- Unboxing and Overview 1
- Unboxing and Overview 2
- Liquid Flow Restriction
- Thermal Performance
If you follow the manual, you would have measured, cut and placed the thermal pads on the cold plate itself rather than the PCB. Either works fine, but I felt it easier to do so on the PCB as you measure and cut right before. Regardless of which way you go, be sure to remove the plastic covers off both sides of the thermal pads before placing them. Koolance covers a lot of components here including the inductors and memory VRAM, but there is also plenty of thermal pad provided to where you need not worry if you mistakenly cut too short a strip. Be sure to use the correct thickness pad on the appropriate locations. Once done, apply thermal paste on the GPU core.
Now carefully flip the assembly over, and place it on a box such that the I/O plate of the PCB hangs past the box allowing the rest to lay flat. Use the provided screws, washers and nuts to install the block and also secure the I/O plate to the PCB (the shorter nature of the block makes this easier even later in the process) as well which is a detail that more than one of Koolance’s competitors have forgotten about or not bothered to cater to. The block is now functionally installed and ready to be included in a watercooling loop.
Note also that the EVGA ACX backplate, part of the GPU I used for testing, is fully compatible with the Koolance VID-NX1080 water block so you can get away with this back plate if you have the same GPU. In case you are going to use the Koolance back plate, start by placing the provided thermal pads over the two sets of ICs by the core as well as the VRM section on the back, and then place washers over the appropriate holes noting that you may have to remove some of the screws/washers that were already used before. Once done, align the back plate on top and carefully install it using the provided longer screws making sure the washers have not moved. This is the trickiest part of the installation process but going one screw at a time and checking from the side continually will help a lot. There are a few extra screws here to use the cutouts at the end of the PCB which the block did not use by itself. As a result, there is uniform mounting pressure throughout the length of the PCB and the backplate helps out here.
Removing the back plate and water block we see excellent contact everywhere, including the thermal pads not shown for this demo. Installation was mostly straightforward thus, although I would still have preferred pre-cut pads to aid the process.
Let’s now see how it performs beginning with liquid flow restriction on the next page.