Water cooling a graphics card isn't a new thing by any means, but it's not really a common solution to the heat problem. Yes, AMD did do so on the Radeon R9 295X2, which was quite a gutsy move, because it never really happens that a vendor opts to cool a graphics card with a closed-loop liquid cooler. We do see it happen occasionally that a block comes out with a water-block pre-installed, but that's a much bigger chore to install to your system, and it requires a separate loop.
EVGA, however, decided that it was time to do this again and announced the GeForce GTX 980 Hybrid, which is exactly what you'd expect it to be: a GTX 980, with the GPU cooled by a CLC. The rest of the components, such as the VRM circuitry and the memory, are cooled by the blower-style cooler. The best part is that the fan comes from the reference-style NVTTM cooler, which is a very silent, drum-style fan.
This combination yields a graphics card that offers quieter and cooler operation, improved performance, remains as easy to install as ever, and doesn't break the bank in the way that custom water cooling would.
EVGA opted to clock the GTX 980 Hybrid at a respectable 1291 MHz, and it will see typical boost clocks of around 1393 MHz when the thermal headroom is available. (Which it should be, unless you live in the desert without AC.) The memory remains clocked at the standard 7.0 GHz effective frequency.
EVGA also announced that the cooler featured on this unit will also be available as a standalone aftermarket cooler. It comes with the closed loop you need and a shroud, and it will work on all reference GTX 980 graphics cards. It simply uses the fan from the reference cooler. You’ll know you have a reference GTX 980 when it looks like this.
The GeForce GTX 980 Hybrid is available immediately with an MSRP price of $649.99, while the standalone cooler will go for $99.99.
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Niels Broekhuijsen is a Contributing Writer for Tom's Hardware US. He reviews cases, water cooling and pc builds.
Not bad. Looks nice. I would love to see one with a reference NVidia cooler.Reply
Not bad. Looks nice. I would love to see one with a reference NVidia cooler.Unfortunately, this won't happen. It looks like this cooler removes the stock shroud and heatsink, but keeps the plate over the memory and blower fan. The reason a new shroud is needed is because the stock Nvidia cooler doesn't have holes for the pipes, and the metal is a bit difficult to cut for most. Maybe one day we'll see a reference Nvidia card with liquid cooling, although that seems highly unlikely. ;)
Yeah the reference cooler looks so much better. Don't much like EVGA's own designs, even tho they are my go-to brand.Reply
649 is a great price. i expected this to be 700+Reply
But is it any faster or quieter than a good air-cooled GTX680 like EVGA's own ACX2.0 models?Reply
If not, then this just adds a major potential for failure with the pump. In fact, does the pump turn off in idle mode? If not, then it can't even be completely silent like other models which can turn the fans off.
GTX980 not GTX680... (my above comment)Reply
Same numbers as the Classified ACX 2.0 980. I guess it would come down to how much it throttles, if at all. $20 cheaper though.Reply
this is actually the same clock as their classified. so for 30-50 bucks less you get a watercooler. dafuqReply
Honestly I was waiting for this to happen but too little too late, those that wanted a 980 already have one. What they need to do is release these Hydro GPUs when the cards are first released, not months later when the market is saturated.....Reply
This is the same of getting a 980 with a Corsair H10 and a Asetek AIO. Will be less money perhaps.
Saw this back in January...
With components getting hotter and hotter, or just users that want to have quiet computers i think it would be awesome if they would make a standard for water cooling, having the pipes integrated into the case, you just have to put let`s say .. 2-4 cm of rubber tubing to your GPU/CPU to attach it to the case`s loop that already has a built in radiator and water pump.Reply