Review Galax GeForce GTX 980 HOF

Review Galax GeForce GTX 980 HOF

We continue to test non-reference GeForce GTX 980 variants of different brands. Obviously, Nvidia’s partners did not stop on the reference design PCB and cooling system, actively promoting their original decision. Not so long ago in the laboratory production model I visited Galax (formerly Galaxy) with an interesting and high CO factory overclocked – Galax GeForce GTX 980 SOC.

Full name: GeForce GTX 980 HOF 4GB of 256-bit GDDR5, the manufacturer code: 98NQH6DND2TX.

Galax GeForce GTX 980 HOF: Packaging and delivery

The card comes in the box Galax large faded with the graphic arts industry. The front surface is a mysterious hooded figure with the inscription «What’s your Game?», The manufacturer’s name and the family of graphics solutions, as well as short technical characteristics of the device. Among the latter, you can select the amount of video memory, additional power supply circuit “8 + 8” and a set of interfaces.

On the reverse side all the same: a superficial description of the news, a number of modern games with screenshots inspiring signatures, but a concise definition of the old features.

The lower part is reserved for the transfer of the set supplied with the schematic representation.

The side face of the package displays familiar to us a list of technologies and features supported by the GeForce GTX 980, and the minimum system requirements. The latest list can be noted the power supply capacity of at least 500 W with support for two Eight-connectors.

Inside, the main package is hidden from the usual black box cardboard unmarked company.

Review Galax GeForce GTX 980 HOF

Under the hood is supplied packaged into compartments, and the graphics accelerator in the package anti-static, carefully mounted, in a soft material.

A complete list of accessories is as follows:

  • User Manual;
  • Quick Installation Guide;
  • CD with drivers and software;
  • Two types of power adapters 2hMolex -> 8-pin;
  • Adapter DVI-D -> D-Sub;
  • Hanger on the door with the inscription «Gaming / Overclocking – Do Not Disturb !!!» («Do not disturb”).

Galax GeForce GTX 980 HOF: The appearance and size

Video card Galax GeForce GTX 980 Series «Hall Of Fame» among the “classmates” is released in the first place for its design: the developers prefer not gloomy tones, but, on the contrary, white-gray shades. These colors are made almost all the details, including the printed circuit board.

In the new system, there are now two cooling fan size of 80 mm and a central 90 mm. In addition, engineers have increased to seven and the number of heat pipes has tried to get rid of their bends to improve heat transfer.

But the future owner has much to ponder since the size of the video card is enormous. According to our measurements in the laboratory, the length of the new items is 310 mm, width up to 131 mm, and in case the system overrides the two and a half expansion slots (~ 50 mm).

On the reverse side of the printed circuit board covered with the aluminum reinforcing plate with typical cuts and the inscription «HOF».

To display an image on the rear panel provides the following set of interfaces:

  • A DVI-I;
  • One HDMI;
  • Three DisplayPort.

This choice of ports is the most versatile because it allows you to connect most modern monitors or TVs without using adapters. It fully complies with the reference model GeForce GTX 980. Hero review supports simultaneous operation with four monitors.

The following resolutions:

  • Digital – up to 4096 x 2160;
  • Analog – up to 2048 x 1536.

The attentive reader may notice a black button or switch on the rear panel. The developer calls the switch «Hyper Boost Button», this is what he says about this technology:

«Hyper Boost technology acts like a hardware turbocharger, increasing fan speed and maximum power delivered to the GPU with the push of a button».

If you do not go into detail and say simply, this means that when it is activated by pressing the special schemes and optimization, allows you to remove a number of restrictions, undesirable for a good overclocking. Well, we verify these allegations in the relevant section.

Video card Galax GeForce GTX 980 is equipped with two additional HOF The eight connectors. The amount of food through a slot PCI-Express x16, it can theoretically consume 375 watts of power, in turn, work at the level declared TDP of 165 watts. Obviously, to the extreme overclocking developers prepared at the appropriate level.

On the end side of the case has shone a bright white inscription «Hall Of Fame». Engineers did not repeat the mistake made in the establishment of the previous model, and now the light is adjustable – you can change not only the brightness but also the frequency of the flicker.

Review Galax GeForce GTX 980 HOF

Next to the old rear panel are two connectors for the implementation of Nvidia SLI technology to connect the respective bridges.

They allow you to combine two to four accelerators for joint calculation of graphical effects.

Galax GeForce GTX 980 HOF: Cooling system

Cooling system «Triple Force» has been subjected to major modifications, which went only to the benefit of the new product.

And to become more familiar with it is necessary to remove the four screws on the graphic processor and two – in the power subsystem. This is followed by gently disconnect the two short wires with light and fans to remove the cooler.

A massive two-piece radiator, recruited from 62 and 66 nickel-plated aluminum plates laced with seven heat pipes. The diameter of the central – 8 mm, outer – 6 mm.

All connections are carefully soldered, which should positively affect the efficiency of the cooling system as a whole. Above are the chassis for mounting the enclosure.

For removal of heat from the power elements responsible section of the elongated ribs with soldered plate. Contact us through the gray thermal pads.

Developers should pay tribute, because mount does not occur at the edges, and the closer to the center, making more uniform contact pressure is obtained.

The casing of the cooling system is made of plastic and mounted with four small screw on the side. Top with electrical tape firmly fixed LED ribbon, which unnecessarily better not get, because (according to the test sample), it is glued tightly.

For the active part corresponds to two different models of production fans Cooler Master. Central propeller model FY09015L12LPA presented with the specifications of 12 V and 0.40 A (with a side of each marking is posted separately, which may come in handy). According to our measurements of the speed of rotation of the impeller is in the range 1200-3300 rev / min.

 

Recent turntables received the same nine blades and belong to the same series fans, but with a smaller diameter. Marking FY08015L12LPA, specifications – 12 V, 0.30 A.

 

Engineers have taken care of cooling the memory chips, is responsible for what a low-profile heat sink with a little ribbing.

If we recall the model GeForce GTX 780 Ti HOF Edition, here clamp evenly all the chips in contact with the thermal pads. Some success  .

The final element disassembled metal plate as developers attached thereto or through all the other parts of the cooling system.

It should be noted that it is not involved (as in the previous video) in removing heat from the power system that can be recorded on the first minus structure.

On the surface there is a protective film to prevent the device from short circuit.

Galax GeForce GTX 980 HOF: PCB

The company’s engineers created the original PCB own snow-white design, which (unlike the model GeForce GTX 780 Ti HOF Edition) received a different arrangement of some elements.

Among its advantages include PCB, the use of tantalum and ceramic capacitors, chip DrMOS, enhanced power system.

In addition, the card is equipped with additional connectors for connecting the equipment.

The power system is built using high-quality components on a “8 + 1 + 2” for the GPU, PLL, and memory chips respectively.

Responsible for the management of the same digital PWM controller IR 3595, which is mounted on a younger model Galax GeForce GTX 980 SOC.

At the heart of the video card is the graphics processor Nvidia GM204-400-A1, manufactured on 28nm process technology in mid-October 2014.

On board uses eight memory chips of 512 MB each made by Samsung for data exchange with the bus of 256 bits, which gives the total memory capacity of 4 GB. Passport frequency is 1753 MHz (7012 MHz effective frequency).

After removing the cooler switch, becomes available BIOS, which was difficult to notice before. Instead of the usual position “1-2” are marked «BM».

Review Galax GeForce GTX 980 HOF

It offers the ability to view and connection diagrams button on the rear panel.

So, in order to achieve good results in overclocking Galax GeForce GTX 980 HOF has several advantages:

  • Technology Hyper Boost – Increases the speed of rotation of the impeller fan and maximum power, which is supplied to the GPU, which will be useful during overclocking experiments;
  • Voltage tool – a tool developed by enthusiasts to increase the voltage beyond the limits of available values;
  • Two chips BIOS – for the safe use of new firmware versions and modification of parameters.

Conclusion

Almost all stages of the testing card, Galax GeForce GTX 980 HOF proved excellent. Among its advantages, we put high performance, good build quality, and functionality. And if you’re an enthusiast, overclocker or a person who wants to get a version of GeForce GTX 980 with the greatest acceleration, then it is worth paying attention. Although not without shortcomings couple, which just below.

Model Galax remembered striking design and the use of the efficient cooling system based on the three fans, a massive aluminum radiator, and a reinforcing plate. Of course, I would like to work with passive, like its competitors, and more democratic dimensions, but it is not. Note and enhanced power system with the use of tantalum and ceramic capacitors and chips DrMOS.This directly affected the good overclocking potential of new items, not to mention the high factory.

As for the disadvantages, the plate including on the reverse side of the printed circuit board, which is now not active in removing heat from the power components, and the two versions of the same BIOS, identical up to the clock frequency and a fan control. But the large size will not carry a downside, as the hero of the review is positioned as the flagship solution and the future owner must be aware of this. And do not be surprised already advanced users of a similar size.

Review Galax GeForce GTX 980 HOF updated: May 4, 2015 author: John Malkovich