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Which will cool the best?

  • Nickel Plated Heatkiller GPU-X³ 79X0

    Votes: 29 65.9%
  • XSPC Razor HD 7970 Full Coverage VGA Block - New Design

    Votes: 5 11.4%
  • Heatkiller is the sexy!

    Votes: 7 15.9%
  • XSPC RAZER HD 7970 is LED PLEXI SEXY!

    Votes: 3 6.8%
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am going to test both of these blocks with the same video card in the same RIG with the same system settings.

Right off the bat I will tell you all that the Heatkiller GPU-X³ 79X0 is a work of art as far as build quality goes. Everything about its appearance is pleasant on the eyes and to the touch it feels solid and well made.

Photos of the Heatkiller GPU-X³ 79X0






The XSPC HD 7970 Full coverage Block on the other end of the spectrum wreaks of poor craftsmanship in its finish and construction yet has some bright ideas such as the versatile multi tube connection ports.

My particular XSPC HD7970 New Edition Full coverage block came from the factory with some obvious imperfections on the finish.


Photos of XSPC RAZER HD7970 New Edition Block

In these photos you can see circular mill imprints on the contact surface areas of the block and some minor copper burs that should have been removed at the factory. Look at the crappy thread job on the connectors. This block should have never left the factory like this.



Look at the little metal burs hanging off of the ram contact areas. These little pieces of metal can fall off and possibly create a ground fault on the PCB.





The connection threads were terribly done. Look at the threads coming apart. Should have been cleaned up. This crap can clog a pump or radiator and hurt flow.



Blue Circle Area show copper shavings left inside from mill work. XSPC did a terrible job on this particular block and when I tried to RMA they denied RMA service. Be warned... Also Pefromance PC also denied customer support for all problems found with block.



The TESTs

For my tests I will be running Furmark for 15 minutes with my Sapphire HD7950 950mhz Edition set to 1300/1700.
I will use the latest version of HWinfo64 to record GPU/VRM temps.

The XSPC RAZER HD7970 New Edition block uses aluminum passive blocks on the VRMS while the Heatkiller GPU-X³ 79X0 uses active water flow over VRM to cool them down. I anticipate the Heatkiller to win on the VRM cooling.

The XSPC Razer HD7970 New Edition has 0.5mm fins for high performance which should work out better than the original XSPC RAZER HD7970 which fin spacing was at 1mm. This is basicly double the fins in the same area.

TIM

To make this test as fair as possible I will also use Cool Laboratory Liquid Pro TIM on the DIE and Fujipoly Xtreme thermal pad on memory and VRMS on both blocks.


Imperfections on my RAZER block


I contacted XSPC and shared these photos of my block and they have assured me that my block will perform fine with the mill marks and the copper burs on the block so I am going to do this test and hopefully my awesome HD7950 doesn't over heat or short out.

To avoid a terrible short out problem I am going to trim off the copper burs despite XSPC telling me the finish is fine because I don't want a small copper bur to fall off on the HD7950 or mother board PCB and short something out.


Final Results of my Tests below!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Final RESULT HERE!!!!

Sapphire HD7950 950mhz Editon 1300/1700 1.22 on gpu memory at 1.6v

Results for the Nickel Plated Heatkiller GPU-X³ 79X0.



Ambient temps 21C

Furmark 16 minutes

GPU Idle 26C MAX 41C
VRM 1 Idle 24C MAX 62C
VRM 2 Idle 25C MAX 46C



Results for the XSPC RAZER HD7970 New Edition Block.



Ambient temps 21C

Furmark 16 minutes

GPU Idle 26C MAX 40C
VRM 1 Idle 25C MAX 115C
VRM 2 Idle 26C MAX 68C



Analysis and conclusion.

The heat killer wins because it does a much better job at cooling the VRMS. GPU temp wise the XSPC beat the heat killer by 1C. The high average temps of the XSPC VRM temps was so much higher that I had to give the win to the Heat killer. I think the XSPC would cool off VRMs better if the plexi glass wasn't right on top of it. I think the plexi glass is acting like a blanket and keeping case air flow away from the vrm blocks. XSPC vrm blocks don't have any liquid cooling directly within the design while the heatkiller does. Also the XSPC vRM heat sinks are made of aluminum and the Heatkiller VRM block area is made of copper. XSPC aluminum VRM block parts would also benefit from some fins on top of it so that the air flow in a case could help with cooling as well.

If you look at my Furmark heat graph for the XSPC RAZER HD7970 New Edition block you will see that that it has a bunch of little M's. This happened because at 115C on the VRM the card would drop load to 64% real fast to let the VRM cool down and then it would shoot back to 100% load.

One thing that I noticed about the XSPC block is that I think it flows better since it doesn't have to go through any tight VRM channels like the heat killer does. I can visually see alot more water movement in my reservoir with the XSPC block and this indicates better flow IMO.

On a side note I think my Sapphire HD7950 950mhz Edition is voltage locked because I learned that I couldn't increase voltage higher than 1.156v under load regardless of how high of voltage I adjusted. This is good news to me because if I can figure out how to increase voltage I should be able to push the card alot faster. As it stands I have over clocked with card as fast as 1370/1800 with 1.156v under load. Really golden card.

In case you are wondering why I bought the XSPC and kept it. I bought the XSPC block to eventually modify it to work on a Sapphire VApor X HD7950 which has a custom PCB. Now I know the XSPC RAZER HD7970 New Edition block has good gpu cooling ability and I will work on modifying and improving the VRM cooling for the Vapor X HD7950 card.

I'd like to thank XSPC for helping me trouble shoot some problems I had with the block and for helping me get the card mounted properly by good customer service. I'd also like everyone to know that I asked for an RMA on the block bases on problems that I have shown in this thread and they would not do it.

I'd also like everyone to know that Performance PCS told me they would help me with the problems I had with the block and then abandoned me and a rep here at OCN told me he could not help me. Not happy at all with the customer service from Performance PCS with the problem I had.

The End of this test.

When I have some time I will update this thread with some photos of the internal design of the XSPC HD7970 RAZER new edition block.
 

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Just bought the heatkiller last week and ill have to say its a masterpiece. This just proves it performs as good as it looks.
One question How good are the thermal pads that come with the heatkiller?
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Quote:
Originally Posted by blkmax21 View Post

Just bought the heatkiller last week and ill have to say its a masterpiece. This just proves it performs as good as it looks.
One question How good are the thermal pads that come with the heatkiller?
They worked decent but I got the fujipoly extreme thermal pads and they work better.
 

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I got the Heatkiller a week or two ago and that thing is amazing.
Quote:
Originally Posted by SonDa5 View Post

They worked decent but I got the fujipoly extreme thermal pads and they work better.
What thickness pad did you use?
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kainn View Post

waiting for the razor test, i got one for my 680 and i can't say im too pleased, xspc has been no help with me and my problem, hopefully i'll be able to get a replacement, looking into the heatkiller 680 atm as well.
Sorry for the hold up. I got the XSPC RAZER NEW EDITION BLock on the card and could not boot to desktop. Could boot into safe mode but unable to get the card to boot. Not sure what the problem is.

Pain to swap out the video card on my loop so before I take the block off and check TIM for contact pattern I'm going to re-install Windows 7.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Quote:
Originally Posted by Frozenoblivion View Post

Speaking about the Heatkiller 79X0 blocks. Will the EK 7950 backplate be able to be installed with it? Or are they just for EK 7950 blocks.
Not sure.

The Heat Kiler Block is designed to only work with HD79XX cards that are built on reference HD7970 PCB design.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by SonDa5 View Post

They worked decent but I got the fujipoly extreme thermal pads and they work better.
Theres an 11w/mk version and a 17w/mk version on frozencpu; is it worth getting the ultra (17) over the extreme (11)?
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Quote:
Originally Posted by Aesthethc View Post

Theres an 11w/mk version and a 17w/mk version on frozencpu; is it worth getting the ultra (17) over the extreme (11)?
When I ordered I only saw the Xtreme and it worked well. The Ultra is quite a bit more pricier but if you can afford it might as well get that.

I have over clocked for benchmarks to 1370/1800 and the Xtreme thermal pad has held up fine. 11/wmk seems to work fine. I probably would have ordered the Ultra if I would have seen it. I was looking for the best.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by SonDa5 View Post

When I ordered I only saw the Xtreme and it worked well. The Ultra is quite a bit more pricier but if you can afford it might as well get that.

I have over clocked for benchmarks to 1375/1800 and the Xtreme thermal pad has held up fine. 11/wmk seems to work fine. I probably would have ordered the Ultra if I would have seen it. I was looking for the best.
I just bought the extreme pad instead of the ultra; ill see how that holds out. The ultra was a little overpriced imo. The extreme seems to hold out fine if its at 1375

Thanks !
thumb.gif
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kainn View Post

fix the block issue yet?
I tried. I reinstalled windows 7 and after I installed the AMD drivers the card would not respond.

Took the loop apart and began to examine the XSPC RAZER HD7970 NEW EDITION block mounted to my card and I began to see problems.



Problems I discovered.

1. The side aluminum blocks that make contact with the VRMS are causing the PCB to bow away from the block. I confirmed this using a vernier caliper and measuring pcb distance from block around the VRM heat sinks. Photos below. I also measured the block and found different thickness at different ram areas and the VRMS also were thicker. So the block is all screwed up on the overall thickness and that explains whey the PCB is is bowing.

2. Because the copper block and aluminum VRM blocks are different thicknesses most of the RAM was not making good contact with the block.

3. The gpu die did not make good flat contact with the block. This can be seen by the pattern of the TIM that was found after I took it apart.

4. In the photos with the flash light you can see light coming through the block surface areas where light should be coming though because it should be making contact with ram.

5. The 3 hole mount for the GPU die area does not seem to help the die make good contact with the block. If the block had good design it would make good contact my guess is the thickness of the die mount area is not flat with other key contact areas. 4 screw holes would help force the PCB to fit but not as important as having good contact fit between block and contact areas. My GPU contact is not good based on my TIM pattern on the block.

I hope my card is not damaged. My guess is that it did not want to work because the GPU was heating up too much because it did not have good contact with block and it shut itself off.

I have many photos to share of the XSPC RAZER HD7970 New Edition block. I definitely got a dud and will contact Performance PCS and XSPC to see if they can help me get a replacement.

So for now this comparison has come to an end and the HK wins by TKO.

Photos of a poorly made XSPC RAZER HD7970 NEW EDITION block.














Hopefully XSPC can get me a properly made RAZER HD7970 NEW EDITION BLOCK so I can finish this review and get some use out of it.

TO BE CONTINUED?????
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Update to add photos of my Sapphire 950mhz Edition HD7950.

XSPC wanted to see photos of my PCB. They emailed me and told me the XSPC RAZER HD7970 New Edition block is only made to fit a reference HD7970 PCB and being that I am using a HD7950 video card that uses a reference HD7970 PCB it can confuse people about whether or not the block is even designed to fit my card.

I have no doubt that the Sapphire 950mhz Edition HD7950 is built on reference HD7970 PCB and as I have posted in this thread I had great results with the Nickel Plated Heatkiller GPU-X³ 79X0 block which is also designed for reference HD7970 PCB.

Photos of my Sapphire HD7950 950mhz Edition PCB.








Also if you look at Coolingfigurator WEB site this card has been identified as being built on reference HD7970 PCB design and fits EK reference HD7970 blocks.
http://www.coolingconfigurator.com/step1_complist?gpu_gpus=767

Haha... EK has my photo of my Sapphire 950mhz Edition PCB on their WEB site.... cheap skates didn't even hook me up with anything for use of my photo.
biggrin.gif
 
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