Installing the block is very simple, as long as you have already removed the GPU cooler off the PCB. If you have the NVIDIA Founders Edition card, use the included hex nut driver to help remove some of the tiny, stubborn screws NVIDIA likes to use. I have here an EVGA ACX 3.0 card which was a lot easier to work with. Start by applying thermal paste on not just the core, but also a drop on each of the VRAM modules. Then remove the plastic covers off the thermal pad strip and place it over the VRMs- you may have to cut down to length if it is too long.
Next, place the block over the card such that the standoffs match the holes in the PCB using the four around the core as guides. Flip over the two carefully, and screw the two together using the provided mounting hardware. Don’t forget to use the screw and bolt near the GPU I/O section. For those curious, the EVGA backplate works just fine with the waterblock so you can re-use it if you prefer that.
Remove the block to examine the TIM spread, and in this case it was just fantastic with uniform coverage and spread even on all the VRAM modules. The VRM thermal pad had decent contact with the VRMs as well.
Installing the active cooled backplate takes about 15 minutes or so. You have to first cut a thermal pad strip to shape to fit around where it goes, and then install the backplate by removing some of the screws off the block standoffs and using longer ones provided with this. Then remove the manifold off the block, replace it with the heatpipe one that came with the backplate, make sure to align it carefully and then screw the cover on. The heatpipe will want to twist out of place, so take your time and make sure the manifold and the O-rings in it are in place.
The backplate and the cover are thick enough to where you may have compatibility issues with some motherboards. If the PCI-E slot is way too close to the RAM slots, you have hit the RAM retaining latches/clips- especially if they are the type that open outwards. Similarly, if you are using an air cooler for your CPU or a large monoblock, make sure there is enough clearance from the back of the PCI-E slot as well and not just to it.
Good contact on the thermal pads here too, so if this is consistent with all kryographics blocks made then we have a very well engineered and manufactured product from Aqua Computer. Let’s now see how it performs beginning with liquid flow restriction on the next page.