So while we wait for all the shiny new X99 gear to come out on August 29th, we thought it would be good to do an update on everything else water cooling related.

GPU Blocks

Watercool, after winning silver in our 290X full cover gpu block roundup, have launched updated blocks with ugpraded looks – including acrylic versions and a black edition:
We really like the new aesthetics and think these are some of the fanciest, cleanest looking blocks out there. Aquacomputer and EK really had some of the best looking blocks that covered many different options. Now Watercool has really set a new standard.
You can find them over at PPCs.
EK also launched yet another variant of their 290x block for non reference cards from Power Coler and Club3D. Truly no one else has support of non reference cards like EK!

Motherboard Blocks

With Broadwell not yet upon us the Z97/Devil’s canyon launch was a bit underwhelming. Still there are motherboards out there and of course EK are supporting some of them. The first one to be ready is for the gigabyte Z97X-SOC board and you can find the details here. As usual it covers the south bridge and VRMs with two separate blocks, and the blocks are available in Nickel/Plexi and Nickel/Acetal only.


Although this board looks like it can handle four GPUs and says that it can handle 4 way crossfire it doesn’t have the PLX lane splitter that enables increased bandwidth across all the slots. If you’re planning on running 4 way GPUs on Z97 you probably want to get a board with a PLX lane splitter instead. Typically these launch a bit later as they require a bit more work.


While this is news, it doesn’t really change anything for most users. EK have launched a line up of Pastel coolants:


It doesn’t change much because these are made by Mayhem’s who already had an even wider range of pastel coolant. Still if you had difficulty getting Mayhems it may give you more options to buy pastel coolant and maybe it gives you peace of mind that it’s EK approved.


EK always seem to be busy trying to take over the world of cooling and also took the time to launch some compression fittings for hard tube including but not limited to copper and acrylic. They also come in all sorts of colors:


Parvum S2

The Parvum S2 is a mATX case that’s been available in the UK for a little while. It was recently featured in James Walt’s excellent sponsored Titanfall build. It’s finally available in the US in the many color combinations that are possible. Here is the black/red version – it supports 2×240 rads, mATX form factor and a single PSU which makes it perfect for a compact mATX build!


You can find the cases at PPCs.

CaseLabs X2

We love the Caselabs Mercury range when we reviewed the S8, and the Mercury range also included CaseLabs first mITX case – the S3. Well CaseLabs responded to feedback that enthusiasts wanted an even smaller mITX case so have been working on a new prototype currently called the X2:


It’s still in the vary early stages of prototyping, so if you’re interested head over to the CaseLabs subforum on OCN to offer your opinion on how it should move forward.


Acer announced new 4K and 1440p displays, some of which will include G-Sync.

The XB280HK had been rumored before as a 4K Gsync capable monitor – unknown however was the panel type – finally we now know that it is TN which is a little disappointing because we hoped for VA. TN would have been best if it was to support 120Hz and ULMB, but current implementations of DisplayPort do not have enough bandwidth yet to do that so we know that this therefore was not optimal. This should however be a good gaming monitor for anything but the most demanding of FPS games that really require higher refresh rates.

In addition there will be monitors aimed at the professional and prosumer markets that will be the B6 and the CB0 respectively. Sizes will be in the 27″-32″ range and some will support 100% sRGB which probably means an IPS based panel.

If you’re running 1080P it might be a good time to upgrade as prices have already fallen significantly and there is suddenly becoming a lot of competition, however if you’re running 1440P+ you might want to wait it out for 4K/120Hz, freesync and new DisplayPort standards to become commonplace before upgrading.

That’s it for now – expect a whole lot more at the end of the month with X99 debuting!