Does the orientation of the CPU waterblock affect performance?

Over the years we have seen many different processors in different sockets with different processor core configurations under the hood. But how does the efficiency of the water block change when you rotate the block? After all, the orientation of the microchannels should have an effect on heat dissipation.

What is considered common and what is not?
The usual orientation of a CPU water block is when the inlet and outlet are horizontal. This arrangement was conceived when designing the water block.

EK-Velocity in standard orientation

However, the EK block can be rotated. And the 90 degree rotation can be considered non-standard, as it definitely changes the way the “cooling motor” works and from horizontal split to we go vertical.

EK-Velocity in “non-standard” orientation

Impact of “non-standard” orientation on 115x and 2011 sockets
A well-known VSG reviewer working with TechPowerUP and Thermalbench once tested the EK-Supremacy and EK-Supremacy MX in both normal and non-standard orientations a long time ago. Let’s take a look at the delta results between the coolant temperature and the CPU:

Tests show that on the LGA 2011 socket, the “non-standard” orientation of the EK-Supremacy waterblock gives almost half a degree better results – 41.95 ° C versus 42.36 ° C. On the other hand, in the case of socket 1150, we see that it is slightly better standard placement – 51.95 ° C versus 52.44 ° C.

C1000-051

S1000-002

010-111

3V0-22.21

JN0-250

1Z0-1086-21

1Z0-1078-21

1Z0-1076-21

1Z0-1070-21

1Z0-1060-21

1Z0-1058-21

NS0-520

MS-720

700-805

6211

The difference, although it exists, is actually not that great and we can definitely say that you should use a position that makes tubing easier. But, of course, it is necessary to observe the input and output in the processor water blocks.

Impact of “non-standard” orientation on Ryzen processors
Extensive testing of the AMD Ryzen 3000 under the EK waterblocks included the thermal performance of the “custom” setup. Due to reports of significant temperature increases with blocks rotated 90 degrees, we decided to check it out. The result for the “non-standard” orientation of the waterblock on the Ryzen 3900X turned out to be much less than what community members have stated. The worst performance is in the case of the water block rotated 90 degrees somewhere between 0.5 ° C and 1 ° C, which was confirmed by our testers.

To summarize, if you are using a Ryzen 3000 series CPU, it is best to use the default waterblock setting. The version with a 90-degree rotation is not far behind, so if aesthetics depend on this, then you can safely rotate the block.

Conclusion
Thermal changes are minimal with the rotation of the water block, unless, of course, you are trying to achieve record results and maximum cooling. Rotate the block to align the inlet and outlet with your preferred tubing layout, as an aesthetic choice is the best choice.