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Waterblocks for 7950 question

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 
According to the hardware news section, 7950's are going to be released Jan 31. However, when they are released they are not going to be reference which has me a bit concerned. I know it is pretty easy to find waterblocks that are compatible with reference cards, but would I still be able to find waterblocks on release that will fit a non reference design? Would I be safe in buying whatever brand is available when the cards are released? I have never put a GPU under water so I am not familiar with how waterblocks go and compatibility. Would I be safe purchasing a full waterblock to get around the reference design compatibility?

I remember there were some threads a few months back about a certain brand that was having issues with nickel and corrosion. Would that still be something I should look out for?

Also, from what I have seen, it looks like I would also need to purchase thermal tape for memory and VRM. Is that right? Are there any brands I should stay away from?

TIA
post #2 of 4
Quote:
Originally Posted by spitty13 View Post

According to the hardware news section, 7950's are going to be released Jan 31. However, when they are released they are not going to be reference which has me a bit concerned.

Me too. Hopefully some reference designs come along soon too.
Quote:
Originally Posted by spitty13 View Post

I know it is pretty easy to find waterblocks that are compatible with reference cards, but would I still be able to find waterblocks on release that will fit a non reference design?

There are such things as universal blocks, or GPU only blocks, which cool the GPU core. Obviously this means you need to put some sort of cooling on the VREG and ram chips, usually passive sinks.
Quote:
Originally Posted by spitty13 View Post

Would I be safe in buying whatever brand is available when the cards are released?

Manufacturers make full cover blocks for specific card designs, so if one is released for X card, it will fit X card. The manufacturer will usually give compatibility information with the block so you know what cards they fit.
Quote:
Originally Posted by spitty13 View Post

Would I be safe purchasing a full waterblock to get around the reference design compatibility?

The full water blocks are the ones which have compatibility issues, as I said they are designed for a specific card layout, usually reference, so they won't fit other designs.
Quote:
Originally Posted by spitty13 View Post

I remember there were some threads a few months back about a certain brand that was having issues with nickel and corrosion. Would that still be something I should look out for?

EK, and aparently they have fixed it by using a different plating method. Their new nickel blocks should be EN-nickel, look for that when you buy them as some stockists might have the older type around. Having said that any full cover card for a 7950 will be manufactured with the new method.
Quote:
Originally Posted by spitty13 View Post

Also, from what I have seen, it looks like I would also need to purchase thermal tape for memory and VRM. Is that right? Are there any brands I should stay away from?
TIA

No, if you get a compatible full cover card you don't need to buy anything else, everything you need should be in the box. If you get a GPU only block then any thermal tape usually comes with the passive heat sinks.
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Main
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HTPC
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CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
i5 2550k P8P67 Pro Sapphire HD 7950 G.Skill RipJaws X 1600 Cas 9 
Hard DriveHard DriveHard DriveCooling
Corsair Force 120 WD Blue 500GB WD Caviar Green 1TB XSPC RayStorm 
CoolingCoolingCoolingCooling
RX240 MCR 220 EK 7950 Copper Acetal  DDC-1T 
OSMonitorMonitorKeyboard
Windows 7 64-bit Dell U2311H Oculus Rift DK2 Ducky Shine 3 MX Brown 
PowerCaseMouseAudio
Corsair TX 750W CoolerMaster CM690 II G500 Klipsch ProMedia 2.1 
Audio
Asus Xonar DX 
CPUMotherboardRAMHard Drive
A10-6800K Gigabyte GA-F2A85XN-WIFI G Skill 1600 CAS9 Kingston SSD Now 60GB 
Hard DriveOptical DriveCoolingOS
WD Caviar Blue 1TB LG Slim Blu-Ray player Silverstone NT06-PRO  Widows 7 Home Premium 
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post #3 of 4
I personally would stay with a card that supports full cover blocks if at all possible. The GPU only block + VRM sinks works, but I find running tube to them is less than ideal and aesthecially less pleasing than the full cover blocks. If I were going with a 7950, I would wait to see what blocks existed, and which cards they would fit, rather than getting a card, then hoping a block existed.
post #4 of 4
If yer dead set on a 7950, give it a few weeks. If the card is popular chances are good that someone will make a fullcover for it.
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