EK is best-known for its open-loop liquid cooling components, as we show at CES every year in the company’s bombastic display of systems, but that’s a small market, and EK has been trying to get into closed-loop liquid coolers for years. The EK AIO series is its newest attempt at that, but after facing one delay after another for shipping, it’s taken some time. Today, we’re reviewing the EK AIO 360 and 240 closed-loop liquid coolers for thermals, noise, noise-normalized thermals, coldplate levelness, efficacy on Intel and AMD platforms, and more.

EK’s AIO D-RGB series of coolers is a new approach to closed-loop liquid coolers from EK, most recently shown in public at CES 2020. Following that public update, the company encountered months of setbacks, but has finally reached the market with its new liquid coolers. Competition is fierce for CPU coolers right now, with Arctic’s Liquid Freezer II, which we reviewed here, posing the biggest challenge for EK.

Pricing for EK’s solution lands at $155 (via EK’s website) for the EK AIO D-RGB 360 and $120 for the AK EIO D-RGB 240. At time of writing, the Arctic Liquid Freezer II 280 is $95, but out of stock (at least via Amazon, and Newegg). It’s been mostly out of stock following positive reviews like ours, so although the LF II is directly competitive in price and performance (seen below), it’s somewhat moot if no one can buy it.

NOTE: This is a transcript of our video, for the most part, although the video has some more discussion in the intro and conclusion than found here. We publish these articles to be helpful, but make most our money to sustain this expensive operation via videos. If sharing the content, please consider sharing the video instead.

While the week started off rather slowly, the news crescendoed towards the end of the week, capped by Sony’s Future of Gaming event where we finally caught a glimpse of the elusive PlayStation 5 console. Also interesting is the fate of Kaby Lake-G, held in limbo while Intel and AMD decide who should deliver driver support. 

Some lesser stories include news on TSMC -- on fronts both manufacturing and geopolitical. There’s finally also a speculative execution attack that doesn’t come with Intel’s name attached to it. We also have Intel’s Lakefield CPUs, which may be Intel’s most interesting CPU line in years. There’s also news of a particular ISP throttling entire neighborhoods to deal with heavy internet traffic. 

This past week at GN, we revisited AMD’s Ryzen 7 1700 for 2020, as well as getting back to case reviews with Cooler Master’s TD500 Mesh case. We also detailed our experiences, to date, with Thermaltake’s marketing and engineering. 

Follow below for the video embed and article.

Cooler Master has yet to master its overwhelming instinct to put 500 in the name of cases. This latest offering is the Masterbox TD500 Mesh, a mesh-ified version of an existing acrylic-fronted case. Apparently they’ve gotten so tired of us drilling holes in their cases that they’ve started doing it for us. The TD500 Mesh is a mid tower with three ARGB fans, good ventilation, and an MSRP of $100, and based on our review of the Phanteks P400A, that’s a good place to be right now.

As ever, hardware news trudges on unabated. This week we have an interesting product recall from Corsair, pertaining to its SF-series of SFX PSUs. PSU recalls tend to be kind of rare in general, even more so when it’s Corsair doing the recalling. There’s also news of Google facing a massive class action lawsuit, allegedly over deceiving Chrome users into thinking that incognito mode equals Google not collecting user data. We also have coverage of Windows 10 getting hardware-accelerated GPU scheduling, the DOD’s agonizing transition to IPv6, and more. 

GN’s deep dives also continue. So far, we have our heavily tuned Ryzen 5 3600 vs. i5-10400, where we look at RAM timings and overclocks, specifically. Then, we’ve been doing some investigative work on why everything is out of stock, and when we can expect a reprieve. For fun, we took the wraps off of part 1 of our Cyberpunk 2077 PC mod project, and we recently explored i5-10600K GPU bottlenecks. Speaking of the i5-10600K, we recently published our written review. It remains unchanged from our initial video review, and is intended to serve those who would prefer to read the content, rather than watch it. 

Lastly, for those near a MicroCenter, we noticed AMD’s Ryzen 7 3700X is currently priced at $260 for an in-store pick up. MicroCenter will slash an additional $20 if you pair it with an eligible motherboard. Let’s get into the news, with the article and video embed below. 

Right after we said that an AMD R3 CPU is “enough for gaming,” stealing the old Intel mantra from many generations ago, Intel decided to launch its 10-series CPUs. Intel calls this “10th Gen,” but in reality, it’s the nth Gen of a long-standing architecture. We’ve lost count at this point, but either way, it’s the 10-series of processors. The i5-10600K is the one we’re reviewing here, and it’s actually repositioned to resurrect that old “an i5 is enough for gaming” phrasing from the days of the i5-4690K and i5-6600K. This, we think, is the more interesting CPU as compared to Intel’s i9-10900K that we reviewed in the previous video, but both have points of intrigue. The biggest one is core-to-core deltas in thermals now that Intel is sanding the die down, something we showed previously in our i9-10900K delid. Today, we’re reviewing the i5-10600K.

NOTE: THIS IS A DELAYED PUBLICATION OF OUR 10600K REVIEW FROM YouTube. If you already saw this on YouTube, it's the same thing, just the written format. We have not changed anything, so new information we've uncovered about the 10600K isn't included post-launch and you'll need to check our channel for follow-up coverage, like our in-depth tuning piece on the 10600K.

Another week, another HW News. While not as busy as last week, we’ve still got some interesting stories. For instance, Linus Torvalds, the creator of Linux, as well as the main Linux kernel developer, has moved to AMD CPUs for his personal machine -- after 15 some years of Intel-based machines. There’s also a new development in the ongoing SMR saga: Class action lawsuits are being brought against WD in both the US and Canada.  

We also have news of changes to the numbering of AMD’s AGESA microcode updates, updated ARM IP, Intel finally overhauling its stock coolers, and a terrible Nintendo Switch clone that’s begging to be sued. 

On the GN side of things, we’ve been busy analysing Intel’s newest 10th-gen (Comet Lake-S) K-SKU CPUs and their respective Z490 platform. Most recently, we looked at the extreme auto voltage settings on Z490, including Vcore, power limit, and MCE. We also looked at the i5-10400 and i7-10700K. Spoiler alert: they’re both hard to justify. 

Article and video embed follow below, as usual.

It’s difficult to differentiate motherboards, at least from a marketing perspective. There are definitely better and worse boards, and you can check any of the roundups or reviews Buildzoid has produced for this channel for explanations as to why, but “better” doesn’t mean “higher FPS in games” here. Using higher-quality or more expensive components doesn’t always translate directly into running Fortnite at a higher framerate, which makes it harder to communicate to consumers why they should spend $200 on board X instead of $100 on board Y if both can run the same CPUs. This has led to motherboard manufacturers playing games with numbers for boost duration, voltages, BCLK, and other settings in order to differentiate their boards from the competition with tangible performance increases.

We’ve talked about Intel turbo and “Multi-Core Enhancement” many, many times in the past. This serves as a companion piece to the most recent of these, our “Intel i9-10900K ‘High’ Power Consumption Explained” video. To reiterate, Intel’s specification defines turbo limits--the multipliers for boosting on one core, two cores, etc, all the way up to an all-core turbo boost. Here are some examples from Coffee Lake’s launch (8700K) and before:

With the new influx of CPUs from AMD and Intel, and more rumored on the horizon, we wanted to round-up all of our recent testing into one concise piece for people looking for recommendations on the best CPU for different tasks. We’ve published several hours’ worth of content in the form of reviews, tuning, and follow-up coverage, so if you want the full details and depth for anything check those pieces. We’ll be focusing more on firm recommendations for each category in this video and less on the deeper details, with our categories including: Best gaming CPU, best budget gaming CPU, best small business or hobbyist production CPU, best workstation CPU, best overall, most fun to overclock, and most disappointing.

Another busy week of hardware news is in the books, and there’s a lot to talk about. Perhaps most notably, AMD has performed its 180 in regards to Zen 3 support on B4xx chipsets, enabling a one-way upgrade path for those wanting to migrate to Ryzen 4000 later this year. We have an exhaustive (pt1) video (pt2) series (pt3) dedicated to the topic and the current state of BIOSes, so we won’t delve into it here.

As ever, there’s more broad industry news, such as Microsoft admitting it was on the wrong side of the open-source explosion at the turn of the century, and TSMC pulling all chip orders from Huawei thanks to ever tightening US export restrictions. We have yet to see how this will affect Huawei, but it is almost certainly going to be detrimental to its business.

Within GN specifically, we’ve completely sold out of our GN wireframe mouse mats -- thanks for the support! More mouse mats are currently on back-order for the next production run. We expect those back-orders will ship in August. Meanwhile, we’ve posted our i9-10900K review and i5-10600K review, both of which look at frequency performance, overclocking, die sanding tests, and more. It also seems AMD has dropped the price on its Ryzen 9 3900X in response to Comet Lake-S. Additionally, if you happen to live near a MicroCenter, there’s an in-store promotion that will get you the Ryzen 9 3900X for $380.

Follow below for the video embed and article.

Intel’s continuing to bring the heat, literally and figuratively, and is now leveling its new 10C/20T part squarely at AMD. We have a separate in-depth review coming up on the 10600K, which has interesting implications for the R5 3600 and the realm of gaming, but for launch, we need to start with the flagship 10900K. That’s not the 10900X, mind you, but the 10900K, which is the part socketable for LGA1200 and Z490 motherboards. We’ll be looking at whether Intel’s die sanding worked for leveling-off thermals, benchmarking games, initial overclocking on the ASUS Max XII Extreme, production workloads versus the 3900X, and more.

UPDATE: Intel i5-10600K review is now live: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iQVBlCfb72M

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