A few weeks ago Germany’s renowned overclocking guru der8auer caused quite a stir on the interweb by categorically stating that the X299 motherboards that he had so far tested were not offering sufficient VRM cooling to handle the needs of Intel’s new Core-X processors when overclocked. The web exploded with every tech blogger, YouTuber and his mother chipping in with an option or ten. While there remain disagrements on the topic of testing philosophies and other details, it is true that these new Core-X chips do produce a great deal of heat when pushed beyond stock. There's also a case that perhaps current motherboard designs could do more to help dissipate heat from the VRM area of the board to help reduce CPU throttling under load.
So what is the best way to keep your shiny new Intel Core-X CPU sufficiently cooled? A question that takes center stage in der8auer’s latest video. He sought to explore the area of custom water cooling, and whether or not a water cooled CPU could offer fully stable, non-throttling performance under load. To do this he decided to compare the results when using a regular water block with that of a monoblock. For comparison sake, he also added data from a regular air cooler.
The system he used was based on an MSI X299 GAMING Pro Carbon motherboard and a ten-core Intel Core i9-7900X processor. The water block he used was an EK Supremacy EVO, while the monoblock used was a EK-Monoblock, in this case the EK-FB RGB Monblock which uses nickel-plated electrolytic copper. He also upgraded the thermal pads of the motherboard’s VRM heatsinks, using Minus Pad 8 pads from Thermal Grizzly.
As you might expect the monoblock does indeed do a better job of the keeping the VRM components in in check regarding thermals. However, that doesn’t quite tell you the whole story. For that, you’d better skip over to the der8auer YouTube channel and watch the video for yourself.