Five fans cool Super Overclocked GeForce GTX 680

Computex — This year’s Computex show was filled with hot-clocked graphics cards. Some featured custom cooling solutions with one fan, others had two, and a few even squeezed three fans onto a single card. Gigabyte’s Super Overclocked GeForce GTX 680 beat them all, though. This triple-slot beast is lined with no fewer than five fans.

Where are they? We asked the same question when Gigabyte showed us the card. Rather than being mounted on the face of the cooler, the spinners are located along the top edge.

Although the blades are small in diameter, the fans haven’t been pulled from a bin of old chipset coolers. These babies are much thicker than anything I’ve seen bolted to a motherboard; they look like they belong in a slim server chassis. Servers aren’t known for their silence, but we’re told some of the fans will spin down when the card is idling.

Clock speeds and pricing haven’t been finalized. The latter will surely be steep, but I’ve gotta admit I’m intrigued. While the cooler will probably be noisy, pulling in air from the edge might be a good idea in cases with vented side panels. The fan orientation is particularly appealing for tightly packed SLI configurations—pretty much the only SLI config possible with triple-wide cards.

Comments closed
    • clone
    • 7 years ago

    I thought the benefits that were coming with the shift to 28nm was less power consumption and heat which should have translated to less need for robust / noisy cooling systems….. yet here we are with what appears to be the exact opposite.

    a triple slot cooler using 5 high rpm fans to cool a 28nm chip that uses less power even when overclocked than an old GTX 260 who’s cooler only needed 2 slots and 1 larger lower rpm fan to keep it under control.

    seems more like they are building it because they can….. it’s not like a car or like 1000 engineers spent 10,000 hours working on this, more like they were replacing a server and in order to get an environmentally friendly rating they needed to find a use for the leftover junk.

    • crabjokeman
    • 7 years ago

    This is great for people who live next to airports and don’t feel at home without the sound of jet engines whirring.

    • Chrispy_
    • 7 years ago

    [quote<]pulling in air from the edge[/quote<] tl;dr Nope, this thing sucks in warm, congested air from the mess of cables near your motherboard SATA ports and then slams it into the side panel of your case. Those fans are definitely blowing air out towards the edge (the hubs are usually on the exit side for bearing reasons, but that's not conclusive; the trailing edge of the blades in the second picture shows that the blade is definitely directing air out towards the camera).

    • d34thly
    • 7 years ago

    These fans suck! Kinda looks like something an engineer whipped up last second to bring to Computex to impress any investors milling about (ya know, cause investors wouldn’t catch the stupidity in this design).

    • gmskking
    • 7 years ago

    Sweet looking Video card!

    • cynan
    • 7 years ago

    Anyone want to bet this thing never graces store shelves?

    • moresmarterthanspock
    • 7 years ago

    I seem to recall something called the GeForce FX.

      • Arclight
      • 7 years ago

      Yeah dude but that had only one tiny fan. This bad boy has 5 (it’s starting to look like a sextuple rainbow AwwWWWWwwww)

    • SomeOtherGeek
    • 7 years ago

    Oh great… Dustbuster 2.0.

    • lilbuddhaman
    • 7 years ago

    “super overclock”
    +50mhz gpu
    +25mhz mem

    >_>

    • destroy.all.monsters
    • 7 years ago

    Obviously not enough fans on this model.

    • ish718
    • 7 years ago

    Will this one actually be in stock?

    • ShadowEyez
    • 7 years ago

    Though the fan orientation maybe appealing for SLI configurations, it’s unlikley the card itself would be. You have to have the right mobo and case to fit two of these cards in, and once you do, it’s unlikley there is any more room for any other expansion cards. Even if there are no plans for expansion, it’s likely two of these cards would be about the price of 1 GeForce 690, so why not just put one of those in your case, and have room for expansion; the performance would be equal, and it’s likley the system would draw less power with a GeForce 690 than with 2 of these cards.

    And then there’s the noise… Let’s just say a machine with 2 of these cards would be unlikely to win a contest on silentpcreview.com.

    • wirerogue
    • 7 years ago

    gigabyte already has the very effective and quiet windforce cooling system. i doubt they would be going this route if they couldn’t come up with something with better thermals and acoustics than their windforce.

    it’s also nice to see someone trying something different at least.

    • albundy
    • 7 years ago

    NV should start thinking about external video processing instead of wasting heat/power/empty pci-e slots in systems. whats next? will we need a full size tower to accommodate their next card that takes up x amount of pci-e slots?

      • HighTech4US2
      • 7 years ago

      This is a Gigabyte design not a Nvidia design so place blame where it belongs with Gigabyte. The Nvidia design has a single fan.

      • Arclight
      • 7 years ago

      Don’t be silly. The GTX 680 design is extremely efficient for the performance it has. The stock cooler is more than capable at keeping the thermals in check. The custom coolers are made to improve the thermals, but only slightly, the real change they bring is actually lower noise.

      But this Gigabyte design seems flawed in that regard since, afaik, tiny fans spinning fast produce high pitched noises.

    • Bensam123
    • 7 years ago

    A card that blows air outside the case still looks superior in every shape and form… Even if you’re stacking them, all you have to do is add air channels or a different type of blow to the end of the card (squirrel cage), or different direction for the fan, such as blow straight throw instead of pulling in from the bottom.

      • FuturePastNow
      • 7 years ago

      Unless those fans work differently from every other computer fan in existence, they’re oriented to pull air through the heatsink and blow it away from the card (and the motherboard).

      So, it will blow hot air outside the case… if the side of the case is open. And holy cow will that be loud.

        • Bensam123
        • 7 years ago

        Yeah if the case is open… >>

    • kc77
    • 7 years ago

    Aside from the lack of ability to find and/or buy this this thing when it launches, this has got to be the dumbest design in history. So instead of moving the air from the inside out, this card is going to recirculate the air inside the case thus heating up all of the components that an overclocker would like to keep cool. Bloody brilliant.

      • l33t-g4m3r
      • 7 years ago

      All non blowers do that. Some people want and can accomadate badly designed cards, as sometimes it helps overclocking. I can’t say this design is any worse or better, only that the only design I’ll ever care to buy is a blower. It’s something interesting to look at, if nothing else. Videocard art, perhaps.

        • faramir
        • 7 years ago

        So this is a sucker (non-blower) ?

          • Grigory
          • 7 years ago

          There’s a non-blower born every minute.

        • derFunkenstein
        • 7 years ago

        no, we can say this is worse, as its’ filled with 40mm fans.

      • MadManOriginal
      • 7 years ago

      This isn’t going to be purchased by the average gamer looking for a card to put in their case and leae their for 6-12 months while they game away. It will be bought by the extreme cooling crowd for ‘on air’ bragging rights and benchmarking. I imagine it would do pretty well on an open test bench.

    • burntham77
    • 7 years ago

    Look at that giant copper heatsink behind the fans. Wow.

    • flip-mode
    • 7 years ago

    Sometimes you have to let an idea run its course before you know whether or not it is a good idea. This [i<]looks[/i<] like a bad idea to the fifth power, but perhaps that is not the case.

    • glacius555
    • 7 years ago

    They should ask Noctua to design the fans.

    • indeego
    • 7 years ago

    [quote<]"Servers aren't known for their silence, but we're told some of the fans will spin down when the card is idling."[/quote<] The G7 and higher Proliants are pretty damn quiet. I was rather alarmed when I powered one on the first time and nothing was heard.

    • Arclight
    • 7 years ago

    I pitty the one guy that will buy this. j/k

    But srsly, what’s the point? Small fans are noisey, plus for the price of this thing (someone said bellow it will costs 1500 dollars) you can buy 3 GTX 680s or 2 680 from EVGA with water blocks and still have money left for a case of beer.

      • End User
      • 7 years ago

      The person who buys this card has enough money left to buy a very nice car/house/etc.

    • bowman
    • 7 years ago

    I don’t even want to imagine the racket this makes.

    I imagine the actual target demographic for a card like this will rip off that crap and stick a water block on it anyway.

    • d34thly
    • 7 years ago

    On second thought, 5 loud fans would be worth it, but only if they were sandwiched between two GTX690s ( and they called it the GTX1380 quad-sli card and MSRPd it for $1499.99 US). 9 Monitors FTW!

    • yogibbear
    • 7 years ago

    Does it fly?

      • dpaus
      • 7 years ago

      At $1,500 a pop; right off the shelves, baby!

      • UberGerbil
      • 7 years ago

      Only if you stuff it inside a taxidermied cat.

    • internetsandman
    • 7 years ago

    This thing better be able to crank out a consistent 120 FPS across 3 30″ monitors in order to make up for the noise

    • cegras
    • 7 years ago

    Why not just use a long squirrel cage fan in this case?

      • chµck
      • 7 years ago

      because 5 > 1

    • d34thly
    • 7 years ago

    Congratulations on the LOUDEST videocard ever conceived Gigabyte! 5 x 40mm loud whinny spinners; I won’t even buy a motherboard if it is equipped with one of these 40mm fans.

      • HighTech4US2
      • 7 years ago

      And don’t forget that with 5 fans a fan failure is more likely. Smaller fans also fail more often than larger ones.

        • xeridea
        • 7 years ago

        But if one failed, you would have 4 backups.

          • derFunkenstein
          • 7 years ago

          that’s not actually how this works.

            • Forge
            • 7 years ago

            You think they’re wired serially? REALLY? That would be monumentally dumb. WAY beyond normal dumb.

            • superjawes
            • 7 years ago

            uuhhhh…I think Funkenstein was pointing out that a 5-fan system is not likely to be using a 5-redundancy system, meaning that you need more than one fan to properly cool the card, in which case, the card [b<]could,[/b<] in fact, fail if one fan fails.

      • Ifalna
      • 7 years ago

      Seriously, where is the connection port for my vacuum cleaner? Need moar airflow!

        • superjawes
        • 7 years ago

        Has anyone ever built a computer in a box fan? Noise would be terrible, but that might get you the airflow you want.

    • Madman
    • 7 years ago

    That’s probably going to be one hell of a screamer. And I’m talking about sound, not the performance.

      • vargis14
      • 7 years ago

      It just might be a lot quieter then you think with them on suction puling air from the motherboard side and the large fin area they might not even run at a high rpm.I have a couple fans the look almost identical and they are pretty silent.

      I bet to get the best cooling performance out of it would be with say a CM HAF 922 type cases like i have with the side panel fan removed or running on exhaust, along with a mice 140mm fan in the bottom of the case pushing cool air from the bottom along the motherboard to the video card. along with the 200mm front intake also supplying fresh air to the cards if they are run in crossfire.

      With the good realtek 898 onboard sound solutions with 110db noise to signal ratio on newer Mbs and a lot of people using HDMI to a reciever. Let alone headphone users. There is not much need for anymore cards besides video card/cards. There will always be exceptions but i would jump to conclusions so fast since Gigabytes previous SuperOverclocked cards had pretty beefy but quiet coolers. I do not think they would make a cooler louder then the OEM cooler. Gigabyte has a pretty good track record.

        • JustAnEngineer
        • 7 years ago

        40 mm fans are not effective at moving volumes of air.
        40 mm fans are not quiet.
        40 mm fans are not reliable.

        Do not buy a motherboard or graphics card that includes a 40 mm fan.

        • rrr
        • 7 years ago

        No. Even if GTX 680 is efficient, you’re forgetting this cooling system will still have to dissipate ~200W without further OC. Good luck doing so @low RPM.

    • dpaus
    • 7 years ago

    [quote<]The fan orientation is particularly appealing for tightly packed SLI configurations—pretty much the only SLI config possible with triple-wide cards[/quote<] While I too am intrigued by the concept (especially the part about sucking in cool air directly from a vent on the side of the case), I can't escape the paradox that this card uses a triple-slot design that allows it to solve a problem created by the fact that it's a triple-slot design.

      • Wilcomhs
      • 7 years ago

      If you examine the fans a little more closely, you’ll find that they’re configured for exhausting out the side rather than blowing the hot air all over the rest of the motherboard.
      [quote<]The Gigabyte WINDFORCE 5X uses an anti-turbulence pull airflow system, so the air comes in the bottom of the card along the motherboard PCIe slot and then up and out the top of the card. Gigabyte says you can't use a push airflow system as the airflow would be seriously blocked by the motherboard. - Legit Reviews[/quote<] See [url<]http://www.coolaler.com/content.php/972-GIGABYTE-TECH-TOUR-2012-%E6%96%B0%E5%93%81%E7%99%BC%E8%A1%A8-%E8%8A%B1%E7%B5%AE%E7%85%A7%E7%89%87/view/2[/url<] for bigger images. On a different note, I wonder how much heavier this thing is compared to a regular 680...

        • dpaus
        • 7 years ago

        You’re correct, and I don’t want to dwell on the point, but I think what they [i<]should[/i<] offer is a [i<][b<]seven[/i<][/b<]-fan card: the five fans across the top sucking cool air in and two more at the back exhausting it out a vent, combined with a set of sculpted plastic vanes to channel the airflow evenly across the PCB while targeting key heat sources/sensitivities and speed controls to balance the 5-in/2-out factor (including being able to selectively increase the speed of one fan to target a hot-spot on the PCB).

      • MadManOriginal
      • 7 years ago

      I guess the wiseguy humor of your post got a lot of thumbs up, but there is logic behind this design compared to other triple slot coolers – it allows for more heatsink surface. In other triple slot coolers the ‘third slot’ is occupied by fans, whereas in this one the third slot is still made up of heatsink fins.

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