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For the card to be cooled properly at minimum noise, VTX3D equips it with an original cooler that consists of a copper base with four copper heat pipes (8 mm in diameter), an aluminum heatsink, and a plastic casing with fans.

A proper contact between the pipes and heatsink is ensured through soldering. The slim 0.25mm fins of the heatsink are long and placed 1 millimeter apart from each other. Their total surface area is almost twice as large as that of the reference card’s cooler.

The plastic frame contains two 92mm impellers that are a mere 10-12 millimeters high. Judging by the sticker on the motor, the fans are manufactured by Rotek Electronics.

The fans both have the same speed which is varied automatically within a certain range. We could not determine that range with any monitoring tool but our controller reported that the fans could work at a speed of 1140 to 3570 RPM. The startup voltage of the fans is 2.7 volts; their peak power consumption is 7.5 watts.

The temperature of the card turned out to be similar to that of the MSI. Its GPU was as hot as 70°C in the automatic fan control mode when running a 3D game. When we launched the Bitcoin client, we temperature grew up to 73°C.


Aliens vs. Predator (2010)

Bitcoin-client

At the maximum speed of the fans the GPU temperature wasn’t higher than 62°C when running Aliens vs. Predator (2010) and no higher than 66°C when running the Bitcoin client.


Aliens vs. Predator (2010)

Bitcoin-client

Thus, VTX3D’s cooler proves to be even more effective than the cooler of the MSI Radeon R6970 Lightning. But how would it compare with, for example, an Arctic Cooling AcceleroXTREME 5870 which is actually the best air-based cooler for the Radeon HD 58xx and 69xx series? We could not install it on the MSI card due to the heat-spreading plate but it fitted nicely on the VTX3D Radeon HD 6970 X-Edition:

 

Here are the results in the Bitcoin mode:


3 x 1000 RPM

3 x 1490 RPM

3 x 1870 RPM

The AcceleroXTREME 5870 is expectedly superior to the VTX3D cooler (and, obviously to the cooler of the MSI Radeon D6970 Lightning) but its advantage is not very large, so the original coolers of the two Radeon HD 6970s we are discussing today are very high quality.

Now let’s get back to the VTX3D card to check out its overclocking potential (with its default cooler, of course). Its GPU was able to work at 975 MHz without our raising its voltage. The memory chips worked at 5880 MHz.

By increasing the GPU voltage from 1.175 to 1.225 volts, we managed to add 30 MHz to the GPU frequency, reaching as high as 1005 MHz, but this is not as large a benefit as to justify our running the card in such a stressful mode. When overclocked to 975/5880 MHz, the VTX3D Radeon HD 6970 X-Edition got a mere 2°C hotter under max load.

 
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