The front of the card is adorned only with a passive cooler, which is designed solely to cool the memory modules.
On the back, the main cooler and fan are suspended above the board. (4 cm / 1.57 inch)
As we already stressed, Gigabyte had a flash of brilliance with the cooler. The combination of the main cooler on the back of the card works extremely well in practice. The heatpipes transfer the collected thermal discharge from the passive heatsink on the front of the card to the main cooler effectively. The fan is a bit problematic, however, as it is clearly audible even when the case is closed. Luckily its rotation speed can be lowered using the included V-Tune2 utility.
The fan is a bit noisy in the standard setting. The V-Tune2 utility, included, lets you adjust the fan speed and thus the volume.
Extra care is called for when the PC doesn't boot correctly and the motherboard gets hung up during initialization. The fan only starts up when the operating system is booted. If the computer crashes during operation due to some problem and gets stuck while rebooting, the card continues to run during this time without being cooled and gets very hot very quickly. Gigabyte should remedy this to prevent the card from being unnecessarily overloaded in such situations. Although Gigabyte positioned the rear heatsink very high on the card, it could still collide with motherboard components like Northbridge coolers. Here are the key spacings for measuring purposes:
- From the bottom edge of the AGP slot to the fan: 4 cm
- Height of the fan measured from the board: 3.2 cm
The memory cooler on the card front in detail. The thermal pads maintain contact to the memory modules.
The heatpipes sit directly on the GPU and transfer the waste heat to the heatsink.
Thanks to its special cooling design, optically the card is peerless. Anyone who owns a case with side-panel windows will surely have loads of fun admiring its looks.
The illuminated fan looks terrific in the dark, seen here through the side panel of a case with a window.