Around back, the board is unremarkable. Notice those dark spots where the thermal pads were glued on between the PCB and backplate.
The one-piece aluminum alloy backplate sports a generous number of openings to increase airflow. It facilitates passive cooling, in addition to looking good. Furthermore, that plate adds rigidity to the board, preventing the heavy cooler from bending the PCB.
Underneath, the backplate is covered with insulating foil, though the foil is missing wherever thermal pads are required to make contact. As a result of this foil, thermal energy absorbed by the backplate can only dissipate through its exposed side (rather than back down toward the card).
The cooler itself is a dual-slot solution, differentiating KFA2/Galax's card from the larger 2.5-slot options out there. Of course, that also means the GeForce GTX 1080 Ti EXOC is subject to physical limits dictated by its smaller cooling surface area. Thicker boards benefit from larger coolers able to handle more heat.
A cooling solution for the voltage converters is certainly nice. In addition to the real VRM heat sink, which is integrated into the cooler, it also provides optimal cooling for the chokes and flat SMD capacitors. Furthermore, the cooling surface is large enough that it touches the furthest-out load-balancing VRMs as well.
Four 8mm copper heat pipes and one short 6mm pipe are tasked with distributing heat through the heat sink's fins. As you can see in the picture, a copper plate makes contact with the heat pipes, which are pressed into the cooler's body. Its back is attached to an aluminum plate.
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