GTX 980 Reference Cooler or ACX 2.0?

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by PowerMike G5, May 11, 2015.

  1. PowerMike G5 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2005
    Location:
    New York, NY
    #1
    Hi!

    I just bought an EVGA GTX 980 SC card with the ACX 2.0 cooler for my MacPro 5,1.

    All my PCIE slots are filled with cards. The card in slot 3 directly above the GPU is a AJA Kona HD video capture/playback card that completely blocks one of the fans of the GPU.

    Does anyone think this will be a concern in the long run? Is this a scenario where getting the card with the standard reference cooler will make more sense 9where the heat is blown out the back of the mac as opposed to inside the mac)?

    I've read that the ACX version ultimately is the cooler card of the 2. But in this case, I'm not sure if blowing the heat directly into the card above makes sense.

    Thanks in advance for anyone's expert advice! :)
     
  2. MacVidCards Suspended

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2008
    Location:
    Hollywood, CA
    #2
    Leave the side cover off and watch those fans.

    For most of what you do I think you will find the fans stay off.

    These cards are so darn efficient that they have little heat to get rid of.

    Sort of like how an LED light bulb only needs 15 Watts to give of same light as 75 Watt tungsten bulb. The 60 Watts that used to go to heating the room up isn't needed.

    Compared to the cards of 3 years ago the change is enormous. The energy goes to drawing things, not heating up your computer.
     
  3. PowerMike G5 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2005
    Location:
    New York, NY
    #3
    Thanks!

    A lot of what I do is video editing/rendering/encoding work using Adobe CC.

    So I do tax the graphics card and the entire system quite a bit. The fans would rev up quite a bit I would think.

    But do you think this version of the card is still the way to go?
     
  4. AidenShaw macrumors P6

    AidenShaw

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2003
    Location:
    The Peninsula
    #4
    Look at any system (other than true "pro" servers) and the spacing is pretty tight when you have more than one double-width card.

    I've been going with the ACX 2.0 cards rather than the reference cards in my recent systems - both because the ACX cards are clocked a bit faster and that their fans draw air from more places (the reference cards have the fan inlet only - and often that's very close to the next card).

    If the card can get its heat (which with Maxwell is less than anything with comparable performance from ATI) into the case - I trust the case fans to move the heat to the hot aisle.
     
  5. TzunamiOSX, May 11, 2015
    Last edited: May 12, 2015

    TzunamiOSX macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2009
    Location:
    Germany
    #5
    I had the same concerns, but... all looks good here.

    Some facts:

    Case temp is around 2° higher than a 680 GTX blower under full load.

    The ACX 2.0 blow direct to the Mainboard, so the battery is going a little bit hotter. With a 680 GTX blower the battery is at 38°C, with the 980 ACX 2.0 the temp goes to 45°C under full load (must be under 60°C, 38°C is a little bit better but 45°C is save).

    I have installed 3 cards inside my MacPro 5,1
    GTX 980
    XP941 M.2 SSD
    FASTA-6GU3 Pro
     
  6. ActionableMango macrumors 604

    ActionableMango

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2010
    #6
    I have the same card. It's fine.

    I can't think of anything that hits a card harder than running the Furmark stress test. My card never went above 71C. Air coming out back did not feel hot. Fans initially went to a noticeable but moderate level, then surprisingly got quiet again after 30 seconds or so. It's like they were hardly bothered.
     
  7. PowerMike G5 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2005
    Location:
    New York, NY
    #7
    Thanks everyone!

    I guess there isn't much to worry about.

    I did notice my internal temps of my CPUs did go up about 10 degrees Fahrenheit on average since using this card. I wonder if that is due to the fact that this ACX version is releasing all the heat it generates inside the case. Mostly the fans don't move at all, which is amazing. But it's open grate design seems to passively emit whatever heat it generates along the side of the card.

    I'm constantly monitoring this stuff since my Mac Pro is practically fully modded out. Dual 3.46 x5690s, every RAM slot filled, 5 HDDs, 2 PCIE SSDs, an uncompressed HD video capture card and now this GPU. Just want to make sure this is the best version of this GPU, heat-wise, as its the last upgrade I'm making to this machine.
     
  8. TzunamiOSX, May 13, 2015
    Last edited: May 13, 2015

    TzunamiOSX macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2009
    Location:
    Germany
    #8
    I can't say it is the "best" Version, but it is a good solution.

    There are 2 solutions:

    Blower: Loud + hot GPU + cool inside the case

    double/tripple Fan: Silent + cool GPU + more heat in the case

    Some people say a blower is better for dual or tripple GPUs
     
  9. PowerMike G5 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2005
    Location:
    New York, NY
    #9
    In your experience or based of your knowledge, is the reference blower style a good deal louder?

    The great advantage of this current card is it is completely silent.
     
  10. AidenShaw macrumors P6

    AidenShaw

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2003
    Location:
    The Peninsula
    #10
    My experience is the reference card is sealed for input except for the 80mm circle around the fan. The ACX card has dual fans with more inlet options. (Just having dual fans doubles the input airflow.)

    In a typical system, if you put two double-width cards side-by-side there is only a gap of a mm or 2 between the cards.

    On my higher end systems, though, the GPUs have no fans so that the gap between the cards does not matter.
     
  11. TzunamiOSX, May 14, 2015
    Last edited: May 14, 2015

    TzunamiOSX macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2009
    Location:
    Germany
    #11
    Yes, a blower is louder on full load. The ACX is really silent.

    With a ACX, the fans of the Mac Pro are louder than the graphic card.

    With a blower, the graphic card is a bit louder than the Mac Pro fans
     

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