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5870 water block conundrum

Last response: in Overclocking
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March 24, 2011 7:48:35 AM

Hey mega brains of toms hardware, I have a question. I am making the dive into the water cooling world because I won't be upgrading this year so I want to trick out the i7-930 that I have. I want to do my CPU, and two 5870s. The CPU is easy I have no dramas with that but it's the GPU's that I need 100% clarification on. I have one Asus EAH5870 I got on launch, it looks like this;



The other week I bought a second but it is a Gigabyte that looks like this;



Basically I'm not at all sure which water block I need for each. EK have a regular one and a special one for the Asus 5870, here are the options;

regular


Asus


Now it may seem cut and dry but there was a V2 of the Asus card that used a non reference design. I don't want to pull the trigger until I am 100% sure.

All help is appreciated.
a c 327 K Overclocking
March 24, 2011 12:58:02 PM

You'll want to contact the vendor directly with the product SKU# and confirm which version of the board you have. If you have a version that is non-reference, there is a decent chance the block won't fit correctly. It doesn't mean 100% that it wouldn't, but you might explain what you are wanting and to determine if the PCB design differs enough to make a difference. You can run into issues with MOSFETs, capacitors, resistors, etc being placed differently and potentially coming into contact with the metal on part of the block causing a short, or a component sticking up too high and not allowing the block to seat correctly.

You can also use a universal block which would negate these issues, but most like full-cover blocks...so I see your point. I'd get some definitive answers first and then 4x check your block selection based on the result.

Sorry that I can't help much more...but those would be the steps I'd take...I had to do almost the same exact thing with my GTX 260's a year ago because they had just changed (I believe) from 65nm to 55nm process and many cards weren't compatible with many blocks.
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March 24, 2011 7:06:57 PM

rubix_1011 said:
You'll want to contact the vendor directly with the product SKU# and confirm which version of the board you have. If you have a version that is non-reference, there is a decent chance the block won't fit correctly. It doesn't mean 100% that it wouldn't, but you might explain what you are wanting and to determine if the PCB design differs enough to make a difference. You can run into issues with MOSFETs, capacitors, resistors, etc being placed differently and potentially coming into contact with the metal on part of the block causing a short, or a component sticking up too high and not allowing the block to seat correctly.

You can also use a universal block which would negate these issues, but most like full-cover blocks...so I see your point. I'd get some definitive answers first and then 4x check your block selection based on the result.

Sorry that I can't help much more...but those would be the steps I'd take...I had to do almost the same exact thing with my GTX 260's a year ago because they had just changed (I believe) from 65nm to 55nm process and many cards weren't compatible with many blocks.


Cheers, mate. I'll give the respective manufacturers an email, appreciate the help.
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a c 327 K Overclocking
March 24, 2011 7:21:21 PM

Good luck...outside of that, you can maybe run the SKU or product code through their website to help give you some help. This is an issue when vendors decide to deviate from the original PCB design and you aren't 100% sure with the redesign. However, after thinking about it, you have 2 cards...and 1 you know is the reference design (ASUS), correct?

You are planning on pulling the stock coolers anyway...do some comparison and take care to really look close. You should be able to tell distinct differences from where capacitors are placed, vRAM layout and where the MOSFETs are positioned. These are the most commonly 'altered' landmark components that would be easy to tell the cards apart. While not 100% accurate, you should be able to get a very good idea if the Gigabyte card is reference or not.

Good luck.
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March 25, 2011 2:00:11 AM

Yeah that's sounds about right. I'll give it a shot, thanks again.
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a c 327 K Overclocking
March 25, 2011 12:19:46 PM

NP...let us know what you find out...there might be others with the same issue. If you need anything...you know where to find me/us!
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March 25, 2011 10:38:50 PM

I have done a bunch of research and unfortunately the non reference gigabyte 5870 board (GV-R587UD-1GD) is not supported by any full cover water blocks, from any manufacturer. I'm going to swap it with one of my mates, who has the rev 2 Asus, which is supported by EK WB.

I could get a processor only block but that would leave the RAM and VRM exposed to only passive cooling, even with fins on them that doesn't sit right with me.

Thanks for your help rubix.
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a c 327 K Overclocking
March 27, 2011 3:08:22 PM

Processor...CPU? You don't need much RAM cooling for DD2 or DD3...they both run very cool. Normal case airflow is plenty.

As for GPU universal blocks...I run 2 of them. You just get RAMsinks with thermal tape and stick them on.
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March 28, 2011 4:44:47 AM

rubix_1011 said:

As for GPU universal blocks...I run 2 of them. You just get RAMsinks with thermal tape and stick them on.


That's what I meant. So the fins work on the ram and VRM, with just case fans moving air over them? plus I do like the look of the full blocks. If i'm going to spend hundreds on the water loop then I want ti to look good too.
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a c 327 K Overclocking
March 28, 2011 1:53:55 PM

Yeah, you'd get a set of these for each card:


They come with thermal tape, but I have used thermal adhesive (in very, very small amounts) to make sure they stick better. If you go this route, make sure you clean the RAM modules with some rubbing alcohol and some paper towels and Q-tips. There are also some thermal paste cleaner solutions out there that work well, too.

AVOID USING THINNER, GOO-GONE, WD-40, OR ANYTHING THAT IS PETROLEUM BASED!!!!

Sorry...I've seen this happen (on forums) where someone used Goo-Gone and melted their RAM modules. It was ugly.

If you are going the route of full-cover blocks, great. Just remember that they won't work with the next graphics card you purchase... :)  That's really the only reason I run universal blocks...if I had the cash to drop on full-cover blocks every time I updated GPUs, I would.
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March 29, 2011 2:55:20 AM

You make a good point about re-usability, I'll have to think about that.

Those heat sinks look nice actually, every set I've seen have been blue or red, the copper is quite tasty.

LOL, goo-gone I can imagine there are some unfortunate people out there. I'm a Navy technician so using solvent based thinners shouldn't be an issue... goo-gone, funny.

Once again, thanks man.
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a c 327 K Overclocking
March 29, 2011 1:52:02 PM

NP, I actually use some blue Zalman RAMsinks that look like these:


Same exact thing, different brand and design.
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March 30, 2011 10:15:25 AM

I found some black ones. looks like I will be going the uni block direction. re-usable and 100 BUCKS CHEAPER!
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a c 327 K Overclocking
March 30, 2011 1:38:51 PM

Yeah, it's the main reason I continue to use them...full cover blocks flow a little better and cool a little better, but in the long run, the value of universal is why I keep using my MCW60's.
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