XFX's new GPU will have swappable fans — Phoenix Nirvana series going global with its interchangeable fan design

XFX Radeon RX 7900 XTX Phoenix Nirvana
(Image credit: XFX via VideoCardz)

XFX posted a teaser via X (formerly, Twitter) that suggest it will be releasing graphics cards with swappable fans for the global market, unlike its Phoenix Nirvana series that was originally announced to be exclusive for the Chinese market.  

It is highly likely that each of the Phoenix series models, including the RX 7900 XTX, 7900 GRE and the AMD Radeon 7800 XT will feature these swappable fans. The rather limited information afforded by the post means that we don't know anything about its performance or bearing type but it does suggest that this series will be available globally. Aftermarket fans may provide alternative performance or be purely aesthetic and provide different colours- either from XFX or otherwise. In any case, removable fans give the ability to clean the fan blades and get better access to blow the dust away from the heatsinks once the fans are removed. But likely these are not  purely offered as the means to allow better cleaning. They could also provide an easier repair path should a fan stop working.

While such features are useful, it is not a key selling point since users don't replace GPUs unless needed. Graphics cards have fan curves that keep the fans off until it reach a certain threshold, enhancing the lifespan of its fans. Hence the primary purpose is likely to provide customization options. Sapphire had a similar concept which was showcased during Computex 2017 under its Nitro Gear series of accessories where it offered swappable 95mm LED backlighted fans with translucent blades and used dual-ball bearings. But it was never featured in subsequent models after the RX 400 and RX 500 series.

This isn't new for XFX either as it did sell HSF 100 swappable fans which had built-in LED lights with three colour options eight years ago.

One of the other interesting features of the XFX's Radeon RX 7900 XTX Phoenix Nirvana is the use of Honeywell's PTM7950 phase-change thermal pad to provide the best possibility of thermal conductivity. One would be curious if XFX is planning to use the same thermal pad on these variants for the global market, and maybe not exclusive to its flagship AMD Radeon graphics card.

Regardless, perhaps providing better fans with quieter operation would be preferred by users over swappable fans? The best example of this would be a collaboration between Asus and Noctua that began two years ago and has been showcasing newer models to date. In any case, either one of the features would command a certain premium.

Roshan Ashraf Shaikh
Contributing Writer

Roshan Ashraf Shaikh has been in the Indian PC hardware community since the early 2000s and has been building PCs, contributing to many Indian tech forums, & blogs. He operated Hardware BBQ for 11 years and wrote news for eTeknix & TweakTown before joining Tom's Hardware team. Besides tech, he is interested in fighting games, movies, anime, and mechanical watches.