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Issues with XSPC Razor on XFX DD 290X

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 
Hi guys, I'm having an issue with my XSPC Razor block and my XFX Double Dissipation 290X card.

The issue I am having, is that after mounting the cooler (two attempts might I add) by following the instructions to the "T", I am getting horrible cooling results. I mean, the card is unusable because of how bad it is. As soon as I launch MSI Kombustor, within about 10 seconds the card reaches 90C+, at which point I kill the app. The stock XFX DD cooler stabilizes at 75C after 10mins of Kombustor and never goes past that. So something is definitely wrong with the block.

Before purchasing it I contacted XSPC to make sure that the block is compatible with my card. And I have also double and triple checked myself to make sure that the card is using reference design and should therefore fit. So I'm quite certain it isn't a fitment issue.

I am also 100% sure that I have mounted it properly, as I have tried it twice, the second time even tightening down the screws really quite tight.

At this point, I am quite certain that it is some sort of manufacturing defect. As you can see in the below pictures, when I remove the block, the paste had not been completely spread, and it looks like the two surfaces were not in complete contact. I used the pea method to apply the paste. Definitely looks like there is about a 1mm or so gap between the cooler and the GPU die. Also note that the last picture demonstrates how the paste should look like after the stock cooler is removed (when properly matted to the GPU using the same paste.)

So my question to you guys is, can a gap between the GPU and block really make the cooling performance so incredibly bad? Or is this kind of mounting normal for GPU water blocks, and therefore might be something else wrong, such as inside the water block itself? Although do keep in mind that water flow within my loop was perfect as my CPU was still getting cooled exactly the same as before adding the GPU block (so therefore water flow was excellent).

Any input/suggestions would be greatly appreciated.




Edited by peterh88 - 4/13/14 at 9:16pm
post #2 of 16
It would help is greatly to have some more information on your system and your loop as well as the method in which it has been plumbed in.
post #3 of 16
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Xinoxide View Post

It would help is greatly to have some more information on your system and your loop as well as the method in which it has been plumbed in.

Ya sure. Sorry I didn't include that in the first place, but like I said, I really doubt the plumbing/water flow is the issue as the flow direction in the block does not matter and also my CPU is being cooled perfectly as before the GPU block installation.

But in any case, below is a picture I took after the installation. It is an XSPC EX360 Kit, with D5 pump and an additional Swiftech MCR140QP radiator on the rear with Noctua NF-P14 installed on it.

The water flow is from CPU (out port) to GPU (top port) and out of GPU (right port).


Edited by peterh88 - 4/13/14 at 9:34pm
post #4 of 16
Plumbing wise I don't see an issue. Have you noticed a climb in CPU temps as well since installing the GPU block?

May be some blockage of sorts.

I am assuming there is a pump somewhere in the front of your case? ( kind of a joke )

when the loop is "flowing" can you feel the pumps "heartbeat" throughout your tubing?
post #5 of 16
Only a contact problem can cause symptoms like this. If it was anything else like a flow problem (even zero flow) then any excess heating would take a long time.

From Strens 290X testing


Edited by Jakusonfire - 4/14/14 at 5:57am
Kusanagi
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Kusanagi
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post #6 of 16
Now that I look at it in conjunction with Jakusonfire'es image, it looks as though the thermal pads may be too thick

The application with thermal paste instead of pads has created a better thermal paste spread on the GPU, and very little bit on the RAM.

Where your block's pads look like they took quite a bit of pressure, and the paste on the GPU didnt spread well.

Personally for troubleshooting it myself I would remove the pads and just do a test seating to see if the paste spreads.

Not sure how far you want to take that before contacting XSPC though.


Not sure of pertinent to the conversation anymore as thats krographics hawaii versus xspc block?
Edited by Xinoxide - 4/14/14 at 6:11am
post #7 of 16
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Xinoxide View Post

Plumbing wise I don't see an issue. Have you noticed a climb in CPU temps as well since installing the GPU block?

May be some blockage of sorts.

I am assuming there is a pump somewhere in the front of your case? ( kind of a joke )

when the loop is "flowing" can you feel the pumps "heartbeat" throughout your tubing?

As I mentioned, CPU is working perfect, even with GPU block installed. It makes no difference in TEMP at all for the CPU. So flow is definitely not the issue. I can also see my pump's RPM to be at 3500 in SpeedFan.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jakusonfire View Post

Only a contact problem can cause symptoms like this. If it was anything else like a flow problem (even zero flow) then any excess heating would take a long time.

From Strens 290X testing


That's exactly what my thoughts were as soon as I saw the temperature spikes, even before I took the card out. And judging by the way the paste looks after removing the GPU, I'm quite confident that's the issue. I'm just wondering at this point why this might be the case; is it a manufacturing issue or is the XFX card somehow designed differently (maybe for what ever reason the GPU die isn't as tall as the reference card).

Quote:
Originally Posted by Xinoxide View Post

Now that I look at it in conjunction with Jakusonfire'es image, it looks as though the thermal pads may be too thick

The application with thermal paste instead of pads has created a better thermal paste spread on the GPU, and very little bit on the RAM.

Where your block's pads look like they took quite a bit of pressure, and the paste on the GPU didnt spread well.

Personally for troubleshooting it myself I would remove the pads and just do a test seating to see if the paste spreads.

Not sure how far you want to take that before contacting XSPC though.


Not sure of pertinent to the conversation anymore as thats krographics hawaii versus xspc block?

Ya... that definitely shouldn't matter. First off because the XSPC block was designed to be used with the pads, and secondly, even if lets say, for the sake of conversation, the pads were too tick, they are so soft, that the pressure of the screws would just squeeze down on them really tight and would make no difference.
post #8 of 16
Are you willing to try with the pads removed?

being new they should come off quite easily. JUST to see if this helps the paste spread better?
post #9 of 16
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Xinoxide View Post

Are you willing to try with the pads removed?

being new they should come off quite easily. JUST to see if this helps the paste spread better?

Honestly, it's more work then is worth it. Having to take the card out, remove stock cooler, clean it, install block, remove block, clean again, re-install stock cooler, install card back in case. All this to find out it makes no difference. Those pads are super soft, even the lightest pressure will put a dent in them, so I know for sure they are not the issue. And like I said before, the cooler is intended to work with the pads.

I have emailed XSPC, as I am convinced at this point that the problem is either the surface on the block that makes contact with the GPU was machined too low (not tall enough) or the block stand offs are too tall, therefore creating too much of a gap between GPU and block. Either that or XFX actually made the GPU die a different height than the reference card. Although XSPC did confirm that the cooler will fit my card when I asked them.
post #10 of 16
Thread Starter 
Hi guys, an update.

As I suspected, the reason was indeed because the block was hovering way above GPU and not making proper contact.

What I've done is run the entire block (on it's pegs) over 100grit sandpaper in order to lower the pegs and thus lower the entire block closer to the video card and to the GPU respectively.

In order to figure out exactly how much I needed to sand, I left the paste on the GPU that was already on there from the stock cooler until I could see paste being transferred to the GPU block when mounted. It actually took A LOT!! of sanding and about 5 mounts/unmounts. The only issue now, is that obviously the thermal pads are too thick, and when tightening down the screws, the video card warps horribly as the pads are putting up a lot of resistance/strain. Luckily the stock thermal pads are 1mm thick, so I can drop down to 0.5mm and should be fine. I have already ordered some of the Fujipoly Extreme thermal pad material. So that should not only eliminate the warping, but also improve cooling on the VRM, RAM, etc. as it is much better material than the stock pads.

I have tried running the card as it is to at least make sure that the cooling is now working and it is indeed. GPU does not go above 45C load @ stock, and to about 50C when fully overclocked with Max Power and VCore sliders to the max. Now that's what I'm talking about!

So in conclusion, it looks to me like the XFX DD 290X card does indeed have a thinner(less tall) GPU die. Unless there was some kind of a horrible manufacturing issue with the XSPC block, where the machining of the GPU contact surface was incorrectly spaced relative to the rest of the block. Although I'm thinking this is highly unlikely.
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