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.