Renowned overclocking enthusiast, Roman “Der8auer” Hartung, has tested the prototype EK-Nucleus AIO CR360 Direct Die D-RGB liquid cooling system, which is aimed at cooling delidded Intel CPUs in an LGA 1700 package. Despite being just a prototype, the results achieved thus far have proven to be remarkable.
Risking the voiding of the warranty and some nerve-wracking moments, enthusiasts often remove the metallic top of processors for achieving superior cooling performance. To cater to such enthusiasts who favour delidded chips, EKWB is creating a liquid cooling system (LCS), specially designed for this purpose, which is currently available for pre-order.
Der8auer shares that the EK-Nucleus AIO CR360 Direct Die D-RGB AiO is an extraordinary product because it’s especially intended for systems with delidded Intel Core 12th, 13th, and 14th generation desktop processors. EK designed a specialized base for the water block with a protruding centerpiece for optimal contact with the crystal of the delidded processor. Additionally, a unique mounting plate will come bundled with the LCS, which when combined with the provided back reinforcement plate, will replace the default socket retention frame.
Der8auer plans to compare the EK-Nucleus AIO CR360 Direct Die D-RGB AiO cooler with top-of-the-range custom liquid-cooling systems in the future, but he aims to establish a baseline for this product’s potential at present.
In the diagram below, the EK LCS prototype is juxtaposed with the Corsair A115 air cooler. Both coolers were placed on a delidded Core i9-13900KS to simulate a stress test using Cinebench R23. A Thermal Grizzly prototype copper CPU lid replaced the default one for setting up the Corsair A115, which according to Der8auer gives a 6-8°C advantage over the standard one.
The graph demonstrates a significant advantage of the EK-Nucleus AIO CR360 Direct Die D-RGB AiO cooler, which provided a 15°C lower temperature. Assuming Der8auer’s claims about the custom lid’s attributes, the temperature difference with a standard processor could have been as high as 20°C or more.
Performance-wise, the processor with air cooling scored around a 38,300 in Cinebench R23, while the liquid-cooled one scored just above 39,100. Processor frequency was more stable at 5.6 GHz with AIO, as compared to frequent drops to 5.4 GHz with the air cooler.
Arguably the downside of the EK-Nucleus AIO CR360 Direct Die D-RGB AiO cooling system is its late entry into the LGA 1700 era. Der8auer admitted that the actions required to ensure compatibility with the 15th generation Intel Core processors were unknown to him.
The EK-Nucleus AIO CR360 Direct Die D-RGB is available for pre-order in Europe at a cost of 200 euros and sales are expected to commence by the end of March.