Optimizing my R9-295×2

So as all of you may know, I recently built my Full AMD Rig finally.
I thought it was worth jotting down my notes explaining what I had going on while I learned what I could and could not do.
With it, I noticed my hardest time getting self approval was from the R9 295×2 GPU, as it has some things you have to consider in order to maximize it.

I want to throw some key things into how to maximize this GPU, as I was not satisfied for quite awhile till I found everything out that was needed.
First lets talk about the parts I Used.

Chassis: Thermaltake Chaser A41 Snow Edition —–> Switched to a Fractal Design arc midi R2
CPU: AMD FX-9590
Memory: Kingston Hyper X khx18c9t2k4/16x —-> Bad Memory using Avexir DDR3 1600 temporarily.
Motherboard: Asus Crosshair V Formula Z
Powersupply: Inwin Commander II 1200w
CPU Cooler: Coolermaster Seidon 120M
GPU: AMD XFX R9-295×2 (With Asetek AIO CLC)
HDD’s: 120gb Kingston SSDNow V+200, 30gb Sata II OCZ Vertex, 1tb Seagate Hybrid Drive Momentus XT
EXTRAS: Coolermaster Excalibur Fans

The first thing, You need a good chassis big enough to hold everything in.

I personally used a Mid Tower Chassis, but it’s the only chassis I had currently, and my other rig would not fit into a mid tower chassis as well.
So Work with what I got, and get it to be as good as possible is what I stuck with, So at first I used the Chaser A41 from Thermaltake, which did not work for what I needed as my CPU also used a AIO CPU Cooler bringing harder mounting positions into the game.

Finding proper mounting positions to fit both my Motherboard Layout, and Radiator location layouts was actually quite hard

So I used the Fractal Design Act Midi R2 that system was originally in.
The Fractal case had a extra set of mounting holes for a radiator if you used dual 120mm radiators (Not a 240mm) with a motherboard that also had high memory, or your 8pin EPS connector would get in the way, as this case gave me options for a few more things, as I needed more cable management, also easier hand room to play around in the chassis with.

Regarding the Chaser A41 from Thermaltake,I had to use weird positioning and actually put massive amounts of stress onto the PSU Cables within this chassis. It still ended up not being efficient for my needs as the chassis has to sit on the floor, as both exhaust and intake, the GPU temps were not hitting where they needed to be.
So I wanted to show you just quickly some pictures of that system.

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So, I got rid of this chassis, used it for my Testdrive rig which I later gave to my friend, and took the Fractal Design Arc Midi R2 as the chassis I needed.
I noticed how much easier this case was to work with for my build, As it had removable drive bays, a little more room, and also more mounting positions.

So here’s the rig that went into it for those who are curious for my friend.

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Now moving onto the Fractal Case…
At first, I tried it as the following pic below.
As the CPU Cooler would not fit up top still for some reason, and working with it for awhile over the past few days, It was where I wanted it to be sort of, regarding how everything should be. Temps are fine, Cable management seemed alright, Had everything fitting snugly, but I knew… I can squeeze a little more performance out of it and make it look cleaner.

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Wanting to get more intakes in this to keep the ambient temp inside the chassis lower, and therefor cooling the radiators down a bit better, keeping the coolant in the tubing a smidge lower…
Working from where I left off, I tried the top again, wondering why is it stopping to where I can’t install the CPU cooler on the top? Turns out, I forgot about the Seidon cooler which has a “refill port” it was hitting the side of the 5.25″ drive bays structure, preventing mounting, so all I had to do was turn it around and do a 180, I was able to mount it on top again.
This then allowed me to put the R9-295×2 onto the rear of the chassis as a exhaust as the cpu cooler was on top as a exhaust with another fan acting as one as well.
I then got that Intake I wanted all from the bottom and the front of the chassis while everything in back was exhaust.

Things I did while doing this was add in Coolermaster Excalibur Fans into the chassis.

On the GPU I put one as Push, and used the stock GPU Fan as Pull, So I was getting max static presure pushing, while the GPU used the stock fan and revved it up when needed to pull out more heat, Which is possibly my only complaint about the R9-295×2 not having a Fan Control and purely based on PWM Temperature control. So Adding a extra fan may do everyone a little good.

For this type of build in a mid tower chassis, you do need Push/Pull Personally with a good static pressure fans, As it will heat up and down-clock from hitting its limit at 75c, Hence why I explained everything so far.

Being a Mid Tower Chassis with Dual CLC’s, On top of this a Dual GPU and a 220w TDP CPU, you have to know what you are working with and how to maximize it, as that no matter what for CLC’s alot of heat to handle in a mid tower chassis if you don’t got the airflow to handle them.

I did not rest until CPU and GPU stayed at good stable temps under Prime95 for CPU and Furmark for GPU.

Being 2 of the most stressful software I know, I was pleased being able to run them having the temp stay stable for extended periods of time.
This let me know I was in the green knowing I can game without a problem, and do anything else fine.
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So with this setup, All the bottom and front fans were intakes, blowing fresh cold air into the Chassis and onto the GPU, While the Top and back fans specifically the radiators were all exhaust saying byebye and lowering the temps of the components they were attached to.

Resulting in perfect temps of what I was happy with in a mid tower case with these type of parts.

Over the course of this build it was quite hectic, As I know the asetek coolers can perform Great still if the radiator is on the bottom, not having the airflow in the chassis to move it all correctly, can hurt you hard. Not to mention, If your ambient temperature in the chassis is warm, so will your components with CLC’s or Custom Cooling, and this being on the floor of a chassis, having it as a intake I had stable temps but higher than I would have liked, and if I exhausted when it was on the bottom in the Chaser A41 It wasn’t going anywhere because of my carpet.

Most problems I faced was because it was inside of a Mid Tower, You limit alot of your airflow on big components like these, and finding a chassis that can do everything you need it to support and allow will be a journey.

As I know alot of people these days like to build in a smaller chassis as modular chassis become more available and fixing some issues regarding certain motherboard layouts, just pick smart so you don’t get a problem. Specifically with High End Motherboards and the gap between the top and where your motherboard mounts, your EPS Connectors and how wide the chassis is.

Hope this will help someone down the line regarding similar parts or builds as I enjoy talking about where problems were found.

Thanks for reading, and if you have a question, Please feel free to ask.


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