MSI GTX 980 Gaming – Watercooling EK-FC980 GTX TF5 vs. Aircooling

Meanwhile EK Water Blocks also has a full-cover watercooler for MSI’s latest and greatest GeForce GTX 980 Gaming 4G graphics card in its portfolio. For us this is reason enough to have a close look at the cooler itself. Apart from that we want to know if there is any performance when aircooling or watercooling the card.




As we already mentioned, in this article we’re going to have a closer look at possible differences between a watercooled and an aircooled MSI GTX 980 Gaming 4G. For this purpose EK Water Blocks shipped us one of their brand new EK-FC980 GTX TF5 fullcover waterblocks. First of all we’re going to have a closer look at both, the water as well as the aircooler and afterwards we will run both cards through our set of recent games. Apparently we will also show you some temperatures.

MSI GTX 980 Gaming 4G – Watercooling EK-FC980 GTX TF5


EK Water Blocks is the first company to come up with a custom, full-cover waterblock for MSI GTX 980 Gaming 4G graphics card. The block establishes direct contact to GPU, memory as well as VRM area. This way you can be sure there is going to be best possible cooling whereever necessary. The cooler EK Water Blocks provided us with has been made from nickel plated electrolyte copper. Above the GPU there is a thin channel structure to provide additional surface area, where it actually makes sense to have it. On top of the nickel plated cooper block there is a plexi cover and on the right hand side you can see a brushed stainless steel plate. Looking for threads we find G1/4” inch one’s, where you can attach a vast majority of fittings. The threads have been cut into black POM top part. Although the material is rather solid it’s sufficient to tighten the fittings by hand to achieve good sealing. Make sure you don’t use a gripper. In fact by using a gripper you can/will break the plastic material. Manufacturing quality is always excellent, when it comes to products from EK Water Blocks. These blocks are made in a perfect way and the looks are breathtaking. In order to achieve best possible looks in combination with MSI Gaming graphics cards we would recommend you choose red colored coolant. This way it will perfectly match the color scheme.

MSI GTX 980 Gaming 4G – Matrix Platinum Aircooler


The MSI GTX 980 Gaming 4G features the famous Twin Frozr V cooler with a total of four heatpipes. There are three heatpipes with a diameter of eight millimeter and other than there is one more with six millimeter diameter. The heatpipes have been nickel plated and are in direct contact with the GPU core. Soldered to the heatpipes you find the fin stack which is being provided with fresh air via two 100mm fans. Thanks to an intelligently programmed BIOS the fan closer to the IO connectors starts spinning when the GPU temperature reaches 50°C and the second one revs up at 55°C. This makes the card inaudible when the system is in idle, since the fans are not spinning. Both fans are being manufactured by Power Logic and share the same model name, PLD10010S12HH. Overall the cooler is well made and the finish is on a very good level too.