EVGA iCX tech offers a complete picture of graphics card temps


— 12:13 PM on February 10, 2017

EVGA found itself in a bit of hot water late last year, water heated by insufficiently-cooled PWM circuits and memory chips on some of the company's flagship GeForce GTX 1070 and GTX 1080 graphics cards with ACX 3.0 coolers. To its credit, the company offered card owners help on several fronts, from delivering firmware updates that increased the fan speed under load to sending out thermal pads to connect the hot power delivery and memory components to the heatsink.

To ensure that its GeForces won't suffer from similar issues again, EVGA is now offering GeForce GTX 1060, GTX 1070, and GTX 1080 graphics cards with what the company calls "iCX Technology." The redesigned cards will be most easily identifiable by the SC2, SSC2, and FTW2 monikers.

The iCX badge refers collectively to updated PCB designs with more granular temperature monitoring on board, as well as revised coolers. The new cards sport an extra temperature sensor for the GPU core on top of the unit Nvidia bakes into the chip, three more sensors for the memory chips, and five additional sensors in the power delivery section of the card. The updated cooler keeps the RGB LED lighting from ACX 3.0 cards, but it now has lights that indicate the health status of those three critical temperature zones.

The card also contains a 10A fuse to protect the rest of a users' system from excessive power draw in the event of card failure. The fuse appears to be soldered to the PCB, so field replacement seems unlikely. That being said, an event that leads to blowing the fuse probably calls for more than a fuse replacement.

The extra thermal sensors are managed by "multiple" microcontrollers, and data from the sensors helps determine fan speeds for the pair of spinners individually. One fan's rotation is governed by GPU core temperature, and the other spins in relation to the memory and power delivery thermal conditions. Users can catch a glimpse at all that data using EVGA's Precision XOC software.

The heatsink section of the cooler also has several new features, including holes in the fin array to direct airflow, as well as a blend of half-open and L-shaped fins to increase surface contact area. The company's marketing materials also tout new die-cast backplates and baseplates that make direct contact with "all vital components."

Nine new models are offered in 3GB and 6GB GeForce GTX 1060, GTX 1070, and GTX 1080 flavors. PC Perspective reports the new cards will ring in around $30 more than equivalent ACX 3.0 cards. The site also says an upgrade program will allow skittish owners of current ACX 3.0-equipped GeForce 10-series cards to upgrade to iCX versions for $100.

Although they're out of stock, Newegg already has listings for some of EVGA's latest. The GTX 1080 FTW2 costs $680, while the GTX 1080 SC2 demands $650. The GTX 1070 FTW2 rings in at $470, while the GTX 1070 SC2 knocks $20 off that figure. We presume GTX 1060 iCX cards won't be far behind. 

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