EVGA Respond to Possible Design Flaw on GTX 970 ACX

/ 7 years ago

Recently, we covered a story on the new EVGA GeForce GTX 970 ACX having a possible design flaw or manufacturing defect where the GPU die only makes contact with 2 of the 3 heatpipes included in their cooler design. You can check out the full story here. Since then, we’ve contacted EVGA and asked for a response to give any substance to the claims and if the cooler design was intentional.

EVGA have given their response below:

“The way the EVGA GTX 970 ACX heat sink was designed is based on the GTX 970 wattage plus an additional 40% cooling headroom on top of it. There are 3 heat pipes on the heatsink – 2 x 8mm major heat pipes to distribute the majority of the heat from the GPU to the heatsink, and a 3rd 6mm heatpipe is used as a supplement to the design to reduce another 2-3 degrees Celsius. Also we would like to mention that the cooler passed NVIDIA Greenlight specifications.

Due to the GPU small die size, we intended for the GPU to contact two major heat pipes with direct touch to make the best heat dissipation without any other material in between.

We all know the Maxwell GPU is an extremely power efficient GPU, our SC cooler was overbuilt for it and allowed us to provide cards with boost clocks at over 1300MHz. EVGA also has an “FTW” version for those users who want even higher clocks.


Regarding fan noise, we understand that some have expressed concerns over the fan noise on the EVGA GTX 970 cards, this is not a fan noise issue but it is more of an aggressive fan curve set by the default BIOS. The fan curve can be easily adjusted in EVGA PrecisionX or any other overclocking software. Regardless, we have heard the concerns and will provide a BIOS update to reduce the fan noise during idle.

Our take on the above quote is a bit of a strange one, as EVGA claim that the heatsink is based on the GTX 970 wattage + 40% extra cooling performance to give more headroom giving us a total cooling power of 200W TDP, but as the reference GTX 970 uses essentially the same cooler as the Titan Black which has a 250W TDP, we can only assume that EVGA’s GTX 970 ACX could it fact be a worse performer than a reference model.

It is also worth noting upon the part of the quote which talks about the fan curve being so “aggressive” and the cooler being oversized for the GPU and TDP – If this is the case, why does the fan curve have to be so aggressive that the card has such a noisy idle of around 30dbA?

Even after the official response above, someone has brought it to our attention that the 3rd heatpipe isn’t even sealed off therefore having no functioning operation whatsoever as shown below.


So there you have it, but is this enough to satisfy you, or do you think EVGA are using this as an excuse for them clearly trying to cut costs by using the same cooler from other model cards? Only you can decide that, but as always, we invite you to let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

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