View Full Version : Test Report: EK D5 X-Top Rev.2

01-26-09, 02:17 AM
EK D5 X-Top Rev.2
Laing D5 Pump Top

I want to thank Edvard from EK for providing a production sample of the EK D5 X-Top Rev.2 for testing purposes. Eddy as he is known as at XtremeSystems and other forums, gladly sent the sample to be included in the D5 round-up. Once the top went into production he quickly sent the top along with another product from Slovenia to Minnesota for testing...thanks again Eddy!

For the full review, please visit skinnee labs (http://www.skinneelabs.com)


The EK D5 X-Top Rev.2 (http://ekwaterblocks.com/shop/product_info.php?cPath=25_49&products_id=316) is the second revision of the EK D5 X-Top, this revision is entirely different from the original except for the EK styling and quality. Unfortunately, results were never released for Rev.1 and the performance numbers have always been left to speculation. Thanks to the Liquid Cooling community and their everlasting search for performance numbers coupled with the generousity of Eddy, we will not have to speculate on this revision.

The EK X-Top Rev.2 fits the Laing D5, which is re-branded by Swiftech (MCP655) and Koolance (PMP450). This top is a full replacement for the stock top that we all have become used to on the D5. Aftermarket tops have become standard for the Laing DDC series, but the D5 is new territory, I am happy to see another option for the D5 as the stock top has always left the users wanting to customize and push the solid D5 further.

EK D5 X-Top Rev.2 Kit


I am no stranger to EK products, the EK D5 X-Top Rev.2 is packaged in the familiar EK box. As with all EK products, the kit comes with everything you need to convert your stock D5 over to the EK top. As you can see in the picture above, the kit includes the impeller housing, backplate, mountplate and a bag of screws (8 M4x16mm button head & 2 M4x10mm flat head), allen wrench and a stop plug. The backplate in the kit eliminates the use of the ring collar on the D5. I was very happy to see the backplate on the EK kit, as the ring collar just does not work aesthetically when using an aftermarket top. The stop plug is included to plug either the front outlet or top outlet depending on which configuration you choose to implement, there is more on the outlets in the configuration options portion of the review along with tests for each of the configurations.

Note: The stock D5 mounting bracket is not used after converting your D5 to the EK X-Top Rev.2. The hole spacing is 35mm center to center on the EK mount plate versus 42mm center to center on the stock mount. Consideration must be made for your build when planning to incorporate the EK top.


As with all aftermarket pump tops, you will have to remove the stock impeller housing. On the D5 this is quite easy, twist the large collar and slide it off the back of the pump motor...see, simple. Now with just the D5 motor and impeller in our hands, we can proceed to fitting the EK X-Top Rev.2.

I need to admit something here...looking at the parts I had sitting on the bench and the installation instructions I was confused for a minute or two as I looked everything over and read the instructions a few times. Due to my temporary confusion I decided to capture some photos of the major steps of the installation process.

The first step after removing the stock mounting, top and collar is to fit the top with the EK o-ring. The o-ring was hiding in the backplate on my kit, remove the o-ring from the backplate and slide it over the impeller to the outer lip. The results of fitting the o-ring is pictured below.


Second step for installation is sliding on the backplate, put the molex and cord through the plate and slide it up to the lip and o-ring.


Now, I set the impeller housing on the table and place the motor with backplate into it so I could align the motor with the speed selector where I wanted it.


With the motor situated where you want it and the impeller in the housing, start inserting the 8 M4x16mm screws. I used the socket 775 tightening method, by tightening the screws in an X pattern until everything was nice and snug. In the image below, you see the D5 all dressed up with the EK X-Top Rev.2 and a nice set of Bitspower High-Flow 1/2" fittings (skinnee labs standard fittings).


Configuration Options

The EK D5 X-Top Rev.2 has two different outlet configurations, a front inlet/top outlet and a front inlet/front outlet. Photos of the two different outlet configurations are below and each configuration was tested at all D5 speed settings. You can find the performance data below in the Test section, with a full test report listed under the speed setting scatter plots. I apologize now for the dust laiden photo of the front outlet. I did not realize it was that bad until processing and there is just far too much dust to clean it up.

Front Inlet / Top Outlet


Front Inlet / Front Outlet


Test Setup and Methodology

For details on how to read P/Q Curves and my pump test specifications, please view the full review at skinnee labs (http://www.skinneelabs.com)

Test Methodology

The pump testing loop is a completely separate loop on the test bench. The pump test loop is comprised of a custom built half gallon PVC reservoir, and gate valve for controlling flow. Bitspower 1/2" High-Flow fittings were used for consistency across all D5 pump top tests. I use an assortment of measurement tools for pump testing, here is the list.

Power: Mastech HY3005D (0-30V, 0-5A) Variable DC Power Supply
Volt/Amp Measurement: Fluke 23 Series II Digital Multimeter
Flow: King Instruments 7520 Rotameter, 0.5-5 GPM, 10" Scale
Flow Control: 3/4" Inlet-Outlet Gate Valve.
Pressure: Dwyer 490-3 Hydronic (Wet/Wet) Digital Manometer 0.00-50.00 PSI

For each configuration tested, the loop was bled and ran for 20 minutes prior to measurements taken. After 20 minutes, power to the pump was shutoff, and the Manometer was reset to zero PSI. This step ensures a proper measurement of the total dynamic pressure for the pump is recorded. Voltage is adjusted to 12.00 volts in order to achieve a constant voltage across all tests, voltage was verified prior to the 2 minute runtime and verified before measurements were recorded. Also to eliminate and pressure variation, each flow setting was , given a 2 minute runtime before measurements were recorded. For each flow setting the PSI, Voltage and Amperage are recorded.

Test Results

Here are the compiled scatter plots of the two configuration options for the EK D5 X-Top Rev.2 as well as the Stock D5. Below each scatter plot is the test data for each inlet/outlet configuration at the specified speed setting.

Front Inlet/Top Outlet (http://www.skinneelabs.com/Pumps/D5/EK/TopOutlet/D5-EK5-T.html) ------ Front Inlet/Front Outlet (http://www.skinneelabs.com/Pumps/D5/EK/FrontOutlet/D5-EK5-F.html) ------Stock (http://www.skinneelabs.com/Pumps/D5/Stock/D5-S5.html)

Front Inlet/Top Outlet (http://www.skinneelabs.com/Pumps/D5/EK/TopOutlet/D5-EK4-T.html) ------ Front Inlet/Front Outlet (http://www.skinneelabs.com/Pumps/D5/EK/FrontOutlet/D5-EK4-F.html) ------Stock (http://www.skinneelabs.com/Pumps/D5/Stock/D5-S4.html)

Front Inlet/Top Outlet (http://www.skinneelabs.com/Pumps/D5/EK/TopOutlet/D5-EK3-T.html) ------ Front Inlet/Front Outlet (http://www.skinneelabs.com/Pumps/D5/EK/FrontOutlet/D5-EK3-F.html) ------Stock (http://www.skinneelabs.com/Pumps/D5/Stock/D5-S3.html)

01-26-09, 02:19 AM
Front Inlet/Top Outlet (http://www.skinneelabs.com/Pumps/D5/EK/TopOutlet/D5-EK2-T.html) ------ Front Inlet/Front Outlet (http://www.skinneelabs.com/Pumps/D5/EK/FrontOutlet/D5-EK2-F.html) ------Stock (http://www.skinneelabs.com/Pumps/D5/Stock/D5-S2.html)

Front Inlet/Top Outlet (http://www.skinneelabs.com/Pumps/D5/EK/TopOutlet/D5-EK1-T.html) ------ Front Inlet/Front Outlet (http://www.skinneelabs.com/Pumps/D5/EK/FrontOutlet/D5-EK1-F.html) ------Stock (http://www.skinneelabs.com/Pumps/D5/Stock/D5-S1.html)


The EK D5 X-Top Rev.2 was a different design that I was not anticipating, aesthetically I figured the design would be similar to the Rev.1. The change in design is definitely a plus, the backplate and dedicated mount plate are welcome changes. The capability of a top outlet or front outlet are also big benefits to the EK. This configuration option when laying out your loop might just be the piece you need to route tubing in a better manner. In addition to tube routing, the performance gains are only slightly reduced when using the front outlet over the top outlet. As with another of the D5 tops, the only real gripe I have is the mounting method. If you have previously drilled holes in your case for the stock D5 mounting bracket or (UN)Designs bracket you will have to drill at least one new hole to accomadate the EK D5 X-Top Rev.2 mounting plate. The stock mounting bracket or (UN)Designs bracket cannot be used with this top.

Overall, the EK D5 X-Top Rev.2 is a great aftermarket D5 top. The top brings very nice performance gains from both outlet configurations. A well designed top, with backplate and mounting mechanism. If you're in the market for a D5 top, you cannot go wrong with the EK D5 X-Top Rev.2!


Backplate for mounting the impeller housing
Clean and secure installation
G1/4 barbs, use any fittings you fancy
Multiple inlet/outlet configurations give you tube routing options
Large increases in flow and pressure across the typical restriction range
Performance gains on both outlet configurations over stock
Full kit to convert and mount with the top


Mounting plate screw holes differ from the stock bracket, existing builds will need to drill new mounting holes (doesn't use stock bracket)

01-26-09, 03:33 AM
Nice review. In the process of upgrading my WC setup and this could be a nice edition. Anyone know where I can get this in the US or can these only be ordered from the EK site?

01-26-09, 08:47 AM
Performance PCs has them in stock, well at least they did as I was finishing the review on Saturday.

01-26-09, 09:11 AM
Thanks for the great review, skinnee! :thup:

I assume that since this works on the D5, it will also work on a D4 pump too, huh? Since the D4 and D5 are basically the same except for the motor.

If so, this would be a good addition to my daughter's machine's loop. With the positioning of the pump in it I could very much use a front mounted discharge instead of a top mounted one.

EDIT: Looks like Sidewinder Computers has them in stock too (http://www.sidewindercomputers.com/ekwaekxforla.html). Same price as Performance PC's, but IMO a much more reliable vendor to deal with.

01-26-09, 01:52 PM
yeah, get from sidewinder, never deal with performance pcs imo.

01-26-09, 07:32 PM
EDIT: Looks like Sidewinder Computers has them in stock too (http://www.sidewindercomputers.com/ekwaekxforla.html). Same price as Performance PC's, but IMO a much more reliable vendor to deal with.

Performance PCs has them in stock, well at least they did as I was finishing the review on Saturday.

Cool. I've only dealt with petra's for the past 2 years so I've lost all other sites that i used to have bookmarked

01-27-09, 08:14 AM
I got mine from SideWinders and I love it. Gives a whole different look to the pump. You can see it here. (http://www.ocforums.com/showthread.php?t=593056) According to my flowmeter (Right above the pump in the picture), I'm getting around 7,300mlpm which works out to around 1.93gpm with that loop.