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Watercooling Sapphire Radeon HD 7950 Vapor-X OC

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Haider

Member
Joined
Dec 20, 2012
Hi,

I have been playing GTA 5 at 1080P with most graphics setting set to max. My videocard is a Sapphire Radeon HD 7950 Vapor-X OC @1050MHz and I hit about 70-75 degrees with the fan speed at 100%. I also have a Prolimatech Vortex Aluminium 140mm connected to the Fractal Design Define R4 fan controller throwing air at it (videocard) at maximum attack to keeps the VRMs cooler than the GPU core. All this cooling runs slightly louder than one would like with the draw back that I cannot run the GPU with the maximum overclock of 1175MHz I have achieved in other games due to temperatures. From what I have heard watercooling will help reduce the noise immensely. How would I go about adding water cooling to the videocard?

Thanks
Haider
 

EarthDog

Gulper Nozzle Co-Owner
Joined
Dec 15, 2008
Location
Buckeyes!
You need to find a block that fits it.. check the EK website as it has a configurator. If a full cover block doesn't fit, you may be able to cool the core amd then put heatsinks on the vrm eliminating the gpu fans. This will also be costly as you need to buy a pump, radiator and fans for it. Honestly, you are looking at WELL over the cost of your card to add water to it..not worth it to me...

That said, while the card is serviceable, it's a few years old and long in the tooth. Personally, I'd save for a newer, less power hungry card with a decent fan/cooler on it for as much as you will spend on watercooling. Perhaps look at a gtx 960 or maybe a used r9 290/390 with non refernce cooling.

Looks like they have universal blocks for it...:https://www.ekwb.com/configurator/step1_complist?gpu_gpus=848
 
OP
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Haider

Member
Joined
Dec 20, 2012
You need to find a block that fits it.. check the EK website as it has a configurator. If a full cover block doesn't fit, you may be able to cool the core amd then put heatsinks on the vrm eliminating the gpu fans. This will also be costly as you need to buy a pump, radiator and fans for it. Honestly, you are looking at WELL over the cost of your card to add water to it..not worth it to me...

That said, while the card is serviceable, it's a few years old and long in the tooth. Personally, I'd save for a newer, less power hungry card with a decent fan/cooler on it for as much as you will spend on watercooling. Perhaps look at a gtx 960 or maybe a used r9 290/390 with non refernce cooling.

Looks like they have universal blocks for it...:https://www.ekwb.com/configurator/step1_complist?gpu_gpus=848

My thinking was to keep for future cards if I can find something that is a kind of a universal solution with one or two bits that need to be changed for different cards like a modular system. Need a vendor that will adapt said system to new cards and has some history of doing so at a reasonable cost for the components that need changing. I can usually up the speed to about 1100 MHz dependent on temps on the 7950 and at 1080P does seem to struggle with all the eye candy on. The reduction in sound would be great. I already have two 140mm Prolimatech Vortex Aluminium fans that could be utilised to cool the radiators. I'm not planning on sinking money in again until DirectX 12 and 4K are established and available at reasonable prices then I'll upgrade the CPU, GPU, RAM & motherboard. I think that will be at least another of couple of years away...
 

EarthDog

Gulper Nozzle Co-Owner
Joined
Dec 15, 2008
Location
Buckeyes!
There are universal blocks as I mentioned. The only one that fits is a universal block (from EK). Who knows what kind of future support it will have, but it has been similar for years.
 
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Haider

Member
Joined
Dec 20, 2012
I have been looking into this. Seems like I need get a R9 290X 4GB to get a full waterblock & back-cover to cover GPU, VRAM and VRMS. Looks like I need radiator 240mm. I wonder if I could run my central heating off it? A reservoir/pump combo all-in £273. With two 120mm fans looking at £300+. Why don't they just bend me over while they're at it! I'd expect a cryo cupboard for my PC for that money! I'm thinking Alphenon Peter (with three silent 120mm fans) if it can be fitted to my non reference card or upgrade to Sapphire R9 280X Vapor-X OC Tri-X...
 
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EarthDog

Gulper Nozzle Co-Owner
Joined
Dec 15, 2008
Location
Buckeyes!
I would not spend the money to cool a 4 year old card.
Use the money to buy a new card.
Exactly.

Not sure I would go 290x either. Perhaps look at Fury/Nano if that is in your price bracket. Or wait a couple of months as some new midrange cards are coming out from both camps.
 

Blaylock

"That Backfired" Senior Member
Joined
Jun 5, 2013
Location
Go Blue!
Haider, I have the exact same card and used to run it near 100% for weeks at a time without temp issues. I think you may need to replace the TIM on the cooler. It is a few years old now and GPU manufacturers are notorious for using less than ideal TIM. This could buy you some time until the inevitable time for replacement.
 
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Haider

Member
Joined
Dec 20, 2012
I was thinking the 3 fan set-up of the 280x/290x will mean the fans will be driven less hard to deliver the same sort of in game performance therefore resulting a quieter system. One question I have is the ENERMAX NAXN 82+ 650 W (ENP650-AWT) PSU up to running these cards as the Sapphire website suggests 750W. I have a [email protected] http://ark.intel.com/products/48496/Intel-Core-i5-760-Processor-8M-Cache-2_80-GHz 95W TDP stock. Tweak Town have power figures for the various cards stock and overclocked http://www.tweaktown.com/reviews/6562/sapphire-radeon-r9-290x-4gb-vapor-x-oc-overclocked-video-card-review/index16.html In the real world I'm not 100 percent sure I can run them? My idea is drop around £250-£300 in the future on another card for DirectX 12/Vulkan/VR. The longer I can hold back on that the better as there aren't many games out that are using it; I'm trying to hold off until it goes prime-time/mainstream. These two would be a stop gap and the 290x/4GB should able to support 1080P gaming and early DirectX 12/Vulkan games too. I have a 42 inch Sony LCD hence can't make the move to 4K for a long while. I'm hoping I can sell the 7950 and recoup some money that way...
 
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Haider

Member
Joined
Dec 20, 2012
Haider, I have the exact same card and used to run it near 100% for weeks at a time without temp issues. I think you may need to replace the TIM on the cooler. It is a few years old now and GPU manufacturers are notorious for using less than ideal TIM. This could buy you some time until the inevitable time for replacement.

I have some Articlean cleaners and some Artic Silver 5. Will freshen that up but pretty much always ran hot at 1050MHz when the GPU is near 80-100% utilisation. I use HWInfo to record temps utilisation etc when ever I start playing a new game so I know where I stand with reference to temps and utilisation. GTA 5 is toaster overall CPU and GPU can hit 80-100% utilisation consistently in game. I'm surprised as I never had the smack put down on the CPU before as much as that. I usually use free-track head-tracking and Glove-pie voice recognition in game to minimise keyboard controls so that's not to account for the high CPU usage. I only play a few select games Elite Dangerous, Metal Gear Solid 5 TPP, Dirt Rally, Satellite Reign, GTA 5 and a bit of SupCom every so often. The only other thing is I'm on the kickstarter of The Long Dark...
 

Blaylock

"That Backfired" Senior Member
Joined
Jun 5, 2013
Location
Go Blue!
I personally wouldn't trust my system on an Enermax PSU but to answer your question a 650W PSU should be more than enough for a single GPU system. If you decide to Crossfire in the future then you may need to upgrade though. The Sapphire site doesn't know what the other system components others will have so they over compensate.

If you want my honest opinion I would hold off for a couple months for Pascal to hit the market. You will see a good price drop on most all other cards.
 

Blaylock

"That Backfired" Senior Member
Joined
Jun 5, 2013
Location
Go Blue!
Really? I've always read they were made by el-cheapo manufacturers. Hmmm. Well, there are other brands that have good and bad too so I suppose I shouldn't be too surprised.
 

EarthDog

Gulper Nozzle Co-Owner
Joined
Dec 15, 2008
Location
Buckeyes!
IIRC, it was a group regulated unit, Andyson or Sirta or something... Def not great PSUs, but plenty serviceable in most cases.
 
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Haider

Member
Joined
Dec 20, 2012
Enermax PSUs are the Rolls Royce of PSUs, that is the low volume PSUs they manufacture rather than the high volume (cheaper end) they get made for them. The NAXN 82+ <=650W are made by Channel Well Technologies the 750W & 800W (modular) were made by High Power. The 550 from CWT had good review 'The new Enermax NAXN 82+ 550 W provides a terrific price/performance ratio for the user who is looking for an affordable power supply with good efficiency for a mainstream PC.' http://www.hardwaresecrets.com/enermax-naxn-82-550-w-power-supply-review/11/ as did the 750W 'The Enermax NAXN 82+ 750 W is a very nice mainstream power supply that will meet the needs of the average user.' http://www.hardwaresecrets.com/enermax-naxn-82-750-w-power-supply-review/10/

I know companies like Corsair get PSUs made for them but I liken Enermax to Rolex - they only make watches, you want a hand-bag they can't help you, you want a pair shoes they can't help you, you want an aftershaves they can't help you. Rolex are best in watches that's all they know and that is all they want to know. Something to be said for that unlike Gucci and all these other fashion brands; rant over...:) Enermax are boutique PSU company they make small volume high grade PSUs. They branched out and get lower grade stuff made for them to help pay the bills so they can make the PSUs they love. I came across them in specialist 24x7 trading systems back in the 90s...


Blaylock you're right about the price drop with Polaris coming out...http://wccftech.com/amd-radeon-r9-480-470-polaris-10-polaris-11/
 
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