Palit GeForce GTX 1050 Ti KalmX
Palit introduced its first passively-cooled board in the GeForce GTX 750 Ti KalmX and followed up with the GeForce GTX 1050 Ti. Nothing much has changed visually, other than the new substructure. But how effective is Palit’s passive implementation and what are its limits? After all, the 750 Ti was a 60W board, while 1050 Ti is rated at 75W.
A known limitation of this card is its relatively constrained clock, which starts at 1291 MHz and is rated for a GPU Boost frequency of 1392 MHz.
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The card weighs 466g, only a bit more than XFX's board. Its 18.3cm length, 13.7cm height, and 3.6cm width are all manageable in a dual-slot form factor.
Palit dispenses with a backplate and overhanging rear fins, in contrast to its older passive coolers, preventing possible conflicts with CPU coolers in mini-ITX enclosures.
Palit again employs two nickel-plated heat pipes within a copper slug to dissipate thermal energy as effectively as possible. The sink, with its embedded aluminum fins, juts out the end and top edge of the PCB to capture circulating air. The fins are oriented vertically, similar to Palit's previous-gen design. Although this is better for natural convection, it benefits less from air flowing from the front of the case.
Vertically-oriented fins also benefit when the card is installed standing up, as you'd find in a cube-style case.
The display output bracket is limited to one DVI-D port, one HDMI 2.0 interface, and DisplayPort 1.4-capable connector. This leaves a lot of room for the many honeycomb-shaped air openings (though they seem fairly useless, given Palit's fin orientation).
Circuit Board Layout And Power Supply
Palit’s power target for this card is modest, as you might guess from the missing six-pin auxiliary connector. Similar to XFX, Palit also situates its voltage regulation circuitry near the output bracket, closer to the PCIe slot's relevant pins.
Although the PCB can accommodate three power phases for the GPU, only two are implemented.
In contrast to XFX, Palit uses memory modules from Micron, each with a capacity of 8Gb (32x256Mb). These operate at 1752 MHz and are not actively cooled, which creates a bit of an issue since Micron's memory runs somewhat hotter than Samsung's. Fortunately, we have the right tools to quantify the difference.
Back to the GPU's voltage regulation, which is controlled by a uPI Semiconductor uP9509. Each of the high-side GPU phases employs a 4C019 N-channel MOSFET, while the low side has two 4C024 N-channel MOSFETs. Standard ferrite coils, poured into cups, are manually fastened to the board.
The memory's power comes from a Richtek RT8128 synchronous buck PWM controller, as well as an On Semiconductor NTMFS4C024N single N-channel MOSFET for the high and low side.
This card's power consumption is manageable, as it was for XFX's passively-cooled RX 460. The GeForce GTX 1050 Ti KalmX barely reaches 58W in our gaming loop, and slightly exceeds that figure during the stress test. Given a power target of 60W, this card simply can’t deliver much more.
Our peak measurement represents a brief moment in time; it can't be used to characterize the board's power consumption over longer periods.
So, both of the cards we're testing consume roughly the same amount of power, even though the GeForce's performance is expected to be appreciably higher.
The following graphs show two-minute runs in our gaming loop and stress test; they provide the basis for calculating average power consumption.
Now we get to look at our current measurements, which fall below the PCI-SIG's 5.5A limit for the 12V motherboard slot.
Two 6mm nickel-plated copper alloy heat pipes are sandwiched between a small, yet beefy, copper sink and an aluminum block above it. The aluminum block supports the actual cooler assembly, while the pipes dissipate waste heat through the fin array.
Both vendors’ coolers differ in their fin orientations and resulting heat pipe structures. Palit at least also tries to establish thermal contact between the voltage regulation circuitry and cooler using thicker thermal pads. Do they help? Again, we have the tools to answer that.
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