Installation and Finished Product
First of all, we need a test subject, or the "lab rat" if you will. For our testing (since it is still a relevant card with a current rebadged still selling) we are using the HIS IceQ Turbo version of the HD7950.
Following the basic instructions, we went forward and got the main bracket all set up to continue on with the installation. We have added the fan and also put on the spacers, but we soon found out that they just got in our way, and we quickly removed them for our specific installation.
After finding out we needed to be using the "A" notches in the top bracket, we slid the studs through and added the washer assemblies. The real issue is that nothing locks this solidly, and even once the card is set on top of this, aligning it with the main bracket is not so easy to do.
Excuse the experimental thermal paste left on the die, but we had to make sure we were getting everything right with the shim in place before we locked everything down. At this point, we have the washers and the foam pad isolating the card, and it's time to start fiddling with the AIO.
After what seemed like thirty minutes or so of removing rubber washers to give enough threads for the thumbscrews to grab on to, contorting one hand to keep the AIO in line with the bracket while applying enough pressure to get the thumbscrews on, and tying back wiring and hoses, this is what we are left with; for something billed as easy to install, we didn't have such a smooth time with it.
Flipping the card over, it is easy to see that the AIO is cooling only the GPU, but there is room (roughly a half an inch) for heat sinks on the memory, as well as under the fan to the right of the bracket. We were lucky enough that the stock heat sink stays on the card, and the fan can blow on that to cool our power delivery system.
We also found it rough to get all of the wiring from the X40 and the hoses running down along between the edge of the bracket and the fan. There is an option to use an 80mm fan on this bracket, and it will help add a bit of room here to clean things up easily.
For the purposes of our testing, this is how things will be oriented. The card is hanging from the top, and with no 140mm mounting in this chassis, we have set the radiator on the table. There won't be much difference in the results, but we will also rotate the chassis like we do for CPU coolers to see if there are issues that arise.
This last image is not really to point anything out, but more of a view of how the Kraken G10 kit will look inside of the typical ATX chassis. It is a simple, clean looking, and capable system, but let's get on to the testing and let the charts do the talking.
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