Cooling & Noise
Cooling System & Backplate
What makes this solution special is its use of a "sandwich" system, which employs a cooling and stabilizing frame between the board surface and the actual heat sink. Again, it's unfortunate that Asus does not use a dedicated VRM sink built into the cooler to improve thermal performance.
|Heat Sink||Nickel-plated heat sink, GPU only|
|Cooling Fins||Aluminum, horizontal orientation Very narrow configuration|
|Heat Pipes||6x 6mm, nickel-plated|
|VRM Cooling||Via cooling frame Only MOSFETs are cooled|
|RAM Cooling||Via mounting frame, and indirect cooling via heat sink|
|Fans||3x 9cm fan modules 8.6cm rotor diameter 11 rotor blades Semi-passive regulation|
|Backplate||Aluminum, blackenedDoes not aid cooling performanceIncludes back-lit logo|
The backplate is purely aesthetic. While it does sport a snazzy-looking ROG logo, it does nothing for cooling performance.
Asus' cooling and mounting frame absorbs heat produced by the memory modules and transfers it to the main sink through a layer of thermal pads. The voltage converters are also cooled by this frame; a thick pad facilitates contact with the cooling fins above them. Since those fins aren't angled by 90°, it is reasonable to assume that this solution was an afterthought. To stabilize the contact a bit better, the cooler is placed on a thick adhesive pad.
The heat sink is nickel-plated and very smooth. Six nickel-plated pipes made from a composite material cut through the sink and help dissipate the GPU's waste heat evenly through a pair of fin arrays. Bends in some of the pipes turn out to be relatively large. This, coupled with the small-diameter pipes, helps improve cooling performance.
Fan Speeds And Noise
The fan curves indicate a conservative, volume-optimized setup. There's a bit of jittery hysteresis as the fans spin up. However, the number of starting impulses is acceptable without becoming particularly annoying.
The measurements from our stress test aren't much different. A slight dip in power consumption correlates with lower RPM.
|Fan Speed And Noise Output|
|Fan Speed (Open Test Bench, Maximum)||1715 RPM|
|Fan Speed (Open Test Bench, Average)||1702 RPM|
|Fan Speed (Closed Case, Maximum)||1884 RPM|
|Fan Speed (Closed Case, Average)||1874 RPM|
|Noise (Air Cooling, Maximum)||39.0 dB(A)|
|Noise (Air Cooling, Average)||38.8 dB(A)|
|Noise ( Air Cooling, Idle)||0 dB(A)|
|Acoustic Characteristics||Almost no low-frequency bearing noise Very audible motor noise < 1 Hz Discernible oscillations due to slightly different fan speeds Hardly any coil buzzing noise Audible air/tearing noises|
This snapshot illustrates the entire frequency range of our laboratory measurements, adding some data to our subjective observations.
MORE: Best Graphics Cards
MORE: All Graphics Content