The XSPC Raystorm D5 Photon RX480 V3 water cooling kit does not fail to deliver on its performance promises. Although its performance as a standalone CPU cooler remains neck in neck with some of its more price-conscious competitors, the real value and strength of the kit comes across in its performance in a multi-block loop as well as in its aesthetic value. The fact that the kit kept both the CPU and GPU temperatures relatively stagnant at both stock and overclocked CPU speeds speaks volumes. This also means that the kit has the potential for greater cooling capacitry (read as adding more GPU blocks to the loop) with minimal temperature increases.
Courtesy of XSPC
I am a big proponent of XSPC water cooling gear. They deliver top quality products at a price that won't break the bank. While the price of the Raystorm D5 Photon RX480 V3 WaterCooling kit seems to defy that statement, the items included in the kit as well as the kit's performance potential more than justify the premium price. The kit was made to appeal to water cooling enthusiasts who want to add that extra flare to their build with the ability to put its "money where its mouth is". The kit definitely delivers on both the aesthetics and performance promises. XSPC's design of the Photon reservoir was nothing short of inspired, able to hold up to 410mL of coolant with a built in LED-powered glow rod. The kit comes stock with a white 5mm LED and the center glow rod does justice with that LED even when using colored coolant (in testing, I was using red colored Koolance coolant). Performance-wise, the D5 Vario pump together with the RX480 V3 radiator and the Raystorm block form an unstoppable force with plenty of cooling potential in the radiator to handle 2 or more blocks in addition to the Raystorm.
XSPC does not include coolant with the kit, which is a minor inconvenience, but chances are that an enthusiast purchasing this kit would have a ready supply on-hand already. The only other challenge was with the Raystorm block itself when the kit is used to cool the CPU block only. The performance is good, but not much better or worse than the cheaper CPU only alternatives. However, the real power in this kit comes from its multi-block cooling potential, not as a single block cooling solution.
- Performance under stock and overclocking conditions
- Cooling potential with a two or more block loop
- Kit aesthetics
- Sleek flat black and black chromed appearance
- Build and machining quality of included components
- Photon reservoir with integrated D5 Vario pump
- Included extras – LEDs for back-lighting, black-chromed compression fitting, and radiator hanging kit
- Easy to use CPU mounting mechanism
- No coolant included with kit
- Lack-luster single block (CPU-only) performance