Articles: Graphics

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Cooling System and Noise

The cooler consists of five copper heat pipes, one aluminum heatsink, and a plastic casing with two fans.

Piercing the slim aluminum fins, the pipes distribute heat uniformly within them.

The pipes are soldered to the fins as well as to the copper base to ensure higher efficiency. The base has grooves for the pipes to lie in. The two outermost pipes are 8 millimeters in diameter whereas the three internal ones are 6 millimeters.

This design must be meant to ensure uniform transfer of heat from the GPU and increase the overall efficiency of this cooler.

The two fans are 90 millimeters in diameter.

Their speed is PWM-regulated within a range of 1100 to 3200 RPM. According to the stickers on the fans, they are manufactured by FirstD and have a max power draw of 4.2 watts.

We tested the efficiency of the cooler while running five cycles of the Aliens vs. Predator (2010) benchmark at the highest settings, at a resolution of 2560x1600 pixels, with 16x anisotropic filtering and 4x FSAA.

Our monitoring tools were MSI Afterburner 2.2.0 beta 9 and GPU-Z 0.5.6. Every test was carried out with a closed system case at an ambient temperature of 25°C.

Sapphire's DualFan cooler proved to be highly efficient both at its maximum speed and in the automatic regulation mode.

Auto mode

Max rotation speed

The GPU temperature was only as high as 67°C in the automatic mode, the fans rotating at 2500 RPM. At the full speed of 3200 RPM the temperature wasn’t higher than 64°C. The result is excellent, but what about noise? Let’s compare it with the noise level of Sapphire Radeon HD 6950 Toxic Edition and MSI N580GTX Lightning Xtreme Edition:

* The dotted lines refer to the maximum speed of the fan(s) when regulated automatically.

Indeed, the Sapphire DualFan is quieter than its two opponents. The cooler of the Sapphire Radeon HD 6950 Toxic Edition is similar to the reference one and has no chance in this comparison, but MSI's cooling system is quite competitive and comparable in noisiness to the DualFan in the automatic regulation mode. Still, we have to note that none of these original coolers is really quiet or even comfortable in 3D applications. If you want silence, you need something more efficient, like the Arctic Accelero XTREME Plus II, for example.

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