XSPC Razor 5970 Water Block Review

Discussion in 'Videocards - AMD Radeon' started by Mrtom82, Oct 8, 2010.

  1. Mrtom82

    Mrtom82 Member

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    GPU:
    Sapphire radeon 5970
    I was unable to find any reviews for the XSPC Razor 5970 gpu water block so I decided to write my own. This is the first review I have written, so please go easy on me :)

    Please note that this review is just a general overview of the XSPC Razor 5970 water block. I am unable to go into great depth and measure more advanced things like flow restriction. I have installed several cpu water blocks, but this is the first gpu water block I have ever used/installed.

    You can find more detailed info on the block from the XSPC website along with some better pictures here:
    http://www.xspc.biz/razor5970.php
    Now let's get started!

    System specs:
    Intel i7 980x @ 3.38 everyday use & 4.4ghz for benchmarking
    Asus Rampage III Extreme mobo
    12gb GSkill Trident 2000mhz DDR3
    2 Sapphire ATI Radeon 5970's crossfired
    EVGA 9800gtx+ for physx
    4 Vertex 2 ssds in raid 0
    Corsair ax1200 PSU
    Cooler Master HAF X case
    Custum water cooling loop: HK 3.0 cpu water block, 2 swiftech MCP355 pumps, XSPC dual 5.25 bay resivoir, Black Ice 360 rad, 3/8 ID feser tubing & the new XSPC Razor 5970 water blocks

    At $79.95 usd, this is a very affordable block. I purchased two of these for roughly the same price as one of nearly all the other 5970 blocks available.

    1. Packaging:
    The XSPC Razor 5970 comes in a boring white box, nothing fancy, but let's not judge a book by it's cover! Inside is everything needed for installation except barbs, however I was given the option to purchase them when I ordered it. The package includes- screws and washers, thermal paste, thermal pads, a set of plugs to seal up the unused ports, instructions and of course the block itself.
    [​IMG]

    The first thing I noticed about this block was weight- it is HEAVY!! However since this is the only GPU waterblock I've used, I have nothing to campare it to. The block itself looks very nice. It has four ports so you can put your barbs on the top or the bottom and comes with plugs to seal off the ports you won't use. Below are some pics:
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    2. Installation:
    The instructions included were very easy to follow and didn't leave me with any unanswered questions.

    You can find the exact instructions included if you want a more detailed description than mine here:
    http://www.xspc.biz/manuals/razor5970.pdf

    Preparing the block was very easy. Basically you just need to screw the plugs into the ports you aren't going to use and screw in the barbs.

    Next you prepare the 5970, which is more tedious but nothing to difficult. The only part that gave me a bit of trouble was removing the two screws next to the dvi port. I had trouble with the same screw on both cards. This however is a problem with the card and has nothing to do with the Razor. In case you are curious, there are two very small screws next to the dvi port, the top screw was the one that was difficult to remove on both cards. I don't know if only Sapphire cards have this problem, but regardless it is nothing major unless you rush and strip the screw.

    After removing the two dvi screws, all of the screws holding the backplate on and unplugging the fan, the next step is removing the old thermal paste and any residue left from the stock thermal pads. I used a q-tip and everything came off easily. Please note that one of my cores looks burnt in the pic below, it is just a reflection.
    [​IMG]

    Next, you put the thermal pads in place. There are a total of 10 pads and the instructions do a great job explaining where they go.

    [​IMG]

    After the pads are in place, it's time to put the thermal paste on. I decided to use my Arctic Silver 5 paste over the included paste.

    Next you place the water block on and line up the screw holes. Then you put the stock backplate on and screw everything in place. Again, the installation guide makes this easy, just make sure not to over tighten the screws.

    The last step is placing the card back into your system and hook it up to your loop.
    [​IMG]

    3. Results:

    My temperatures with the stock cooler were manageable with one card. After installing the second and crossfiring them my temperatures were out of control. I had to use manual fan control and crank it up to the max making my system the loudest thing in the house, which is what prompted me to buy the Razor.
    All of the temperatures below are from a crossfire setup.

    Stock air cooler
    Idle- 40-54c (manual fan control off)
    Load - 64-86c (manual fan control on at 90c%)

    NOTE- my idle temperatures varied a lot. I also did not stress my gpu a lot due to the very high temperatures. After I installed the crossfire, I saw a huge increase in my temps and as a result ordered the Razor the next day. I was not comfortable stressing the gpu until I had proper cooling. I apologize that I don't have more detailed results here, hopefully we get some professional reviews on this block soon. Also, these temperatures were taken while running 3DMark Vantage.

    Razor 5970:
    Idle- 29-31c
    Load- 40-44c

    Again, I only tested with 3Dmark Vantage so I can get a proper comparision. As you can see the Razor has created a huge drop in my temps.


    4. Conclusion
    The price of this block is amazing. $160 dollars to water cool both my 5970s still leaves me stunned. It was easy to install and drastically dropped my temperatures. I can't really say anything negative about this water block except that it is very heavy, however since this is the first gpu block I have used I have nothing to compare it to. XSPC is a very reputable and popular company in the water cooling community and they have certainly created a great block for the 5970. It is a nice looking piece of hardware, but I still think the stock board looks nicer inside my case, however looks aren't everything. While Sapphire's 5970 looks great, the cooling on it is terrible when crossfired. Now that my 5970s are cool and quiet, my next move is to overclock them and really test this block. I will post my results in more detail once that is done.

    That concludes my review for now. I'm sure many of you would have liked a more in depth review and I am sorry for that. Again, this is my first review and I know it's far from perfect. I will try to do a more in depth review soon, but I hope someone finds this helpful.

    Comments or suggestions are always welcome!
     
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2010
  2. Espair

    Espair Active Member

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    GPU:
    HD4870 1gb@2048x1152
    Thats a sweet looking PC, pretty lights make me jealous.
     
  3. Mrtom82

    Mrtom82 Member

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    GPU:
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  4. Stingray

    Stingray Master Guru

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    GPU:
    Asus 2080 Super OC
    Yeah, they are heavy.
     
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2010

  5. Lane

    Lane Ancient Guru

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    GPU:
    2x HD7970 - EK Waterblock
    This XSPC look nice... i was surprised by the thickness of it, specially when we compare with EK WB.

    Nice red tubings, mine give from pink to orange, but not red ... now i know if i replace them, i should look on Feser one's.

    Last question, what HWL are you using as rads, the GTX or the GTS( Black Ice GT Stealth ) ...
     
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2010
  6. Mrtom82

    Mrtom82 Member

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    GPU:
    Sapphire radeon 5970
    I went with the GTX Xtreme. I've been very happy with feser tubing, their colors are always bright and they don't change into a different color like some of the others I've tried. I had blue, then green and finally settled on the red. All of them looked great. The blue and green were very bright. If you're interested you can see better pics via the links below. They aren't up to date, I don't have the Razors installed but you can see how bright feser tubes can be. Unfortunately I never took any pics with the blue.

    Green:
    http://www.overclock.net/water-cooling/828572-please-rate-my-new-rig.html

    Red:
    http://www.overclock.net/water-cooling/830365-new-color-what-do-you-think.html
     
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2010
  7. Mrtom82

    Mrtom82 Member

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    GPU:
    Sapphire radeon 5970
    After doing some more testing, this block is giving me some very impressive results. I've been doing a lot of benchmarking and gaming and my system has been running for over 10 hours with some sort of load on the gpu at all times. My temps have not gone above 44c with all of the testing and without shutting off my system. All temperatures were taken with MSI Afterburner.

    Unigine Heaven benchmark:
    I've run the Unigine Heaven benchmark 4 times. Once with the stock settings, once with the tesselation at extreme and aa x 2, once with tesselation at extreme, aa x 8 and the fourth time with tesselation at extreme and forced aa x 16. Resolution was 1920x1080 for all tests.

    My temps never went above 42c. The first run my temps maxed out at 38c, second run 39c, third and fourth 41c with one gpu at 42c.

    3dmark:
    Performance mode default settings- ran two benchmarks. The first run my temps maxed out at 40c.

    I overclocked both 5970s for the second run. I used a small voltage increase via MSI Afterburner of 1.16. Core was oc'd to 900mhz, memory was oc'd to 1200mhz and cpu was overclocked to 4.2ghz. The max was 44c on all gpus.

    High:
    Ran two tests on high, got the same results as on performance. 1st test was not overclocked, max was 40c. 2nd test was overclocked with the same settings as before, max temp was 44c.

    Fluidmark:
    Kind of a useless benchmark these days imo, but I ran it 4 times. Max for all 4 tests was 39c.

    Batman Arkham Asylum:
    Set all the settings to max, including physx. Gpus were not overclocked, cpu was at 3.8ghz. Temperatures were at 31-32c before I started playing. After one hour the temperature was 38c. After 2 hours at 39c. After 3 hours three of the gpus were at 39c, one was at 41c.


    Conclusion:
    The Razor 5970 can not even be compared to the stock cooler. I never would have been able to run all these tests without the fan on max and even then I think it would still be too hot. For $80 each you really can't go wrong. I really would recommend everyone to pick this block over the others. I don't know how much cooler other blocks like the ek would be, but considering the huge price difference the Razor is a much better deal.

    And for the cpu, I only saw an increase of 1c after adding both 5970s into the loop which is better than I anticipated.

    Hope this helps!
     
  8. Stingray

    Stingray Master Guru

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    GPU:
    Asus 2080 Super OC
    Now you need to water cool that mobo. :)

    Same results as you with Koolance block. My load temps with block don't even come close to what my idle temps were on air, even with OC.
     
  9. Krogtheclown

    Krogtheclown Master Guru

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    FuryXfire 3440x14freesync
    Ok ya this looks pretty good, however not sure if I want to spend money on the old 5970 with the new gpu's out soon. If the Tess is not much improved over these then I will buy one of this blocks for sure. Thanks for the The review, by the way what was your score on Heaven 2.1? I did manage to crack 60 max settings @ 1920x1080.
     
  10. Mrtom82

    Mrtom82 Member

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    I'll rerun and let you know. When you say max settings, do you mean af, aa, tesselation, etc.. Or do you mean just tesselation to extreme?
     

  11. Krogtheclown

    Krogtheclown Master Guru

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    GPU:
    FuryXfire 3440x14freesync
    Like this I mean
    [​IMG]
     
  12. Lane

    Lane Ancient Guru

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    GPU:
    2x HD7970 - EK Waterblock
    I have use the blue Feser one for a long time, but i have need change them ... Sadly red was not available when i have do my orders, so i have use another brand ... ( never use Masterkleer 3/8", the 5/4" are good, but the 3/8" are horrible...)
     
  13. Mrtom82

    Mrtom82 Member

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    GPU:
    Sapphire radeon 5970
    I was so close...
    FPS 59.9
    Scores 1508
    Min FPS 12.0
    Max FPS 167.1

    I'm hoping you had to overclock to hit that score, if you didn't then something is very wrong with my setup. If you did, what was your oc?

    I'm now determined to get above 60, but I have to work today so it will have to wait until tonight.
     
  14. Krogtheclown

    Krogtheclown Master Guru

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    ya know I did OC my cards but I dont remember to what, only my top 5970 is WC and the bottom on air so Im guessing it was around 925 1330. I only ran it twice to get that score and figured i could do more but never needed to since I never saw anyway beat it anyway.

    Whats really funny is most all benchmarks except for vantage my i5 seems to out perform bout all the i7 i go up against for gaming benchmarks that is. I had an i7 but when building my new system I decided to save money on cpu which dont help much in the games I play anyway (cause I always max everything out) so I sold it and bought an i5, 2 5970's, 1 5870 and 2 5850.

    My 5970 shapphire I have flashed the bois to 5870 speeds and will do the bottom one to if I WC it.

    I started playing Stalker COP again recently and the 5970 xfire was not working out ot well so I removed one and put the 5870 in and will leave it till Im done with the game. If you have Stalker COP let me know if you have any problems playing with 5970Xfire and with 10.9 drivers would ya.
     
  15. Mrtom82

    Mrtom82 Member

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    Would you happen to remember where you got that bios? Also, was it easy to do or is it risky?
     

  16. Krogtheclown

    Krogtheclown Master Guru

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