[SOLVED] Looking to purchase an RTX 2080 TI, what's the significance of a third fan?

ProtoflareX

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As mentioned in the title, I am currently in the market for an RTX 2080 TI to be used in a rig that I will be constructing in the coming months. I've done some browsing through all of the options available to me and have narrowed down my search to one of two models.

Model #1: EVGA GeForce RTX 2080 TI Black Edition
Model #2: Zotac Gaming GeForce RTX 2080 TI AMP

The EVGA model has a boost clock of 1545 MHz and has two fans. The Zotac model has a boost clock of 1665 MHz, but has three fans. The Zotac model is obviously a little more powerful, but what I'm primarily concerned about this the significance of the third fan. Is that third fan necessary in order for the Zotac model to operate at that speed? If I were to overclock the EVGA model to the same speed as the Zotac, would the two fans be capable of handling that heat increase? The price difference between those two models is around ~$180, which may seem minuscule when I'm looking to buy an RTX 2080 TI, but I'm not looking to spend what I don't have to.
 

Eximo

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I would have to track down reviews for these products. But suffice to say, bigger cooler is going to equal better sustained performance. Or at least quieter operation.

That EVGA card is one of the lower end ones. Typically EVGA will take a reference PCB slap their cheaper cooler on it and call it a day. A great product if you are into water cooling I typically buy EVGA reference cards.

You can see from just the marketing images that the Zotac card is nearly three slots thick. It will have significant cooling advantages over the EVGA. You would need to look at the Classified or FTW model cards for a closer comparison. Not sure if the Zotac is a custom PCB, but it might be, if so it should have smoother power delivery. Reference boards are usually adequate but not amazing. Typical EVGA Classified cards they usually just double up the phases too.

You can pretty much ignore the base and boost clock defaults. As you are aware, that is just an overclock away. Up to your system cooling, ambient temperature, and even the types of games you play what you can get away with. Just know that the AMP edition is going to get you a cooler or quieter GPU along the way, but that the silicon is still the same.

If that percentage increase in performance is worth it to you vs the increased cost.

Since I already have water cooling radiators, and pumps, and fittings, it is actually more economical to look at buying a cheaper GPU and a full cover water block rather than getting a super high end card, stripping off the nice air cooler, and getting a more customized water block.

So if you are willing to invest that way. I don't fault EVGA. They even let you return the cards as long as you put the original cooler back on. No warranty void removed stickers and no arguments about water cooling.
 
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ProtoflareX

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Jan 3, 2014
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I would have to track down reviews for these products. But suffice to say, bigger cooler is going to equal better sustained performance. Or at least quieter operation.

That EVGA card is one of the lower end ones. Typically EVGA will take a reference PCB slap their cheaper cooler on it and call it a day. A great product if you are into water cooling I typically buy EVGA reference cards.

You can see from just the marketing images that the Zotac card is nearly three slots thick. It will have significant cooling advantages over the EVGA. You would need to look at the Classified or FTW model cards for a closer comparison. Not sure if the Zotac is a custom PCB, but it might be, if so it should have smoother power delivery. Reference boards are usually adequate but not amazing. Typical EVGA Classified cards they usually just double up the phases too.

You can pretty much ignore the base and boost clock defaults. As you are aware, that is just an overclock away. Up to your system cooling, ambient temperature, and even the types of games you play what you can get away with. Just know that the AMP edition is going to get you a cooler or quieter GPU along the way, but that the silicon is still the same.

If that percentage increase in performance is worth it to you vs the increased cost.

Since I already have water cooling radiators, and pumps, and fittings, it is actually more economical to look at buying a cheaper GPU and a full cover water block rather than getting a super high end card, stripping off the nice air cooler, and getting a more customized water block.

So if you are willing to invest that way. I don't fault EVGA. They even let you return the cards as long as you put the original cooler back on. No warranty void removed stickers and no arguments about water cooling.
If I understand what you're saying correctly, the Zotac card has two primary advantages over the EVGA card: The first being a larger heatsink, and the second being the third fan? As a result of those two advantages, the Zotac card will run cooler and quieter than the EVGA card, correct? If that's the case, would you be able to guess how much louder the two fan card would be at high loads? That's probably difficult for you to answer without having testing both cards yourself, but is a guesstimate possible?
 

Gmoney06ss

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View: https://youtu.be/WNZjsAzhzCo

Here's a comparison of cooler design vs performance. Noise levels will be negligible. You may hear a pitch difference, as 3 smaller fans will spin faster. But doubt you'll notice a difference in overall noise levels. I certainly couldn't on my Asus strix vs evga xc. Two different cards, 1070vs2080, but 3 fan vs 2.

Only problem I've read about the black edition cards is the cooler isn't the best, as it's on the smaller side. If looking at evga, you may want to look at the xc or xc ultra, which should also be in that $180 range.
 

ProtoflareX

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View: https://youtu.be/WNZjsAzhzCo

Here's a comparison of cooler design vs performance. Noise levels will be negligible. You may hear a pitch difference, as 3 smaller fans will spin faster. But doubt you'll notice a difference in overall noise levels. I certainly couldn't on my Asus strix vs evga xc. Two different cards, 1070vs2080, but 3 fan vs 2.

Only problem I've read about the black edition cards is the cooler isn't the best, as it's on the smaller side. If looking at evga, you may want to look at the xc or xc ultra, which should also be in that $180 range.
I'm curious... if I had sufficient air flow and moderate ambient temperatures within my case, could the heat increase caused by the smaller cooler be "worked around"?
 

Gmoney06ss

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Worked around, possibly with a lot of air flow. But the main issue lies within the fact that the cooler is just smaller and will heatsoak faster. Maybe heatsoak isn't the best wording, but reach thermal capacity.

Maybe look at the xc or xc ultra over the black. Probably roughly same cost as the zotac, and better cooling than the black. I have the xc2080, and have no issue with noise or thermals. Max temp I've seen has been 72c.

You may also want to check out gamersnexus reviews on YouTube, as he does in depth thermal and performance reviews. I believe he did the black edition.
 

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