View Full Version : History of the graphics cooler...

10-11-10, 07:41 PM
I have noticed an interesting trend towards larger, more power hungry video cards. Thus, the cooling solutions have also grown... so, I thought I would post a bunch of pics comparing the coolers with each subsequent generation of Nvidia cards...

Lets start at the beginning:

Nvidia Riva TNT2

No fan, small heatsink

Nvidia Geforce 256

Small HSF solution

Nvidia Geforce 2 Ti

Enter the custom cooling solution! :p

Nvidia Geforce 3 Ti500

Ramsinks are added

Nvidia Geforce 4 Ti4600

A more efficient design??? really???

Now begins the era of mammoth cooling solutions and supplementary power from PSU...

Geforce FX 5950 Ultra

Pulls in air from outside and blows into the case. Notice the absence of heatpipes... Either they hadn't been invented or Nvidia didn't think they were necessary. Add in auxiliary power via a 4-pin molex power connector

Geforce 6800 Ultra
http://www.theregister.co.uk/2004/06/16/xfx_1.jpg <- 2 slot internal cooling solution.

See that big metal thing that goes across the memory sinks? That's called a heatpipe. :p Also, 2 molex power connectors now.

Geforce 7900 GTX

Nvidia got a little happy with the heatpipes on this one. Enter the 6-pin PCI-e power connector.

Geforce 8800 GTX

Exhausts about 80% of heat out of the case. Large blower fan. 2 x PCI-e power connectors

Geforce 9800 GTX+

First solution that fully covers the entire PCB.

Geforce GTX 285

...an even larger fan than the 8800 GTX and 9800 GTX+

.... and finally...

Geforce GTX 480

Exposed heatpipes, exposed "grill" cooler, 1 x PCIe 6pin and 1 x PCIe 8pin power connector.

Geforce GTX 580 (Fermi done right!)

Similar design to GTX 480, without exposed grill cooler. Vapor chamber technology added to bottom of main heatsink. Quieter Fan. NO HEATPIPES!!!! :clap2:

So kids, what have we learned today? :headexplode:

EDIT: Added GTX 580

10-11-10, 07:43 PM

10-12-10, 09:01 AM
Its pretty much unavoidable. The more transistors you have in a chip, the more power it will consume, and therefore it will output more heat. There's only so much you can do with efficient design when you are packing billions of transistors in an area the size of a few postage stamps. Of course, to intentionally hold back on the performance sector so that chips like the 5570 and the like are marketed as the top-end chips with only passive heatsinks and single slot cooling solutions wouldn't be wise either.

11-05-10, 04:13 AM
How are we going to implant these things in our eyeballs if they can sear steaks!?

11-05-10, 10:59 AM
A VERY important cooler is the original ASC cooler by EVGA for the Geforce 4 MX 440.


This cooler got the ball rolling on innovative cooling solutions, and really put EVGA on the map. :)

11-05-10, 11:21 AM
I've had some interesting coolers myself:

Two 5800 Ultras:

An NV35 (5900) Developer Sample:

Gainward's European 6800 Non-Ultra:


Of course, I'll always maintain that by favorite cooler was this, a socket 370 HSF with a Tornado fan on a volt-modded Geforce 3:


11-08-10, 07:09 AM
always thought this was a bad ass cooler when i had the card

Leadtek TI 4400


11-08-10, 08:32 AM
my good ol kyro 2


11-12-10, 12:23 PM

there is the new 580 cooling system, but i think the most advanced air cooling is from gigabyte windforce, why have only one cooler if you can have 3 for lower price


msi also use now 2 cooler, its a new trend i think

11-12-10, 04:03 PM
First top-end card I purchased was the ASUS V9980 Ultra (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814121165), a single-slot GFFX5950Ultra. Bought it from Monarchcomputers.com for like $405 shipped, then kicked my self cause for $35 more I could have had the 9800XT. :lol:

Kicked myself yet again cause like a few months later the GF6800GT was released at about the same price. :o :( :lol:

Loved the card though. Had an ASUS V8170DDR, which I then upgraded to a Ti4400 I yanked from a Dell, then from that 4400 to the 5950U. Was a mammoth jump across the board in regards to performance. The GF4s struggled with (at that time) newer titles such as CoD while the 5950 blew through those games.

Man, I kinda' miss those days. :( So much more excitement in the enthusiast realm. Didn't seem like it was such a niche market back then.

11-12-10, 04:16 PM
Added GTX 580 to first post. :)

Let it be known that video cards will no longer be referred to as "Video Cards" or "GPUs." Instead, they will now be known as "Video Bricks" or "GPB" (Graphics Processing Brick)


11-12-10, 04:30 PM
Added GTX 580 to first post. :)

Let it be known that video cards will no longer be referred to as "Video Cards" or "GPUs." Instead, they will now be known as "Video Bricks" or "GPB" (Graphics Processing Brick)


I whole-heartedly support this. :D