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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Upgraded thermal pads on XSPC Razor Block

Alright so I have installed the Fujipoly Ultra Extreme 17.0 W/mk pads on both VRM1 and VRM2. This is a link for the 100x15mm pad, it is the smallest size available. It is enough for at least 2 applications to the VRMs.
http://www.frozencpu.com/products/17504/thr-185/Fujipoly_Ultra_Extreme_System_Builder_Thermal_Pad_-_Mosfet_Block_-_100_x_15_x_10_-_Thermal_Conductivity_170_WmK.html?tl=g8c487s1797

I have also installed the Fujipoly Extreme 11.0 W/mk on the RAM chips. This is a link for the 100x150mm pad which is probably enough to do the RAM and VRMs 3 times if you don't want to spend the money on the Ultra Extreme. Smaller sizes are available for less money. To cover one cards RAM chips, the cheapest option is (2) of the 60x50mm pads
http://www.frozencpu.com/products/16880/thr-165/Fujipoly_Extreme_System_Builder_Thermal_Pad_-_14_Sheet_-_150_x_100_x_10_-_Thermal_Conductivity_110_WmK.html?tl=g8c487s1730

***You may need thinner, 0.5mm or 0.7mm, pads for your specific waterblock! Please double check the table below before ordering or upgrading!***

I received information from Koolance regarding their unique 0.7mm pads and substituting a 0.5m or 1mm pad:
As any one manufacturers card could have slight differences from another, we often include more than one thickness so that the customer can achieve the best contact on their block. Ideally you use as thin as possible, but some cards have shorter chips and demand the thicker pads. -Dylan - Koolance Technical Support

See photo below for thermal pad sizes.

**All EK blocks use same size thermal pads. This includes reference, ASUS DC2 & Matrix as well as MSI Gaming & Lightning blocks**



Waterblock Installation Links:
XSPC - http://static.squarespace.com/static/51998404e4b0ef02d1bd9c2c/t/5292f421e4b006a2894e4d92/1385362465655/razor-r9-290x.pdf
EK - http://www.ekwb.com/shop/EK-IM/EK-IM-3831109868539.pdf
Koolance - https://koolance.com/files/products/manuals/manual_vid-ar290x_d100eng.pdf
HeatKiller - http://watercool.de/sites/default/files/downloads/MA_GPU-X3_R9_290Xm.pdf
AquaComputer -

KryographicsHawaiiInstallationInstructions.pdf 164k .pdf file


I did not use any TIM to assist in thermal conductivity on the pads. EK suggests using TIM in their instructions. I personally felt it would be a PITA to clean it all off when it came time to do that. Chiknnwatrmln also did not use any TIM with his EK block. With the Ultra Extreme he is seeing roughly 20C lower temps on VRM1 than I am with stock XSPC pads. So I am doing this write up to see what kind of a difference there is going from stock XSPC pads to FUE, and to see which block does a better job cooling VRM1.

Here's what it looked like with stock pads.


Fujipoly Extreme 150x100mm for the RAM chips. *I ordered too much*
The 150x100mm is enough to probably do 3 whole cards. If you wanted to get better than stock results and not spend $ for both types you could easily get away with one of these.
To save a couple dollars the cheapest route to cover the RAM chips would be (2) of the 60x50mm pads


Fujipoly Ultra Extreme 15x100mm for VRMs
The 15x100 FUE is more than enough to do the VRMs on these cards. If you cut them thin enough you might have enough to do 3 cards.


I examined the stock pad contact and found some spots that weren't being 100% covered.


I took the XSPC stock pads off and laid them on the Fujipoly to use them as a template and enlarged as needed.







My awesome Husky 'titanium' coated scissors worked marvelously to cut both versions of the pads.



Minimal trimming was needed to make all pieces fit on RAM really nice.





At this point I thought it would nice for everyone else to have a template of their own, so I put the pads on my scanner
biggrin.gif


R9290XThermalPadTemplate.jpg 1077k .jpg file


R9290XThermalPadTemplate.pdf 1055k .pdf file

Either should print on a whole sheet of 8.5x11 paper so they are the correct size. I would imagine these would work on other blocks aside from XSPC, but that will be up to others to find out if they use the templates

Time to clean the VRMs and RAM chips

I chose to use Arcticlean TIM remover/purifier as I figured it could easily remove the residue from the other pads. Chiknnwatrmln suggested Isopropyl Alcohol or a Pencil Eraser.


Time to lay the pads onto the card.

One more cut was required when I got to this point. I did not want to pick up the Fujipoly Extreme after it was on the card as it felt somewhat fragile. I ended up taking a precision flat head screwdriver to cut the pad where I needed. It required very little force to cut through the pad.



Tada!


A few miscellaneous pointers before I end this rant...

Wash your hands before handling these. The less oil from your skin the better; you could even wear gloves I suppose.

The Fujipoly Ultra Extreme has thinner more pliable plastic on both sides, it is easy to remove from both sides.

The Fujipoly Extreme is like all other thermal pads I have used in the past. One side is thin, pliable, has a checkered pattern, and is easy to remove. The other side has a thicker, harder, clear plastic and is more difficult to remove. Take the hard plastic off first so you don't struggle removing it and touch the pads more than necessary.



Temperature Results from Fujipoly Ultra Extreme on VRMs

Screenshot of VRM temps with FUE for 3DMark11 Performance Presets 1295/1700 +200mV


All observed temperatures before and after using same settings before and after thermal pad switch


On average for 3DMark11 Performance/Xtreme Presets, Unigine Heaven/Valley Extreme Presets, and FFXIV Benchmark Maximum Settings, temperatures decreased:

VRM1 23.25% VRM2 12.15%

Another user inquired about performance improvements over time. I don't know if thermal pads can cure and work better over time, but we are going to find out.

These are preliminary temperature results. Next information coming will be to see if I have uncovered any additional overclocking room.

Check out this link here to see Kizwan's graphs showing temp drops with EK block when upgrading to Fujipoly Ultra Extreme
http://www.overclock.net/t/1436497/official-amd-r9-290x-290-owners-club/20020#post_22044493


After 8 days of use with the Fujipoly Pads

Since my temperatures were already fair, I was not able to overclock the GPU core any further. Does this mean the upgrade isn't worth the money and effort? Absolutely not with a 20% drop in temperature. The cooler the card and all its components can run, the longer it will last especially if you plan on running a heavy overclock all the time; I'm talking to you Crypto Miners! The pads could definitely help others squeeze some more performance or stability out of their card. I still highly recommend the upgrade to anyone with a full cover block.

The Extreme pads for the RAM did not assist in any additional overclocking of the RAM. It would be my suggestion to save yourself the money and use the factory pads that come with your block for the RAM. The RAM doesn't get anywhere near the temperatures the VRMs do. If there was a thermal sensor for the RAM I would have data and possibly a different conclusion.

Almost 2 months laer

VRM temps are still excellent, there does not appear to be any degradation so far.

If anything the performance has increased. When I first installed these it brought the VRM1 within 1-2C of the core temp. Presently VRM temps at idle are 6C under core and now while gaming they are always under the core by 4-6C.

My card gets a healthy workout pretty frequently since I'm running 5760*1080 on the one 290. FFXIV literally loads my card between 95%-100% the entire time I am playing, which is typically several hours at a time. If you mine cryptocurrency this is an invaluable upgrade for the longevity/stability of your miners!

Don't think about it, just DO IT!

They are worth the $$
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Quote:
Gunderman456, Author of the Hawaiian Heat Wave Build Log, is waiting for the Extreme pads to arrive to upgrade his pads. So we will have thorough results from his findings hopefully in a few days.

I wouldn't even want to waste my time with the Premium pad since it lists the conductivity at nearly 1/3 of the Ultra Extreme. Once we have results from Gunderman456, we can see if there is a mathematical relation to the listed specs; 17 W/mk VS 11 W/mk. I don't know the science behind thermal conductivity, but simple math would lead one to believe that Ultra Extreme @ 17 is roughly 50% better than Extreme @ 11.

IF the performance difference plays out that way, one could infer that the Premium pad @ 6 is roughly half as good as the Extreme pad at 11.
 

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Just wanted to stop by and share my results. Using XSPC stock pads on my 3 x R9 290 setup, VRM1 on my hottest card reached upwards to 71-72C while mining.

This pic shows 2 cards. When I added the third card, its VRM1 temp was about 2C higher than the highest card in the pic.


I'm ecstatic to report that now the hottest VRM1 tops out at 56C with the Fujipoly UE pads! This is with stock clocks and a full loop rebuild, but I'm sure the Fujipoly UE pads had the most effect.


Thanks for the convincing with your crazy detailed info, Roboyto!
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Quote:
Originally Posted by Redvineal View Post

Just wanted to stop by and share my results. Using XSPC stock pads on my 3 x R9 290 setup, VRM1 on my hottest card reached upwards to 71-72C while mining.

This pic shows 2 cards. When I added the third card, its VRM1 temp was about 2C higher than the highest card in the pic.


I'm ecstatic to report that now the hottest VRM1 tops out at 56C with the Fujipoly UE pads! This is with stock clocks and a full loop rebuild, but I'm sure the Fujipoly UE pads had the most effect.


Thanks for the convincing with your crazy detailed info, Roboyto!
Thanks for the props! I'm glad it helped bring the temperatures in check.
 
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I finally changed the EK thermal pad for VRM1. What a improvement.

Stock EK - 78C (Mining)
Stock EK + Thermal paste - 70 (Mining)
Fujipoly Extreme - 52C (Mining)

This was with Stock voltage and card @ 1000/1500

EK shoudl really upgrade their thermal pad solution.

I did not have problem with HD 7970 VRM1 temps using EK thermal pad. Either 290X VRM1 run really hot or EK is using cheaper stuff.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Quote:
Originally Posted by ZealotKi11er View Post

I finally changed the EK thermal pad for VRM1. What a improvement.

Stock EK - 78C (Mining)
Stock EK + Thermal paste - 70 (Mining)
Fujipoly Extreme - 52C (Mining)

This was with Stock voltage and card @ 1000/1500

EK shoudl really upgrade their thermal pad solution.

I did not have problem with HD 7970 VRM1 temps using EK thermal pad. Either 290X VRM1 run really hot or EK is using cheaper stuff.
Thanks for posting your results!

Hard to say if it's different card or different thermal pad...maybe a little of both perhaps?
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roboyto View Post

Thanks for posting your results!

Hard to say if it's different card or different thermal pad...maybe a little of both perhaps?
Probably more do with with different cat but EK has to test before. Really 78C under water is stupid. Considering my water temp ~ 31C under load that was more then 45C delta so horrible heat transfer.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
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Originally Posted by ZealotKi11er View Post

Probably more do with with different cat but EK has to test before. Really 78C under water is stupid. Considering my water temp ~ 31C under load that was more then 45C delta so horrible heat transfer.
My temps were right up that high as well, even saw 80-81C once or twice. Seems like AquaComputer did better testing for these cards as their VRM temps are very good, especially if you add only the passive backplate.

I'm contemplating pulling my card out again to put some pads on backplate to see if the temps come down even further.
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roboyto View Post

My temps were right up that high as well, even saw 80-81C once or twice. Seems like AquaComputer did better testing for these cards as their VRM temps are very good, especially if you add only the passive backplate.

I'm contemplating pulling my card out again to put some pads on backplate to see if the temps come down even further.
Do you thing FUE is better then FE? 17W vs 11W?
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
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Originally Posted by ZealotKi11er View Post

Do you thing FUE is better then FE? 17W vs 11W?
It is hard to say as I didn't try both for the VRMs. However, I did purchase both and they are absolutely of a different formula; feel/texture and weight are different. I used the regular Extreme on the RAM and I didn't get any better OC results. Unfortunately there is no temp sensor for the RAM so it's hard to say what kind of a difference it made.

Judging by how well the Ultra worked I don't think they would claim different heat conductance properties if they weren't in fact different.
 

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Along with a couple other people recently, I also upgrade my thermal pads on my XSPC Razor block with good results. With the stock pads, my VRM1 temps would often be a good 15-20c hotter than my core. Now they are typically the same, so I've seen a good 15-20c drop on my VRM1 temps.
 

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I would also like to add my results. I'm using 3 290x with the xspc blocks and I replaced the stock pads with the ultra extremes. Gpu cores are maxing at 55 with the third card in the loop and the hottest vrm on the bottom card is now maxing at 52. First two cards aren't going above 47 for the vrms which is lower than the core! Very big difference as before in a 2 card setup vrm1 on the top card was hitting 62. Well worth the $25 price of admission. Only downside is my CPU is running hotter because of the extra heat in the loop. Need more rads.

Edit: Also, for my first 2 cards I used IC diamond TIM on the core and for the third card I decided to try prolimatech pk3. Noticed a difference of 1-2c between all cores so to me that is within margin of error. They are pretty much equal in my eyes.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
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Originally Posted by pkrexer View Post

Along with a couple other people recently, I also upgrade my thermal pads on my XSPC Razor block with good results. With the stock pads, my VRM1 temps would often be a good 15-20c hotter than my core. Now they are typically the same, so I've seen a good 15-20c drop on my VRM1 temps.
Quote:
Originally Posted by phallacy View Post

I would also like to add my results. I'm using 3 290x with the xspc blocks and I replaced the stock pads with the ultra extremes. Gpu cores are maxing at 55 with the third card in the loop and the hottest vrm on the bottom card is now maxing at 52. First two cards aren't going above 47 for the vrms which is lower than the core! Very big difference as before in a 2 card setup vrm1 on the top card was hitting 62. Well worth the $25 price of admission. Only downside is my CPU is running hotter because of the extra heat in the loop. Need more rads.

Edit: Also, for my first 2 cards I used IC diamond TIM on the core and for the third card I decided to try prolimatech pk3. Noticed a difference of 1-2c between all cores so to me that is within margin of error. They are pretty much equal in my eyes.
Thanks for posting your results! I'm glad people are finding the information useful.

I also noticed an increase in CPU temperature once the VRMs came down ~15-20C. To help combat this I changed OC settings for my CPU using adaptive voltage instead of a forced constant. I also was having issues with my CPU never utilizing SpeedStep; stupid Windows setting was interfering. Between the adaptive voltage and SpeedStep it helped with temperatures significantly.
 

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My pads come in today! It might be a few days before I get them on the GPUs though, because I want to bench the cards on air, then on water... What are the benchmarks that everyone runs? Unigine Valley, and 3DMark 11?
 

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Originally Posted by SeanEboy View Post

My pads come in today! It might be a few days before I get them on the GPUs though, because I want to bench the cards on air, then on water... What are the benchmarks that everyone runs? Unigine Valley, and 3DMark 11?
The norm seems to be valley, heaven 3dmark11 Performance, extreme and firestrike / firestrike extreme
 

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Originally Posted by Roboyto View Post

Thanks for posting your results! I'm glad people are finding the information useful.

I also noticed an increase in CPU temperature once the VRMs came down ~15-20C. To help combat this I changed OC settings for my CPU using adaptive voltage instead of a forced constant. I also was having issues with my CPU never utilizing SpeedStep; stupid Windows setting was interfering. Between the adaptive voltage and SpeedStep it helped with temperatures significantly.
Appreciate the feedback. I do have speedstep enabed but I will try adaptive voltage and see how that affects temps. My 4770k is a poor overclocker though. To maintain 4.5ghz I need close to 1.38v

Quote:
Originally Posted by SeanEboy View Post

Thanks for that...
No problem, glad I can help.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
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Originally Posted by phallacy View Post

Appreciate the feedback. I do have speedstep enabed but I will try adaptive voltage and see how that affects temps. My 4770k is a poor overclocker though. To maintain 4.5ghz I need close to 1.38v
Sounds like my first 4770k, got yours Delidded? Sometimes it helps a little bit.

The adaptive voltage can be kind of a pain to figure out. Check out my build log, I have a write up in there for how to calculate and dial it in. I have the Asus Z87 Gryphon, but I think the process would be the same/similar with a different model or brand board.
 
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