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Thread: Reference 780 vs 780 w/ AM Cooler

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    Default Reference 780 vs 780 w/ AM Cooler

    Why is there so much love for the Titan style cooler on the 780 over the aftermarket solutions (EVGA ACX, Gig Windforce, MSI Lightning, etc)?? Yes, the Titan style cooler looks amazing, but the aftermarket solutions from the partners are significantly better in load temps without sacrificing noise, some actually quieter (although slight). Most reviews show the 780 reference @ around 80C on load, and the after market solutions are in the mid 60s on load. This is a big deal to me, as a cooler running card adds to its longevity, and more importantly, a cooler running card on load adds more OC headroom for those of us that can't afford to watercool the card. I was just curious of your thoughts. The plan, for me, is if I sell my 670 by pay day, I'm going to buy an EVGA 780 w/ ACX.

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    Default Re: Reference 780 vs 780 w/ AM Cooler

    There's a reason all the reviews show the temps as 80C. It's because that is the target load temperature for ALL GTX 780 and 770 cards, not just the reference card.

    It's important to understand this, because all cards will hit the exact same load temperature!! The aftermarket cards will NOT hit the mid 60s by default. In fact, any card will hit any temperature (more or less), but you have to manually set it now. It's no longer "Auto" anymore. I explain this in the 770 reviews, check it out below.

    Have a read here about the Adaptive Temperature Control and GPU Boost 2.0:
    Gigabyte GTX 770 OC Windforce | Pure Overclock

    Now check the results here:
    Gigabyte GTX 770 OC Windforce | Pure Overclock

    The "problem" of 80C as you describe actually isn't the Titan-based cooler. The cooler is very good. The issue is the temperature target that is hardwired into the card by default, which is 80C. This means that ALL GTX 780 (and 770) cards will hit 80C at load, regardless of the cooler. EVGA, MSI, Gigabyte, ASUS, etc....they will all measure the exact same load temperature. The only way to change it is manually adjust the Temperature Target limit.

    Now here's the kicker: even though all cards will register the same load temperature, certain cards can definitely do better with lower temperatures. But you have to manually set that. THEN........the difference is that certain coolers will achieve lower temperatures at lower noise levels. So, the MSI card is quieter than the Gigabyte, which is quieter than the stock cooler.......even though all have the same 80C load temperature. So.........you can lower the temperature target on the MSI, for example, and those fans still still run quieter even though the new load temps might be the same as a new load temp of the reference design. But the MSI heatsink is better so you'll get lower noise at the same temperatures.

    What does this all mean? Well, the reference cooler is very good, make no mistake. But the board partner cards are better. HOWEVER, that absolutely does NOT mean they will run cooler. THEY WILL NOT. They will run the exact same as the reference temperatures!!! You have to manually adjust the targets, and only THEN will you notice a difference.

    Most people won't really care for the most part, but some people might. So then pick a card. But EVGA uses the reference design. MSI, Gigabyte, and ASUS have custom coolers, all of which are better than the reference IF you adjust them to suit your needs. Otherwise it's a waste of money.

    So, the board partner cards are indeed better but you absolutely HAVE to manually adjust the temperature targets, or they will perform exactly the same as the reference cooler. "Auto" fan setting is no longer possible. It's a smart move by Nvidia, but it takes a bit of getting used to.

  3. The following user thanks Skyguy For this above post:

    vinman (07-06-2013)

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    Default Re: Reference 780 vs 780 w/ AM Cooler

    Thank you so much for the explanation, Sky. I wasn't sure what in the world was up. I knew it couldn't just be because the reference Titan-style cooler looks awesome (which it does). So, here's my question. All of the non-reference cards being reviewed that are posting the mid 60s load temps, are the reviewers setting those temps? Or are they coming preset from the factory (can this even be done in the vbios?)

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