Let's start back at the beginning. The packaging is nice, secure and definitely catches your eye. The parts, hardware and instructions included showed up perfect, it even has extra hardware and is well thought out from beginning to end. While EK recommends only experts try to assemble this block to their video cards, I found that as long as you can read and follow instructions, there is no way to fail installing the EK-FC7950[EN], EK-FC7950 Backplate, or even using the EK-Ekoolant. HIS makes a video card that is very easy to disassemble and EK makes a full cover block that is just as easy to install. While this is a weighty combination, I think the results justify that.
For those of you wondering about the nickel plating, I had and still have no issues with this block. I went with their recommendation of using the Ekoolant and never looked back. I didn't notice anything unusual in the fine inspection I gave the block once I removed the acrylic top and could see it all right in front of my face.
With the combination of a copper radiator, the nickel block and the stainless steel plate on this block, I took the advice of the manufacturer to use a pre-mixed coolant specifically for these loops rather than my usual distilled water I tend to fill my loops with. The best part about using the UV reactive, blue coolant, is that I get to see the contrast between the coolant and the nickel block as it runs through the EK-FC7950[EN] under the acrylic top.
Since this is my first cooling sample specifically for this HD 7950, I want to be a little reserved in the award I deliver, just in case something better comes along. The thing is the $116 price for the block is very reasonable for the results delivered in the testing. Most aftermarket air coolers are going to cost near the price of this block and I am sure air cooling isn't going to come close to what I got with the EK-FC7950[EN] in terms of performance numbers. The backplate is going to cost extra and is more for structural support than it is to cool the PWM. My backplate never even got warm to the touch throughout the testing.
Assuming you already have a loop and are currently shopping for a water block for your reference Radeon HD 7950, EK delivered a terrific solution, so much so that I can't hold back from giving them the Editor's Choice Award, even before I see other submissions.
PRICING: You can find products similar to this one for sale below.
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- Page 1 [Introduction]
- Page 2 [Specifications, Availability and Pricing]
- Page 3 [Packaging]
- Page 4 [EK-FC7950[EN] Full Cover GPU Water Block]
- Page 5 [EK-FC7950 Backplate and EK-Ekoolant]
- Page 6 [Accessories and Documentation]
- Page 7 [Test Subject and Installation]
- Page 8 [Thermal and Audio Results]
- Page 9 [Final Thoughts]
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