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Are non-ref cards of any advantage if you watercool?

 
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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 12-10-2013, 08:04 AM - Thread Starter
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I guess this question is specifically about cards like the 290X, where everyone says to wait for non-ref. Is that the case only for better air-cooling, or is there actually a better PCB that would facilitate better clocks under water as well?

Not buying a new card soon, just a lingering question I had biggrin.gif .

Thanks!
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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 12-10-2013, 09:17 AM
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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 12-10-2013, 10:16 AM
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Originally Posted by chiknnwatrmln View Post

Some aftermarket cards have more power phases which can provide more stable power.

Herein lies the main problem. If it isn't a reference PCB, things most likely won't line up properly with the waterblock. Some companies make blocks to fit a specific aftermarket PCB (EK DirectCUII springs to mind) which is nice.

Edit: as for OC capability, I had an ASUS 7970 DC2T flashed to Matrix bios that could "only" do 1175, this thing had fancy digi 12 phase power.
This MSI 7970 TFIII I have now is a reference PCB but with one extra power phase (ala R9 280X) in the place where AMD left one off originally and can do 1200.

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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 12-10-2013, 11:29 PM - Thread Starter
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Yeah- I'm aware that it could potentially be a pain to get a waterblock that fits properly.

I guess it's still gonna be a matter of luck with individual chips then more than anything else.

I heard that for some lines, manufacturers end up cherry picking the best chips for higher end cards? (ala EVGA classified editions, etc.)
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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 12-11-2013, 05:07 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spikeSP View Post

I guess this question is specifically about cards like the 290X, where everyone says to wait for non-ref. Is that the case only for better air-cooling, or is there actually a better PCB that would facilitate better clocks under water as well?

Not buying a new card soon, just a lingering question I had biggrin.gif .

Thanks!

Spike this is an awesome question.

First the issue this brings is if the water cooler you will be using will work with the PCB of the none standard card. In the case of our Toxic lineup we deviate from the reference board design and put a lot of higher end components on the board. This allows our higher out of the box speeds. However because we are not using the reference PCB, many of the liquid cooling options may not work correctly. In theory our Toxic cards would do even better than a reference under a liquid cooler but the PCB change makes this a harder to implement solution.

My personal opinion is if you are going to go with liquid cooling your better off with the reference design.

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