 3080 Ftw ultra hydrocopper overclocked to 2145 and I can't get my port royal score over 12k. Maybe some setting I'm doing

Core +165, Memory + 1350. Holds around 2175 for core clocks. Maybe up the memory? Also I'm running the XOC bios with the 450w power limit. I like many have a bug though where the 3rd 8pin power only draws half of what the other 2 8 pins draw, meaning I still hit the power limit around 390w.

Two people over on the EVGA forums that "bricked" their cards when installing the block & backplate fixed them by adding the kapton tape like I did. Maybe my theory about the backplate shorting something is correct.
 

TechLauren

n00b
Joined
Jun 10, 2021
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1
The tape is a great idea but could you have have also put some of those very small nylon or non conductive washers (like would go against the motherboard) on the side without the thermal pads to act as spacers?
Off topic but is your tubing white? If so what is it pls? I am looking to achieve milk tubes without using opaque fluid which everyone says turns to cheese.
 

termite

Supreme [H]ardness
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Aug 27, 2004
Messages
5,609
Off topic but is your tubing white? If so what is it pls? I am looking to achieve milk tubes without using opaque fluid which everyone says turns to cheese.

Not sure what the OP is using but I used Primochill Advanced LRT white tubing in the past. Great stuff if not a bit stiff.
 
Joined
May 20, 2011
Messages
867
The tape is a great idea but could you have have also put some of those very small nylon or non conductive washers (like would go against the motherboard) on the side without the thermal pads to act as spacers?
Off topic but is your tubing white? If so what is it pls? I am looking to achieve milk tubes without using opaque fluid which everyone says turns to cheese.
Nylon washers might have worked also, but I felt this was the simplest, safest solution. Washers on one side might cause improper contact over cooled components or cause stress to the pcb.

Primochill LRT in solid white. Probably the best soft tubing around.
 
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