Testing EVGA's GeForce GTX 1080 FTW2 With New iCX Cooler

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FormatC

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Very similar to the AVX after thermal mod and BIOS flash. And as I wrote: generally a little bit better :)

No idea, were are all the previous posts. Horrible tech...
 

FormatC

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I don't think, that any card can explode if you use it in a normal case with a good PSU. Normally ;)
The main problem is every time the cooler philosophy. You can see three main solutions on the market:

Most used cooler types:
(1) Sandwich (like EVGA or MSI) with a large cooling plate/frame between PCB and cooler with tons of thick thermal pads
(2) Cooler only and a separate VRM cooler below the main cooler, memory mostly cooled over the heatsink
(3) Integrated real heatsink for VRM/coils and larger CPU heatsink/frame for direct memory cooling (Gigabyte, Palit, Zotac, Galax etc.)

I'm investigating this things since years and visited a lot of factories in Asia and the HQs of the bigger manufacturers. I have contact to a lot of R&D guys of this companies and we exchanged/ discussed my data over a long time. I remember, that I was sitting with the PM and R&D from Brand G in Taipei to discuss the first coolers of Type 3 in 2013 and it was good to see, how the R&D was following my suggestions:



This were the first coolers with integrated heatsinks for VRM and memory. Later it was improved to include the coils into this concept. The problem was at the begin the stability of the heavy cards and they moved to backplates. I was also in discussion with a few companies to use this backplates not only for marketing or stabilization but also for cooling. One of the first cards with thermal pads between PCB and backplate was the R9 380X Nitro from Sapphire. Other companies copied this and the cards with the biggest amount of thermal pads are now the FTW with thermal mod and the FTW2. I reported the issues to EVGA in early August 2016 and we had to wait over 3 months to see the suggested solution on the market.

One of the the problems is based on the splitted development/production process. The PBCs are mostly designed/produced from/together with a few big, specialized OEMs. But nobody is proceeding a simulation to detect possible thermal hotspots (design dependend) first. The cooler industry works also totally separately and the data exchange is simply worse. Mostly they are using (or get) only the main info about dimensions of the PCB, holes and component positions (especially height) and nothing else. This may work if you lucky, but the chance is 50:50. Other things, like a strictly cost-down and useless discussions about a few washers or screws (yes, it's not a joke!) will produce even more possible issues. Companies like EVGA are totally fabless and it is a very hard job to keep all this OEMs and third-party vendors on a common line. Especially the communication between the different OEMs is mostly too bad or not existing.

Another problem is the equipment and the utilization in the R&Ds. If I see pseudo-thermal cams (in truth it are mostly cheap pyrometers with a fake graphical output and not real bolometers) and how the guys are using it (wrong angle and distance, wrong or no emissive factor, no calibrated paintings) I'm not surprised, what happens each day. Heat is a real bitch and the density their terrible sister. :D

For all people, interested in development and production of VGA cards:
I collected over the years a lot of material and pictures/videos from inside the factories and write now, step-by-step, an article about this industry, their projects, prototypes and biggest fails. But I have to wait for all permissions, because a few things are/were secret (yet) or it was prohibited to use it public. But I think that's worth to be published at the right moment:)


 

FormatC

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The MX-2 ist totally outdated and the performance is really worse in direct comparison with current mid-class products. The long-term stability is also nothing to believe (on a VGA card). The problem of too thick thermal grease to compensate some bigger gaps (instead of pads) is the dry-out-problem. The paste will be thinner and lose the contact to the component or heatsink. The sense of such products is to have a very thin film between heatsink and heatpreader/die in combination with a higher pressure.

I tested over the weekend the OC stablity of the memory modules. If I use the original ACX 3.0 or the iCX, I get not more than 100-150 MHz stable (tested with heavy scientific workloads). With a water block I was able to OC the same modules up to 300 MHz more and got no errors - with a big headroom. I write not about gaming, some games are running with much higher memory clocks. But this isn't really stable. It only seems so. But this is nothing to work with it. :)
 

FormatC

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Gelid GC Extreme or Thermal Grizzly Kryonaut. A lot better and not bad for long-term projects. The Gelid must be warmed up a little bit, it's more comfortable without experience. :)
 
I've used Arctic MX-4 on several CPU's, GPU's and in laptops. In fact I just used some last night in a laptop that was hitting 100c under load. I put some of the MX-4 on th CPU and both sides of the thermal pad that was on the GPU and the system runs at 58c under load now.
 

FormatC

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The MX-2 is entry level, the MX-4 mid-class but both were developed years ago. The best bang for the buck is the Gelid GC Extreme (a lot of overclockers like it) but the handling is not so easy. The Kryonaut is a fresh high-performance product and easier to use (more liquid). You have only a short Burn-In time and the performance is perfect from the begin. The older arctic products are simply outdated but good enough for cheaper CPUs. Nothing for VGA.


I tested it a few weeks ago, also here (how to improve VGA cooling):

 


Not calling anyone a liar, just offering an alternative that I have had personal experiences with and all have been successful.

Good luck with the Kryonaut, The MX-4 has been around a while and from all the tests it lands in the middle of the pack for pastes, but the variance between the pastes was only a few degrees. I plan to look more into the suggestion from FormatC...always looking to improve things for clients.
 

FormatC

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I'm playing it also on 4K, but with an 1080 SLI and a lot of mods + HiRes DLC.
It runs really bad and I get no real advantages from the 2nd card. But it's funny :D
 


We use:

Shin Etsu 751G on CPUs (ties with leaders and is $3 direct from OEM)
Gelid Extreme on GFX cards

The reason we switch to Geld on the GFX cards is that it remains more pliable for a longer time. By the time you coat the GPU, both side of the memory / VRM pads, you been at it a while and by that time. Shin Etsu gets a bit sticky. The lil oar applicator also comes in handy. The top end Grizzly product (all the names are so similar, I always forget which one is which) is also very good. Avoid AS5 cause of the curing and capacitance issues.

 

Terry Perry

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I never buy new cards wait for the next gen then swoop in like 2 970 for 500$$ in SLI wright behind the 1080. Or 2 years ago the R9 280 for 250$. Who could pass up the R9 Fury for 260 $. That is how you buy these cards.
 


It doesn't pan out .... for example one 1070 is faster than two 970s in SLI according to published test results and according to the two boxes we have here... (2) MSI Gaming X 970s (Son No. 2) vs Son No. 3 who just upgraded from an SLI setup to a single 1070 last month.

(2) 970s for $500
(1) 1070 for $400

As for who could pass up a Fury ? the card's sales were abysmal and didn't get better as prices plummeted.

The best way to buy a 1080 is to wait for the 1080 Ti to be announced... I saved $320 waiting a week when the 780 Ti was announced as the 780 dropped $160 in price and did a custom loop build w/ twin 780s in 2013. In other circumstances and in previous generations that worked ... however this time around the generation to generation increase was sooooo great (57% on x70) it just didn't pay off.
 
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