We continue our series of materials on non-reference models of graphics cards GeForce GTX 970.
In the recent past began to emerge interesting points about performance graphics cards and data relating to the division of the video memory into two segments: the «fast» (3.5 GB) and «slow» (512 MB). Over time, developers of GPU to solve the mystery, and it turned out that the novelty has not 64, and 56 ROP, second-level cache is not 2048 KB and 1792 KB. And this against a background of discontent users who blemishes whistle inductors …
Of course, the situation around the new products is not in favor of engineers Nvidia, but the GeForce GTX 970 models are offered at the price tasty and demonstrate a good level of performance. For this reason, we got to the lab a few graphics solutions from various vendors to explore their capabilities, strengths and weaknesses.
Thanks to our partner — company Regard , heroes of this review have become an interesting solution EVGA and underrated model Galax (former company Galaxy).
For the EVGA GeForce GTX 970 Superclocked ACX 2.0 provides mid-sized box, covered with plastic wrap. The latter was not superfluous: the packaging during transport received a scratch, but being protected film, it has been preserved in good quality.
The front of the box was a characteristic pattern in the background in the form of mesh cells, which are the company’s logo, model name, amount of video memory, as well as insert, which tells about the new cooling system ACX 2.0 in numbers.
On the reverse side all the same. There is a picture of the adapter with the interface panel and markers, a transparent window through which we can see part of the printed circuit board and a sticker with an identification number, a huge list of all the features and technologies.
All description is provided in five different languages. In addition, the specified list of supplied and support Blu-ray 3D with possible implementations.
Not spared developers and a list of recommended requirements. So, for your video card is desirable power supply capacity of at least 500 watts with two six-pin connectors for additional power supply, motherboard with built-in PCI-Express 2.0 or 3.0, as well as (classic of the genre!) Platform with a processor Intel Core i7.
Here are just a manufacturer’s recommendations, and the real needs of graphic accelerator GeForce GTX 970 a little more modest.
Video card and package delivered in a form of plastic bottle.
As is always the case, EVGA, it is impressive:
Fans of the style «fantasy» like a big poster series EVGA Gaming, which measures 598 x 800 mm, with a picture of malevolent monster.
Graphics accelerator EVGA GeForce GTX 970 Superclocked ACX 2.0 comes with all plug connectors and connectors to protect them from dust and moisture, as well as giving a more important kind of novelty.
It is equipped with a new cooling system, which is released by two 87 mm fans with curved blade shape (similar installed on an older model) and the casing with blue inserts embossed metal.
The reverse side is devoid of any element of CO or ribs, you can easily see four memory chips made by Samsung and PWM controller.
To display an image on the video card EVGA GeForce GTX 970 provides the following set of interfaces:
This choice of ports is the most versatile, as it allows to connect most modern monitors or TV sets without the use of adapters.
The following resolutions:
Extra power as two six-pin PCI-E connectors due to the construction and installation rendered closer to the center of the PCB.According to official sources the level TDP is 145W, which is comparable with the reference model.
In addition to the interesting appearance, EVGA graphics card has a democratic dimensions. Its length along with the housing does not exceed 242 mm Width — 111 mm. In the new housing system will block two expansion slots (40 mm).
To provide support for Nvidia SLI technology on the video card uses two connectors for the respective bridges, which allow you to combine multiple graphics accelerators for co-processing graphics.
Well, with the look and packaging we finished, it’s time to move on to the study of structures with.
Original cooling system EVGA Active Cooling Xtreme 2.0 has undergone a number of significant changes, allowing engineers noted an improvement in heat removal from mosfetov and reduced heating of the GPU.
The cooler itself is attached by four spring-loaded screws.
And the first thing that catches your eye — a longitudinal arrangement of the plates of the radiator with a U-shaped heatpipes. And it is in the light of recent assurances Engineers (install it on an older model EVGA GeForce GTX 980 SC), that this design loses «cross» to 7 ° C.
Apparently, the developers forgot to add a few words to his speech earlier, because, as it turned out, and the model EVGA GeForce GTX 970 FTW ACX 2.0 also works on the principle that further complicates the situation. But enough of me to discuss on various issues, delve further.
The main radiator composed of a single section, recruited from 40 nickel-plated aluminum plates pierced by two 8 mm and a 6 mm heat pipes.
The base is devoid of any soldered insert technology is used in direct contact.
When viewed from the side is clearly visible geometric shape and thickness of the ribs.
For removal of heat from the power supply subsystem is responsible all the same basic radiator by continuing plates in the rear.Contact us through the dark brown thermal pads. Clamp satisfactory.
With regard to the housing of the cooling system, it is attached four small cogs and its removal is not a problem.
Finally, we were able to reach the active part of the CO — fans. They got an optimized shape, eleven blades and rotor design, which allows a 26% reduction in the temperature of the GPU, a 36% — noise level at 250% — power consumption turntables and a 400% increase design life models. In addition, when the GPU temperature less than 60 degrees Celsius both fans are turned off, and the graphics card works absolutely silent.
Here we have used the device of Power Logic, model PLA09215B12H, specifications 12 V, 0.55 A. The rotational speed of the fan impeller on the conducted tests is 0-4400 rev / min.
Under the main radiator, we find a small metal plate, which plays the role of a small ribs and heat dissipation does not take part.
To load it is attached by six screws, and to prevent short circuits used rubber washers on the perimeter.
For the production of EVGA GeForce GTX 970 Superclocked ACX 2.0 uses an original printed circuit board in black. From the reference model distinguishes it slightly different arrangement of on-board components, but the basics are very similar layout. The very same element base corresponds to the original concept, according to which the production uses only quality components, namely solid capacitors, ferrite core chokes and FETs.
The power subsystem is made according to the standard reference model for the scheme 4 + 2 (for the GPU and memory, respectively).
Controls the power phases GPU controller Richtek RT8802A. In the compatibility list, then the protocol communication between the program and VID-voltage value.
At the heart of the video card is the graphics processor Nvidia GM204-200-A1, produced on 28 nm process at the beginning of September 2014.
This motherboard contains eight memory chips production Samsung, marking K4G41325FC-HC28. Data exchange bus — 256 bit volume — 4096 MB. Passport memory frequency — 1753 MHz (7012 MHz effective frequency).
An interesting fact is the application of additional labels on the printed circuit board, informing not only a unique number, and firmware version. The latter is a rarity.
Video card Galax GeForce GTX 970 OC comes in a box with a large turquoise packaging. Packaging is a minimum of information, from which still manages to find out interesting things. In addition to the manufacturer’s name, a ruler and a series of large consoles «OverClocked», developers noted the amount of video memory, additional power wiring diagram «6 + 6» and a list of interfaces.
On the reverse side information bit. In the best traditions of the genre are screenshots of the latest games with an inspiring description of cloudless level of performance, graphics and gameplay.
In the right-hand side describes the GPU Boost technology and VSync, the ability to connect multiple monitors support Nvidia SLI and utilities Xtreme Tuner Plus.
Is still here a list of recommended requirements, which is identical to the model EVGA. We pass on.
Inside the package is a black cardboard box.
Piece of kit located under the hood …
… And the other directly under the sheet of soft material to protect the contents from the effects of long transportation.
Graphics accelerator accompany:
Video card Galax GeForce GTX 970 OC meets his new owner truly modest size, it is a pity that up to size version ITX left on the doorstep, but they never reached. Its length is 179 mm, width — 111 mm, the system overrides the two expansion slots.
Low-key appearance highlights interesting fans (who were at one time popular models of Sapphire), metal casing with white drawings inserts and three heat pipes that extend beyond its edge.
On the reverse side you can see all the same four memory chips and a controller: a kid goes without reinforcement plate.
To display an image on the video card Galax GeForce GTX 970 OC provides the following set of interfaces:
The following resolutions:
Extra power is realized in the normal way and by means of two six-pin connector. In this case they are located on the edge of the printed circuit board to which access is not impeded heat pipe. In the absence of proper wiring in the power supply do not worry: the supplied adapter you just help.
The side view shows that the small size of new items are provided with the radiator plates of small height, which in turn can affect the efficiency of the cooling system in general.
To implement SLI technology on Galax GeForce GTX 970 OC traditionally used two connectors for connecting the respective bridges, which allow you to combine two or three cards for joint calculation of graphic effects.
This cooling system is not new and already established models seventh series of companies KFA 2 and Zotac, although in this case it was a small change.
The cooler is attached by four spring-loaded screws, are all built on the classical scheme.
Directly SO itself consists of a radiator, assembled from plated aluminum plate 45, two fan blades with a diameter of 74 mm and a metal shell that covers the entire structure above.
To improve the efficiency of heat exchange are three heat pipes with a diameter of 6 mm each and a total basis soldered copper plate.
Under the hood hiding two tall fan, which is comparable to the width of the radiator itself.
Seen from the side and from the decks dismantled its construction is clearly visible, lower plates and traces of solder between them and the heat pipes.
For the active part of the cooling system requires two propeller production Apistek. Their specifications — 12 V, 0.36 A. The rotational speed of the fan impeller on the conducted tests of 1000-3800 rev / min.
Developers have not forgotten about cooling and power components of the board.
It uses heat sink fins with low and light blue thermal pads.
The casing of simple design fully metal, an ordinary user it will not cause interest.
Developers Galax used PCB black reference design GeForce GTX 760. It is necessary to allocate only use high-quality solid capacitors and ferrite chokes.
Power graphics accelerator is made as in 4 + 2 (GPU and memory).
All control is performed by the controller NCP5392P production of ON Semiconductor, supports switching phases to optimize energy consumption, as well as having protection against excessive stress, coupled with fine adjustment of its submission to the graphics core graphics card.
Graphics processor Nvidia GM204-200-A1 is made at the beginning of September 2014.
This motherboard contains eight memory chips on 512 MB each production SK hynix bus exchange data of 256 bits, which gives the total memory capacity of 4 GB. Passport frequency is 1753 MHz (7012 MHz effective frequency).
Graphics accelerator EVGA GeForce GTX 970 Superclocked ACX 2.0 impressed me the most. Excellent cooling system, various package, high factory overclock and extended to three years manufacturer’s warranty.
Apparent deficiencies he has not, except that the thermometer has allocated a high heating zone of the power subsystem, apparently, the developers of the proposed measures to stretch enough to deal with a strong acceleration in the home with the reference cooling system. But in spite of this observation, the users’ attention it deserves.
As for the baby as Galax GeForce GTX 970 OC, then there is a small embarrassing moment: small size video entailed use is not the most efficient cooling system that does its job but at the cost of increasing the revs. And the latter leads to an increase in the noise level. It could be avoided by using a good ratio of the height of the radiator and fan, and now it turns out not very good solution.
The rest of the deficiencies were observed: a good package, factory overclocking, high-quality electronic components. In my opinion, this model was interesting and deserves a little refinement algorithm for fan control for better noise ratio and temperature. After that, you can forget about its presence in the system unit and enjoy the games.