Historically, delidded CPUs have been the prerogative of die-hard enthusiasts who customized their rigs to the last bit. But with emergence of specially-designed delidding tools, removing the integrated heat spreader from a CPU has become a whole lot easier, opening the door to delidding for a wider user base. To that end, EK is now offering all-in-one liquid cooling systems tailored specifically for delidded Intel LGA1700 processors.

The key difference with EKWB's new EK-Nucleus AIO CR360 Direct Die D-RGB – 1700 cooler is in the cooling plate on the combined base pump block. While the rest of the cooler is essentially lifted from the company's premium 360-mm closed-loop all-in-one liquid cooling systems, the pump block has been equipped with a unique cooling plate specifically developed for mating with (and cooling) of delidded Intel's LGA1700 CPUs.

Meanwhile, since delidded CPUs lose the additional structural integrity provided by the IHS, EK is also bundling a contact frame with the cooler that is intended to protect CPUs against warping or bending by maintaining even pressure on the CPU. A protective foam piece is also provided to prevent liquid metal from spilling over onto electrical components surrounding the CPU die.

According to the company, critical components of the new AIO, such as its backplate and die-guard frame, were collaboratively developed by EK and Roman 'Der8auer' Hartung, a renowned German overclocker who has developed multiple tools both for extreme overclockers and enthusiasts. In addition, EK bundles Thermal Grizzly's Conductonaut liquid metal thermal paste (also co-designed with Der8auer) with the cooling system.

And since this is a high-end, high-priced cooler, EKWB has also paid some attention to aesthetics. The cooler comes with two distinct pump block covers: a standard cover features a brushed aluminum skull, surrounded by a circle of LED lighting that creates a classic yet bold aesthetic, and an alternate, more minimalist cover without the skull.

Traditionally, cooling for delidded CPUs has been primarily handled by custom loop liquid cooling systems. So the EK-Nucleus AIO CR360 Direct Die D-RGB – 1700 stands out in that regard, offering a self-contained and easier-to-install option for delidded CPUs. Especially as delidding has been shown to reduce temperature of Intel's Core i9-14900K CPU by up to 12ºC, it's no coincidence that EKWB is working to make delidding a more interesting and accessible option, particularly right as high-end desktop CPU TDPs are spiking.

Wrapping things up, EKWB has priced the direct die cooler at $170, about $20 more than the EK-Nucleus AIO CR360 Lux D-RGB cooler designed for stock Intel processors. The company is taking pre-orders now, and the finished coolers are expected to start shipping in mid-March 2024.

Source: EK

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  • PeachNCream - Sunday, January 14, 2024 - link

    Interesting that there is a perception of enough market to warrant a slightly different tooling on the assembly line for something like this. There is a very un-big number of people that would remove the heat spreader from their CPU among the un-big number of people that have an interest in overspending on liquid cooling among the un-big number of people that DIY anything with desktop PCs. The manufacture costs to create it must be quite low if they're willing to dabble in such a low-volume part oooooorrrr the company is creeping up on bankruptcy due to decline and this is a sign of things to come over the next year or three while they thrash about in their early death convulsions.
  • Zizy - Sunday, January 14, 2024 - link

    I guess they are spending an ad budget with this. Such news could make people consider EKWB instead of high-end air or other water coolers. Also, assembly line tooling is probably the same, just different CNC plan; the main cost is going to be engineering to design this.
  • PeachNCream - Sunday, January 14, 2024 - link

    I believe they're not paying Anandtech to post this. AT's staff (well Future's staff since they're sharing bodies these days) really needs press releases and whatnot to publish articles so the site generates traffic, justifies itself as a valid place to pay for advert space, and encourage affiliate link usage. I doubt EK spent anything to get product placement here. The hardware manufacturers out there know the tech sites are hungry for content and the either toss out a single component for review to the sites that actually still do reviews or spend the tiny amount of money required to mash the send button for an e-mail or just post whatever on their site knowing the writers will pick it up and cycle it through to generate brand and product awareness for free.
  • Drkrieger01 - Tuesday, January 16, 2024 - link

    It's interesting that you think they have 'an assembly line'. Pretty much all of these blocks are made with CNC tools, so really your only real costs after recoup on the base machinery are labour, and materials: tooling, and inventory. If it costs 'X' dollars to do a production run that could then make (X*1.25) or (X*1.5), would you not do that? All of EK's parts are hand built and tested, the block components are machine made. When you factor this, there's not as much overhead on staff, and this is a niche market already - you don't see EKWB parts littering retail store shelves. They don't have a huge supply channel to feed ;)
  • PeachNCream - Thursday, January 18, 2024 - link

    Do you have any information about EK's manufacturing processes you can share with us that supports where/how production is accomplished?
  • Eliadbu - Friday, February 2, 2024 - link

    They have manufacturing in Slovenia, but primarily for their custom loop components.
    This manufacturing facility has CNC and other methods to manufacture basically every custom part you would want. But for their AIO they manufacture it in China.
    You can buy this AIO right now, it costs 20$ more than the normal version (EK Nucleus), and it makes sense, since you only need to change the coldplate and mounting hardware to make it fit the delided CPU. Changing just 2 parts isn't that expensive, and you can see it reflected in the price.
    you would be surprised to learn that globally there are quite a few people that delid their CPU, This is a relatively cost-effective way to cool a delided CPU. I'm for a matter of fact interested in this kind of product.
  • Samus - Sunday, January 14, 2024 - link

    For those curious or doing their first delid, I played with two tools and some old core 2 duo’s to experiment and was surprisingly successful doing all of them. I wanted to experiment on a “worthless” CPU before doing my 12700K, as I’d never done this before. I like the dr. Delid the best of the two, the other one being a generic slide-vice style from longdex (it’s the same as xber and every other generic $12 tool on Amazon) but both were successful. I used a heat gun (hair dryer) on a static safe surface in a humid room (my bathroom after steaming it up) to warm the cpu IHS then immediately went to popping.

    I used a contact frame from thermalright to help strengthen the socket, though I see they have special spacers now for delidded CPU’s. It’s kind of ridiculous it’s come to this but the benefits are so extraordinary after delidding, you don’t need to overclock for the benefits.
  • Oxford Guy - Monday, January 15, 2024 - link

    I was hesitant to buy an inferior CPU in order to waste time/effort/money on delidding to try to turn a sow’s ear into a silk purse. However, once I saw the skull I simply had to have it.
  • Samus - Tuesday, January 16, 2024 - link

    We all know stickers add 10 herspers

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