Water-cooling Nvidia's Titan X
So you've probably read the review
and for a lucky few, Nvidia's awesome Titan X is powering some monstrous systems somewhere. The company has been on the warpath against power consumption and one of the stand-out features of Nvidia's flagship is that it draws less power than an AMD Radeon R9 290 while offering close to twice the performance.
Those are some pretty impressive numbers, and while we fully expected AMD's R9 290-series cards to respond well to water-cooling thanks to their often temperature-limited performance, there's varying returns when it comes to other graphics cards. When we water-cooled the R9 295X2
, its included all-in-one liquid cooler actually did a good job of dealing with the heat that the current fastest desktop graphics card dishes out. Nvidia's GTX 980, though, also runs significantly cooler when water-cooled, albeit with limited performance returns.
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With certain GTX 970 and GTX 960s running so cool, their fans even switch off when idle, water-cooling at that end of the spectrum is purely for those that want super-quiet gaming or just a great-looking system. However, we were obviously interested to see just how Nvidia's new flagship, the Titan X, responds to a dose of water cooling too. EK sent us its latest Titan X full-cover block and Aquatuning was kind enough to supply a Laing DDC pump and Alphacool ST45 280mm radiator, which we used to water-cool the Titan X alone in the loop.
If you've already got the necessary water-cooling kit, then the EK waterblock will set you back around £90
, which considering the cost of the graphics card, isn't that bad a deal. We also used EK's backplate for the Titan X that passively cools the rear of the PCB too, directly attaching to the memory modules and also using large thermal pads to aid cooling the power circuitry and GPU core from the rear.
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Thankfully, Nvidia has done away with its hideous sets of microscopic star/Torx head screws with just a few hex screws and crossheads to deal with. EK's Titan X waterblocks come in a variety of aesthetic flavours, with our frosted Original CSQ version covering the entire PCB and making contact with the memory modules, GPU core, chokes and VRMs. There's a shorter version that omits the extended sections, revealing parts of the PCB too.
Head over the page
to see the performance numbers.