EK Waterblocks R280X Matrix Edition Full Cover Block Review

Cooling/VGA & Other Cooling by leeghoofd @ 2014-01-29

While many are fully focused on the All-in-One cooling products, the die-hard enthusiasts still will opt for a full blown do it yourself watercooling setup; the latter provide superior cooling performance at a far lower noise rate. If you are looking to maximize the performance of your setup for daily usage then the steeper cost price will be a small hurdle to take. Many are still afraid of the more complex assembly, let alone the idea of a possible leak. Things have evolved, assembly is straightforward if one opts for a complete kit alike the L 360 from Slovenian waterblock manufacturer EKWB. Not alone processors benefit from a watercooling solution, graphic cards tend to run hot too, especially during long gaming sessions; some are even throttling due to a too high temperature reached. To watercool a graphics card one can opt for an universal block or a full cover waterblock. The latter is tailor-made for the specific card, ensuring full stability for the GPU, memory and the onboard power circuitry during high loads.

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Full cover waterblocks are a treat for your graphics card as they cool down all the vital components on the PCB, being it most importantly the graphics core, but also the memory ICs and the entire voltage circuitry. Universal waterblocks might be easier to install, however air cooling the VRMs (Voltage Regulator Modules) is still part of the deal to ensure stable operation.



The EKWB full cover waterblock for the R280 Matrix edition is alike the ASUS card a rebrand of the 7970 Matrix edition waterblock. Nevertheless it's a nice piece of craftsmanship from the Slovenian EK waterblocks company.

The blocks base is made out of nickel plated electrolytic copper, with the typical 7970 raised core for maximum heat transfer. The R280X Matrix edition is only available in one version with an Acetal top. Normally full waterblocks for reference PCB design can be ordered in several versions alike copper, nickel plated and acetal+ nickel plated ones.

We did not opt to open the block as the rubber washers are a true pain in the butt to reinstall, hence to ensure proper sealing.

Screw-in brass standoffs are pre-installed for an easy installation procedure. The Factory provided back plate must be re-used, however the screws need to replaced by the included EK M2.5 ones.


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