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Thread: Swiftech Komodo-R9_LE Review Part 1 of 2

  1. #1
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    Thumbs up Swiftech Komodo-R9_LE Review Part 1 of 2

    Introduction:


    Swiftech is a company that has been in the hardware cooling sector for around 20 years fulfilling the needs of an ever growing computer enthusiast and novices alike crowd with the desire to go for better than stock cooling on their hardware. With their unrivaled experience , customer support and warranty that accompany and follow this company since it's inception , innovative designs , quality , craftsmanship and the expertise on the high end water cooling solutions. Swiftech is proud to announce the new member on their water cooling line of Komodo series , the Komodo-R9-LE , designed to cool the hot running reference AMD R9-290X.

    This time around Swiftech has outdone themselves and have gone all out to cool the AMD R9-290X. With a new design and looks to envy , this "True" full cover water-block will cool all the critical components to a whole new level , GPU , memory and power mosfets will be actively cooled by the water flow and in fact this water-block “cover's the whole length of the pcb” making it the only “True Full Cover Water-block”, there is not cutting corners on this design compared to competing solutions that leaves critical components exposed. It comes with a high quality black-anodized aluminum back plate that will effectively passively cool the backside mosfets and protect the very fragile components on the backside of your video card.

    The looks of the water-block are complemented by the precision CNC machined chrome plated cooper base plate , wich is plated with "True" chrome and not the commonly used nickel plated yellowish color that we see on some AMD R9-290X water blocks that might corrode and loose their color after some time , this gives the advantage to the Swiftech Komodo-R9-LE to be corrosion free , discoloration free , maintenance free and a whiter/brighter color/mirror like / finish , in addition it reflects the light passing thru the water-block acrylic window to the color of your choice as included there are strips of interchangeable color lighting strips, Red , Blue , Green or Clear , 4 color's for you to choose from.

    On the Komodo-R9-LE the housing is precision CNC machined out of durable black POM Acetal. The block is optimized for moderate flow rate that takes into account multiple water-blocks on the same loop making it ideal for a crossfire set up. It comes with pre-applied 0.5mm high quality thermal pads on the memory , VRM1 and VRM2 area for excellent heat transfer. High quality Swiftech Tim-Mate 2 thermal grease/compound is provided/included for application on the GPU area.


    Technical Specifications:
    http://www.swiftech.com/KOMODO-R9-LE.aspx#tab2


    Inlet & Outlet port thread standard:: 1/4" BSPP (G1/4)
    Quality assurance: leak tested at 30 PSI
    Thermal joints installation:
    •GPU: thermal compound (included)
    •Memory & power fets: pre-installed 0.5mm thermal pads

    Housing material: Black POM acetal
    Base Plate material: Chrome plated C110 copper
    Back-plate material: Black anodized brushed aluminum
    Dimensions: (L) 10.5" - 268mm x (W) 4.8" - 122mm x (H) .74" - 19mm (measured from GPU pedestal to top of housing)
    Mass: 44 oz - 1247 g


    Product Page: http://www.swiftech.com/KOMODO-R9-LE.aspx
    Price: $179.95
    Last edited by chispy; 05-13-2014 at 09:13 PM.

  2. #2
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    Unboxing And Included Accessories:



    What is included in the box ?
    http://www.swiftech.com/KOMODO-R9-LE.aspx#tab2

    Water-block
    Color Strips
    Installation screws
    Pre-installed thermal pads
    Black-anodized brushed aluminum back-plate
    Tim Mate 2 Thermal grease
    (2) G1/4 plugs
    Installation guide

    The Swiftech Komodo-R9-LE comes in a beautiful crafted shiny black hard cardboard box with all the technical information on a white sticker in the opening side of the box where there is a round plastic taped seal, a Swiftech logo on the top left corner. Box feel sturdy/rigid , perfectly protecting your brand new water-cooling hardware.








    Once you have broken the seal and opened the box you will find first the instructions to install the water-block:


    Last edited by chispy; 05-13-2014 at 05:37 PM.

  3. #3
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    Under the instructions then you will find a metal bracket with 4 spring loaded screws , this bracket is to attached the GPU to the water-block.





    Under a black plastic foam packing material top you will find the safely protected , wrapped in protective plastic , full cover water-block , inserted in an inch deep black foam packing material box, on the side there is 2 color strips for the lighting of the card ( it came with the red one already installed on mine ) , Tim Mate 2 Thermal grease/compound , Installation screws , (2) G1/4 plugs , a small hexagonal L shape wrench. Underneath the water-block there is a black-anodized back plate. You can see in the last picture the black plastic foam material packing box with top that completely safeguard your water-cooling hardware.










    Here is a picture of everything that comes inside the box.


    Last edited by chispy; 05-14-2014 at 08:30 AM.

  4. #4
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    Installation and Testing Methodology:


    The Swiftech Komodo-R9_LE comes with pre-applied and perfectly mounted 0.5mm thermal pads for excellent heat transfer, that installation part is out of the way , as Swiftech has done it already for you. ** Please remove all the plastic protective wrapping material from the water-block , thermal pads and back-plate before applying any thermal grease to the GPU **

    1. ** If Necessary ** Cut the protruding stems ( Back soldering pins ) in the picture of the instructions to 1.0mm or 1.5mm accordingly on the back of the video card so that the backplate would fit perfectly without obstructions , again IF necessary. Since each AMD R9-290 or 290X is different some may get away without cutting it and some will need to be trimmed down , please measure those stems and follow the instructions to make sure your video card is ready for the backplate. I tested this on 2 of my video cards , both are Reference AMD R-290X one did not needed to be trimmed ,but the other needed some small trimming , not rocket science , just make sure you use some small/sharp wire cutting pliers and a metric measuring tape to accurate measure those stems and trimmed them off.

    2. Remove all the protective plastic from the water-block , thermal pads and backplate.

    3. Apply thermal grease to the GPU (High Quality Swiftech Tim-Mate 2 thermal grease is included), I use the small pea size in the middle method , it works fine for me 100% of the time , use your prefer method of thermal grease application method here , use good judgment please , and check your temperatures on the GPU always after first boot up to the desktop. Always check for leaks.

    4. Apply thermal grease directly to the backside of the mosfets (5 of them) as seen in the instructions , a rice size grain worked perfectly for me.

    5. Install the male connector coming out of the water-block to the female connector where the fan was connected.

    6. Install the water-block using the four spring loaded screws rectangular bracket , adjusting each screw in an opposite way in cross pattern until hand tightened with a small Phillips screwdriver. Please follow the instructions.

    7. Attach the backplate and tighten the 12 small screws using a small Phillips screwdriver until hand tightened. keep following the instructions and screw the last small screw to the holding bracket on the backside of the video card near the HDMI connector.

    8. If you want to change the color of the lighting of the water-block to a different one please do so now before installing the water-block , use the provided L shaped hex-wrench and unscrew the 2 small screws located on the front plate of the water-block as illustrated in the instructions , change the color strip , re-installed the cover and tightened those 2 little screws back. You are Done.

    ** Always follow the installation instructions **

    Installation Instructions Updated Here Download Link: http://www.mediafire.com/download/79...fo_needed..zip

















    Last edited by chispy; 05-14-2014 at 08:48 AM.

  5. #5
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    Testing Methodology/Hardware Used And Settings

    I'm using FireStrike Extreme Game test 1 and 2 at 1920/1080p loop for 30 minutes to stress the AMD R9-290X video card to simulate a real world gaming performance load with a high 100% stable overclock of 1200/1550Mhz at 1.27 volts (GPU-Z)(1.29 volts real measured by my trusty Craftsman DMM) that for sure will warm up any video card to the max. Pictures and video were taken before and after 30 minutes of looping FireStrike Extreme to verify and accurately detect the temperatures using GPU-Z and my calibrated Digital Thermometer with a K-Type Probe attached to it. The probe was placed approximately 2 inches away from the intake two Swiftech Helix fans of the radiator. Tested in a controlled environment of 20C. , idle temperatures were taken 15 minutes with the video card at idle before start looping FSE for 30 minutes. Temperatures were immediately checked and verified after 30 minutes in a quick exit out of the FSE Loop via GPU-Z log for the GPU and K-Type Probe for controlled ambient temperatures. Temperatures re-checked after 15 minutes idle finalizing the testing.


    Hardware Used And Settings:



    Powercolor Reference AMD-R9-290X ( tested with stock bios and Asus PT3 overclocking bios )
    OCZ Agility 3 SSD 60GB loaded with Windows 7 x64bit all the latest updates were installed
    Asus Maximus VI Extreme Z87
    G.Skill 2x8GB DDR3 2000 Cas9
    Intel Core i7 4770K stock cpu clocks 3.9Ghz on stock intel cooler at 1.09v
    eVGA Supernova G2 1300w Power Supply Unit



    Water-Cooling Single Loop:

    Swiftech Komodo-R9-LE
    Swiftech MCP 655
    Swiftech MCR-H220 Radiator
    Swiftech Lok-Seal Compression Fittings 3/8'' x 5/8'' Black
    Swiftech MCRES-Micro Rev 2
    Swiftech Helix 120 PWM , 2x120x25mm Fans
    Black 5/8OD tubing
    Distilled Water Only
    Thermal Grease/TIM Used On The GPU Was The One Provided , Swiftech Tim-Mate 2

    Pictures of the Set Up:


















    Last edited by chispy; 05-13-2014 at 09:30 PM.

  6. #6
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    Performance Data


    Firestrike extreme 1920/1080P Loop for 30 minutes
    290X at 1200/1550Mhz 1.27volts (1.29volts real) Core / +150 Power Target
    Bios used / Asus Overclocking Bios PT3
    Controlled ambient temperature at 20C.
    Iddle temperatures 15 minutes before starting the Loop = https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y5CDahY40PU

    Core = 34c
    VRM1 = 26c
    VRM2 = 30c



    Quick exit after 30 minutes of Firestrike extreme at
    1920/1080p looping reveals this temperatures: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=djtS3bfJmNo

    Core Max Temperature = 45c
    VRM1 Max Temperature = 57C
    VRM2 Max temperature = 38c

    Core Min Temperatures = 39c
    VRM1 Min Temperatures = 45c
    VRM2 Min temperatures = 37c

    Core Average Temperatures = 44c
    VRM1 Average Temperatures = 51c
    VRM2 Average Temparatures = 37c



    Iddle temperatures 15 minutes after finishing the Loop of FSE = https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9cajzMCzwE0






    Conclusion and Reviewer Opinion:


    The Swiftech Komodo-R9-LE is the indisputable Top Dog to beat when it comes down to cool the hot running R9-290X. When it comes to water cooling surely Swiftech knows how to make me tickle and have a Big Grin on my face. The Performance is above and beyond of what I was expecting , this is due to the new design adopted by Swiftech wich trully is a Full Cover Water-Block leaving no critical parts exposed. The backplate does help cooling the VRMs , it is there not only for aesthetics but to boost cooling performance as well. If looks could kill The Swiftech Komodo-R9-LE would be a Sniper in my books , with the lighting design to be interchangeable to the color of your choice , the elegant high end feeling of this water-block will make any PC Modder more than happy to have it in their rig.

    Performed like a true champion during the 3DMark FireStrike extreme 1920/1080p Looping for 30 minutes cooling the R9-290X, making it a big thumbs up for Gamers , Overclockers and water cooling enthusiasts , holding that huge heat load of the R9-290X overclocked at 1200/1550Mhz 1.27volts (1.29 volts real) is no walk in the park. Overclocker Approved and here is why , not every R9-full cover water-block will let you run this kind of voltage and insane overclock on a single simple water-loop , I am talking pushing 1.39volts ( 1.42 volts Real measured by DMM ) and finding that maximum last Mhz squeezed out of your video card for benchmarks purposes in my case , 1370/1600Mhz at 100% GPU Load using an insane 1.42v for the core +150 power target Heck yeah ... Any day ... All day ...
    Overclocking performance you asked ? How about 1370/1600Mhz on a plain simple water loop on ambient temperatures of 20C , enough said ....

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2N9TBe2P08Q

    In my opinion this True Full Cover Water-block is an amazing accomplishment for Swiftech , Not all water-blocks are created equal ... There you have it folks , a First , Full review of The Swiftech Komodo-R9-LE with pictures and videos done in Real Time , no gimmicks here , the evidence speaks for itself , just take your time and watch/pause/view and watch as many times as needed the videos and pictures for everything you need to know about the looks and performance.

    PS - Stay Tuned for Part 2 , a Performance shootout between the Swiftech Komodo-R9-LE versus EK-FC R9-290X , Let's torture my R9-290X and see who comes ahead in performance.
    Last edited by chispy; 06-05-2014 at 07:25 AM.

  7. #7
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    Swiftech komodo-R9-LE Review Part 2 of 2 - overclocking shootout EK Versus Swiftech



    Swiftech Komodo-R9-LE versus EK FC-R9-290X Full Cover Water Block Max Overclocking Shoot Out :


    Hardware Used And Settings:



    Powercolor Reference AMD-R9-290X ( tested with Asus PT3 overclocking bios )
    OCZ Agility 3 SSD 60GB loaded with Windows 7 x64bit all the latest updates were installed
    Asus Maximus VI Extreme Z87
    G.Skill 2x8GB DDR3 2000 Cas9
    Intel Core i7 4770K stock cpu clocks 3.9Ghz on stock intel cooler at 1.09v
    eVGA Supernova G2 1300w Power Supply Unit



    Water-Cooling Single Loop:

    Swiftech Komodo-R9-LE / EK FC-R9-290X
    Swiftech MCP 655
    Swiftech MCR-H220 Radiator
    Swiftech Lok-Seal Compression Fittings 3/8'' x 5/8'' Black / Also G1/4 to 3/8” Barb fitting chrome
    Swiftech MCRES-Micro Rev 2
    Swiftech Helix 120 PWM , 2x120x25mm Fans
    Black 5/8OD tubing
    Distilled Water Only
    Thermal Grease/TIM Used On Both Water-blocks was Swiftech Tim-Mate 2















    Results of absolute maximum overclock sustained under 100% stress test using GPU-Z stress test built in software for at least 3 minutes holding stable. Test were done in a control environment , with temperatures at ~21c.




    Final Results:




    Swiftech Komodo-R9-LE = 1370/1600Mhz at 1.39v GPU-Z ( real voltage measured using my trusty crafstman digital multi-meter under load ~ 1.42v / 1.43v )


    http://youtu.be/2N9TBe2P08Q


    EK FC-R9-290X = 1350/1600Mhz at 1.38v GPU-Z ( real voltage measured using my trusty craftsman digital multimeter under load ~1.41v ). I did tried the same settings I used for the Swiftech Komodo-R9-LE of 1370/1600Mhz at 1.39v but the video card on the EK water-block could not handle those volts and high overclock . I did 3 re-mounts on the EK block to see if I could make it possible , but it was a no go , I tried 1380/1600Mhz . 1370/1600Mhz , 1360/1600Mhz all at 1.39v GPU-Z and every time I started the stress test it would crash the OS and it would hang with a black screen , and I would be greeted with a error window after the system reboot itself which said “ Windows has recovered from an unexpected shutdown “ , please see the videos as evidence of this accurate testing.


    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EioZZ-Vmr00


    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K7dw8ePyFfQ


    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-IKY...ature=youtu.be


    I can safely say the winner of the overclocking shootout is the Swiftech komodo R9-LE Full Cover Water-Block , this water-block can handle some serious heat at insane voltages of 1.43v under load easily with an astonishing overclock on the R9-290X of 1370/1600Mhz.
    Last edited by chispy; 06-03-2014 at 04:22 PM.

  8. #8
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    Thanks for the review! Do you have any other r9 blocks to compare? The block is ugly, and my last experience with Gabe left much to be desired. Maybe i should move to the US so as to get better service?

    Any pics of the internals?
    q9550 @ 444 x 8.5 1.3v - Venomous X
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  9. #9
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    Thank you for the feedback madmaxx. Yes sir I do have more R9 water-blocks to compare. Hint on my last sentence written on the review PS - Stay Tuned for Part 2 , a Performance shootout between the Swiftech Komodo-R9-LE versus EK-FC R9-290X , Let's torture my R9-290X and see who comes ahead in performance. . That's part 2 of my review ,incoming very soon. I'm sorry madmaxx I don' have pictures of the internals ,but I can tell this , the Komodo-R9-LE block works very well in moderate water flow taking into account multiple water-blocks in the same loop since it is optimized for moderate water-flow, you will see once I release the review of the new Swiftech Apogee XL cpu water-block as I'm doing a full review on it too , on that review I do a new complete water-cooled Mod Rig using both water-blocks in one loop ( Apogee XL and Komodo-R9-LE ), I'm still working on it. Appreciate your sincere opinion.
    Last edited by chispy; 05-14-2014 at 09:19 AM.

  10. #10
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    Updated the review and part 2 is now available , overclocking shootout EK versus Swiftech.

  11. #11
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    Nice looking blocks. Thanks Chispy

  12. #12
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    you are welcome Bill , thanks for the good feedback.

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  14. #14
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    Thank you for the kind words bundymania master of water-cooling

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