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Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050 Ti Passive Cooling Mod

The Right Case & Placement

There needs to be at least 34cm of horizontal space available in whichever case you choose. After test-fitting the card’s positioning during installation, it is clear that, due to the cooler's extreme length, any chassis with a motherboard mounted horizontally is going to be impractical. Just to be sure we're covering our bases, we'll measure how the modified card/cooler behaves with and without plenty of airflow inside the case.

In our first run-through, we installed the card in a workstation. Its case fans were all disabled, except for two 240mm radiator fans that spin at 300 RPM. In addition to a slight under-pressure condition caused by those fans pulling air upward, the card enjoys plenty of room inside the chassis, which is ideal for the passive sink's convection-based heat dissipation.

For the second test, we pulled out our build from 2013, which employs passive cooling exclusively, including the CPU. We also armed it with a temperature-controlled fan setup as backup. Our GeForce GTX 650 project needed the extra cooling on and off. Can the GTX 1050 do without it, and deliver better performance in the process? We're excited to quantify the improvement in efficiency over the past three years.

Compared to the GTX 650 and GTX 1050 Ti, our passively-cooled 750 Ti had to make do with an aftermarket Sapphire heat sink that we modified to fit since the card's screw holes wouldn't allow for anything larger.

SummaryMounting the card/cooler combination horizontally allows for optimal cooling via convection. Vertical mounting would be less efficient.A large amount of free space in the case is advantageous for any passive cooling experiment.The card/cooler’s own convection process should not be impacted by other hardware in the case, if possible.