Specifications and Design
Just a couple of short weeks ago we looked at the Radeon Vega Frontier Edition 16GB graphics card in its air-cooled variety. The results were interesting – gaming performance proved to fall somewhere between the GTX 1070 and the GTX 1080 from NVIDIA’s current generation of GeForce products. That is under many of the estimates from players in the market, including media, fans, and enthusiasts. But before we get to the RX Vega product family that is targeted at gamers, AMD has another data point for us to look at with a water-cooled version of Vega Frontier Edition. At a $1500 MSRP, which we shelled out ourselves, we are very interested to see how it changes the face of performance for the Vega GPU and architecture.
Let’s start with a look at the specifications of this version of the Vega Frontier Edition, which will be…familiar.
|Vega Frontier Edition (Liquid)||Vega Frontier Edition||Titan Xp||GTX 1080 Ti||Titan X (Pascal)||GTX 1080||TITAN X||GTX 980||R9 Fury X|
|Base Clock||1382 MHz||1382 MHz||1480 MHz||1480 MHz||1417 MHz||1607 MHz||1000 MHz||1126 MHz||1050 MHz|
|Boost Clock||1600 MHz||1600 MHz||1582 MHz||1582 MHz||1480 MHz||1733 MHz||1089 MHz||1216 MHz||-|
|Memory Clock||1890 MHz||1890 MHz||11400 MHz||11000 MHz||10000 MHz||10000 MHz||7000 MHz||7000 MHz||1000 MHz|
|Memory Interface||2048-bit HBM2||2048-bit HBM2||384-bit G5X||352-bit||384-bit G5X||256-bit G5X||384-bit||256-bit||4096-bit (HBM)|
|Memory Bandwidth||483 GB/s||483 GB/s||547.7 GB/s||484 GB/s||480 GB/s||320 GB/s||336 GB/s||224 GB/s||512 GB/s|
|300 watts||250 watts||250 watts||250 watts||180 watts||250 watts||165 watts||275 watts|
|Peak Compute||13.1 TFLOPS||13.1 TFLOPS||12.0 TFLOPS||10.6 TFLOPS||10.1 TFLOPS||8.2 TFLOPS||6.14 TFLOPS||4.61 TFLOPS||8.60 TFLOPS|
The base specs remain unchanged and AMD lists the same memory frequency and even GPU clock rates across both models. In practice though, the liquid cooled version runs at higher sustained clocks and can overclock a bit easier as well (more details later). What does change with the liquid cooled version is a usable BIOS switch on top of the card that allows you to move between two distinct power draw states: 300 watts and 350 watts.
First, it’s worth noting this is a change from the “375 watt” TDP that this card was listed at during the launch and announcement. AMD was touting a 300-watt and 375-watt version of Frontier Edition, but it appears the company backed off a bit on that, erring on the side of caution to avoid breaking any of the specifcations of PCI Express (board slot or auxiliary connectors). Even more concerning is that AMD chose to have the default state of the switch on the Vega FE Liquid card at 300 watts rather than the more aggressive 350 watts. AMD claims this to avoid any problems with lower quality power supplies that may struggle to hit slightly over 150 watts of power draw (and resulting current) from the 8-pin power connections. I would argue that any system that is going to install a $1500 graphics card can and should be prepared to provide the necessary power, but for the professional market, AMD leans towards caution. (It’s worth pointing out the RX 480 power issues that may have prompted this internal decision making were more problematic because they impacted the power delivery through the motherboard, while the 6- and 8-pin connectors are generally much safer to exceed the ratings.)
Even without clock speed changes, the move to water cooling should result in better and more consistent performance by removing the overheating concerns that surrounded our first Radeon Vega Frontier Edition review. But let’s dive into the card itself and see how the design process created a unique liquid cooled solution.
Subject: Graphics Cards | August 12, 2016 - 10:59 AM | Sebastian Peak
Tagged: overclock, nvidia, msi, liquid cooled, hydro H55, hydro gfx, GTX 1080, graphics card, gaming, corsair
Corsair and MSI have teamed up once again to produce a liquid-cooled edition of the latest NVIDIA GPU, with the GTX 1080 receiving the same treatment these two gave to the Hydro GFX version of GTX 980 Ti last year.
“The CORSAIR Hydro GFX GTX 1080 brings all the benefits of liquid cooling to the GeForce GTX 1080, boasting an integrated CORSAIR Hydro Series H55 cooler that draws heat from the GPU via a micro-fin copper base cold plate and dissipates it efficiently using a 120mm high-surface area radiator. A pre-installed low-noise LED-lit 120mm fan ensures steady, reliable air-flow, keeping GPU temperatures down and clock speeds high.
With a low-profile PCB and pre-fitted, fully-sealed liquid cooler, the Hydro GFX GTX 1080 is simple and easy to install. Just fit the card into a PCI-E 3.0 x16 slot, mount the radiator and enjoy low maintenance liquid cooling for the lifetime of the card.”
Naturally, with an integrated closed-loop liquid cooler this GTX 1080 won't be relegated to stock speeds out of the box, though Corsair leaves this up to the user. The card offers three performance modes which allow users to choose between lower noise and higher performance. Silent Mode leaves the GTX 1080 at stock settings (1733 MHz Boost), Gaming Mode increases the Boost clock to 1822 MHz, and OC Mode increases this slightly to 1847 MHz (while increasing memory speed in this mode as well).
This liquid-cooled version will provide higher sustained clocks
Here are the full specs from Corsair:
- GPU: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080
- CUDA Cores: 2,560
- Interface: PCI Express 3.0 x16
- Boost / Base Core Clock:
- 1,847 MHz / 1,708 MHz (OC Mode)
- 1,822 MHz / 1,683 MHz (Gaming Mode)
- 1,733 MHz / 1,607 MHz (Silent Mode)
- Memory Clock:
- 10,108 MHz (OC Mode)
- 10,010 MHZ (Gaming Mode)
- 10,010 MHz (Silent Mode)
- Memory Size: 8192MB
- Memory Type: 8GB GDDR5X
- Memory Bus: 256-bit
- 3x DisplayPort (Version 1.4)
- 1x HDMI (Version 2.0)
- 1x DL-DVI-D
- Power Connector: 8-pin x 1
- Power Consumption: 180W
- Dimension / Weight:Card: 270 x 111 x 40 mm / 1249 g
- Cooler: 151 x 118 x 52 mm/ 1286 g
- SKU: CB-9060010-WW
The Corsair Hydro GFX GTX 1080 is available now, exclusively on Corsair's official online store, and priced at $749.99.
Subject: Graphics Cards | October 21, 2015 - 07:18 AM | Sebastian Peak
Tagged: water cooling, nvidia, liquid cooled, GTX 980 WATERFORCE, GTX 980, GPU Water Block, gigabyte, AIO
Gigabyte has announced the GeForce GTX 980 WATERFORCE water-cooled graphics card, and this one is ready to go out of the box thanks to an integrated closed-loop liquid cooler.
In addition to full liquid cooling, the card - model GV-N980WAOC-4GD - also features "GPU Gauntlet Sorting", meaning that each card has a binned GTX 980 core for better overclocking performance.
"The GTX 980 WATERFORCE is fitted with only the top-performing GPU core through the very own GPU Gauntlet Sorting technology that guarantees superior overclocking capabilities in terms of excellent power switching and thermal efficiency. Only the strongest processors survived can be qualified for the GTX 980 WATERFORCE, which can fulfill both gaming enthusiasts’ and overclockers’ expectations with greater overclocking headroom, and higher, stable boost clocks under heavy load."
The cooling system for the GTX 980 WATERFORCE begins with a full-coverage block that cools the GPU, RAM, power delivery, without the need for any additional fan for board components. The tubes carrying liquid to the radiator are 45 cm SFP, which Gigabyte says "effectively prevent...leak(s) and fare a lower coolant evaporation rate", and the system is connected to a 120 mm radiator.
Gigabyte says both the fan and the pump offer low noise output, and claim that this cooling system allows the GTX 980 WATERFORCE to "perform up to 38.8% cooler than the reference cooling" for cool and quiet gaming.
The WATERFORCE card also features two DVI outputs (reference is one dual-link output) in addition to the standard three DisplayPort 1.2 and single HDMI 2.0 outputs of a GTX 980.
Pricing and availability have not been announced.
Subject: Systems, Mobile | October 9, 2015 - 06:00 PM | Sebastian Peak
Tagged: water cooling, NVIDIA GTX 980, liquid cooled, i7-6820HK, gx700, gaming laptop, g-sync, ASUS ROG, asus
We already saw an announcement from ASUS (at IFA 2015) for their water-cooled Republic of Gamers GX700 gaming laptop, and now we have more details about this unique product, though some are still pending. The specifications (including the full version of the NVIDIA GTX 980) would make a great gaming desktop system, and that's kind of the idea as the performance increases substantially when the laptop is docked in its liquid-cooling base.
There are certainly questions about this concept that won't be answered until hardware in hand, but it's going to be interesting to see just how well a liquid cooling system will work in a dockable format like this.
Here are the specifications we know so far:
- CPU: Intel Core i7 6820HK
- GPU: GeForce GTX 980, 8GB GDDR5
- Display: 17.3-inch IPS FHD (1920x1080) G-SYNC / Optional 4K/UHD G-SYNC
- RAM: Up to 64GB DDR4
- Storage: Up to 1TB PCIe x4 SSD (2 x 512GB)
- Optical: Blu-ray 6x RW
- Card reader: SDXC
- Networking: Gigabit Ethernet, 802.11ac, Bluetooth 4.0
- Keyboard: Anti-ghosting keyboard with 30-key rollover; 2.5mm travel; Illuminated
- 3 x USB 3.0
- 1 x USB Type-C / Thunderbolt 3
- 1 x USB Type-C / USB 3.1
- 1 x mini-DisplayPort
- 1 x HDMI
- Audio: 1x Headphone/mini-Optical S/PDIF, 1x Microphone input
- Webcam: 1.2MP HD camera
A look inside at the GX700 cooling system
Exact numbers on battery capacity, dimensions, and weight are not yet available, and pricing and availability have yet to be announced.
Subject: Graphics Cards | September 17, 2015 - 09:14 AM | Sebastian Peak
Tagged: nvidia, msi, liquid cooled, GTX980Ti SEA HAWK, GTX 980 Ti, graphics card, corsair
We reported last night on Corsair's new Hydro GFX, a liquid-cooled GTX 980 Ti powered by an MSI GPU, and MSI has their own new product based on this concept as well.
"The MSI GTX 980Ti SEA HAWK utilizes the popular Corsair H55 closed loop liquid-cooling solution. The micro-fin copper base takes care of an efficient heat transfer to the high-speed circulation pump. The low-profile aluminum radiator is easy to install and equipped with a super silent 120 mm fan with variable speeds based on the GPU temperature. However, to get the best performance, the memory and VRM need top-notch cooling as well. Therefore, the GTX 980Ti SEA HAWK is armed with a ball-bearing radial fan and a custom shroud design to ensure the best cooling performance for all components."
The MSI GTX 980 Ti Sea Hawk actually appears identical to the Corsair Hydro GFX, and a looking through the specs confirms the similarities:
With a 1190 MHz Base and 1291 MHz Boost clock the SEA HAWK has the same factory overclock speeds as the Corsair-branded unit, and MSI is also advertising the card's potential to go further:
"Even though the GTX 980Ti SEA HAWK boasts some serious clock speeds out-of-the-box, the MSI Afterburner overclocking utility allows users to go even further. Explore the limits with Triple Overvoltage, custom profiles and real-time hardware monitoring."
I imagine the availability of this MSI branded product will be greater than the Corsair branded equivalent, but in either case you get a GTX 980 Ti with the potential to run as fast and cool as a custom cooled solution, without any of the extra work. Pricing wasn't immediately available this morning but expect something close to the $739 MSRP we saw with Corsair.