Besides the advanced PCB and increased GPU frequency, the Gigabyte card features an exclusive cooler called Triangle Cool.
It is based on a dual-section aluminum heatsink with three copper heat pipes, 6 millimeters in diameter:
The cooler features direct-touch technology. There are no gaps between the pipes in its base:
As we can see, each of the three heat pipes takes an active part in cooling the GK104 die. As for the memory chips, they are cooled by an aluminum plate with thermal pads, fastened to the cooler’s base. There’s a separate aluminum heatsink for the card’s power system components.
Three 11-blade 80mm fans, secured in a plastic frame, are set to blow at the whole arrangement.
The fans can be PWM-regulated within a range of 700 to 4700 RPM.
We checked out the card’s temperature while running Aliens vs. Predator (2010) in five cycles at the highest settings (2560x1440, with 16x anisotropic filtering and 4x antialiasing).
We used MSI Afterburner 2.2.1 and GPU-Z 0.6.2 as monitoring tools. This test was carried out with a closed system case at an ambient temperature of 25°C. We didn’t change the card’s default thermal interface.
We were impressed at the high efficiency of Gigabyte’s original cooler on Gigabyte’s Radeon HD 7970 OC, so let’s see now how it copes with the GeForce GTX 670 Ultra Durable.
Automatic fan mode
Maximum fan speed
In the automatic regulation mode the fans reach 2340 RPM, keeping the GPU as cool as 70°C. At the maximum 4680 RPM the temperature is lower by 10°C, which is another proof of the high efficiency of Gigabyte’s Triangle Cool.
Interestingly, our monitoring utilities both reported a peak GPU clock rate of 1189 MHz, although the specified boost frequency is 1058 MHz. Indeed, judging by the frame rate in Aliens vs. Predator (2010), the graphics card was somewhat faster than if it had been clocked at 1058 MHz. Moreover, we managed to overclock the GPU by 120 MHz to 1100 MHz without changing its voltage! That’s an excellent result, especially as the boost clock rate was as high as 1310 MHz at some point. The graphics memory was stable at 7568 MHz (+30%):
The Triangle Cool wasn’t taken aback at our overclocking endeavors and kept the GPU no hotter than 72°C at a fan speed of only 2460 RPM.
So, our impressions about the first GeForce GTX 670 in this review are all positive because Gigabyte’s product features a reinforced power system on a high-quality PCB, pre-overclocked frequencies, a highly efficient custom cooler (we’ll check out its noise level shortly), and excellent overclocking potential. How can Gigabyte’s competitors respond to that? Let’s see.