ATI Radeon 9800 XT, Continued
Is that all? Well, basically yes, but ATI also worked on a lot of details. All XT cards ship with 256 MB memory onboard. Right now, ATI only speaks of DDR memory but it's not impossible that we'll also see XT models with DDR2 modules in the close future. DDR2 memory reminds us of the 256 MB Radeon 9800 Pro, which gets very hot while in operation. ATI worked on this issue and developed a new and dinky looking cooling system for the 9800 XT reference model. A large but comparative slow running fan blows air across copper heat sinks sitting right above the GPU and the memory chips. The fan speed is variable and depends on the temperatures of the chip.
The copper fins of the heatsink. The workmanship is not high standard.
The whole cooling element stripped.
The backside of the cooler.
The noise of the fan is low, which is also a result of its pleasant sound - no squealing and sweeping jingle. But compared to the Radeon 9800 reference fans, the overall sound level is a bit higher. The backside of the card is covered by a flat copper colored heat sink. Despite of the elaborate cooling system the card is getting very hot in operation. We measured up to 60° C (140° F) at the backside of the card - in an open test system. It's not dramatic but certainly not exactly cool.