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Yes, but they are also used to spread the components to fit better cooling solutions etc
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by ohhgourami View Post

I read someone mentioned that reference pcb's use higher grade components. Is this true? I always thought that custom pcb's were better since Asus and Gigabyte usually put more power phases.
Impossible to answer this question with a single cut dry answer.

It all depends on the card's in question. I'll Take my Non-Reference TOXIC card over any reference 6950 or 6970 PCB.

It is best to do your research with the individual card you intend to buy.

Most people prefer the non reference cooling design's for an air cooled card, while Water Cooler's tend to want reference PCB's due to water block selection.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by SpykeZ View Post

This this and this. Sapphire for instance, their vapor-x/toxic air coolers are amazing. Plan on going water cooling? Well....you're screwed.
I beg to differ. My Toxic will be swimming soon. There are actually a few blocks that will support different non-reference cooler's. TOXIC Cards tend to have a pretty decent selection.

Also note that the TOXIC Vapor-X Chamber cooler's they use are amazingly cool but also can sound like a space station ready for blast off.

Its best to do your research on each individual card. MSI's TwinForzer cards are coveted as being cool operating and quiet at the same time.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by SpykeZ View Post

This this and this. Sapphire for instance, their vapor-x/toxic air coolers are amazing. Plan on going water cooling? Well....you're screwed.
Unless you don't mind universal blocks.

Quote:
Originally Posted by KhaoticKomputing View Post

I beg to differ. My Toxic will be swimming soon. There are actually a few blocks that will support different non-reference cooler's. TOXIC Cards tend to have a pretty decent selection.

Also note that the TOXIC Vapor-X Chamber cooler's they use are amazingly cool but also can sound like a space station ready for blast off.

Its best to do your research on each individual card. MSI's TwinForzer cards are coveted as being cool operating and quiet at the same time.
He is right for the most part.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by youra6 View Post

Unless you don't mind universal blocks.

He is right for the most part.
I always forget about those things since I never see anyone use them. How do they hold up normally? Seems like could be limited sine the memory chips have to use those little heatsinks
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by SpykeZ View Post

I always forget about those things since I never see anyone use them. How do they hold up normally? Seems like could be limited sine the memory chips have to use those little heatsinks
The right universal block and the right card can work very well together. Just depends on how you implement your entire cooling solution.

As long as there is airflow to the GPU area of the case then they will cool just fine.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by SpykeZ View Post

I always forget about those things since I never see anyone use them. How do they hold up normally? Seems like could be limited sine the memory chips have to use those little heatsinks
You can always install copper heatinsks on the VRM and memory. Never going to win any beauty contests but it does the job almost as well as a full cover block.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by ohhgourami View Post

I read someone mentioned that reference pcb's use higher grade components. Is this true? I always thought that custom pcb's were better since Asus and Gigabyte usually put more power phases.
In a nutshell:

Nvidia - you almost always want a custom pcb

AMD - you almost always want a reference pcb
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I'd never go water cooling and I'll probably always buy nvidia.

I was thinking about fitting a Prolimetech MK-26 on an nvidia card like my Gigabyte Gtx670. Would I gave been better off with a reference card? Like if reference cards didnt have such bad cooling, could it have higher OCs than a custom pcb? My 670 already runs at 1350mhz with locked voltage.

Simply put, are reference nvidia pcbs better than custom pcbs in terms of overclocking with aftermarket coolers? And do custom pcbs have compatibility issues to aftermarket aircooling?
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by ohhgourami View Post

I'd never go water cooling and I'll probably always buy nvidia.

I was thinking about fitting a Prolimetech MK-26 on an nvidia card like my Gigabyte Gtx670. Would I gave been better off with a reference card? Like if reference cards didnt have such bad cooling, could it have higher OCs than a custom pcb? My 670 already runs at 1350mhz with locked voltage.
Depends on your air flow.

Selecting a GPU based on air cooling has a lot of variables.

The cooler you linked is going to dump ALL GPU heat inside the case. Its going to raise the entire temp inside the case. This mean's in order to keep the same inside case temp you will need to raise the airflow across the board, meaning faster louder fans.

custom GPU air cooling is a PITA compared to a water loop, TONS of stuff affects the overall outcome.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by ohhgourami View Post

My current card already dumps a ton of heat into my case but the case temps are fine. But I want the card to run even cooler and quieter. I'd trade temps for lower noise any day.
Good. If you like the cooler you linked you will need a set up like so:

use This cable It will plug into the Fan header on the GPU and allow you to use a PWM fan. Then with the help of AfterBurn(or similar) you can use a PWM 120mm fan and have it actually scale airflow based on card temps.

In addition, if you need two fans to make a GPU cooler work proper use a PWM splitter cable that draws power from a 4-pin molex. This way you won't have two fans drawing power form you GPU fan header, but they will both funtion off the PWM.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by ohhgourami View Post

I read someone mentioned that reference pcb's use higher grade components. Is this true? I always thought that custom pcb's were better since Asus and Gigabyte usually put more power phases.
Non-reference PCBs can go both ways. MSI, Asus & Gigabyte tend to make non-reference PCBs superior to reference, although it is possible they can make non-ref. PCBs cheaper to save money (like XFX has in the past).
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Quote:
Originally Posted by KhaoticKomputing View Post

Good. If you like the cooler you linked you will need a set up like so:

use This cable It will plug into the Fan header on the GPU and allow you to use a PWM fan. Then with the help of AfterBurn(or similar) you can use a PWM 120mm fan and have it actually scale airflow based on card temps.

In addition, if you need two fans to make a GPU cooler work proper use a PWM splitter cable that draws power from a 4-pin molex. This way you won't have two fans drawing power form you GPU fan header, but they will both funtion off the PWM.
Already have one of those cables ready to go!
biggrin.gif
I'm still waiting for a particular fan to be in stock to purchase and hesitant to buy that cooler. I want to take off the stock cooler first and strap nice 120mm fans directly to the heatsink to see how it performs first. The MK-26 is also appealing since I can always reuse for whatever GPU I get in the future. Thanks and +rep
thumb.gif


Quote:
Originally Posted by FtW 420 View Post

Non-reference PCBs can go both ways. MSI, Asus & Gigabyte tend to make non-reference PCBs superior to reference, although it is possible they can make non-ref. PCBs cheaper to save money (like XFX has in the past).
Exactly the answer I was looking for. Thanks. +rep

Anyone know of there are compatibility issues mounting the cooler to different cards?
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by ohhgourami View Post

Already have one of those cables ready to go!
biggrin.gif
I'm still waiting for a particular fan to be in stock to purchase and hesitant to buy that cooler. I want to take off the stock cooler first and strap nice 120mm fans directly to the heatsink to see how it performs first. The MK-26 is also appealing since I can always reuse for whatever GPU I get in the future. Thanks and +rep
thumb.gif

Exactly the answer I was looking for. Thanks. +rep

Anyone know of there are compatibility issues mounting the cooler to different cards?
There can be. VRM placement, cap placement, mounting holes can be different from card to card. You'd have to look at bare pictures of the two cards in question and see if it'll work.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by ohhgourami View Post

Comparing the two PCBs (GB vs EVGA) there isn't too much difference. Looks like my GB will have no problems. Either way $65 on newegg plus 10% off made me pull the trigger. Thanks everyone!
There isn't much difference cuz the GB doesn't add anything to the mix. The only real custom cards regarding on kepler which are worth a damn are the lightning and dc2 because you can add voltage with them.
 
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