XSPC Raystorm D5 Photon RX480 V3 WaterCooling Kit Review
Along with the hardware components, XSPC includes all accessories necessary to get the cooling loop up and running, including fans, mounting hardware, tubing, and LEDs for component back-lighting. The only item necessary not included with the kit is the coolant. XSPC does not include their branded coolant in with any of their kits.
In standard XSPC style, the kit's manual spells out in great detail setting up all aspects of the system including recommended flow patterns. Additionally, XSPC includes a fold-out instruction sheet containing detailed instructions for setup and use of the Photon 170 reservoir in you case. You should have no issues in settign up the kit with the detailed instructions provided.
For mounting the CPU block on an Intel board, XSPC includes kits for LGA115X and LGA2011 type sockets. The back plate with a "T" shape cut-out is for the LGA115X socket boards, while the "X" patterned back plate is used for the LGA1366 and LGA2011 socket boards. Note that with an LGA2011 socket board, you have the option of using the "X" bracket with the standard pole assemblies or of using the double-threaded poles. The double-threaded poles screw directly into the stock LGA2011 socket plate, negating the need for use of the specialized "X" back plate. For AMD AM3+ and FM2-based boards, the stock back plate is used for mounting.
The screw-pole assemblies for block hold-down include the pole assembly with integrated thumb-head, a tapered nut screwed to the top of the pole, a tension spring, and metal and plastic washers. The spring sits in a groove in the metal nut, resting against the metal washer. The plastic washer sits underneath the metal washer, in between the metal washer and the mount plate surface. This protects the aluminum mounting plate surface from unnecessary scratching and wear. The bottom of the screw-pole screws into the back plate. Once tightened down all the way into the backplate, you then unscrew the lower nut to exert additional pressure on the tension spring. This allows for additional mating pressure between the block and CPU surfaces. For an LGA2011 board using the stock socket plate (instead of the "X" base plate), the nut is fully removed from the base pole and screwed into the LGA2011-specific double-threaded poles after placing the plastic washer, metal washer, and spring on top of the block mount plate and through the pole.
The Intel LGA115X socket backplate fits over the stock socket backplate with raised threaded holes that match the board cooler holes. The plate and hole assemblies are covered with a thin plastic layer to electrically isolate the backplate from the board's surface.
The backplate for LGA1366 and LGA2011 boards rest on the board surface with center holes cut into the plat to accomodate the socket circuitry with raised threaded holes matching the cooling mounting holes . The "X" arms are covered in a thin plastic layer to electrically isolate the backplate from the board's surface. Note that the stock backplate must be removed to use the "X" backplate on an LGA2011 board.
The LGA115X mounting mechanism consists of the uprights that screw into the holes in the backplate through the top of the board. As long at the backplate is securely fixed in place, the mount is not hard to use when affixing the Raystorm block to the board. In their retracted position, the uprights put a minimal amount of downward pressure on the block with pressure increased by screwing down the nuts screwed into the upright. The mount functions the same way when using the "X" baseplate for an LGA1366 or LGA2011 board. When using the stock plate on an LGA2011 socket, you would need to the double-threaded standoffs. For for an AMD socket, you use the standard XSPC standoffs and hardware screwed directly into the stock board backplate.
The Intel LGA115X backplate plate rests securely on the stock socket under plate, minimizing the potential for contact with or crushing of any under-board components. However, there is chance of board component contact with board that have circuitry in close proximity to the socket under plate.
For mounting the radiator to the case, XSPC includes eight steel screws to affix the radiator directly to the case. Additionally, four mounting brackets and eight rubber o-rings are included to custom mount the radiator to the outside of the case. The rubber o-rings minimize the vibration from the fans when hanging the radiator. For connecting the water channels, six black-chromed 7/16" x 5/8" compression barbs are included with the kit. The outer compression ring is knurled for easy grip and stamped in the center smooth portion with the XSPC logo. The 24-pin power connector can be used to power on the PSU out the system to leak test your loop in a safe location (away from your motherboard and electronics). XSPC includes dual ended 3mm blue LEDs for illuminating the Raystorm block and a 5mm white LED for illuminating the center portion of the Photon 170 reservoir. Both LEDs are sleeved with plastic dense-weave sleeving and are powered via a MOLEX connector. The kit contains a tube of XSPC-branded X2 thermal compound for use with mounting the Raystorm block to the CPU.
For mounting the four included fans to the radiator, XSPC bundled in 16 black screws screw into the radiator through both sets of fan mounting holes. XSPC also included four black wire fan guards to keep case components and fingers out of the fan blades.
To cool the liquid flowing through the radiator, XSPC includes four 1650-series 120mm fans. The fans are 7-finned units rated to run at 12V and 0.18 amps. The fans are rated to run at 1650 RPM (revolutions per minutes), pushing air at a rate of up to 65.2 CFM (cubic feet per minute) with a force of 3.3 mm-H2O (mm of water) or 32 Pa (Pascals).
For connecting the radiator, reservoir, and CPU water block, XSPC includes 2 meters of their clear, high-flex tubing. The provided tubing has an inner diameter of 7/16" and an outer diameter of 5/8". It is compatible with 1/2" barbs or 7/16" x 5/8" compression fittings (included in the kit).