Barrowch Whale Shark Threadripper Water Block Review

The Barrowch Whale Shark Water Block is built specifically for AMD's Ryzen Threadripper processor and its TR4 socket on X399 chipset motherboards. It is one of the best looking water blocks we have seen for Threadripper, and even has an onboard temperature sensor and display right on the water block. Once mounted, how does it cool?

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Barrowch Whale Shark Threadripper Water Block Teardown

We tore down the Whale Shark in the video below. We did not pull the top-cover off in the video as we were worried about damaging it before we tested it. A good bit of prying did get it detached as you can see in the pictures below.

The fit and finish of the Whale Shark is exceptional on the top cover of the block. It is solidly constructed and feels good in your hand. We do have two leads extending from the side, one for the Frag Harder Disco Lights, and the other for the temperature sensor and display.

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Flipping the block over, we get a highly polished nickel finish. We can easily see the machining marks on the cold-plate. The plating is well done and defect free.

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Once we break open the Whale Shark and check out the micro-fins, things look very well done here as well. However we do have some issues with its design. The footprint of the micro-fins are in fact large enough to fully cover the dies underneath the Threadripper's Integrated Heat Spreader (IHS), but the flow runs the length of the two dies rather than across the long side of the die which is more efficient for heat transfer. We cover this in the video above as well. The cold plate is well fitted and the o-ring is set into a channel to keep it in the proper position and allows for it to be easily taken apart and put back together. Worth noting is that the cold plate mounting hardware threads into plastic portion of the block rather than threading through into the metal top-cover. You would want to be careful not to strip these threads when tightening down your cold plate.

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The top-block is impeccably machined. All edges are smooth and straight. o-ring for the flowplate sits in a channel, but it is fairly shallow so take a bit of care when putting this all back together to make sure it stays in place.

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The temperature sensor is made of brass and sits directly in the coolant channel at the return fitting, so you will effectively get the coolant temperature at its hottest point. It is fitted with an o-ring as well. I did not attempt to pull it out as I did not want to possibly break its connection point.

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The top-cover is nicely cast and tops in terms of fit and finish. The OLED screen simply sits under this cover.

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In most blocks we have seen only one or two sets of Frag Harder Disco Lights, but the Whale Shark has its block entirely looped with an LED strip. Our leads for our OLED screen and LEDs simply exit through the side of block and are fairly heavy in gauge.

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Barrowch included what is probably one of the best looking sets of hold-down bolts we have ever seen. These perfectly match the top-cover as you can see on previous page. While looking good, the heads of the bolts are quite small and the springs are fairly light in spingrate.

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