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XSPC Razor GTX680 Water Block Review

Manufacturer: XSPC

Introduction

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Courtesy of XSPC

The Razor GTX680 water block was among the first in the XSPC full cover line of blocks. The previous generation of XSPC water blocks offered cooling for the GPU as well as the memory and on-board VRMs, but did not offer the protection that a full card-sized block offers to the sensitive components integrated into the card's PCB. At an MSRP of $99.99, the Razor GTX680 water block is a sound investment.

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Courtesy of XSPC

The Razor GTX680 block comes with a total of seven G1/4" ports - four on the inlet side (left) and three on the outlet side (right). XSPC included the following component with the block: XSPC thermal compound, dual blue LEDs, five steel port caps, paper washers and mounting screws, and TIM (thermal interface material) for use with the on board memory and VRM chips.

Continue reading our review of the XSPC Razor GTX680 water block!

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Courtesy of XSPC

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Courtesy of XSPC

The water block itself is a four-layer design with an aluminum top-plate, an acrylic middle layer, and steel cover, and a copper base housing the water channel and contact points with the card. The copper plate has micro-channels over the GPU for maximum heat dispersal and water flow over the memory and VRM chips. The bottom of the plate has preformed contact pads for optimized heat absorption from the targeted components.

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Courtesy of XSPC

The LEDs sit on the right and left sides of the acrylic middle plate with light dispersed throughout the entire middle layer for a glow effect.

August 15, 2013 | 08:55 AM - Posted by HeavyG (not verified)

Is there a reason we you only show the temp over ambient vs actual temp? Most households would have ambient temps between 22-26. I just think actual temp would have been easier for an idiot like me to comprehend.

August 15, 2013 | 08:57 AM - Posted by HeavyG (not verified)

Of course, there is ambient temp within the case, which is probably what should be used... but still confusing. Just give me temps! TEMPS!!!

August 15, 2013 | 09:30 AM - Posted by Morry Teitelman

We report delta temps instead of actual temps to allow you to calculate what your temps would be based on your house or office ambient.  The delta temps are the card gpu temps minus ambient temperature measured at the time of testing.  We moved to reporting delta temps rather than measured temps based on user feedback from previous cooler reviews.

For example, typically my home office temp ambient is between 26-27C.  For stock temps with the ambient at 26C, the GPU temp should idle at 28C and go up to 47C under load temps.  If the ambient were 21C, the idle temp should be 23C and load at 42C.

 

August 15, 2013 | 09:31 AM - Posted by bburnham37 (not verified)

add the numbers in the graphs to your ambient. There's your temp.

your ambient: 22
card delta: 10
22 + 10 = 32 degrees

math = gud

August 15, 2013 | 10:26 AM - Posted by HeavyG (not verified)

Yea, I just didn't realize what I was looking at initially. Many times I elect to just jump straight to the graphs, and they didn't state anywhere that they were based on ambient... had to actually read. Knowledge is power!

August 16, 2013 | 01:22 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Finding it hard to justify $99 for this waterblock.

The 10% overclock is not unrealistic for an air cooler, especially an aftermarket cooler.

Aftermarket coolers are typically very quiet.

Real-world usage will not push a 6xx/7xx series card with an aftermarket cooler beyond 70C, perfectly acceptable ultimate/maximum-use temperature.

Waterblocks are typically made for reference model designs, which fail to match the benefits of aftermarket designs.

If you can find an aftermarket model for the same/near the same price as a reference model, why bother with watercooling?

August 16, 2013 | 06:40 AM - Posted by Morry Teitelman

Keep in mind that the EVGA GTX 670 FTW card used for the review came overclocked from the factory, so a 10% overclock with that card equates to a more than 20% overclock on a vanilla GTX 670.  On a non-factory o/c'd card, the boost clock speed for the GPU typically hits 980MHz.

The choice between using an aftermarket cooler vs a water cooler is a long running debate that really has no right answer.  I've been water cooling my rigs for a long time, and prefer that to pure air cooling mainly because of the fan noise associated with air coolers if you want to push the performance limits.  It really comes down to the preference of the inidividual enthusiast...

August 16, 2013 | 06:21 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Steel touching copper with a fluid running between them. I've had some issues with this before.

August 16, 2013 | 06:30 AM - Posted by Morry Teitelman

As long as your coolant has some type of corrosion inhibiter in it (which most good coolant's should have), you should not run into any cross-metal type problems like galvanic corrosion...

August 16, 2013 | 08:47 AM - Posted by ZoranICS

The coolant is supposed to be "non conductive", so electrolytic/galvanic corrosion is a non-issue. Especially since the steel used is stainless and the copper is very pure and the lifespan of the cooler is much much shorter than it would take for the electrolysis to damage it so badly as to cause a malfunction. Would it be Aluminium instead of steel, it would "pee" in a few weeks.

Most of the good pumps used have a stainless steel part touching the coolant and there are no horror stories floating around.

Mild steel is a completely different story, that much is true.

August 16, 2013 | 10:46 AM - Posted by KasiorMC (not verified)

Morry - i love your reviews, just one question: do things work when you put them back together? jk. keep up the awesome work!

August 16, 2013 | 11:11 AM - Posted by Morry Teitelman

Thanks.  And yes, in most cases they do work after putting them back together.  There was one time in the recent past were teh take apart result in disaster - but we won't discuss the H80i dissasembly here...

August 16, 2013 | 07:08 PM - Posted by razor512

I like to see both because what many heatsink reviews fail to show is the cooling performance curve with ambient temperature, eg CPU temperature will not scale linearly with ambient temperature, it tapers off slightly as ambient gets higher.

so temperature over ambient may not be the best indicator if you have some test done in a hot environment, where a 5 degree rise in ambient may only cause a 3-4 degree increase in CPU or GPU temperature.

I notice this with my current air cooler.

August 16, 2013 | 09:51 PM - Posted by Morry Teitelman

Good point.  I will continue to report in deltas in future cooling reviews but will include ambient temperature at the time of testing as an additional data point either in the graphs or test description.

Typically, my office ambient runs between 25-27C which is most likely typical or a bit hotter than most homes / home offices.

Thanks for the feedback...

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