CryoVenom and the CryoSphere were the features during our recent on-site visit to VisionTek headquarters.
If you have not heard by now the CryoVenom is an AMD R9 290 graphics card that VisionTek has replaced the air cooling and turned into a liquid coolers dream. To hammer home the capabilities and show it off they built out an entire liquid cooled monster called the CryoSphere, which they featured at CES in January. In February VisionTek announced a give away and everyone got in on the action resulting in this $3000 monster heading out to one lucky winner’s home. Thankfully ODG worked out a visit to VisionTek HQ and got up close and personal with it before it shipped out and then had a chance to talk about why CyroVenom is a whole lot more than just a stock card with a water block.
The VisionTek CryoVenom card speaks to what VisionTek head Michael Innes characterized as the companies attempt to find a space in the market that they could execute with a specialization that others were not serving. Liquid cooling has been the place where only the hardcore overclockers, extreme gamers and PC modders treaded. It is full of careful builds, heat calculations and lets not forget cost. If it’s done right then the result can be a thing of beauty and performance, done wrong and you may as well have put as much as a few thousand in tech in your yard and left the sprinkler on. Here’s where VisionTek found its new space.
VsionTek takes its AMD partnership and long history of graphic card solutions and takes the guesswork out of creating a liquid cooled card. Normally you’re left to void your warranty, buy the components, install, test and then dial in your own solutions but what you get ‘in the box’ with the CryoVenom is:
The team takes it’s time with these builds looking at an average of 3 hours labor per card because another thing you’ll get is a 1 year warranty which is something liquid coolers usually never see.
One more item points to the level of detail that VisionTek is providing. If you purchase multiple cards, they’ll get cards from the same series (serial number) so the two or more cards you purchase have the closest match in performance, specs due to the chips, build and material at the time the cards were created.
A stock R9 290X card rates at a GPU speed of up to 1000mhz, memory clock of 1250mhz, 70db of noise and a peak game temp of 201F. Compare that with the CryoVenom with a GPU speed of up to 1175mhz, memory clock speed of up to 1450mhz, less than 10db of noise and a peak temperature of 125F
Installed in the CryoSphere as a full liquid cooled solution the system was so quiet that if it were not for lights, you’d almost think it wasnt on.
All of this hinges on your either already being a liquid cooler or someone who is putting in the time and effort to build one but if you are, price shouldn’t scare you off. Running the cutting edge video card is still going to be a pricey investment, the stock R9 290 series are currently running around $500-550 but considering 3 hours of labor, liquid cooling hardware AND retaining a full year warranty, adding $150 or so to your price is well worth it.