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GPU Universal Water Block Roundup

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Posted March 18, 2011 by Jake in Cooling

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by Jake
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Summary

There are some very interesting similarities amongst all of the blocks in this roundup. None of the blocks can accommodate oversized (3/4”OD) compression fittings straight out of the box without using a 45° adaptor. All of them feature fairly easy and straightforward installation methods. All of the blocks also have attractive aesthetics and impressive build quality. And as we saw in the performance results, four of the blocks performed nearly identical, while the Koolance GPU-210 was behind, though not by much. The top performer has only a 1°C advantage over three of the other blocks, which is an extremely small margin.

Due to the similarities, we can’t definitively declare a clear victor in today’s roundup. However, as is often the nature of roundups, we’ll nitpick and offer our opinion as to what might best suit you.

If you’re after peak performance and the best temperatures, then the EK-VGA Supreme HF is the block for you. It looks fabulous, has minimal flow restriction, and is ideal for use in dual card setups. But where are the barbs and thermal paste? That will add to the overall cost, so you end up paying quite a bit more for very little performance improvement over the other blocks.

If you want the best price, then the Koolance GPU-210 block is a steal at less than $50, though its performance isn’t quite as good as the other blocks, and its low profile and port positions are a nuisance. The Koolance GPU-220 also nudges ahead in terms of ease of installation, and if you’re considering a dual card setup then the Koolance 220 is a great choice with its low flow restriction, but it’s also the most expensive block in the roundup.

The XSPC Rasa GPU flew a bit under the radar in our roundup, not standing out in any single category but coming out as a very solid performer that can handle just about anything tossed its way. It has moderate flow restriction, which could potentially pose a bit of a concern in a dual card setup, but offers excellent performance in a single block setup and comes with a competitive price and stealthy aesthetics.

Lastly, the Swiftech MCW80 brings an excellent all-around package that doesn’t necessarily win in any single category. Offering great performance and coming with the best accessory package while maintaining a very competitive price, the Swiftech is the best all-around block in the roundup. However, this is only if you plan on going with a single card setup; due to the high flow restriction, we are very hesitant to recommend it in a dual card setup.

Koolance GPU-210 and GPU-220

XSPC Rasa GPU

EK-VGA Supreme HF

Swiftech MCW80

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