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Well known for their top performing water cooling products, EKWB is normally the go-to company when you want the best water cooling components there are. While they quite often bring new video card and full-board motherboard water blocks to market, it’s not as frequent we see a new CPU water block released. If you’ve been waiting for a new CPU water block from EKWB, the wait is over. Their new Supremacy EVO water block hits our test bench today, and we’re excited to see what this new offering has in store for us. So, let’s not waste any more time and get right to it!
Product Features and Presentation
EKWB designates the Supremacy EVO as their new flagship water block and as the successor to the Supremacy, which was released back in 2012. Let’s take you through the features of the Supremacy EVO as EKWB describes them.
|Unmatched Thermal Performance||More than 2.2°C better performance on most popular LGA-1150 & LGA-2011 processors.|
|Very High-Flow Design||Low hydraulic restriction allows this product to be used in setups using weaker|
|Modular Design||Using various inserts and jets the performance can be further fine-tuned to unleash maximum performance by ensuring the optimal contact with the CPU integrated heat spreader (IHS).|
EKWB has many different options planned for the Supremacy EVO, so there is sure to be a configuration that suits your needs. Because the cold plate design remains unchanged from the Supremacy, EKWB plans to offer the top section as an upgrade for those that have the original Supremacy version.
The orange and white themed box does a nice job of letting the buyer know what’s inside and the build quality of the product. Inside the outer sleeve is the box that houses the contents of the kit.
Once inside the box, you’ll find the bag of hardware needed to install the water block, the installation instructions, and the AMD mounting plate.
Digging deeper into the box, we come to the water block itself and an optional insert. Sitting at the bottom of the box is the rubber isolation gasket and two back plates. The larger of the two back plates is used for Intel socket 775, socket 1366, and all AMD sockets. The smaller back plate is used for Intel socket 115x sockets.
With the rest of the contents laid out, we can have a better look at the included parts in the kit. The bag of hardware comes with all the mounting hardware needed to install the water block on all current Intel and AMD platforms. If you look closely at the bag of hardware, you’ll see a item that looks a bit like a razor blade. That is the optional jet plate that EKWB suggests you use with the optional insert for AMD applications. However, you’re free to experiment with any combination of jet plates and inserts. You’ll need to swap out the mounting plate if you intend to use the Supremacy EVO on an AMD socket as it comes with the Intel bracket pre-installed. The thermal interface material found in the kit is Gelid GC-Extreme, which is a very high quality TIM.
Having a look at the acrylic and copper version EKWB sent along, you can see it’s certainly a sharp looking water block. If you look close at the first picture below, you’ll see two 3 mm holes that can be used to install LED lighting. At the bottom is a protective cover to keep the highly polished cold plate protected during shipment. When I say the cold plate is highly polished, I mean it’s REALLY highly polished. See for yourself in the last picture below.
With the Supremacy EVO taken apart, we can clearly see where the difference between it and the original Supremacy lies. It’s all in the top. I don’t have a picture of the original Supremacy to show you, but it uses just the stainless steel jet plate to direct the water flow. The Supremacy EVO uses a similar jet plate, but adds the insert to attempt a more equal flow of water through the micro-channels that are machined into the cold plate.
The provided instructions are well written and easy to follow. We’ll be installing the Supremacy EVO on an ASUS Maximus VI Formula motherboard, so the 115x hardware will be used. The first task is to install the back plate using the rubber gasket to insulate it from the back of the motherboard. Once that’s done, flip the board over and install the four studs from the top side of the motherboard using the included plastic washers. The washers will insulate the studs from the motherboard.
All that’s left is to apply the TIM, set the block in place, and secure it with the included springs and thumb nuts. You should end up with something like the second picture below when finished.
You might want to go ahead and install the fittings on the water block at this point, but other than that… Done!
Here is a list of the components used in the test bed. At the bottom of the table is the list of comparison samples.
|Motherboard||ASUS Maximus VI Formula|
|CPU||Intel i7 4770K Haswell|
|Memory||G.SKill TridentX DD3-2400 MHz 2x8GB|
|SSD||Samsung EVO 500 GB SSD|
|Power Supply||Corsair HX1050 Professional Series|
|Video Card||EVGA GTX 780 Ti Classified|
As you can see from the above list of comparisons, I’ll be comparing the EKWB Supremacy EVO to three AIO units and the EKWB Supreme LTX water block.
All testing was done in a room at 74 °F (25 °C), and we chose Arctic Silver Ceramique 2 as the thermal interface material. Each comparison cooler was used with the fans that came packaged with it. For the load testing, AIDA64 System stability test was used to load the CPU 100% for 30 minutes, and the highest average temperature of all four cores was recorded. For the idle results, I let the system sit idle for 30 minutes and again recorded highest average temperature of all four cores. Testing was done twice – once with the fans set to 50% speed and again with the fans running at 100%. The pump speed was set to run at 100% for all the comparison samples. Testing was performed with the CPU at stock speed and again at 4.5 GHz using 1.3 V.
Regardless of whether the fans were set to 50% or 100%, there is basically no difference in idle temperatures between all the samples. Once the CPU is put under load, the AIO samples fall significantly behind the two EKWB water blocks. With the CPU under load and at its stock speed, the Supremacy EVO was the best performer of the bunch. The same can be said when the CPU was overclocked as the Supremacy EVO showed the best performance here as well. When compared to the EKWB Supreme LTX, the Supremacy EVO showed a consistent 2 °C advantage during load testing.
The Supremacy EVO brings a new chapter in EKWB’s long history of providing top quality and great performing water blocks. The kit comes packed with everything you need, and even includes some awesome TIM too. From the first time you lay your hands on the Supremacy EVO, you can tell it’s made from quality material and well constructed. The cold plate is polished as well or better than anything I’ve seen in the past… great job there. I really like the fact that EKWB offers just the top section so owners of the original Supremacy can easily turn their water block into a Supremacy EVO.
As far as pricing goes, the version we were sent for review can be purchased for $72.95 at Performance PCs. That’s a very competitive price in the high end water block market where we often see much higher prices than that. If you want to take a step up to a fancier version of the Supreme EVO, you can spend anywhere from $80 to $130 depending on the exact version you want.
In the end, we have a great performing, well constructed, and attractively priced water block in the EKWB Supremacy EVO. What’s there not to like?