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Thread: Stren's R9-290/290x Water Block Testing

  1. #1
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    Stren's R9-290/290x Water Block Testing

    Edit - skip on to the results:

    http://www.xtremesystems.org/forums/...=1#post5236507

    Hey All

    Yes I'm doing another GPU block roundup as it seemed like the 780/titan one was quite popular. Testing has started with those

    Here are the confirmed companies with one block photo if they've arrived. More stuff to come of course:

    Alphacool - Arrived and not tested due to killing card



    AquaComputer - Arrived and third up to be tested - yes it's a sexy one:



    Bitspower - Tested



    EK - Tested



    Koolance - Arrived and tested - first full cover we've seen from Koolance:



    Swiftech - Tested:



    Watercool - Tested



    XSPC - Arrived and being tested right now, universal GPU block also arrived



    Previous GPU roundup to show differences and improvements on this generation: http://www.xtremerigs.net/2013/10/03...ock-roundup/9/

    The Results:

    http://www.xtremesystems.org/forums/...=1#post5236507
    Last edited by stren; 08-10-2014 at 06:11 PM.

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    Stren: what do you thing of adding universal blocks to the mix?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Church View Post
    Stren: what do you thing of adding universal blocks to the mix?
    Hey Church - yeah I'll ask them when I follow up with those companies. EK need to send me some other parts - so I might be able to request that comes with them too. I did put in a request from NZXT for their AIO kraken cooler but they didn't respond either.

    Now that I have the actual VRM temps being read without needing to add probes then I have the additional variable of whether or not you have the backplate. AquaComputer sent me the active backplate so it'll be interesting to see whether it does much. Unlike the titan there is nothing actually on the back of these boards, so it's just trying to cool the PCB next to the VRMs. The EK backplate even puts a thermal pad on the back of the GPU core.

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    Looking forward to this. Just picked up 1/2 290x's and am still deciding which block I want to use.
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    AC sure know how to make a good looking block. Not so sure about the palm trees theme, but the non-blocky and beveled window with all stainless bits looks really good.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Martinm210 View Post
    AC sure know how to make a good looking block. Not so sure about the palm trees theme, but the non-blocky and beveled window with all stainless bits looks really good.
    Yeah totally agree on the palm trees it makes it a bit cheesey. I think they saw that stainless steel plate in the middle and thought "hmm what can we put there". The hawaiian islands subtley embossed into the block behind the window was a nice touch though. But yeah as a whole it looks really good and even better in person. The window is polished to perfection and looks like glass.

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    Awesome, nice one Stren this will be great to see.

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    Some pics of the blocks on the PCB - :

    AquaComputer:

    Pink staining is from the dye from the earlier shots that isn't completely cleaned out yet.






    EK:






    Koolance:




    XSPC:






    And the EK block under test on the Impact. I had to wedge some stuff under the board to stop the horrific board warp on the Maximus VI Impact due to the weight of the card. This motherboard needs a backplate otherwise it looks like this:

    Last edited by stren; 01-14-2014 at 08:00 AM.

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    For visual, I like the AC block best followed by the Koolance flavor. EK block is just a bit too square on top but the backplate looks nice.

    Look forward to your results, one of these days I'll actually upgrade hardware again.

  10. #10
    Xtreme Enthusiast TheBlueChanell's Avatar
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    Stren,

    Can you remove the ugly little palm tree emblem from the AC block? If so, does look out of place or awkward?

    Regards
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    If you remove it the block is not sealed anymore. There is gasket below it. This area forwards the water to the voltage regulators.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shoggy View Post
    If you remove it the block is not sealed anymore. There is gasket below it. This area forwards the water to the voltage regulators.
    Just what I was going to say haha. Running the AC backplate now. Trying to get the first bunch of data and reviews out before CES

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    Data from the first run is up with some analysis here: http://www.xtremerigs.net/2014/01/01...mance-summary/

    Relevant plots:





    As always I'll update as I get more runs in on these and more blocks!

    TLDR - One run per block, core temps are close, EK and AquaComputer worked on their weaknesses from the last Titan roundup. VRM temps depend heavily on thermal pad thickness, and that "active" backplate by AquaComputer is no gimmick!

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    stren: at end in some chart just for comparison you should include also results from titan block roundup. As in which vendor improved most from back then, which did not , otherwise i sometimes see people choosing by some old block roundup few years / block generations away, guiding themselves with some assumption that vendor stack up/relative performance will be somewhat similar.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Church View Post
    stren: at end in some chart just for comparison you should include also results from titan block roundup. As in which vendor improved most from back then, which did not , otherwise i sometimes see people choosing by some old block roundup few years / block generations away, guiding themselves with some assumption that vendor stack up/relative performance will be somewhat similar.
    Yeah I like that idea - though I also worry that it will confuse people lol. Also XSPC are sending their raystorm universal GPU block alongside the full cover just because of you church :P

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    Yeah, i'm loving universal blocks, and would love to see all leading vendors implementing universal kits like watercool's, that has almost all limitations/drawbacks relative to fullcovers covered (looks and simplified toubing routing covered via making universal blocks longer/able to use SLI waterbridges, +miniblocks for VRM with exchangeable universal baseplates for cooling another important area but still staying universal). GPU generations change often. Hating throwing out state of art well functioning blocks just because they won't fit on other videocards and are hard to sell years later, when eg. cpu blocks can live through few more platform upgrades ..
    Last edited by Church; 01-02-2014 at 08:23 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Shoggy View Post
    If you remove it the block is not sealed anymore. There is gasket below it. This area forwards the water to the voltage regulators.
    Quote Originally Posted by stren View Post
    Just what I was going to say haha. Running the AC backplate now. Trying to get the first bunch of data and reviews out before CES
    That's what I was looking for. Didn't know if it was for function or form. Thanks gents.
    Main: 900D - Prime 1000T - Asus Crosshair VI Extreme - R7 1700X @ 4.0ghz - RX Vega 64? - 32GB DDR4 3466 - 1TB 960 Pro -
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    HTPC: 250D - Prime 850T - Gigabyte G1 ITX - i7 6700K @ 4.5ghz - GTX 1080 Ti - 16GB 3200 - 1TB 960 Pro -
    --- ST30 x UT60 - Kyros HF - KryoGraphics 1080 - HK100 DDC - Monsoon Compression ---
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  18. #18
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    By the way: our Hawaii blocks are also available with black glass now

    Nickel plated and copper.
    Got a question or having a problem with your Aqua Computer product?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shoggy View Post
    By the way: our Hawaii blocks are also available with black glass now

    Nickel plated and copper.
    damn that's sexy - I assume that's not actual glass though right but smoked plexi?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Church View Post
    Yeah, i'm loving universal blocks, and would love to see all leading vendors implementing universal kits like watercool's, that has almost all limitations/drawbacks relative to fullcovers covered (looks and simplified toubing routing covered via making universal blocks longer/able to use SLI waterbridges, +miniblocks for VRM with exchangeable universal baseplates for cooling another important area but still staying universal). GPU generations change often. Hating throwing out state of art well functioning blocks just because they won't fit on other videocards and are hard to sell years later, when eg. cpu blocks can live through few more platform upgrades ..
    I've always shared your mindset, but I wasn't able to cool the VRMS sufficiently with just Enzotech universal VRM heatsinks. At stock speeds I would see temps above 100C when scrypt mining. With an AP-14 blowing directly on them, I was still seeing ~85C. I decided to splurge and buy my first full-cover block, and chose the Koolance. I am somewhat disapointed in the VRM temps - they will slowly creep up from 50C to ~65C over the course of an hour. Figures!
    PhII 965C3 4.0 @ 1.475v w/ Heatkiller 3.0 LT # Gigabyte MA770-UD3P # CoolerMaster 690 II # 4890 w/ D-TEK FuZion v1 # MCP 655 # Bottom: Black Ice GT Stealth 240 w/ shrouded Ultra Kaze 2k RPM # Top: Swiftech MCR220 w/ random fans

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    Yes, of course it is acyrlic glass again.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shoggy View Post
    Yes, of course it is acyrlic glass again.
    seriously, those GTX780/TITAN and R9 290x blocks are jewlery!


    And Stren, thanks again for the awesome work with the comparison
    PC:
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    Greetings from Brazil!

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    You guys may have done this already but I wonder.... Where there are thick pads in use, would there be any mileage in copper shimming the gap in order to have thin pads?


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    Thick pads are used for VRMs I think because they are not always exactly the same height. So you need the thick pads to accomodate for those VRMs that end up a little higher or lower than average. Also, I think you're not really limited by VRM or RAM temps, so you wouldn't notice difference even if you managed better heat transfer. Someone with more recent video card overclocking experience correct me on that if I'm wrong

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    Quote Originally Posted by stren View Post
    Data from the first run is up with some analysis here: http://www.xtremerigs.net/2014/01/01...mance-summary/

    Relevant plots:





    As always I'll update as I get more runs in on these and more blocks!

    TLDR - One run per block, core temps are close, EK and AquaComputer worked on their weaknesses from the last Titan roundup. VRM temps depend heavily on thermal pad thickness, and that "active" backplate by AquaComputer is no gimmick!
    Awesome work. With GPU being such a close match, I'd personally put more emphasis on the VRM results.

    AC has my vote for both vrm performance and looks but I'd have to sand down that palm tree graphic. Not sure about cost though, I'm cheap too and would probably weigh cost heavily as well..perhaps more.
    Last edited by Martinm210; 01-04-2014 at 07:23 AM.

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