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Closer Look

The card is really beautiful with the azure-colored PCB matching the silver heatsinks. The PCB is an exact copy of the reference one, save for the color, but that’s all right: attempts of some manufacturers to be original about the PCB design don’t always end up successfully, but sometimes worsen some of the product characteristics, like 2D image quality.

The cooling system is known under the name of Wise Fan II. Here it is, dismounted:

Unlike the first version of Wise Fan, the second one has a more optimal operation algorithm. When reviewing the Gigi GeForce FX 5900 PV (see our Albatron GiGi GeForce FX5900 PV Graphics Card Review for details), we pointed out that the third fan of the Wise Fan system was practically useless. It would turn on when one of the main fans failed, but not when overheating actually threatens the card, which would be of much more help. The second version of Wise Fan has a different heatsink, without the copper coating, and uses faster fans. Besides the standard substitute scheme, the spare fan has now a heat control circuit. It starts spinning up now in two cases: when one of the main fans stops or when the heatsink reaches a certain critical temperature.

The blades of the fans remained translucent and still shine in ultraviolet light. The bright blue LED that highlights the cooling system remains the same, too. I doubt that even modders will like it much since it shines downwards, illumining only the neighboring PCI card.

Wise Fan II is fastened on the card by means of a few plastic spring clips. A little silicon thermal compound lies between the heatsink surface and the GPU die, while the memory chips give their heat away through soft rubber-like pads that are quite good at conducting this very heat. The power connector was made offhandedly in our card – when I removed the heatsink, a badly-wrapped black wire fell off from the connector and I had to solder it up again.

The back side of the PCB carries just two simple heatsinks, each of which covers two memory chips. That’s a questionable solution, as we have GDDR2 memory from Samsung working at 450MHz (900DDR) and heating up a lot.

  

These heatsinks become as hot as 50°C and more at work. The original cooling system from NVIDIA has a massive heat-spreader for the memory chips on the backside of the PCB, and it’s strange why Albatron limited itself with two small heatsinks only. The memory itself has an access time of 2.2ns and works at its rated frequency. GeForce FX 5700 Ultra GPU works at 457MHz, as usual.

Gigi GeForce FX 5700 may come with VIVO function (the PCB has a landing place for the appropriate chip) as well as with two DVI-I connectors. In the latter case, the card carries an additional TMDS transmitter.

 
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