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The blame game could go on forever at this point, but when it comes to who’s wrong or who’s right, I’d have to lean towards poor design on the motherboard–but maybe there are reasons behind this.

The Famous VGA Block

As for the VGA water block, the MCW50, you’ll notice that it looks quite familiar to a water block we reviewed months ago. The difference between that water block, the MCW50-T, and this one is that the –T version was equipped with a Peltier device for hard core GPU cooling. The standard MCW50 is purely a cooling block and nothing more. It does contain the high quality copper base as all the Swiftech blocks do, and is a great performer by any measure.

This is our favorite VGA water block by these guys, too. Its performance is superb for cooling down Radeon video cards and allows the end user to get extra performanc by overclocking the video card.

Included with this water block are both sets of retention mechanisms for installation on either the ATI Radeons or the NVIDIA GeForce video cards. But don’t let this stop you if you have something else. Swiftech also makes mention of permanently installing this block on video cards which do not have holes or other means of installing by using bonding agents. I would recommend an upgrade of your video card–doesn’t seem right permanently installing this block on an older video card–but that’s up to you. The retention mechanisms also provide compression limiters to prevent over-tightening–I don’t think I need to elaborate much on this!

The base is lapped flat to 3/10 of 1/1000” with the center section raised to provide clearance for the Radeon shim around the GPU. At 0.300” thick, and CNC machined, the internal portion of the copper base features the famous Patent Pending Diamond-Pin Matrix design like most all of Swiftech’s water blocks. As mentioned earlier, this increases heat dissipation surface, and enhances flow turbulence.

It’s just so RAD!

Next up are the MCR80-F1 dual radiators by Swiftech that offer some very interesting cooling concepts. Equipped with fans and all, these small radiators can fool the eye. Small in appearance, big in cooling–kinda like the Dr. Who phone booth, if you know what I mean. Or you could stress this to your buddies that size doesn’t really matter–but I’ll stop before I become too explicit . . .

The 80mm fans provided with the kit push 31.4CFM with a noise level of about 28 dbA, offering a nice quiet environment. The internal part of the radiator offers 3” double-row copper core flat tubing for higher heat conductivity. Perhaps the most impressive feature about the fans is size. They are not huge, but because two radiators are used your heat dissipation will be better, providing that you install them in parallel. By installing them in parallel the heat flow is divided and cools the water down faster than one could.

Provided with the kit are two “Y” splitters to make this happen. In this image you can see that we’ve installed the two radiators in parallel, on the outside of the case. Keep in mind that you may have to cut out an extra 80mm fan hole in the case back if one’s not currently available.

The PC case we used didn’t give us much room internally for the radiators, so we were left with installing them on the outside. So two holes had to be drilled on the back of the case for the tubing to run through. If you plan on doing this, please use rubber grommets to protect the tubing!


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