When the first motherboards built around the Z690 chipset arrived in the lab, the question of the waterblock immediately arose. Indeed, this new chipset came with a new socket, the LGA-1700. Fortunately, our excellent Optimus Foundation block was compatible! We had done a comparison with it on the LGA-1200 socket and it was the one that came out on top easily. But a few weeks ago we received a copy of the latest EK water block, the EK-Quantum Velocity², which is compatible with the LGA-1700 socket. In this mini-test we will give you our impressions of the new EK-Quantum Velocity² water block. We will take into account several criteria such as installation, performance and price. You should also know that several active members of our Discord have also purchased this block and share our impressions. But to get to know them, let’s continue the discovery of this water block.
The EK-Quantum Velocity² waterblock:
The “EK-Quantum Velocity²” series aims to be the ultimate in performance for those looking for the best. This series benefits from a new cooling design specific to this new socket called “OptiFlow”. The principle is to combine a correct clamping pressure with a new cold plate designed according to the location of the cores of Alder Lake processors. The version we received has a black acetal finish and a copper base.
It is also compatible with the new ” EK-Matrix7 ” standard. The idea is to make your life easier when mounting a cooling loop. The only existing standard is the 1/4″ thread used on most water blocks. EK has decided to go even further. From now on, their components will adopt a space between the ports, the height of the connections or the thickness with a multiple of 7 mm. This approach will facilitate the creation of “rigid” type cooling loops. This video will allow you to better understand the principle.
EK keeps its current color code for its packaging with a box whose dominant color is black which allows to highlight the orange logo of the brand. This is effective and gives an excellent impression of the product. Once opened, we find the pre-mounted water block, a syringe of Thermal Grizzly Hydronaut (1g), two Allen keys and a mini guide. No installation instructions, you will have to go to the EK website by scanning the QR Code. From an ecological point of view, this idea is perfectly commendable but I advise you to have a look at it before starting the installation if you don’t have access to internet afterwards.
The water block is pre-mounted. The backplate is already fixed on the water block. You will just have to remove it and especially not to forget to remove the yellow sticker of protection of the base of the block.
A new fastening system:
EK also innovates with the “EK-Exact Mount” mounting system (patent pending) with a desire to offer a mounting mechanism that is easy to use but also aesthetically pleasing. It consists of only three parts: the back plate, the mounting screws and the water block itself. It is screwed in from the back, which allows for a clean, transparent front end without any screws disturbing the harmony of the block.
The system uses pre-tensioned springs hidden in the top of the water block, so with a few turns of the nuts by hand and a finish via the Allen wrench included in the bundle. Installation is a snap and requires no special skills. We will however contact EK to find out if this is the only orientation of the water block that can be used.
Finally, you should know that this EK-Quantum Velocity² has a thin D-RGB strip. This light beam actually hides 14 addressable LEDs inside the block. The connector is a 3-pin 5v version and the cable length is 50 cm.
The test configuration:
We took advantage of the MSI Z690 Unify-X that we are currently testing to make this comparison.
- Motherboard : MSI Z690 Unify-X
- Processor: Intel i9-12900K (test)
- Memory : 32 GB TeamGroup 6400 MT/s CL40 (test)
- Graphics Card: NVIDIA RTX 3070 Founders Edition
- Cooling system : Optimus Foundation – EK-Quantum Velocity²
- SSD : Western Digital SN850 NVMe SSD M.2
- Power supply : be quiet! Dark Power PRO 12 1500w
- Operating system : Windows 10 64 bits
The liquid cooling loop is composed of the following elements. An EK-CoolStream XE 480 radiator with a thickness of 60 mm but which we will place vertically. The idea is to have the tank in a high position and thus have inlets and outlets close to those of the motherboard. The four 120mm fans are EK-Meltemi 120ER. These fans, based on the EK-Vardarmodels , benefit from a high static pressure thanks to their thickness of 38 mm.
We chose for a pump associated with a tank and our choice fell on the new series EK Quantum Kinetic. This EK-Quantum Kinetic TBE 200 D5 PWM D-RGB – Acetal has a 200 mm high tank with a diameter of 60 mm. Finally, the EK-Torque STC tips we used are black and will be associated with the EK-Tube ZMT (Zero Miantenance Tubing). It is a black model, flexible and with an excellent resistance in time.
As I said above, I took a series of temperature readings during the test of the MSI Z690 Unify-X. The article on this motherboard will come very soon. The idea was to see if there is a real difference in temperature during the benchmarks. So I did some tests with 3DMark Time Spy Extreme (CPU) and Cinebench R23.
I have done a dozen tests and I have to say that this EK-Quantum Velocity² water block is a slap in the face to my Optimus. If you are a regular visitor to our site, you know how much I like my Optimus Foundation. Above, the last run I made on Cinebench R23. Of course, I took into account the temperature of the liquid to find the exact average. On the whole of my readings, the difference between the two water blocks is 6 to 7°C, which is far from being negligible! This can be explained by the choice of EK to have reworked this water block for the Alder Lake processors and the LGA-1700 socket. As a reminder, although it is LGA-1700 compatible, the Optimus Foundation is originally designed for the LGA-1200 socket.
Now it’s time to give you our impressions of this new EK-Quantum Velocity². As you can see, the performance is excellent! Kansaï and bl4ckdot from our discord also own this water block and are delighted with its performance. EK had not totally convinced with its Quantum Magnitude model whose price is around 230 euros. Here, with the EK-Quantum Velocity² and its price of 128 euros, the brand comes to position itself correctly against the competition. Once again the finish is perfect and this rear mounting system should delight modders. So, no defects? If we had to criticize it, it is perhaps its unique compatibility with the LGA-1700 socket. Fortunately, this socket should still have many years ahead of it and unless you switch to AMD, you should keep it for a long time. Thanks to EK for providing us with a copy of this EK-Quantum Velocity² D-RGB – 1700 Copper + Acetal.
- The perfect finish of the water block
- A sober design for this acetal/copper version
- The RGB backlighting is perfectly balanced, it did not need more
- The “EK-Exact Mount” system from the back
- The new “EK-Matrix7” standard for the component range
- The excellent performance
- The price, which seems to us to be more justified than on the previous generation
We would have liked :
- Compatibility with other sockets