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Gigabyte GeForce GTX Titan Black: Do-It-Yourself Cooler Swap

Temperatures And Noise

Temperatures

Does the new cooler do the trick? It most certainly does. The modified GeForce GTX Titan Black runs at 73 degrees Celsius, or 10 degrees Celsius lower than Nvidia's reference model. Again, that's effective enough to keep the card from hitting its thermal limit, even under full load. I even tried bringing the modified temperature down further using a manual fan profile under Gigabyte’s OC Guru software.

In an open build, the noise level rises quickly and noticeably, so the extra cooling isn't worth the tradeoff. But I also felt it necessary to simulate a worst-case thermal situation in a cramped case. So, I used the same chassis Thomas reviewed in AIO DRN-STN Review: A Gaming All-In-One With A 120 Hz Display, filled to the brim with case fans spinning slowly.

The VRM temperatures were measured with a probe between the GPU and thermal tape, and the board temperatures on the back were gathered using an infrared thermometer. The measurements marked with (TH) are those that used my custom fan profile with elevated rotational speeds.

Bench Table(Open Installation)Corsair Obsidian 900DAIO Drone Station(Case Fans at Minimum)
GPU73 °C75 °C82 °C
GPU (TH)62 °C63 °C70 °C
VRM87 °C89 °C100 °C
VRM (TH)81 °C84 °C91 °C
Board85 °C86 °C96 °C
Board (TH)81 °C83 °C91 °C

Noise Measurement

I measure graphics card noise with a calibrated high-quality studio microphone (supercardioid) that is placed perpendicular to the center of the board at a distance of 50 cm. The combination of this distance and the microphone’s very strong directionality represents a compromise between minimizing the noise generated by fan turbulence and minimizing the impact of ambient noise, which can never be completely avoided.

Sound dampening can help with ambient noise, but it can never be completely eliminated. This is why we’re performing these measurements predominantly at night.

Fan RPM

As long as you own a suitable PC case that’s not too packed and offers decent airflow, then Gigabyte's WindForce cooler should perform well. It reaches a maximum of 1900 RPM under full load, which keeps the card surprisingly quiet.

Our manually-created profile is quite a bit louder, of course. But the noise level is still only a little worse than Nvidia's reference cooler, even as our custom fan ramp keeps the card 20 degrees Celsius cooler. To be fair, the only reason you'd want to try something similar would be if you were using a chassis with terrible airflow. Otherwise, there's no need to tinker.

The fan curves are only part of the take, though. Here's the numerical data in the form of a handy table directly comparing the different configurations:

IdleGamingGPGPU
Nvidia's Reference Cooler31.2 dB(A)41.7 dB(A)43.5 dB(A)
Gigabyte's WindForce Cooler, Stock30.4 dB(A)35.4 dB(A)35.7 dB(A)
Gigabyte's WindForce Cooler, TH Profile30.4 dB(A)42.1 dB(A)44.9 dB(A)

The modified cooler is definitely successful, given that the GeForce GTX 780 Ti WindForce OC, which performs around the same level, produces just over 40 dB(A) with its older cooler and non-optimized fans.

  • bloodgigas
    So we have to change the cooler by our self? now thats wierd.
    Reply
  • ShadyHamster
    13466306 said:
    So we have to change the cooler by our self? now thats wierd.

    If you bothered reading the first page you'd know why.
    Reply
  • bloodgigas
    13466306 said:
    So we have to change the cooler by our self? now thats wierd.

    If you bothered reading the first page you'd know why.

    "Nvidia doesn’t allow its partners to sell the GeForce GTX Titan Black with proprietary cooling. However, Gigabyte now offers a GHz Edition of the card that comes bundled with its WindForce solution, which you can install on the overclocked board yourself."

    This one right? whats the difference between you install it yourself and Gigabyte take the initiative pre-factory installed? or Warranty Void?
    Reply
  • bloodgigas
    13466306 said:
    So we have to change the cooler by our self? now thats wierd.

    If you bothered reading the first page you'd know why.

    "Nvidia doesn’t allow its partners to sell the GeForce GTX Titan Black with proprietary cooling. However, Gigabyte now offers a GHz Edition of the card that comes bundled with its WindForce solution, which you can install on the overclocked board yourself."

    This one right? whats the difference between you install it yourself and Gigabyte take the initiative pre-factory installed? or Warranty Void?
    Reply
  • FormatC
    It is one of Nvidias funny rules.

    Ok, for your better understanding:
    Nvidia doesn’t allow its partners to sell the GeForce GTX Titan Black with factory-installed proprietary cooling.
    Reply
  • envy14tpe
    If you are dropping the cash on a Titan I really wish people would go liquid cooling. Seems to be the best.
    Reply
  • chaosmassive
    Nvidia doesnt permit to install any 3rd party cooling on their chip, now thats weird !
    Reply
  • rohitbaran
    That's some way to circumvent nVidia's rule. Nicely done Gigabyte!
    Reply
  • wolverine96
    Very nice, Gigabyte! I almost wish I had bought one. I have one of those "out of stock ASUS cards from Newegg". I am not disappointed, though. The card handles 84 degrees Celsius just fine!

    Igor Wallossek, I wonder if you could put up a graph for 3D rendering? If you use Blender's BMW scene by Mike Pan (a popular benchmark scene), make sure you properly set the tile size!
    Reply
  • Damn_Rookie
    13466699 said:
    It is one of Nvidias funny rules.

    Ok, for your better understanding:
    Nvidia doesn’t allow its partners to sell the GeForce GTX Titan Black with factory-installed proprietary cooling.
    Silly question probably, but why does nVidia allow only EVGA to break this rule, with their hydro copper signature edition you mentioned? Is it just because it's a water cooled model? Do you think nVidia specially signs off on the design?

    I'm genuinely curious.
    Reply