|ZOTAC GeForce 9800 GTX+ Zone Edition Video Card|
|Reviews - Featured Reviews: Video Cards|
|Written by Olin Coles|
|Monday, 01 September 2008|
Page 15 of 18
GTX+ ZONE Temperatures
Unlike many of the video cards we've tested here at Benchmark Reviews, the ZOTAC GeForce 9800 GTX+ ZONE Edition was a very different animal since the liquid cooling kept it well below temperatures we're used to seeing. Normally I would go into great detail and illustrate where a video card heats up the integrated components with use of a non-contact IR thermometer. But as you'll soon discover, there really aren't any "hot" spots on this graphics card.
The ambient room temperature was holding steady at exactly 20.0°C and the inner-case temperature hovered around 33°C. To begin my testing, I used ATITool v0.26 to record GPU temperatures at idle and again at high-power 3D mode.
At idle, the ZOTAC ZT-98PES2P-WSP recorded an extremely cool 31°C. This temperature in and of itself was enough to impress me, but don't think I wasn't still a little skeptical. Using a full 3D load for roughly twenty minutes, the ZONE Edition GeForce 9800 GTX+ would eventually peak at 57°C maximum temperature. In all honesty though, I see ways of pushing this temperature even lower.
The cooling unit on the ZT-98PES2P-WSP is filled with tha blue-tinted liquid coolant, which is good since we don't want to discover tap water running through the unit. The fan however is standard low-output 120mm unit with decent airflow to noise ratio. If you're interested in adding a few extra CFM's to the radiator while keeping noise to a minimum, I suggest looking at SilenX IXTREMA Pro Series 120mm fan (SKU: IXP-74-14) which pushes 72 CFM at an ultra-low 14dBA. I really like these fans, more so than Noctuas NF-12P fan, because the center motor portion is much smaller in diameter thus allowing higher airflow. When I used this fan on the radiator, the temperature dropped another 3-4°C on average under load.
Of course, you could also use a high-output (and very high noise) fan such as the Yate Loon D12SH-12. If you disregard the noise levels, this is one of the best 120mm cooling fans available in regards to performance ratio. The D12SH-12 cooling fan forces an impressive 88 CFM of air at a moderately noisy 40 dbA. Personally, I can't suffer anything that produces higher sound levels than this, since gaming would then require headphones and casual computing is almost impossible. It rather negates the purpose behind silent liquid cooling, but it certainly offers another option for those overclockers looking for every last bit of performance.
In the next section, power consumption is measured and compared to many of the most recent graphic cards we've tested.