Graphics Card Reviews

Gigabyte GTX 960 G1 Gaming 2GB Video Card Review: Mainstream Price, High-End Extras

« Gigabyte GTX 960 GV-N960G1 Gaming-2GD Video Card Overview | Testing Procedure and Benchmarks »

Windforce Cooling System Design

The Windforce cooler on the GTX 960 G1 Gaming uses three 90mm fans with a low profile dust-proof design and ridged blade surface for silent operation. The leading edge has two inward curves as well and total blade count is 11.

Windforce 3X Cooling System

There are four 6mm thick direct contact copper heatpipes touching the GPU core which then distributes the heat to three fin arrays underneath the three fans.

Windforce 3X Cooling System Windforce 3X Cooling System

These fin arrays are varying in sizes with the largest at the front end and the smallest at the rear which also has a mini-aluminum heatsink attached for the MOSFETs.

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Windforce 3X Cooling System Windforce 3X Cooling System

The fans are made by Power Logic with model number PLD08010S12H and rating of 0.25A.

Windforce 3X Cooling System Fan Windforce 3X Cooling System Fan

Overclocking

Gigabytes includes an overclocking utility in the driver disc called OC Guru II and it allows for monitoring as well. Various OC profiles can be saved and loaded automatically on startup if wanted. There is also an overvoltage function in offset MIN and offset MAX (maximum of +0.144 MIN and +0.100 MAX). Overclocking is extremely easy on the GTX 960 even without changing the non-aggressive default fan mode as the 80C thermal target was not reached at all before the GPU core limit was hit (without voltage adjustment). Memory overclocked very well too with 8020MHz effective memory up from 7000MHz. These are 24/7 stable values and the results can be seen in the benchmark results page.

ocguru

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Thermal Performance and Power Draw

With Windows Power Saving options set to High Performance with EIST turned OFF in the UEFI, idle power consumption was recorded after 20 minutes. Temperature and power draw load was measured with Metro Last Light benchmark on loop. Temperature was monitored on an open-air benchmark with the room controlled at 23C ambient. Video Card fan speed set to auto. Power draw is the full system load taken from the wall using a BluePlanet EM100 power meter.

Stock:

  • IDLE = 57W
  • Peak Load = 205W
  • Minimum GPU temperature: 40C (Auto-off fan)
  • Maximum GPU temperature: 69C (36% Fan Speed)

Metro Last Light benchmark load power and temperature stock

Overclocked (1326 MHz Core/1389 MHz Boost/1553MHz actual/2000MHz Memory):

  • IDLE = 58W
  • Peak Load = 217W
  • Minimum GPU temperature: 38C (Auto-Off Fan)
  • Maximum GPU temperature: 68C (30% Fan Speed)

Gigabyte GTX 960 G1 Gaming 2GB Video Card Review: Mainstream Price, High-End Extras flex display, Gigabyte, gm206, gtx 960, overclock, windforce 1

Fan Sound Level

Using an American Recorder Technologies SPL-8810 sound meter placed 20 CM away from the video card’s center fan hub, sound level was measured. All other fan noise sources have been eliminated from the room by manually controlling the video card fan level via software, unplugging the CPU cooler heatsink so it runs in passive cooling mode and by using a hybrid-passive power supply like the Corsair HX850 which does not use the fan when system load is low.

Sound Level (dBA) Fan Speed in % Fan Speed in RPM
34.8 0 0
35 25% 800
35.2 30% 960
35.8 35% 1120
36.1 37% 1184
37 40% 1283
40.3 50% 1601
43.9 60% 1913
47.2 70% 2244
51.2 80% 2559
54 90% 2891
56.9 100% 3200

The fans only needs to ramp up to ~37% to keep temperatures under 70C even when overclocked so the sound level never goes over 36.1dBA.

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