A Closer Look
The Windforce cooler on the G1 Gaming RX 480 has 2 fans.
The Gigabyte RX 480 is a beautiful card. The distinct Windforce cooler can be identified by its black shroud with orange accents. In the case of the G1 Gaming RX 480, the Windforce cooler is sporting 2 fans that each measure 90 mm in diameter. The Windforce 2X cooler has an alternate spinning fan design. This cooler is designed to reduce air turbulence and effectively dissipate the heat.
This is a picture of how the 3D active fans work.
The airflow is split by the triangle fan edge, and sent through the 3D stripe curve on the fan surface.
The airflow is split by the triangle fan edge, and guided smoothly through the 3D stripe curve on the fan surface. This unique fans design increases airflow by as much as 23%, keeping the card running cooler than previous generations of the Windforce cooler. The semi-passive fans will remain off when the GPU is under a set loading or temperature for low power gaming. When the fans are off, the “Fan Stop” LED on the side of the cooler will illuminate.
Right above the Gigabyte and Fan Stop LED you can see the composite heat pipes that make up the Windforce 2X cooler.
The G1 Gaming RX 480s IO consists of a single DVI-D, 3 Displayport 1.4 and a single HDMI 2.0.
The top side of the card is where you find the LEDs and the 8-pin power connection.
The bottom of the card has nothing but the PCIE connector.
In order to remove the back plate, you must first remove the cooler and remove the screws on the PCB that attach the backplate.
The bottom of the card with the Windforce 2X cooler facing up.
The Windforce Cooler comes equipped with 2 90 mm fans that spin in alternating directions.
On the side of the card, you’ll find both the Gigabyte Logo and the Fan Stop LED. I love the Fan Stop LED. The Windforce cooler is set to not run when the card is below a set load or temperature. This can be set in the Xtreme Gaming software. The fan stop LED prevents you from thinking there is something wrong with your card. Like the Gigabyte logo, the Fan Stop LED is an RGB LED. Both LEDs can be controlled using the Gigabyte Xtreme Gaming software available for download through Gigabytes website. On the opposite end of the card from the IO, the G1 Gaming RX 480 has a single 8-pin connection to power the card. I’m very happy to see the G1 Gaming RX 480 come with a full cover back plate. It’s a simple, matte black back plate with the Gigabyte logo in the middle. The IO seems to be standard as of late, consisting of a single DVI-D, 3 Displayport 1.4 and a single HDMI 2.0 and supports up to 4 displays.
The backplate of the G1 Gaming RX 480 is matte with the Gigabyte logo in the middle. Simple but beautiful in my opinion.
Underneath the 2 fans and the shroud, we find the heart of the Windforce cooler. For starters, The G1 Gaming RX 480 has a custom PCB with an 8-pin power connection with a 6+2 phase power delivery. The G1 Gaming RX 480 requires a 500 watt power supply. The GPU itself is based on AMD's Polaris 10, 4th generation GCN architecture. Polaris 10 is a 14NM FinFET + process and is capable of over 5 TFLOPS of computer performance. The RX 480 comes with either 4gb or 8gb of GDDR5 on a 256-bit bus. The G1 Gaming RX 480 has a base clock of 1290 MHz a memory clock of an effective 8 Gbps / GHz, or 8,000 MHz. The RX 480 can support up to 5 monitors at a max resolution of 7680x4320. The RX 480 supports DirectX 12 and OpenGL 4.5 with backwards compatibility.
This is a die shot of the Polaris 10 GPU on the G1 Gaming RX 480.
Both the Gigabyte logo and Fan Stop LED are RGB and can be controlled in the Xtreme Gaming Software.
Unlike the reference card, which had only a 6-pin connection, the G1 Gaming has an 8-pin power connection. This was one of the factors in fixing the power draw issues that plagued the reference RX 480 at launch.
The Windforce Cooler is made up of 3 massive composite heat pipes, that meet up in the center of the cold plate. The composite heat-pipe combines both thermal conductivity and phase transition for efficiently managing the transfer of heat between two solid interfaces which increases 29% of cooling capacity. These heat pipes make direct contact with the GPU for maximize heat dissipation. There is a large heat sink made up of a series of dense fins fins that surround the heat pipes and help dissipate the heat. There are also thermal pads that cover the VRMs and Mosfets on the PCB for additional cooling capacity.
When you look at the underside of the WindForce 2X coolers heat sink, you see how large the heat sink is.
This is a diagram of what makes up the composite heat pipes on the Windforce cooler.
The custom PCB of the G1 Gaming RX 480 has a 6+2 phase power delivery and thermal pads to help dissipate heat from the Vram, Mosfets and VRMs.
Here we seed a side by side view of the PCB and the Cooler.
This close up of the contact area of the GPU shows the Windforce cooler was designed for the GPU to make direct contact with the copper heat pipes.
This picture shows how thick the actual heat pipes are as well as the thermal pads for the memory.