Date: May 31st, 2006
Article by: Nathan Glentworth (Owner / Head Editor)
Product was submitted by: Sapphire
<--CLICK FOR PRICES ON AN ATI RADEON VIDEOCARD IN AMERICA
<--CLICK FOR PRICES ON AN ATI RADEON VIDEOCARD IN CANADA
PRODUCT PICTORIAL & WALKTHROUGH
Let's make your eyes do the walking and show you around your potential new toy.
The R580 core is a power hungry and fire spewing heathen that requires cooling normally required for tractor trailers. Coming back to reality this core is definitely not the coolest operating processor on the market. To keep fan speeds and noise levels moderated, they had to take advantage of a large surface area and large turbine fan to pull sufficient air to cool the card accordingly. This cooler not only cools the core, but also cools the 512megs of GDDR3 running at a blistering 775Mhz (1550Mhz DDR). This cooler has its' work cut out for it.
While doing your normal computer work you will note that the card is quite quiet and this was even with the card not being installed in a case. Once you crank up the gaming and increase to workload or start your overclocking you will see how the fan speed will ramp up accordingly. Now would I call the card loud when gaming....well....that is dependent on what the user deems quiet. I don't find it too bad, but if your room temperature starts to climb and the fan has to ramp up accordingly you will definitely notice it.
Here is a sound clip of the cooler ramping up through its' rpm range with the microphone being just over a foot away. The file is HERE.
Now the 50% and higher fan speeds won't be used very much unless you are really testing the card or the room air temperature is too high. I never saw anything above 50% and I was really pushing it so don't think that the howling 100% is something you will be able to obtain other than under the harshest conditions.
The cooler will not raise your internal case temperature seeing it exhausts out the back of the case through the incorporated vent. In actuality, you might see some better case airflow with this cooler. While gaming this cooler does pump some serious air. As seen in the above photo, you will see just how heavy duty this cooler really is. Also included is a passive heatsink on the voltage regulators . To the right you will also see the power connection which has to be attached for this card to work. The cord is included.
As with most of ATI's newest generation of cards, all the memory is mounted on the one side which allows for one cooler to cool all the crucial components. This leaves the back side to be relatively bare with only the cooler backplate and the crossfire attachment tab which is just to the right of the PCI Express connection.
This my friends is what the I/O plate should look like on a videocard. Dual DVI connections is what every dual display capable videocard should have. Through the addition of the two converters included in the hardware bundle, this will allow you to take advantage of any monitor configuration. With one analog and one DVI videocard connection, you are out of luck if you have two DVI LCD monitors. Sucks to have such a nice setup only to buy a videocard that doesn't allow you to use them at the same time. It is a shame to see some manufacturers not listening and still not adopting this configuration as the standard and nothing less.