PCB Design, Specifications, Cooling System
At the times of Nvidia GeForce FX 5900 Albatron would please its customer not only with the product packaging but also with the original Wise Fan cooler with a triple back-up system in case of a failure of one of the fans. Alas, the 8800GTS-512X cannot boast such originality as it is just a precise replica of Nvidia’s reference card.
There is no difference except for the stickers with an Albatron logo on the cooler’s casing. Well, the cooler that Nvidia developed for the GeForce 8800 GTS 512MB is effective and quiet, so there is no special reason to replace it with something non-standard.
As we already wrote in our reviews, Nvidia’s GeForce 8800 GT and GeForce 8800 GTS 512MB feature the same PCB design, but the GPU power circuit is reinforced on the latter card by means of an additional phase. The power supply is managed by a Primarion PX3544 and an Intersil ISL6549CBZ controller. The latter is responsible for the memory chips. The card is equipped with a 6-pin PCI Express 1.0 connector with a load capacity of 75W. G92-based devices do not need anything else due to the rather low power consumption of that chip, even with an unlocked eight block of shader processors.
Like all versions of Nvidia GeForce 8800 GTS 512MB we have tested so far, the Albatron 8800GTS-512X is equipped with eight Qimonda HYB18H512321BF-10 chips of GDDR3 memory. These chips have a rated frequency of 1000 (2000) MHz and a voltage of 2.0V. The memory frequency of the Albatron card is 970 (1940) MHz like that of the reference GeForce 8800 GTS 512MB. With a 256-bit memory bus, the card’s peak memory bandwidth is 62GB/s. Gaming tests suggest that it is not an obstacle to competing with the Nvidia GeForce 8800 GTX.
The card carries a G92 chip revision A2. Its characteristics are standard. The main domain is clocked at 650MHz while the shader domain, at 1620MHz. The eight blocks of unified shader processors (there’s a total of 128 such processors in the core) are all active, and all of the 32 TMUs are active, too. There are 16 raster operators (ROPs). In other words, the Albatron 8800GTS-512X specifications are exactly like those of the reference card from Nvidia without any difference.
The card has two dual-link DVI-I ports, one 7-pin mini-DIN port for analog video output, and a MIO connector for SLI technology. The audio-over-HDMI feature is not implemented, but the card has seats for all the elements necessary to implement it.
We described the reference cooler installed on the GeForce 8800 GTS 512MB in our review of the Leadtek WinFast OX8800 GTS 512MB card, so we only want to remind you that it is based on the cooler from Nvidia’s GeForce 8800 GTX/GTS 640/320MB. The large aluminum heatsink is connected with the copper sole, which takes heat off the GPU die, by means of heat pipes. The heatsink is cooled with a Delta BFB1012L blower. The hot air is exhausted out of the system case through the slits in the graphics card’s mounting bracket. The fan speed is usually not higher than 800rpm, making the cooler virtually silent.
Traditional dark-gray thermal grease is used as a thermal interface between the cooler and the GPU. The memory chips and the load-bearing transistors of the power circuit contact with the cooler’s sole through fabric pads soaked in white thermal grease. This cooling system is overall good and doesn’t call for replacement unless you plan on switching to liquid cooling.