Summary: Tired of the first-generation of 7800 GTX cards with stock cooling? Then EVGA's e-GeForce 7800 GTX KO may be just for you! EVGA mixes ducted aluminum cooling with a copper heatsink and RAMsinks to deliver more effective cooling to the 7800 GTX GPU. On top of that EVGA includes higher clocks! Get a quick glimpse of this card in today's sneak peek article!
Of course, it also helps NVIDIA provide a consistent minimum level of board quality regardless of manufacturer. Back in the GeForce2/3 days, some board partners were known to skimp on their 2D filtering circuitry, leading to blurry output at high resolutions. Board partners have no choice but to play along, and it does after all help them bring their products to market quicker and more easily.
With NVIDIA’s board partners all getting their 7800 GTX cards from the same source, some have taken unique ways to differentiate themselves from the competition. BFG, EVGA, and several other manufacturers have chosen to overclock their 7800 GTX cards by default, the e-GeForce 7800 GTX card we reviewed a few weeks ago ships with a core clock 30MHz higher than default. The game bundle is another area manufacturers play with to separate themselves from others. But up until this point, the hardware used on the cards themselves has been identical – they’ve all shipped with the same board-level components, right down to the reference single-slot cooling.
With their e-GeForce 7800 GTX KO EVGA changes all that. The card sports even higher clocks than the board we just reviewed, with a core clock frequency of 490MHz, and 650MHz memory. This is an improvement of 60MHz over stock on the core, and 50MHz on the memory.
But higher clock speeds aren’t the only trick the e-GeForce 7800 GTX KO has up its sleeve, as EVGA has equipped the board with their own custom ACS³ cooling.
As you can see in the picture above, ACS³ consists of multiple layers. At the heart of the cooler is a copper heatsink/fan derivative of NVIDIA’s original reference cooling design. We included a picture of this board with copper cooling in our 7800 GTX Performance Preview article. Of course, as you probably know by now, the copper heatsink/fan unit was ultimately scrapped in favor of an aluminum design for final retail boards; but apparently EVGA has managed to get their hands on something similar for their KO boards. Sitting on top of the copper heatsink/fan unit is a black aluminum enclosure.
The enclosure acts as a duct, channeling air out the right side of the card, as well as the “E” logos sitting atop the enclosure. EVGA then slaps another aluminum plate on the back of the card, as well as heatsinks on the underside of the GPU and the card’s memory modules, drawing more heat off these hot components.
If you recall the second and third generation of GeForce FX 5900 cards, cooling designs like this aren’t entirely new, as the Leadtek WinFast A350 Ultra TDH was one of the first to do this. Albatron and others have also used similar designs on their cards in the past.
Each of these cards have gone on to deliver spectacular cooling results, the question is now is how effective is EVGA’s ACS³ cooling solution? That’s what we plan to spend the next week figuring out…
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