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Unboxing and Overview 2

As with the backplate, Koolance has the GPU block in a plastic sheet as well to keep it pristine out of the box. Here I have the full acetal top version under examination, although the acrylic top version is functionally identical and merely has an acrylic section in the middle to allow a look at the coolant passing over the cold plate underneath. The VID-NX1080 is a full cover block in that it actively cools the GPU core, VRAM and VRM modules. However, it is not a full length block similar to the Aqua Computer kryographics evident from the dimensions of the block in person. With others going for a full length solution based on customer feedback, and Aqua Computer making a decision based on product mass owing to their predominantly metal top, Koolance does not get that justification with acetal/acrylic tops and it is clearly their design choice here.

This accompanies the two-piece I/O port manifold which is fairly lengthy relative to other solutions and extends upwards by another inch or so. The top has the Koolance logo etched in the acetal material with the product name engraved in a stainless steel badge on the bottom right. The product name is so industrial that I would have rather it be left off instead in this case. There are machining marks visible in the acetal top when viewed from an angle, but nothing that really comes off immediately in action.

There are a total of four ports on the manifold- two on the front and two on the back. The VID-NX1080 is a serial flow design block and thus any alternate set of ports can be used as inlet/outlet respectively as long as you use one on each manifold half. Taking a look at the back, we see a nickel-plated copper cold plate with raised sections that make contact with various components on the GPU PCB. The cold plate has been polished to give a mirror-like finish as can be seen above.

As always, disassembly was done post-testing. It requires the removal of every single screw on the front and the four on the side holding the I/O port manifold in place. The screws use a hex 2.0 mm head, for those interested, but you will likely void warranty doing so. Once done, we see the port terminal has two oval O-rings to prevent coolant leaks there, the stainless steel badge does not go deep and thus makes zero contact with the coolant, and there is a large O-ring gasket around the cold plate to prevent leaks as with any other GPU block.

Examining the fins over the core area, we see there are 44 of them that measure to an approximate 300 microns in thickness- take this with a grain of salt, however, as my micrometer and vernier calipers did not get the required contact for a more confident measurement. As mentioned before, Koolance sticks with the serial flow design here in contrast to the split center-inlet flow that most others have adopted, so the design scheme coupled with the microchannel tooling will dictate coolant flow restriction as well as thermal performance.

Let’s take a look at the installation process now on the next page.

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