Articles: Graphics

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In the right part of the PCB you can see SiS301MV chip, which is responsible for multi-display configurations and TV-Out support. And below it there is a flash-memory chip with the BIOS. The entire upper part of the PCB is loaded with capacitors, regulators and coils building the power supply circuitry of the graphics adapter. All critical elements are equipped with heatsinks, which is a very pleasing sign. In the left part of the PCB there are two standard four-pin power supply connectors. The manufacturer didn’t manage or didn’t want to unite them into a single connector. This layout can actually cause some troubles, because it might require two connectors on the PSU. According to XGI’s recommendations, Volari Duo V8 Ultra will work fine if your system PSU is at least 400W.

As for the coolers, they deserve a separate mention. A massive copper plate serves as a general heatsink for both graphics chips and the memory chips located on the front side of the PCB. The contacting surfaces of the graphics chips are covered with a layer of thermal interface and the memory chips contact the heatsink plate through flexible rubber-like thermal pads. There are two sets of thin copper ribs soldered to the heatsink plate in a circle. The whole construction is cooled down by two fans with semitransparent blades of unusual shape, which look very much like snowflakes. The fans are decorates with blue lighting and XGI name. There are three wires connecting each of the fans to the PCB, which gives us some hope for the implemented hardware fan rotation speed control system. Here is what we see when the cooler has been removed:


The gigantic size of the graphics chips is striking. The die size of each Volari VPU is even bigger than that of RADEON 9800 XT. In order to protect the dies against physical damage each Volari chip is covered with a small frame.

GDDR-II memory chips from Samsung feature 2.0ns access time and can work at the nominal frequency of 500MHz (1000MHz), though in our case their working frequency is 450MHz (900MHz).

The reverse side of the PCB looks a little simpler: we could only point out Conexant Bt835KRF chip responsible for the implementation of VIVO functions. The memory chips are covered with a massive copper plate with ribs. As is known, GDDR-II memory dissipates much more heat that is why the use of this powerful cooling solution is absolutely justified. Nevertheless, we will be able to evaluate its efficiency only during the test session, which is about to start a little bit later.

All in all, the design of this product can be called successful, although we cannot disregard its massiveness. However, despite the seemingly huge size, the card is not that big. As we have already said it is only 5mm longer than the PCB of NVIDIA GeForce FX 5950 Ultra. It is not a small card, but not an unbelievably big one for today. Club3D added a few of their own ideas to the Volari Duo V8 Ultra reference design. Dark-brown PCB lacquer, protective cooler bars of the same color – all this makes the card even more charming, so that to catch the eye of a potential customer.

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