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EKWB's Water Block For MSI 390X Is Shiny, As Usual

In its continuing effort to build water blocks for all the popular high-end graphics cards, EKWB announced the EK-FC R9-390X TF5. This block is built specifically to fit on the MSI R9 390X Gaming 8G, which is also where its name comes from: "TF5" stands for TwinFrozr V, which is the name of the cooler on the MSI R9 390X Gaming 8G.

The block has a full-cover design, meaning that it leaves no part of the graphics card's PCB exposed. Of course, not every part of the graphics card needs to be cooled, but full-cover blocks do offer a nice aesthetic finish. The block cools the card’s VRM circuitry, memory, and of course the GPU itself.

Over the GPU area there is a microchannel structure to ensure the highest transfer of thermal energy possible. Not too long ago, EKWB started using a split-microchannel design. The idea here is that the fluid enters the microchannel structure in the center and leaves out the side, but it also works the other way around. It won’t be a problem if your loop is structured in such a way that the GPU would have a reverse flow direction.

Like all of EKWB's water blocks, this one also features a high-flow design. Essentially, all this means is that the blocks have a low hydraulic restriction, meaning that they can be used in longer, more complex loops or in loops with weaker pumps.

EKWB built two versions of the block, one with an acrylic finish and one with Acetal. The acrylic is see-through, meaning you can see the water channels and the PCB through part of it, while the Acetal gives the block a very sleek black body. The water block itself in both is made of copper with a nickel plating to protect against corrosion, and both blocks cost $139.99.

Additionally, using brushed anodized aluminum, EKWB also built a backplate to match these blocks that costs $34.99. All the parts are available for purchase immediately, directly from EKWB’s webshop.

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  • toddybody
    Very interested in a fully cooled loop.

    Does EVERY card require a custom block? Or are there some standards regarding mounting holes, PCB height...etc.
    Reply
  • dstarr3
    Very interested in a fully cooled loop.

    Does EVERY card require a custom block? Or are there some standards regarding mounting holes, PCB height...etc.

    PCB heights and mounting holes can be different, but the biggest problem is that the water blocks also need to cool the memory and the VRMs, which can be in completely different places on each card.
    Reply
  • thor220
    Does anyone know where the VRM is on Fury X or Fury is? I'm wondering if HBM will simplify waterblocks.
    Reply
  • lukeeu
    Does EVERY card require a custom block? Or are there some standards regarding mounting holes, PCB height...etc.
    Go for a basic card using reference PCB design, but even then check if it's on the compatibility list of the water block. I had to file into my block to make it fit because it had too high quartz cristal. Biggest problem are components that would normally be cooled by exhaust air from fans, like power sections, memory of the GPU, CPU and the chipset. You can put passive radiators on those if you run into problems.
    Reply
  • junkeymonkey
    you say 139.00$ on top of330$ for the card ?? when you can get a evga 970 hybrid ready to go out of the box no mess no fuss full evga warrantee at egg for 399$ ?? and aint the 970 way faster more powerful ??


    sounds like a good deal to me

    looks like there prices are all over from 229 up to 349 but now shows no msi card ??

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=ENE&N=100007709%20601119284&IsNodeId=1&name=Radeon%20R9%20380X

    still for a few bucks more and out of the box ready just go 970 hybrid ??



    Reply
  • JackNaylorPE
    17490781 said:
    Very interested in a fully cooled loop.

    Does EVERY card require a custom block? Or are there some standards regarding mounting holes, PCB height...etc.

    The "reference" models will almost always use the same PCB and therefore the reference block will fit. But just as your system's performance will be limited by the weakest component with respect to that load, the card's performance will be limited by the cards weakest link. And with a reference card, that's likely to be the VRM. In short, adding water will not likely overcome the limitations of the cards power delivery and VRM.



    17492047 said:
    you say 139.00$ on top of330$ for the card ?? when you can get a evga 970 hybrid ready to go out of the box no mess no fuss full evga warrantee at egg for 399$ ?? and aint the 970 way faster more powerful ??

    sounds like a good deal to me

    looks like there prices are all over from 229 up to 349 but now shows no msi card ??

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=ENE&N=100007709%20601119284&IsNodeId=1&name=Radeon%20R9%20380X

    still for a few bucks more and out of the box ready just go 970 hybrid ??

    Apples and watermelons. And no, it's not a good idea. This is a CLC type cooler on the hybrid.

    1. Ever compare a CLC type water cooler with a comparably priced air cooler ? The CLC loses every time.

    2. If you look at the performance of non-reference 970s, you will see that overclocked "bawlz to the wall", they don't come close to reaching their throttling point. As such, having a cooler GPU will never impact overclocking ability. You might sleep better at night knowing your GPU is at 55 instead of 75, but the only temp that affects anything is the 80C throttling point. Remember also, that on many 970s, they don't even bother turning on the fans until temps break 65C. So getting 55C accomplishes what ?

    3. If the 970's performance is going to be limited by temperature, it's going to be limited by the temperature of the VRM. Hybrids generally don't provide water cooling for the VRM. Provide water cooling to the VRM, oft leave the VRM / memory with less cooling than the original air cooler.

    4. EVGA doesn't do a very good job here of cooling the memory in the first place:
    http://www.bit-tech.net/hardware/graphics/2014/09/19/nvidia-geforce-gtx-970-review/3

    On the other side of the GPU is a metal contact plate that partially cools two of the four memory chips on this side, leaving the other two exposed. It also cools the MOSFETs of the power phases serving the memory, but no thermal pads are used, so heat transfer is likely to be limited.

    5. Historically, even the pre-assembled EVGA full cover water blocks did an extremely poor job handling VRM and VRAM.

    http://www.xtremerigs.net/2013/10/03/nvidia-gtx780titan-water-block-roundup/2/
    VRAM temps on the Titan / 780 EVGA Hydrocoppers were 10C hotter than EKs.
    VRM temps on the Titan / 780 EVGA Hydrocoppers were 30C hotter than EKs.

    6. Your talking a world of difference between a 390x and 970 with regard to heat generation. Tho with both overclocked "bawtz to the wall", the 970 is significantly faster at 1080p and a hair faster at 1440p, they heat generation is very different. Your talking twice (1.93 times) as much. Your not going to handle 37o watts witha 1400mm radiator / fan combo and if ya tried the noise would be unaccebtable.

    MSI 390x - 370 watts in gaming
    http://www.techpowerup.com/reviews/MSI/R9_390X_Gaming/28.html

    MSI 970 - 192 watts in gaming
    https://www.techpowerup.com/reviews/MSI/GTX_970_Gaming/25.html
    Reply