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XSPC Razor R9 290/290X

Posted January 20, 2014 by Sandy Bruce in Cooling







Total Score


Hardware: ,
Release Date: Q4 '13
Price at time of Review: $134 USD


Appearance, Cooling Potential, Solid copper base, clear acetal cover for LED lighting,


Easy to cross thread fittings
Great appearance, full cover block, 100% copper base, outstanding cooling, ease of installations and competitive pricing makes the XSPC Razor R9- 290/290x and good choice for the water cooling enthusiast.
by Sandy Bruce
Full Article



With the recent success AMD has had with its new R9 series, many people are itching to get their hands on one. Bitcoin miners have also been snatching them up off store shelves at a rapid pace. So, if you are lucky enough to already have one, or are planning on getting an R9-290 or R9-290x, why not make sure you run it cooler then it can now? The XSPC Razor 290/290x water block is a great after market solution to get those load temps in check and eliminate all fan noise from the GPU.

The XSPC Razor is actually what it claims to be, a full cover block. Some out there claim to be a full cover but only cover 3/4 of the PCB, I personally do not like these. Not because of performance differences but for appearance. I find the 100% cover blocks to look better in the completed system by offering a seamless appearance. The Razor with the soft glow of the LEDs shining through the clear acetal also looks outstanding. Installing the Razor was simple and took me about 10 minutes to install on the Sapphire R9-290. Just keep an eye on the fittings when being installed into the plastic fitting block. Cross threading could leave you with a useless leaking water block.

Pricing of the Razor falls in line with most of the competing water blocks for the R9-290/290x at $134. It cost more then a few of them but the Razor makes up for it by having a 100% copper base… no Nickel plating or limited copper placement. Surprisingly the Razor is not heavy. It actually feels like it weighs less then the stock heatsink and shroud before water is introduced to the block. XSPC even offers a matching back plate for $39.99 to finish off the sleek style of the Razor.

Great appearance, full cover block, 100% copper base, outstanding cooling, ease of installations and competitive pricing makes the XSPC Razor R9- 290/290x an easy choice for the Pureoverclock Editor’s Choice Award.






    Yes getting these cards cooler is a good idea and it will be interesting to see how they perform when Mantle comes out but what I want to see is with water cooling how many more frames per second you could get in games with the R9 290 cards because it has been said there really isn’t much room for improvement with these when you oc. So basically you are watercooling it just to keep the card from having an early death in your system and keeping other components in the system from being killed. If that is the case the investment in the card in the first place and then water cooling components for it might not be the best idea.

      Sandy Bruce

      Not sure where you heard that from but basically everything is incorrect. Water cooling allows you to overclock even further then if it was air cooled. Since you can push the GPU and Memory harder you will gain in FPS and be able to crank up the level of detail while staying under the GPU TDP. The heat issue is a problem with single fan reference solutions. Many of the 3rd party cooling solutions like Vapor-X or Matrix ect have been able to knock off a good amount of the heat generated. Water cooling just takes it a leap further. Many of the cards with 3rd party coolers have been able to overclock them at the factory and make good gains vs the Reference models in FPS.


    Fan Speed and which fan model were used in the review ?

      Sandy Bruce

      Actually those were the fans that come with the Cooler Master Glacer 240l. Swiftech 240 Rad. Fans are PMW, controlled by the boards default settings. Based on sound I would guess they were spinning close to 1300rpms or so. Never got loud or spun up really fast. The bottom fan is a CM Jetflo 120mm.


    Will this work on the XFX Double Dissipation R9-290A-EDFD?

      Sandy Bruce

      I can not tell you that for sure. You will have to look at the compatibility listings CLICK HERE If your card is not shown submit a inquiry to XSPC. They will be more then happy to assist you.

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