XSPC 290X & 290 Razor Waterblock Review and Fitting Guide

Fitting Guide: Strip down

XSPC Razor R9 290 290X Review and Fitting Guide

Fitting Guide:  Strip Down

In the introduction we referred to the R9 290X/290 as a much maligned chip.  In truth, there's nothing wrong with it, it may have a tendency to run on the hot side but it's actually a decent bit of silicon.  The problem as we pointed out in our reviews of the early releases lay firmly at the feet of the shockingly bad reference cooler.  As we're fitting the Razor to our test R9 290 we thought as part of the process we'd also show you what lies within the reference cooler.  As you can see, the answer is, not a lot really.  When you see the size of the heat sink, and the paltry fan adjacent to it, the stove like temperatures experienced start to make sense. 

XSPC Razor R9 290 290X Review and Fitting Guide     XSPC Razor R9 290 290X Review and Fitting Guide

 

Of course lifting the cowling off the heat sink isn't an essential stage in disassembling the GPU ready for the new waterblock but we thought we'd show you a bit more of what's inside.  What is actually required is that the multitude of small black screws on the rear of the GPU be undone and removed so that the PCB and Chip can be split from the cooler/cowling assembly.  With this done. what you're left with is what can be seen in the image below left.  For those not used to dismantling GPUs we accept this can be a bit of a brown trouser moment and we would advise you to take things easy as too much force in the wrong place can lead to irreparable damage.  Take things easy though and it should all come apart quite nicely.

XSPC Razor R9 290 290X Review and Fitting Guide     XSPC Razor R9 290 290X Review and Fitting Guide

 

The cross shaped back plate will also be removed, and it's a good idea to keep this along with all the screws you have removed with the body of the old cooler, should you ever wish to re install it or sell it on at a later date.  It goes without saying that taking your GPU apart like this is also a pretty good way of voiding your warranty.

XSPC Razor R9 290 290X Review and Fitting Guide     XSPC Razor R9 290 290X Review and Fitting Guide  

 

XSPC provide absolutely everything you're going to need to reassemble your GPU with the new Razor water block attached.  Included in the box are a syringe of TIM, screws, blanking plugs, fabric washers TIM strips and a dual blue LED cable with molex attachment for illuminating the acrylic layer.

XSPC Razor R9 290 290X Review and Fitting Guide     XSPC Razor R9 290 290X Review and Fitting Guide

 

Although the instructions are just colour printed onto a sheet of A4 paper, they are extremely clear and helpful.  XSPC make use of large full colour images to help guide you through the process.  A separate instruction sheet is included in the back plate box, making it clear at which point you should depart from the main sheet and follow the revisions required for pack plate installation.  It's important you take the time to fully read both sheets as they specify for example that if using the back plate you should use the slightly longer set of screws supplied with the back plate.

XSPC Razor R9 290 290X Review and Fitting Guide     XSPC Razor R9 290 290X Review and Fitting Guide

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Most Recent Comments

23-06-2014, 07:18:41

tinytomlogan
http://www.overclock3d.net/gfx/artic...170009869l.jpg

Let's see how well the latest Razor from XSPC can tame the tempestuous R9 290


Continue Reading

23-06-2014, 07:29:26

Watsyerproblem
Good Review Gary as always. I agree with all your points fully, as I do own the same water block on a r9 290.

If XSPC were only slightly cheaper they would easily dominate the market IMHO, I just love their LED lighting!

23-06-2014, 08:04:47

barnsley
Man that is a real beaut.

23-06-2014, 09:14:01

Grimsons
What did you use with the Kraken G10?I was thinking of doing it that way with an Corsair H55. Or would that be to small for the amount of heat produced. Should I just go for a full custom loop. I already have an H100 in the system for my cpu.

23-06-2014, 09:27:50

RickPlaysWarr
Great Review Gary. I love the point where you just stopped and said we need to bask in the glory of the assembled card/backplate. The design is simply lovely. I took a look and see they make a block for the R295x2. Now that would be an awesome pair if I ever found the $2K or so it would take to make it happen.

I love the simplicity and classy design that XSPC putting into the Raystorm line of products.

Thank you much Gary

23-06-2014, 09:32:20

tinytomlogan
Quote:
Originally Posted by Grimsons View Post
What did you use with the Kraken G10?I was thinking of doing it that way with an Corsair H55. Or would that be to small for the amount of heat produced. Should I just go for a full custom loop. I already have an H100 in the system for my cpu.
Go read the G10 review dude

23-06-2014, 10:06:59

Grimsons
Will do thanks I didn't realize there is one... I'm new :P

23-06-2014, 11:45:42

looz
Nice, the beast has finally been tamed!

23-06-2014, 14:43:10

SnowmanFromHell
Nice... especially that the block actually covers the entire PCB, unlike certain other blocks (*ahem* aquacomputer *ahem*) that basically end at the VRMs and leave an unsightly part of uncovered PCB (yeah yeah, I know, you probably won't see it anyway... but just KNOWING that the block doesn't cover the whole card is annoying )

24-06-2014, 07:22:25

polar
great review, spot on with everything, only thing i'd add would be that by using better, than the provided in the box, thermal paste on the GPU and thermal pads on the VRMs, you can get even better temps.
love my razor 290, it's probably the best bit of upgrade kit i've bought, in terms of making a difference from the vanilla component.

24-06-2014, 07:31:15

tinytomlogan
Quote:
Originally Posted by polar View Post
great review, spot on with everything, only thing i'd add would be that by using better, than the provided in the box, thermal paste on the GPU and thermal pads on the VRMs, you can get even better temps.
love my razor 290, it's probably the best bit of upgrade kit i've bought, in terms of making a difference from the vanilla component.
We always use MX4 or Noctua NT-H1

24-06-2014, 07:49:14

polar
used gelid gc extreme and a strip of fujipoly ultra extreme on the VRMs myself. unfortunately haven't got the test equipment to back up any claims scientifically but i saw something like 5-7 drop in temps on full load on the GPU core and even more on the VRMs, especially so on the problematic VRM1.
if nothing else, it helped ease my mind about baking the card when playing a game : )
Reply
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