EVGA GeForce GTX 1080Ti SC2 GAMING 11GB GDDR5X, ICX Review (11G-P4-6593-KR) : Page 5 of 10
Posted by Mark Taliaferro on Tuesday, September 26, 2017 - 8:00am
Some time back a few EVGA cards had VRM overheating issues and a lot of the Tech media were just pouncing on the issue. It was later discovered that EVGA's cards had no higher failure rate than any previous generation of cards ut EVGA offered free thermal pads to customers and offered them the option to ship the cards back to have pads factory installed. EVGA got a bad rap on that one but it did bring to light a new way of thinking about thermal monitoring in EVGA's R&D department and iCX technology was born.
Jacob Freeman EVGA product manager was quoted as saying "“That really opened our eyes to take a deeper look at cooling on cards, and how we can improve the efficiency overall of cooling, If you only focus on the GPU temperature, then you’re really neglecting all the other components of the card, which would still run really hot. On the flip side, if you focus on those other components, then you’re not offering the best noise level possible because the GPU doesn’t really need the fans to spin that fast.”
EVGA listens to their customers and out of all that noise and confusion, they started looking at Video Card cooling as an ecosystem and not a "Core" temperature driven event. They put a total of 9 sensors on the ICX video cards and a new bar was set for video card thermal monitoring.
There is a CPU sensor, 5 power sensors, and 3 memory sensors on the GPU giving you access to more information about your EVGA GeForce GTX 1080Ti SC2 Gaming iCX temperatures than you have ever been able to access.
Now we have 9 sensors feeding us information easily accessible through EVGA Precision XOC and on two fan video cards both fans can operate independently and the same goes for 3 fan cards.
Now the slides from EVGA show a triple fan video card but the same principle applies for 2 fan cards. On a two fan card like our 1080Ti SC2 model, the first fan controls GPU (Core) temperatures, the second fan controls VRM and Memory temperatures. So now we have 0 Decibel operations where the fans don't run at all, one fan can kick into cool GPU core or memory or both fans kick on to cool the entire ecosystem. The cool part here is even with both fans running they can run at different speeds as needed or controlled through a profile set in Precision XOC. Try doing that with dads video card and see what happens!
The new iCX technology folds seamlessly in Precision XOC and you can see the thermal state by clicking the Sensor icon.
Now most of us don't like dropping out of a good video game so EVGA has us covered there as well. If your chassis has a side window you can look at LEDs in the top of the video card and if you see a RED LED you know a component is running hot, Green means it's a median temperature and blue means running cool. No dropping out or running a second monitor to check thermals unless you want to (but it is kinda cool to watch on a second monitor).
EVGA even added a dead switch fuse and in case of a catastrophic voltage surge the fuse will pop and your card can be returned to EVGA for fuse replacement. Now, of course, EVGA doesn't call it a catastrophic failure fuse but they did name the feature "Peace of mind gaming".
Now EVGA fits all these cooling goodies on a dual slot video card where other vendors had to move to 2 1/2 slot video cards. There's more than one effective way to add cooling to a video card but EVGA found a unique way to increase the heat diffusion by adding pin fins on the base plate of the cooler. Adding the pin fins increases the surface area of the cooling solution allowing more heat to be leeched away.
Now we have sensors, asynchronous fans, 0 noise operation but EVGA excels at overengineering (Overengineering is highly underrated) so they toss on their double ball bearing fans with 4x the lifespan of regular GPU fans and does it with a lower voltage fan leaving more voltage for overclocking.
We found a nice short (under 3 minutes) video of the iCX technology so you might want to sit back and catch a little video action.