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First Preview of Gigabyte's Radeon HD 7970 With 5 Fans

By - Source: Tom's Hardware US | B 78 comments

Look what we've got sitting in our lab!

Last month at CES, we caught first glimpse that the Gigabyte Super Overclock AMD Radeon HD 7970 with the Windforce 5X cooling system. We've now the chance to take a closer look.

The most immediately noticeable customization with this graphics card is the massive cooler, which Gigabyte boasts uses an "anti-turbulance pull airflow system" that pulls air away from the system. Gigabyte says that if air were pushed inwards, the motherboard will block the flow of air. The cooler also draws air across the card, which the company says is superior to blowing directly towards the heatsink. The cooler is supposed to be quiet too and completely silent when under 30 degrees Celcius. We hope to verify this in our testing.

This impressive cooler allows the Radeon HD 7970 to be clocked to 1080 MHz, up from the standard 925 MHz. Gigabyte points to a 14 percent performance improvement over a stock Radeon HD 7970 when considering the numbers from 3DMark 11 Extreme mode. That cooler has also made things quieter by 9.2 decibels and 18 percent cooler than the stock fan when running full tilt on Futuremark.

This Gigabyte product also features the company's Extreme Dual BIOS technology. One BIOS is the default with standard settings, while the other one is called the LN2 BIOS for extreme overclockers who want to avoid cold bug issues.

We're working on one of these in our labs right now, so stay tuned for our in-depth look at this premium graphics card.

Read more from @MarcusYam on Twitter.

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Top Comments
  • 24 Hide
    Xenturion , July 7, 2012 4:15 PM
    Something tells me the acoustic characteristics of those 40mm fans will leave much to be desired. But, I suppose we'll have to wait and see.
  • 22 Hide
    doron , July 7, 2012 4:26 PM
    Where's the fifth fan?
  • 21 Hide
    nukemaster , July 7, 2012 4:52 PM
    Quote:
    5 x 40mm fans = 200mm of fanage

    would have been better of doing what everybody else does and use 2 120mm

    Are you sure?

    40mm fan opening or area

    3.14 x 20^2 (pr r^2)

    1 x 40mm fan has a opening area of 1256 square mm

    1256 x 5 = 6280 square mm

    120mm fan area

    3.14 x 60^2

    1 x 120mm fan is 11304 square mm

    This setup is closer to an 80mm fan then anything.

    All this does not count the fact that with a 40mm fan the motor is much bigger compared to the blades. So both are actually less then the above numbers. Also, how thick is each fan?

    More accurate would be with blade surface area.
Other Comments
  • 11 Hide
    halcyon , July 7, 2012 4:14 PM
    I'm eager to read more THG news and info on this...especially since its actually not supposed to be too much of a noise-maker.
  • 24 Hide
    Xenturion , July 7, 2012 4:15 PM
    Something tells me the acoustic characteristics of those 40mm fans will leave much to be desired. But, I suppose we'll have to wait and see.
  • 13 Hide
    halcyon , July 7, 2012 4:24 PM
    XenturionSomething tells me the acoustic characteristics of those 40mm fans will leave much to be desired. But, I suppose we'll have to wait and see.

    That's what I'd think but perhaps the fans are using fluid-dynamic bearings and noise-reduction blade geometry (or some other smoke and mirrors gimic). Who knows.
  • 22 Hide
    doron , July 7, 2012 4:26 PM
    Where's the fifth fan?
  • 0 Hide
    vmem , July 7, 2012 4:37 PM
    I guess results will determine whether the engineer who got this "brilliant idea" will be promoted or fired lol. who knows, it just may be a breakthrough in GPU cooling. we all know large CPU coolers use this same concept and are generally better than the top down style stock coolers. so I'm willing to give it the benefit of the doubt and eagerly await what test results show us :) 
  • 13 Hide
    nukemaster , July 7, 2012 4:38 PM
    doronWhere's the fifth fan?

    Over the PCI-e power connectors. You can not see it in this picture.

    The biggest advantage this may get will be that fact that ALL that space can be a heatsink without some removed for the fans.
  • 4 Hide
    doron , July 7, 2012 4:46 PM
    nukemasterOver the PCI-e power connectors. You can not see it in this picture.The biggest advantage this may get will be that fact that ALL that space can be a heatsink without some removed for the fans.


    This. And Gigabyte's claim for better cooling efficiency actually makes a lot sense, especially with a side-mounted exhaust fan. We'll see though.
  • 21 Hide
    nukemaster , July 7, 2012 4:52 PM
    Quote:
    5 x 40mm fans = 200mm of fanage

    would have been better of doing what everybody else does and use 2 120mm

    Are you sure?

    40mm fan opening or area

    3.14 x 20^2 (pr r^2)

    1 x 40mm fan has a opening area of 1256 square mm

    1256 x 5 = 6280 square mm

    120mm fan area

    3.14 x 60^2

    1 x 120mm fan is 11304 square mm

    This setup is closer to an 80mm fan then anything.

    All this does not count the fact that with a 40mm fan the motor is much bigger compared to the blades. So both are actually less then the above numbers. Also, how thick is each fan?

    More accurate would be with blade surface area.
  • 9 Hide
    warezme , July 7, 2012 4:56 PM
    great, now they work..., what I was thinking, is those look exactly like high RPM 1U server fans. They are fairly quiet at normal operation but crank those puppies up and hold on because they are going to sound like a tiny 747 on take off.
  • 2 Hide
    ElMoIsEviL , July 7, 2012 5:26 PM
    Everyone keeps talking about the fans but everyone ignores the surface area afforded to the cooler by it's multitude of heatpipes and the enormous size of the heatsink.

    If the fans are enough (don't need more than *enough*) to keep the heat load in check those heatpipes and that heatsink should be enough to keep that monster cool upwards of 400W of heat.
  • 0 Hide
    ko888 , July 7, 2012 5:41 PM
    There's also a back-plate on the back of the card. The copper vapor chamber for the massive cooler is screwed to the back-plate to keep the card from flexing.
  • 2 Hide
    Marcus52 , July 7, 2012 5:47 PM
    Yah the placement of the fans (long and narrow) makes sense, since the cooler is, uh, long and narrow. The bigger fans are put through a bit of a contortion, when you think about the air flow. That does not make for efficiency in cooling or a quiet setup.

    Nothing is mentioned about the CFM rate or each fan.

    Glad some of you are such good engineers you can look at the rig and say "should have used 2 120mm fans". I'm impressed! Not.

    ;) 
  • 1 Hide
    A Bad Day , July 7, 2012 6:55 PM
    I look forward to the day when they use solid state, non-mechanical, electro-aerodynamic fans.
  • 17 Hide
    stingstang , July 7, 2012 7:25 PM
    Silent under 30c? So...silent when the card is off.
  • 1 Hide
    amuffin , July 7, 2012 7:34 PM
    Protect your PCIE slots, protect them!!
  • 2 Hide
    ko888 , July 7, 2012 7:47 PM
    stingstangSilent under 30c? So...silent when the card is off.
    There's a zero RPM mode for under 30°C. For every 10°C incremental rise starting from 30°C and higher the fans will ramp up to the next speed step in its pre-programmed fan speeds.
  • 2 Hide
    sicom , July 7, 2012 8:47 PM
    Looks really cool, but can it blend?
  • 1 Hide
    verbalizer , July 7, 2012 8:57 PM
    it's still a Gigabyte and Gigabyte GPU's are the most buggiest of all the major manufactures.
    looks cool, not sure about the effectiveness vs MSi Twin Frozr III design,
    I think Tom's needs to have a shootout.
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