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Galax Goes Liquid With GTX 980, 970 HOF Watercooled Graphics Cards

A couple months back, graphics card manufacturer Galaxy, which is known in Europe as KFA2, changed its name to Galax for both regions. Beyond that, its strategy hasn't changed, however, as it is still building gorgeous high-end white graphics cards. Normally, its cards carry large extravagant air coolers, but this time around the company decided it's time for some liquid cooling, introducing the custom water-cooled HOF series.

With this announcement, Galax announced two such cards, the GTX 970 HOF Watercooled and GTX 980 HOF Watercooled. Aside from the water blocks and clock speeds, the PCBs of both cards are identical to their air-cooled HOF counterparts.

The water blocks were co-designed with Diamond Cooling to cool all the active components on the card, including the GPU, memory and VRM circuitry. The blocks are made of copper and have a nickel plating to protect against corrosion, along with a clear acrylic top to show off their insides. Additionally, the blocks feature a full-cover design, meaning that every part of the PCB is covered for maximum aesthetic appeal. The threads for fittings are G1/4", making them compatible with the most popular fitting size. Flow direction doesn't matter for thermal performance.

The GTX 970 and GTX 980 Hall of Fame Watercooled cards feature a non-reference PCB, which offers improved VRM circuitry over reference boards along with a couple of other nifty additions. The PCBs are 10 layers thick and carry an 8+2 phase VRM circuit for the GM204 GPU. They also come with a tool to increase the GPU voltage beyond Nvidia's specified limits for even further overclocking, and naturally, there is also a handy hardware- based dual BIOS, which is useful for when you messed one up and need to fall back on another.

The GTX 980 HOF Watercooled is clocked at a respectable 1304 MHz base, with a GPU Boost 2.0 clock of 1418 MHz. The GTX 970 variant will be clocked at 1216 MHz, with a boost spec up to 1380 MHz.

Pricing for the cards is a little steeper than your standard cards, though, with the GTX 980 HOF Watercooled carrying an MSRP of $799.99. The GTX 970 HOF Watercooled isn't listed for purchase yet.

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  • Larry Litmanen
    Why not create a one 240MM closed loop radiator that has two pipes going to CPU and 2 going to GPU.
    Reply
  • JackNaylorPE
    With the purchase of two barb fittings and some tubing, you can already have that with the H240-X / H220-X from Swiftech. But for a $250 premium, I think I'd add my own EK Block.

    The voltage adjustment is a nice feature but in recent generations, I haven't seen this feature add much, better clocks yes, better benchies, not significantly so.
    Reply
  • argeru
    I can appreciate the PCB redesign and voltage adjustment, but they want $300 extra for it. And it's just a block, no fittings/tubing/rad or pump/res like on the 295x2
    My reference 980 was $500, with a top level EK block for $115. Couple fittings for $15 and I put it in my already built loop for less than $650.
    Reply
  • JackNaylorPE
    I wouldn't want the rad / pump... would wind up being an aluminum rad and crappy pump like every CLC out there. I'd expect the Swiftech H240X to cool a 4690k and a 980 with a Delta T of about 14C.

    Loop cost = $140 for H240-X, $140ish for EK Block and backplate and maybe $20 for tubing and fittings. Ya get whole loop for $300 ... about the same as the HOF premium....

    Going to SLI would $140 for block / backplate, $65 for a rad, $30 for 2 fans and another $20 = $255

    Reply
  • bootsattheboar
    A lot of techies find water-cooled systems intimidating, so many are willing to shell out to not to risk damaging a $600 card taking the coolers off and on. And of course, there are people more than willing to do the work and take on the "risk" for a hefty price premium. It might help to find throw-away old video cards on ebay or craigslist and disassemble/reassemble that to build up your confidence.
    Reply
  • thundervore
    Why not create a one 240MM closed loop radiator that has two pipes going to CPU and 2 going to GPU.


    You are making too much sense.

    Remember the Sapphire Atomic 4870 X2 which was a closed loop GPU and CPU combo cooler from 2008?

    How about the PNY GTX 580 XLR8 which was a closed loop GPU and CPU combo cooler from 2011?

    These things exists and they are great, but these companies want to make more money so they feed it to customers piece by peace. Im still waiting for these to return with a decent sized 280mm radiator or at least a 240mm 38mm thick radiator.
    Reply
  • JackNaylorPE
    15741749 said:
    Why not create a one 240MM closed loop radiator that has two pipes going to CPU and 2 going to GPU.

    Not practical.

    1. 240mm is not enough to dissipate all that heat
    2. Too many radiator connections ... Rad => Pump => GPU => CPU
    3. No water block design can accommodate all the different card designs.
    4. If an all-in-one, Tubes to GPU WB on various MoBos would wind up being too short or too long

    15750823 said:
    A lot of techies find water-cooled systems intimidating, so many are willing to shell out to not to risk damaging a $600 card taking the coolers off and on. And of course, there are people more than willing to do the work and take on the "risk" for a hefty price premium. It might help to find throw-away old video cards on ebay or craigslist and disassemble/reassemble that to build up your confidence.

    The Poseidon is a better option for folks you describe.
    Reply
  • cats_Paw
    What did you guys expect? I mean... Its not like these overpriced thigs are new or anything.
    Reply
  • Ninjawithagun
    Galaxy is charging a whopping $250 for a waterblock and backplate?? I can do better than that by buying my own EKWB waterblock and backplate from FrozenCPU for $150 and installing it myself. And no issues with regards to the warranty since EVGA covers the installation of waterblocks on their graphics cards by the owner :D
    Reply
  • JackNaylorPE
    Well you're not going to buy anything from FCPU :( .....they closed down > 2 months ago and doesn't look like they are going to resurface.
    Reply