Cartago´s HD6970 water cooler Roundup
Hello and welcome to my new Review.
Today, i would like to present you some of the actual watercooling-solutions for the HD 6970.
So let us take a look at the candidates:
Alphacool NexXxoS ATXP ATI HD6970/6950
We know this Cooler from an older Review, which I did in the past. Therefore here are just the technical details:
Technical Details Alphacool NexXxoS:
Material: Copper, Acetal
Size (L x B x H): 175 x 111 x 16mm
Weight: ca. 1000g
Fittings: 4x ¼ Zoll
2x ¼ Zoll lock plugs
multilanguage (de. engl. fra.) assembly instruction
Aquacomputer aquagrATIx für HD 6970 und 6950
Basic body: Copper
Top: stainless steel
Mounting area for Fittings: Delrin
Cooler without fittings (Gewinde G1/4)
Mounting material incl. thermal pads
2x lock plugs
The Cooler is well wrapped in bubble foil. I do not know, if this is the standard shipping, but mine came in this packaging.
The cooler is the second thinnest cooler in this comparison, only the XSPC is thinner.
The brushed stainless steel lid is flush mounted into the cooler, only the protruding screw heads disturb the harmonious overall picture.
The mounting area for the fittings is made of delrin and allows an easy assembly of the alternative Multi-GPU-Port. You have the flexible possibility to choose four different ways of mounting the fittings.
Outside on the terminal block, the manufacturer has been immortalized with his name on it and makes aware that the radiator is "Made in Germany".
The bottom of the cooler shows the mounted spacers and the polished contact surfaces.
Unfortunately we found at the top of the cooler deep processing multiple tracks.
I thought that was very unfortunate because as previously mentioned, the contact surfaces are polished.
I do not know the reason for polishing the contact surface and leave the rest unfinished.
Inside the cooler we find a relatively thin channel structure, in relation to the GPU itself it is very large.
The flow channels themselves are very narrow, which may increase the flow resistance.
The cooling area is very large designed, but the water is not directly lead to the converter voltage range.
EK Water Blocks EK-FC6970 Acetal
Fittings: 4 x G1/4
After the "nickel" debacle at the Slovenian manufacturer, I've even decided to test the copper / acetal variant of the cooler by myself.
You can purchase this cooler in four different material combinations. Therefore EK offers you a bride option for your individual Material and color combinations.
My cooler lid was made of black acetal of the highest quality and showed no traces of processing. Unfortunately the bottom of the cooler shows traces of processing.
Although even here, as with AquaComputer, the contact surfaces are polished but the rest of the base shows significant machining marks.
Unlike all other coolers in this roundup the EK cooler has no fixed spacers, which makes the installation clearly complicated.
The internal structure has a channel structure (with the difference to the other coolers) that the water also flows through the voltage conversion range directly.
This "flow" is realized with a kind of existing bridges, the water is diverted from the main stream, which results in a “side arm” for the voltage conversion range.
Swiftech Komodo HD6900
Material: Copper, Chrome, POM
Size: 198mm (L) x 122mm (W) x 13mm (H)
1x Swiftech Komodo HD6900
1x Thermal grease
2x lock screw
Assembly Instruction in englisch, frensh & Spanish with pictures.
Swiftech is one of the most famous US-based manufacturer of water cooling parts in Germany.
The Swiftech Komodo is the largest and most lavishly produced cooler in this roundup.
All copper parts were covered with a layer of chrome and have a polished finish.
The processing quality of the cooler is at the highest level.
The Acetal-Top shows a very eye-catching sticker, which hides the „bridge“ between the GPU/VRAM field and the voltage transformers.
As you can guess, the bottom is divided into two parts, as is also the meaning and mystery of this division.
This cooler can be mountend with optional voltage converter cooling plate on the HD6970 Rev.2 card.
The Swiftech cooler is the only one covering the entire card and uses all original existing mounting points, which looks quite good and also contributes to safety during the assembly in which the risk of bending the PCB is minimized.
The cooling structure fort he GPU is built in an integrated 0.6x0.6mm Thin-Pin-Matrix.
This structure was already used by the Swiftech MCW60-R cooler and should be a guarantee for excellent heat dissipation.
The cooler comes with pre-glued thermal pads for the memory, the voltage transformers have direct contact to the cooling plate by the use of thermal grease.
Watercool HEATKILLER® GPU-X³ 69X0 "Hole Edition"
Material: Copper, Stainless Steel, POM
Size: (LxBxH) 174,5 x 116,0 x 11,5mm
Fittings: 4x G ¼ Zoll (DIN ISO 228-1)
Pressure tested: 5 bar
Compatible for Radeon HD 6950 / HD 6970 (Reference layout)
1x HEATKILLER® GPU-X³ 69X0
1x Mounting Material / Assembly Instruction
The top of the Watercool Hole Edition is seperated into two parts.
The first part of the cover itself is polished and nickel plated to a mirror finish. The other part is made of copper, which shows with many mounting holes a great contrast to the first part.
The processing quality of both parts is very good.
The massive black terminal block does not really fit into the noble concept of the cooler and looks kind of cheap, although the processing quality of the acetal block is just as good as the rest of the cooler.
You will find at the bottom mounted spacers and also there is the processing quality at a very high level.
After the removal from the upper part you can see, that the voltage conversion range is almost completely separated from the rest of the cooler.
The area of the GPU shows the plastic cover on the channel structure.
This is about 3mm thick and sits directly on the webs of the channel structure.
This cover prevents water from flowing across the channels coming through the height of the fins do not reach the lower edge of the lid.
Furthermore, you will find in the cooler bottom three ribs, which will channel the water in a certain direction.
XSPC Razor 6970
Material: Copper/Stainless Steel/Acetal
Fittings: 1/4 Zoll
CNC made Copper
high quality Top of Stainless Steel
Size: 160 x 120 x 9mm (20mm an den Anschlüssen)
SLI-ready with 4x G1/4" Threads
1x XSPC Razor 6970
1x Thermal grease
The XSPC cooler from Great Britain is the lightest and slimmest cooler in this roundup.
The appearance of the cooler is very simple and unobtrusive.
The top is made of brushed stainless steel plate which shows a barely visible manufacturer logo.
The very low weight of the cooler protects the PCB of the card and the board.
The connection block is an integral part of the cooler and has two connection options per side.
Since XSPC has combined the terminal block and screws, it was not possible to open the cooler without damaging.
The terminal block consists of a hollow tube with a double thread and a nut.
Again, the voltage transformers are not actively cooled.
The bottom part is just like the top of the cooler fixed and processed excellently with mounted standoffs.
The Testsystem in Detail:
Mainboard: Asus Maximus III Formula
CPU: Intel Core i7 860 mit 4 Ghz@1,4V
GPU: AMD ATI Radeon HD6950@6970 bei 1,175V
Memory: 8GB Corair Vengeance CL9
Power Supply: be quite! Dark Power Pro P9 850W
HDD: Samsung F3 500GB
Watercooling Solution in Detail:
CPU Cooler: Alphacool HF14 Yellowstone CopperEdition
GPU Cooler: alle aus dem Roundup
Pump: Phobya DCP-12 400
AGB: Alphacool Cape Corp Coolplex Pro 25
Radiator: Phobya Nova1080 mit 4 Phobya G-Silent 180mm Lüfter
Fittings: 16/10 Alphacool Cooper Schraubanschlüsse
DFM: AC DFM HighFlow
Control: Aquaero5 XT
Temperature Sensors: 2xPhobya IG/AG ¼ und Einschraubsensor für AGB
Tube: 16/10 Masterkleer
4 quick couplings Koolance VLN3
All Coolers were teste with ozone3d FurMark Programm in 1.9.1.Version.
The test ran for 30 min and a Screenshot was made of the Temperatures and Waterflow.
So here are the Results:
All Coolers dig an excellent job in cooling the graphic card.
Of course there are differences in the temperatures and flow, but the card never reached the risk of overheating.
Nevertheless, there are large differences in the coolers, which have an influence on the final assessment.
Especially the processing quality from Aquacomputer, EK Water Blocks and Alphacool is not very good. On the other hand the Swiftech, Aquacomputer and Waterblock are having a great cooling capacity.
Now we come to the award of the coveted "Carthago's Review" Awards.
The "Cartago's Review" Gold Award is given in the following cooler:
Swiftech and Watercool for superior build quality and excellent performance.
Alphacool, AquaComputers, EKWater Blocks and XSPC receive an award in silver because, though it lacks the cooling capacity but the processing quality is not as good as Swiftech and Watercool.
Hereby I would like to thank the companies (in alphabetical order) Alphacool, Aquacomputer, Ek WaterBlocks, Swiftech, Watercool und XSPC for their confidence and providing the test sample.