Now that we’ve gone over basic installation and taken a look at the block, let’s talk about performance. To be honest the original heat sink is pretty well designed. It also is one of the nicest looking heat sinks that you’ll find on a motherboard. So why would you want to water cool it? There are a couple of reasons for wanting to add your motherboard into your water loop.
For the extreme overclocker, adding your motherboard into your water loop makes perfect sense. Not all motherboards have water blocks designed for them so you’ll need to find one that is either specific to your board or find one that is a universal fit. You will want to check the compatibility list of any block you are attempting to purchase so that you don’t end up with something that you can’t even use. This particular block from EK is specifically designed for the Gigabyte 990FXA-UD7 motherboard. This block has the potential to keep temperatures on the hottest areas of the board under control. This allows for better performance and higher overclocking potential.
For the water cooling enthusiast this is also a no-brainer. The ability to add their motherboard to their loop makes perfect sense. They are mainly going for esthetics and will enjoy the added performance benefits as well. This group is just going to water cool whatever components they are able to and that EK makes a block specifically for this rather high end motherboard is just awesome. This particular block is the one that features the black, acetal top and it actually looks pretty nice once it’s installed and connected into your loop. In terms of loop order this block is the first item after the radiator. This loop is using the XSPC Rasa water cooling kit with an RX360 radiator and a Danger Den GTX 560 water block for the NVIDIA GTX 560 Ti video card. After the UD7 water block is the processor which is the AMD Phenom II 955 quad core overclocked to 3.6 GHz. And the last item in the loop is the video card that is overclocked to 900 MHz.
To be honest this block really isn’t necessary for these overclocks. Using HWMonitor and a laser thermometer I was able to determine that the TMPIN1 temperature is the MOSFET and north bridge area. This is where this water block is situated and as you can see the before temperature was 46 degrees Celsius, so this block dropped its temperature by about 9 degrees Celsius at full load. This isn’t really that great in terms of cost versus performance. This block retails for about 85 dollars. It’s true that it will keep your temperatures down if you are doing some extreme overclocking and really pushing your voltages. If this is what you’re planning to do then this will meet your needs and expectations. As I stated before, the heat sink that this water block replaces was actually pretty good. With the right fittings and good routing of hoses this water block does look better in my opinion. I also happen to be a bit of a budding water cooling enthusiast though so my opinion is a bit biased. This block is really going to be for the extreme overclocker and the water cooling enthusiast. For the rest of us it would be wise to just stick with the original heat sink that does do a really good job while looking pretty cool as well.