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Cooling System

The cooling system installed on the EVGA GeForce GTX 580 Classified consists of four separate details: a plastic casing, a GPU heatsink, a heatsink for memory chips and power system components, and a blower.

Take note that the GPU heatsink is separate from the bottom plate, unlike in many reference coolers, and does not affect the temperature of the memory chips and power components. The latter are cooled with a separate metallic plate with thermal pads.

The GF110’s heatsink consists of a large copper evaporation chamber with an 8mm flat heat pipe and aluminum fins soldered to them.

The heat pipe services the center of the heat-spreader, transferring the heat to the top of the heatsink. Most of the heat is taken off the GPU by the evaporation chamber and the main heatsink.

Instead of a standard 70mm fan, the EVGA GeForce GTX 580 Classified uses an 80mm fan from Asia Vital Components Co., Ltd.

 

EVGA claims this fan's airflow is 1.7 times as strong as that of the reference GeForce GTX 580 cooler. It's marked as BA12032?12U and its peak noise seems to be 56.12 dBA. The rotation speed is PWM-regulated within a range of 1400 to 4100 RPM. The service life of the improved fluid dynamic bearing is not indicated but the fan’s power consumption is declared to be no higher than 2.4 watts.

We checked out the card’s temperature while running Aliens vs. Predator (2010) in five cycles at the highest settings (2560x1600, 16x anisotropic filtering and 4x full-screen antialiasing). We used MSI Afterburner 2.2.0 Beta 8 and GPU-Z 0.5.5 as monitoring tools. This test was carried out with a closed system case (you can view its full configuration in the appropriate section of the review) at an ambient temperature of 25.8°C. We didn’t change the GPU’s default thermal interface.

Let’s see how hot the card is with its fan working in automatic regulation mode and at the maximum speed.


Auto mode

Max speed

We are not impressed with the performance of EVGA's original cooler. With its fan regulated automatically, the GPU was as hot as 79°C and the fan was rotating at 2700 RPM. The card was rather uncomfortably noisy then. At the maximum speed of the fan the GPU was no hotter than 65°C, which indicates that the cooler's performance depends heavily on the speed of its fan and the GPU heatsink isn't large enough to ensure quiet cooling. The card was downright unbearable at 4100 RPM.

By the way, when the graphics card's operation mode is set at OC, the fan switches to its maximum speed of 4100 RPM and the card has the same clock rates, voltages and temperatures as when its fan speed is set at the maximum manually.

There were no other changes in the OC mode, and the card’s overclocking potential was the same.

As for the noise factor, we couldn’t measure the amount of noise produced by our GeForce GTX 580 Classified using our traditional method as we couldn’t connect to the fan’s cable without damaging it. The cooler casing covers the connector and cable, so we could only perform our measurements with the casing taken off. Such measurements wouldn’t yield accurate results. Still, we can tell you that the cooler was rather noisy even in the automatic mode of its fan. The card was more or less comfortable up to a fan speed of 1900-1950 RPM, but not higher. It was quiet in 2D mode.

 
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