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  1. #1
    ROG Guru: Grand Master Array
    Join Date
    Oct 2012

    The Benefits Of Watercooling the Rampage V Extreme

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    Summer is the hottest time of the year not only for us but also for our computer systems. Technically it doesn’t begin until June but it sure feels like summer where I live. I’m writing this in the middle of my bedroom with an ambient temperature of 43C and no air conditioning to save me. So you can imagine how opening a window won’t help much. The saddest part is that the thermometer will keep rising in the upcoming months.

    A few months ago, I had upgraded from air cooling to an EK-KIT X360 Water Cooling Kit and even managed to get my i7-5960X to 4.4GHz. While checking my temperatures the other day, I noticed that my VRM temperature was higher than usual. I didn’t really pay much attention to it in the past since I had installed this kit back in December when my room wasn’t an oven. It’s a different story now. The heatsinks for the VRM were so hot even when during daily usage which includes image editing, video conversion and moderate gaming. Being quite happy with EKWB products and their support for ROG products, I was checking their cooling configurator to find a solution. I eventually stumbled upong a very promising Rampage V Extreme Monoblock. There were a few variants too but I liked the look of the Acrylic Nickel one.

    Overview of the Installation Process
    As usual, I’ll give you the short version of the installation process. But if you want a complete guide, you can always consult the installation manual for the Rampage V Extreme Monoblock.

    First things first. I removed the motherboard from the case and gave it a good cleaning. Having read the Monoblock manual a few times, I felt confident to begin.
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    I had to remove all the cool heatsinks from the motherboard. As you can see from the image below, the Rampage V Extreme looks kinda naked without them. After removing them, I then proceeded to clean off the pink TIM that was on the PCH. Not sure what that magic stuff is but it was difficult to remove. But in the end, I left the PCH looking shiny.
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    For the next step, I installed my CPU and applied some thermal compound with the dot method. Then I did the same with the PCH. When that was done, I went and cut the thermal pads into thin strips to put on the MOSFETs and power phases. At this stage, a pair of helping hands will help you a lot. This particular variant of the Monoblock is made of nickel so you know it’s a little on the heavy side. You have to flip the motherboard over to fasten the screws. It can be time consuming for just one person to try to keep the Monoblock in place while screwing everything it.
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    To finish the installation process, I integrated the Monoblock into my X360 watercooling kit. After running the usual leak test for 24 hours, I was convinced that the system was ready to go. Here’s a photo of how the Monoblock looks on the Rampage V Extreme.
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    Rampage V Extreme Monoblock Cooling Performance
    Since not many of us actually leave our systems to idle for hours, I won’t dwell too much on idle temperatures. You can see that the improvements are there. But in order to see the complete picture, let’s proceed to stress the i7-5960X to analyze the load temperatures.
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    ROG Realbench is my preferred program for stability testing. So I used it to load the system for 30 minutes to record the temperatures at load. This is where the Monoblock started to shine. To be honest, I was a little worried about my X360 watercooling system. It only used to only cool off the CPU but now it’s also cooling the VRM and PCH areas.

    To start things of, the VRM area benefitted the most from the Monoblock. The delta temperature dropped 25 degrees, which is equivalent to a decrease of 62%. However, I was more amazed to find out that cooling performance for the CPU wasn’t affected at all. In fact, it got better as the CPU delta temperature also decrease 11 degrees. By nature, the PCH doesn’t run very hot but nevertheless we also see a decrease of 4 degrees.
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    After testing the i7-5960X at stock speeds, I went into the BIOS and loaded my 4.4GHz profile. The delta temperatures went up a little at idle which was to be expected due to the overclock. But it’s time to stress the i7-5960X at 4.4GHz to properly challenge this EKWB Monoblock.
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    Running at 4.4GHz certainly helped generate some extra heat in the VRM and CPU areas. But the Monoblock performed very well. This time we witnessed an improvement of 29 degrees (58%) for the VRM, 17 degrees (36%) for the CPU and 5 degrees (50%) for the PCH. Overall, the EKWB Monoblock impressed me on many levels. The cooling performance is excellent and the build quality is superb.
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