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[Bundymania User Review] 6 Fullcover Waterblocks for AMD HD7970 - Roundup

post #1 of 23
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Hello guys,

In this review I would like to give you a broad overview concerning the current watercooling-solutions for the beloved HD 7970 graphic card from AMD. Some of the coolers might fit to the smaller brother card 7950. You will find the information about the compatibility to this card in the well-known web shops. If you might have noticed (maybe not yet wink.gif) the summer is coming and your graphic card might need a fresh, cool breeze. Another positive aspect of a watercooling-solution is the very low noise level or - depending from your radiator and fan layout – the full silence.
As you might know my reviews, all popular producers with their current cooling-solutions are tested here. I will as well update this review, if a producer will release a new version of his cooler. A quite good information for the disassembly of the stock air-cooler: Run Furmark for at least 10 minutes. The produced heat contributes to the softening of the thermal grease and thermal pads, which makes the disassembly quite easier.

img_5073avrkq.jpg



So let us take a closer look at the testing candidates:




EK Water Blocks EK-FC7970 - EN (Nickel)

img_50663gkqd.jpg

img_5061twknp.jpg img_5059s0kq2.jpg img_5069c7jdu.jpg img_5065trkb4.jpg img_5353ifknd.jpg img_5337lwkjx.jpg img_54132fjvn.jpg img_536304jrw.jpg img_5350wycyc.jpg


The cooler from EK Waterblocks comes with slight re-desgin of its successful watercooling-solutions for graphic cards. The bottom of the cooler is in comparison to the older version is a little bit thinner and the cooling-structure is quite more filigree. The top is as well re-designed (which I like much more than the older design). Another feature, which is meanwhile a standard of EK Waterblocks, is the production of different designs of the EK-FC7970. In this review I will test the version with nickel-plated bottom and an acrylic-glass top.
The processing quality is on a good level, but you might find some little scratches in the inside from the milling. Some of them are as well on the bottom side of the cooler. You will find beside the installation manual in English language and the common installation material a small allen key for the assembly of the screw plugs.
The cooler comes well proteced in the well-known and nicely desgined orange-black coloured retail box.
The installation is as well for untrained constructors quite handsome. The customer just has to cut the thermal pads by himself for all chips except the GPU, for which you have to use thermal grease.
The re-design of the cooling-structure results in tight fins and catapults the cooler to the top positions in my charts (but not the first place ;-)).
The voltage controller are as well actively cooled by water and you can purchase an optional backplate for around 25 Euros.



Technical Details:

Material: Acrylic glass, copper (nickel-plated)
Threads: 4 x G 1/4"

To compatibilty-configuration

Click here for the englisch installation Manual.

Scope of supply:

Cooler without Fittings (G1/4 Threads)
Installation material
Thermal pads

Price: ca. 94 Euro







Aquacomputer aquagrATIx für HD 7970 (Tahiti XT)

img_5332qedep.jpg

img_5330tlelb.jpg img_5304j4iuq.jpg img_5305nlche.jpg img_5307abdqz.jpg img_5315rqi4k.jpg img_537896eue.jpg img_54057cibb.jpg img_5397nufzf.jpg aqua7970j1e5j.jpg img_5044bmdi4.jpg

The aquagraATIx from Aquacomputer fort he HD 7970 looks quite elegant and shiny. The outward appearance shows overall the usage of metal as a robust material. Only the connection port is made of delrin. The processing quality is – as the cooling performance - on a very high level. The parts of the cooler which have direct contact to the graphic card are polished to maximize the heat transmission. The cooler comes well protected to the customer in a nicely designed retail box with the common installation material and installation manual. The assembly of the cooler is very easy, which means you just need a few minutes for the whole procedure.
You can watch below the whole installation procedure in a video on youtube:
aquagratix HD7970 Installation - YouTube

The voltage controllers are actively cooled with water like the EK (Aquacomputer named this feature “3D Flow”). The cooler from Aquacomputer is the only candidate in this review, where you have to apply thermal grease on the RAM-Chips (thermal grease is not part of the scope of supply). An additional backplate can be bought for around 25 Euros. The cooler has no deficits and convinced me concerning all aspects. You have to pay around 90 Euros for the cooler (regular price I guess).



Technical Details:

Materials:

Body: Copper
Top: Stainless-steel
Conncetion port: Delrin

Scope of supply:

Cooler without Fittings (G 1/4" Threats)
Installation material including thermal pads
Two screw plugs

Price: ca. 89 Euro







Koolance VID-AR797

img_5025zdie5.jpg

img_5020wjcns.jpg img_5018lhcbe.jpg img_501766eo3.jpg img_5612l9eep.jpg img_56058xi3w.jpg img_5632c1esg.jpg

Let us take a closer look at the Koolance VID-AR797 which is designed in the USA and produced in Korea. The well-known company uses mixed materials for their coolers (dark nickel-plated copper for the bottom and delrin and stainless-steel for the top). The VID-AR797 cooler has a solid appearance and is very well processed. It comes in decent black retail package and is as the other coolers crossfire-compatible. The scope of supply contains the common installation manual and the installation material (including thermal grease for the GPU). You have to apply two different sorts of thermal pads to the RAM and the voltage controllers, which you will have to cut by yourself. The size of the pads is very well calculated, so you have enough material to assemble the cooler a second time. The voltage controllers are directly cooled by water. A special feature of the cooler is the usage of the fourside backplate including screws and springs from the stock air-cooler. You cannot purchase an additional backplate for this cooler. The installation procedure is easy, but a multilanguage installation guide would be helpful. The VID-AR797 is well processed, convinces with its cooling performance and the scope of supply is as well very good. You can buy this cooler for around 123 Euros.




Technical Details:

Material: Nickle-plated copper, Acetal
Threat Size: G 1/4"
Sizes (LxBxH): 15,9cm x 14,6cm x 1,6cm
Weight: 680g

Scope of supply:

Koolance VID-AR797 Cooler
Thermal grease
Installation material

Price: ca. 123 Euro







XSPC Razor 7970

img_5190qjcme.jpg

img_5188z2fce.jpg img_51930nigw.jpg img_5567plc75.jpg img_5564eji7g.jpg img_557284dcx.jpg xspc7970-67ddkv.jpg

The next cooler in my comparison is the Razor 7970 from XSPC. This cooler is quite thin and lightweight. The bottom is made of copper. The top is made of stainless-steel. On the sides of the cooler you will find cooling-elements, which are made of aluminum and fulfill the function to cool the voltage controllers passively. The Razor 7970 comes in a black retail package with an XPSC Logo on the front. The cooler is well protected from any damage, because it is wrapped in bubble-foil. The scope of supply contains the common installation material and an installation manual in English language. The cooler comes as well with thermal grease and thermal pads, which are already cut in the correct sizes, so you can just start the assembly of the cooler out of the box (quite nice ).
I think the crossfire-compatibilty is in this days a standard-feature. You cannot purchase an additional backplate for this cooler. The processing quality of the cooler is on a good level and the installation is quite easy. The cooler performs well but does not show the best results (but is still much better than the air-cooler). You can buy this cooler for around 93 Euros.

Technical Details:

Material: Bottom = copper, Top = stainless-steel
Threats: G 1/4"
CNC milled copper
Sizes: 220 x 142 x 9mm
Crossfire-ready with 4x G1/4" threats


Scope of supply:

1x XSPC Razor 7970
1x thermal grease
2x screw plugs
Thermal pads
Installation material

Price: ca. 93 Euro






Watercool HEATKILLER® GPU-X³ 79X0

heakiller7970-1ytune.jpg

img_5031pre9i.jpg img_5032rfck9.jpg img_5040bduer.jpg img_5033oeu2l.jpg img_5053rtuib.jpg img_54260wu7s.jpg img_5422kxuep.jpg img_543485uv0.jpg img_5442o2ulo.jpg heatkiller7970-insidepvuhb.jpg

The Heatkiller for the HD 7970 comes from the northern company Watercool. The cooler comes well stuffed in a nice retail package to the customer. The scope of supply contains, besides the cooler, the common installation material and an installation manual in German language. Unfortunately there is no thermal grease, which should be applied only to the GPU. Nevertheless the thermal pads are already cut in the correct sizes (nice!). The cooler looks quite elegant and has a copper bottom with a polished stainless-steel top. The installation of the very well processed cooler is quite easy and done without any problems. The voltage controllers are actively cooled by water. You can purchase an additional backplate for the Heatkiller for around 25 Euros, which contributes to the nice look. The price is on a standard level and the cooler shows the best cooling performance in this comparison!



Technical Details:

Material: Copper, Stainless-steel, POM
Sizes: (LxBxH) 184 x 117 x 14,2mm
Weight: 1000g
Threads: 4x G ¼ Zoll (DIN ISO 228-1)
Pressure tested: 5 bar
Compatible with: AMD Radeon HD 7970 (reference design)

Scope of supply:

1x HEATKILLER® GPU-X³ 79X0
1x Installation material
1x Installation manual

Price: ca. 94 Euro







Swiftech Komodo™ HD7970 Fullcover Waterblock

img_5462s1cq7.jpg

swiftech7970-komodo-impfxq.jpg img_54493hcza.jpg img_545861e08.jpg img_5457hff90.jpg img_5535ole6w.jpg img_5473tvd16.jpg img_5545h3iwy.jpg img_5538vvc9j.jpg img_555520ftu.jpg img_555162exw.jpg

Swiftech, the well-kown pioneer for watercooling-solutions has as well released a new cooler for the AMD 7970. The Komodo HD 7970 Fullcover watercooler comes in a simple white package and is well wrapped in bubble-foul. Therefore the cooler is very well protected from any damage. The scope of supply contains besides the cooler the common installation material and a Multilanguage installation manual. The cooler comes as well with a nice black backplate and black coloured single-slot-cover. There are as well the needed thermal grease and two black screw plugs.
Another nice feature of the Swiftech cooler is, that the thermal pads are already applied to the cooler, so the customer just has to remove the protection-foil and apply thermal grease to the GPU to get ready for the assembly. The bottom of the cooler is chrome-plated and the top is made of black Acetal and shows a nicely designed patch. An second special feature is the additional led in the connection port, which enlightens the Swiftech Logo in red. The Led receives the power from the Fan Header of the graphic card.
The Swiftech Komodo is very well processed and has a very flashy design. The scope of supply is as well very nice, but the cooler could not reach the absolute top position for its cooling performance (but the difference to the top levels is still very small).
There is as well a certain feature concerning the assembly of the cooler: Swiftech uses the small backplate of the stock air-cooler. If you do not want to use the small backplate, you can as well install the cooler with four screws, that are a little bit longer than the other ones. Therefore the scope of supply is quite perfect, but it would have been completed with a small screwdriver, which is needed for the installation.

The cooler cannot be purchased in germany, but hopefully this will be possible in the further future. The price is with 155 US Dollar quite high, but if you take back in mind that the scope of supply is quite big, the height of the price is quite relative (Scope of supply contains additional backplate around 20-30€ and a single-cover).




Technical Details:

Threats: G 1/4"

Top: POM Acetal
Bottom: chrome-plated copper
Backplate Material: Aluminum
Sizes: Länge: 269mm x Breite: 120mm x Höhe 14,9mm
Weight: 1059 g

Price: ca. 155 US Dollar / ca. 118 EUR (current price)







Testing system:


banchetto25kuk.jpg gigabyte-ud7rsjc2.jpg kingston12gb3jjw3.jpg 386942lzkzk.jpg cougar105051eyv.jpgmagicool280azoq5.jpg noiseblocker-black-sionq9z.jpg ae_vfd_500k2qpw.jpg


Banchetto 101 Bench Station
Gigabyte GA-X58A-UD7 Mainboard
Kingston HyperX DIMM Kit 12GB
Watercool Heatkiller 3.0 LT
i7 920 @4Ghz @1.40V (lief IDLE!)
Cougar GX 1050 power supply
Magicool Slim 280 Radiator + 2x Noiseblocker Black Silent PK2 Lüfter (600 U/Min.)
Aquaero 4 VFD control unit
Laing Ultra with Alphacool Acetal Top
Alphacool Cyclone Reservoir
Aquacomputer Flow-rate-sensor "High Flow"
Koolance VL3N Quick-connection-coupling & CPC Metall Quick-connection-coupling
Masterkleer 16/10mm Tube + 13mm Fittings
Waterfilter from Aquacomputer
3x Sensors for watertemperature (2x T-Line, 1x Reservoir)
Thermal Grease: Phobya HeGrease
Additional Water-mixture Innovatek Protect
ArctiClean was used to clean the GPU and the Rams



Testing procedure:


furmark190_logoywc9y.jpg

I used Furmark v.1.8.2 for stress-testing the GPU in order to reach a high temperature (settings: 1280x1024, 8x MSAA). The stress-test ran for thirty minutes. To quantify the maximum temperature of the GPU I used GPU-Z. CPU ran in idle status.

I used the Phobya Hegrease thermal grease. Every cooler was assembled for three times and the best result took part in my statistics. I controlled the correct fit of the coolers and every cooler was flushed before testing in order to remove certain rest from the production









Testing results:


tempggus4.png


Delta-T / Difference GPU to Water temperature. – lower is better









durchfluss2ouwu.png


Liter / h.









preiseucu7z.png

Price in Euro









Scope of supply:


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Awards:

The Bundymania Gold Award goes to the coolers from Watercool, Koolance and Aquacomputer for the very good processing quality and cooling performance.

bundymania_gold_award7bukz.png





The Silver Award goes to the coolers from Swiftech and EK for the well cooling performance and the big scope of supply.

bundymania2silber_awax5uha.png




The Bronze Award goes to the XSPC Razor 7970 for a solid processing quality and cooling performance and the good scope of supply.


bzndymania3bronzekxusl.png








Conclusion:

In my opinion the most important result of my review is, that all coolers do not differ very much from each other concerning the cooling performance. Because mostly all of the coolers use the same cooling structure I cannot give any advises for the “ultimate-cooler”, but you should take additional details like the price, optics and scope of supply in mind, if you like to buy a cooler. One thing is for sure: Every Fullcover-watercooler fulfills his job better than the stock air-cooler! The Swiftech Komodo takes up a special position, because it cannot be bought at this time in Germany (the scope of supply is great!). All in all, it will be a nice feature, if every producer applies thermal grease and screw drivers or allen-keys to their scope of supply. I think this parts are quite low-price options, which can be expected from the customer, if you pay up to 120€ for a fullcover-cooling-solution.






Thanks:

I would like to thank the following companies for supporting my reviews:
Aquatuning, Aquacomputer, Phobya, Watercool, EK Waterblocks, Swiftech, Koolance, XSPC, Noiseblocker, Gigabyte, Alphacool, Cougar, Microcool and Kingston
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post #2 of 23
Awesome!
Thank you smile.gif
post #3 of 23
you need to test the danger den
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post #4 of 23
Nice review bundy.
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post #5 of 23
Wow... The markup for the Koolance block in Europe is like $40 redface.gif
    
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post #6 of 23
Great, you read in my mind, I was searching some comparison about full-cover for 7970!thumb.gif
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post #7 of 23
Awesome work as usual, thanks for sharing!
    
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post #8 of 23
Excellent Review Bund. My only concern is regarding the need for CPU block where GPU review is concerned. You have a testbench. Have you thought about separating the GPU from the loop to get exact numbers with a cooling off period between tests of each manufacturer's product? mellowsmiley.gif

Not that I'm knocking your testing at all, just some things that spark my curiosity. smile.gif

cheers.gif

~Ceadder smil3dbd4e4c2e742.gif
 
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Monsoon Economy Hardline fittings EK Dual DDC V2 top Swiftech Pump DDC-1T (2) Liquid Fusion V Double helix Reservoir 
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Yate Loon 120x20 (D12SM-12C) Medium Speed Silen... EK Supreme HF Classified EK Thermosphere GPU Block EK Thermosphere GPU Block 
OSMonitorKeyboardPower
Win7 64 bit Ultimate OEM Asus VH222H Black HDMI Widescreen Logitech the OCZ went buhbye adios. Don't know ... Corsair CMPSU HX 850w Modular 
CaseMouseMouse PadAudio
HAF 932 Logitech g9x COOLER MASTER Weapon of Choice: M4 Duramesh Pad Logitech X-240 2.1 speakers 
OtherOther
Sunbeam Rheosmart 3 Creative X-Fi 
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AMD Phenom II X6 1100T Crosshair IV Formula Sapphire Radeon HD 6870 Sapphire Radeon HD 6870 
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Corsair Dominator G. Skill Ripjaws X G. Skill x2 HITACHI 1TB Deskstars 1TB RAID0 
Optical DriveCoolingCoolingCooling
ASUS DRW-24B1ST  Swiftech 6950/6870 GPU Heatsink Swiftech 6950/6870 GPU Heatsink Monsoon 1/2"x5/8" PETG White Hardline tubing. 
CoolingCoolingCoolingCooling
Monsoon Economy Hardline fittings EK Dual DDC V2 top Swiftech Pump DDC-1T (2) Liquid Fusion V Double helix Reservoir 
CoolingCoolingCoolingCooling
Yate Loon 120x20 (D12SM-12C) Medium Speed Silen... EK Supreme HF Classified EK Thermosphere GPU Block EK Thermosphere GPU Block 
OSMonitorKeyboardPower
Win7 64 bit Ultimate OEM Asus VH222H Black HDMI Widescreen Logitech the OCZ went buhbye adios. Don't know ... Corsair CMPSU HX 850w Modular 
CaseMouseMouse PadAudio
HAF 932 Logitech g9x COOLER MASTER Weapon of Choice: M4 Duramesh Pad Logitech X-240 2.1 speakers 
OtherOther
Sunbeam Rheosmart 3 Creative X-Fi 
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post #9 of 23
Awesome! Great resource for those who want to watercool the 7970 thumb.gif
#phase02
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Intel i7 5820k Asus X99M-WS Sapphire r9 290X Vapor-X 8GB Sapphire r9 290X Vapor-X 8GB 
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Corsair 16GB LPX DDR4 Crucial M4 256GB SSD Toshiba 4TB HDD Swiftech Apogee Drive II 
CoolingCoolingCoolingCooling
Bitspower Single 5.25" bay Reservoir Alphacool XT45 180mm Radiator Alphacool UT60 120mm Radiator EK-FC VAPOR-X GPU Water-Block 
CoolingCoolingCoolingOS
EK-FC VAPOR-X GPU Water-Block Silverstone AP182 Air Penetrator 180mm Fan Scythe Gentle Typhoon AP29 Windows 10 PRO 
MonitorKeyboardPowerCase
ASUS PB2874Q 4K  Cooler Master Quickfire XTi Seasonic SS-1200XPS3 1200 Watt Platinum Silverstone TJ08-E 
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Cooler Master Reaper Steel Series QCK+ Large Denon AVR Surround Receiever Beyerdynamic DT990 250 ohms Headphones 
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#phase02
(24 items)
 
   
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Intel i7 5820k Asus X99M-WS Sapphire r9 290X Vapor-X 8GB Sapphire r9 290X Vapor-X 8GB 
RAMHard DriveHard DriveCooling
Corsair 16GB LPX DDR4 Crucial M4 256GB SSD Toshiba 4TB HDD Swiftech Apogee Drive II 
CoolingCoolingCoolingCooling
Bitspower Single 5.25" bay Reservoir Alphacool XT45 180mm Radiator Alphacool UT60 120mm Radiator EK-FC VAPOR-X GPU Water-Block 
CoolingCoolingCoolingOS
EK-FC VAPOR-X GPU Water-Block Silverstone AP182 Air Penetrator 180mm Fan Scythe Gentle Typhoon AP29 Windows 10 PRO 
MonitorKeyboardPowerCase
ASUS PB2874Q 4K  Cooler Master Quickfire XTi Seasonic SS-1200XPS3 1200 Watt Platinum Silverstone TJ08-E 
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Cooler Master Reaper Steel Series QCK+ Large Denon AVR Surround Receiever Beyerdynamic DT990 250 ohms Headphones 
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post #10 of 23
Thread Starter 
Thx ! smile.gif
Black Bullet
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Intel Core i7-2600K ASRock Z68 Extreme3 Gen3 EVGA GTX680 Corsair XMS3 Dominator DIMM Kit 16GB 
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Crucial M4 256 GB SSD LG BluRay RW Win 7 Ultimate 64Bit Samsung 275T Plus 27" 
KeyboardPowerCaseMouse
MS Sidewinder X6 Cougar GX 1050 Case Labs Logitech G400 
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Steelseries Creative Sound Blaster Recon3D Logitech Z506 Watercooling 
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Black Bullet
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Intel Core i7-2600K ASRock Z68 Extreme3 Gen3 EVGA GTX680 Corsair XMS3 Dominator DIMM Kit 16GB 
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Crucial M4 256 GB SSD LG BluRay RW Win 7 Ultimate 64Bit Samsung 275T Plus 27" 
KeyboardPowerCaseMouse
MS Sidewinder X6 Cougar GX 1050 Case Labs Logitech G400 
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Overclock.net › Forums › Cooling › Water Cooling › [Bundymania User Review] 6 Fullcover Waterblocks for AMD HD7970 - Roundup