Palit GTX 1050 Ti Kalm bulks up for silent running

Nvidia's power-efficient GeForce GTX 1050 Ti offers excellent gaming performance within a small power envelope. The design is so efficient that we've reported on three different implementations of half-height GTX 1050 and 1050 Ti cards, Nvidia packed every last stream processor from the desktop GTX 1050 Ti into the mobile version, and we've even seen DIY experiments of strapping fanless coolers onto retail GTX 1050 cards. Palit's latest offering capitalizes on the mini-Pascal's power efficiency. GeForce GTX 1050 Ti KalmX is a full-height double-slot PCIe graphics card with no fans to disturb users' delicate ears.

The big difference between the KalmX and the mainsteam GeForce GTX 1050 Ti cards is obviously its cooling solution, which trades away a normal-size heastink-and-fans arrangement for a a couple of heatpipes and a large array of aluminum fins. The card's power requirement is only 75W, so no PCIe power connector is present. The card is rather large for a GP107-based solution, at 7.2" x 5.6" x 1.5" (18cm x 14cm x 4cm). We must note that while the 5.6" heatsink is the widest we've seen for a GTX 1050 Ti, pretty much every major graphics card vendor offers substantially longer dual-fan overkill GTX 1050 Ti models.

The KalmX sticks tightly to Nvidia's reference 1290 MHz base and 1392 MHz boost clock speeds, and the 4GB of onboard memory runs at the same 7000 MT/s as most GTX 1050 Ti cards. The base port arrangement of one dual-link DVI-D connector, one HDMI 2.0b output, and one DisplayPort 1.4 adorns the back of the card, so four-monitor setups won't be an out-of-the-box possibility.

We have no pricing or availability info for the GeForce GTX 1050 Ti KalmX, but we'd expect it to be more expensive than standard fan-equipped GTX 1050 Ti models. Palit cards can sometimes be difficult to track down in the US, so silence-seeking gerbils might have to do some digging to clasp their claws around one of these. Based on Tom's experience with a homebrewed fanless GTX 1050 Ti, those gerbils might want to make sure to have at least one chassis fan spinning at low speed, just to provoke a little air movement within their computer.

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    • davidbowser
    • 3 years ago

    I am always glad to see passive cards. I run my desktop with 3 variable speed case fans, and no whiny PSU, CPU, or GPU fans, so this is perfect.

    Now if it only came in red…

    • DPete27
    • 3 years ago

    Full height is a bit of an understatement.

      • cmrcmk
      • 3 years ago

      Maybe “Full Height++”?

      • ImSpartacus
      • 3 years ago

      Are you saying you don’t like “fuller” graphics cards?

      I’m getting sick and tired of these intolerant misogynistic comments.

      All graphics cards deserve to feel confident and beautiful in their own skin.

    • Waco
    • 3 years ago

    I wouldn’t quote Tom’s on this one as any sort of reference, they did nothing to cool the VRMs on the card. I’m still not quite sure why they publish things with such glaring problems in the initial experiment design.

    I’d be interested in seeing the bottom of this cooler to ensure it’s not cooking the VRMs.

      • Freon
      • 3 years ago

      The losses in VRMs for the amount of power probably do not require cooling. It’s only a few watts of waste heat on these sorts of cards, I think these new gen VRMs tend to be very high efficiency. VRMs themselves are probably pretty heat insensitive, it’s not delicate electronic components. 100C+ may be no real concern even for long periods.

        • Waco
        • 3 years ago

        Sure, they *can* run at 100C+, but there’s a fine line between running hot and thermal runaway. Add in a cramped case, no direct cooling, and you end up heating up the rest of the surrounding components as well. It leaves very little room for error or overclocking.

          • Pitabred
          • 3 years ago

          …if you’re overclocking a passively cooled card, you’re doing it wrong.

            • Waco
            • 3 years ago

            First part of my statement covered normal use.

            Seriously, dead VRMs are pretty much the only killer of GPUs in recent news. Almost every time it’s been because they’ve been run hot and nearly at the top of their specs.

            • Voldenuit
            • 3 years ago

            Back in the day, I overclocked my Radeon 4850 with a passive arctic cooling accelero heatsink, and it was both cooler and faster than the stock heatsink, not to mention *so* much quieter.

        • synthtel2
        • 3 years ago

        They are efficient and are often rated as high as 175C, but on a graphics card with no attention paid to VRM cooling they may be trying to dissipate that heat to pre-heated air through a very tiny piece of plastic. 5W can make something very toasty if it doesn’t have anywhere to go.

          • Waco
          • 3 years ago

          Exactly. I still have nightmares about the waterblocks Swiftech used to sell for 4870X2 cards. I watched the VRM temps from stock -> their Caldera waterblock and was shocked to see 140C+ temps on the waterblock VRMs (even when not overclocked), even with a fan blowing over the passive assembly. The stock air cooler kept them at 110C or so. The CEO of Swiftech basically told me that wasn’t an issue, even though I was seeing throttling and crashes because of it.

          I’ll never buy Swiftech again after that BS.

    • Magic Hate Ball
    • 3 years ago

    I know they did it for the orientation of the heatpipes, but wouldn’t it have made far more sense to line the fins up to allow airflow over the fins and straight out the back vents?

    Currently the fins inhibit the airflow common in most cases.

      • Freon
      • 3 years ago

      I think your assumption of airflow is questionable. If you have enough front fan flow, low enough in the case, with positive pressure you might get some, but I’d probably not design a “passive” card around that assumption.

      I assume this config allows air to convect from under the card and spill up and off the side of the card more easily. It’s easier for air to convect off the longer side of the card than the ends.

        • DPete27
        • 3 years ago

        I’m pretty sure that’s why this card’s top heatpipe is so far off the top of the card. It simply lets heat freely radiate up into the CPU area and out the back of the case.

      • Chrispy_
      • 3 years ago

      I came here to post this and was going to agree with you, especially since all the passively-cooled server cards I deal with work the way you’re describing.

      Then I thought about it some more and realised that the primary audience for this card is probably the horizontal desktop-style HTPC case, for which this fin orientation is optimal.

      Let’s face it, it’s more expensive and lower-clocked than most of the actively-cooled 1050Ti cards, and your normal tower case has plenty of airflow from the bottom of the case past the extended heatsink that sticks out past the card, and out via the top or rear exhausts. This design allows for the best vertical convection in a horizontal desktop case, and I suspect that is the most likely buyer of one of these cards. Shame it’s so tall, though. Many HTPC cases offer the bare minimum of vertical clearance.

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