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GeForce GTX 590 Water Block Roundup

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Posted August 9, 2011 by Jake in Cooling

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by Jake
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Summary

When trying to decide amongst water blocks for your hotrod graphics card, there are several considerations. Aesthetics is one, and while that is subject to personal taste and preferences, we think all four blocks in today`s roundup look sleek. Of the four though, we think the Koolance VID-NX590 block has that extra bit of flash that would really work well if you like to show off your hardware. The Danger Den block has an unique shape, while the XSPC Razor has the slimmest profile, and the EKWB block comes with minimalist all-black styling.

Overall in terms of thermal performance, the four blocks performed extremely well, with only 3°C difference between them. But the Koolance VID-NX590 block did finish as the victor with its top cooling performance. However, in a very close second place was XSPC at only 1°C behind. We had high hopes for the Danger Den DD-GTX590 with its higher flow rate and the EK-FC590 GTX block, but in the end they were a bit off the pace by a few degrees. That being said, all the blocks are certainly capable of keeping the behemoth GTX 590 in check.

In terms of ease of installation, most blocks required at least 20 to 30 minutes total due to the cutting required for the thermal pads. However, the Razor GTX590 took less time thanks to the pre-cut thermal pads, while the EK-FC590 GTX took the longest.

Looking at the build quality, all blocks have excellent craftsmanship, and we couldn’t find any flaws. But we would like to mention EK’s recent nickel plating controversy, as some of you are probably aware of the reported failures with the nickel plating when certain aggressive additives such at PT Nuke with Silver coil or improper coolant mixture as used. However, EK has stopped the conventional electrolytic nickel plating technique and is now offering a more advanced plating method which should provide higher quality finishing and avoid problems. We can`t fully comment on that yet, since that has recently transpired and is well beyond the scope of this review. But we`re hopeful EK will continue to support their consumers in moving forward.

Lastly is the question of value. As we saw in our analysis, while the Koolance block came out on top in the thermal tests, it stumbled badly when factoring in the cost. In stark contrast was the XSPC Razor block that, while only 1°C warmer in the termperature results, provided significantly better value than all other blocks.

In summary, if you`re looking for absolute top performance and sleek aesthetics, the Koolance VID-NX590 is a great choice. If you want strong all-around performers that feature either unique or conservative aesthetics without sacrificing great temperatures, then the Danger Den DD-GTX590 and EK-FC590 GTX are both compelling options. But the XSPC Razer 590 GTX is the top performer in our roundup, posting excellent results, the easiest installation, a very slimline design, and a fantastic price.

XSPC Razor 590GTX

Danger Den DD-GTX590

EKWB EK-FC590 GTX

Koolance VID-NX590

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