EK, manufacturer of water-cooling components, has stuck a screen on a distro plate for Lian Li’s popular O11D XL case. At a whopping 7-inches, this screen isn’t going to make for much of a second monitor, but it does continue a long trend of PC manufacturers slapping screens on things.

I will admit the EK-Quantum Reflection PC-O11D XL D5 PWM D-RGB – Screen Edition (catchy name) did catch my eye. Though mostly that’s because distro plates are absolutely gorgeous, screen or otherwise. A few years ago I built an EK Fluid Gaming PC with an EK distro plate much like this one (sans screen) within the standard-sized Lian Li O11D case, and I often caught myself just staring at it in awe.

A part of me is a little sad that some of this particular distro plate is covered up by the 7-inch panel, but I’m sure some modder will find a way to make motion pictures a part of their build in spectacular fashion. Someone’s got to put that compact IPS panel to good use, anyways.

It’s easy enough to tweak the 1024 x 600 pixel panel. The EK-Quantum Lumen screen is hooked up just like any other: with an HDMI cable. There’s also an internal USB 2.0 connection required to get it up-and-running.

The distro plate itself comes with all the trimmings you might expect: D5 pump; support for a CPU block, GPU block, and three radiators; and full RGB lighting around the edge. The 7-inch screen is also made out of a single piece of aluminium, and shouldn’t ruin the industrial look if you’re going for that.

Both this and the screen-less EK-Quantum Reflection² distro block are expected to be available from March, but do prepare to pay a tall sum for the benefit of that little 7-inch IPS. The standard plexi distro is €352.86, while the Screen Edition is €504.12. A big sum for such a tiny panel.

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EK's new distro plate for Lian Li case with a 7-inch screen built-in

(Image credit: EK)
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EK's new distro plate for Lian Li case with a 7-inch screen built-in

(Image credit: EK)

Of course there’s a wider trend here of slapping screens on PC hardware, and I’ll admit I can’t always get my head around it. A liquid cooler that tells you your CPU temp inside your case? Okay, limited practical use depending on where you put your PC, but I get why some might want it. A tiny OLED screen on your gaming keyboard? In the realms of excessiveness but I suppose there are some practical benefits on occasion. Now how about a screen built into the stand of a gaming monitor?

Actually, that’s quite enough now, thanks. And let’s not forget the power supply with a screen on it that entirely sums up PC gaming for the absurd hobby it is. 

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