Quote: ENTHUSIASTS HAVE ALWAYS craved snappier performance and smoother frame rates, but lately, many of us have also become obsessed with lowering system noise levels. Years ago, most high-end systems sounded like jet engines spinning up for take off. Today, however, hobbyists are trading in their noisy cooling solutions for stealthier designs that employ larger heat sinks, temperature-controlled low-RPM fans, and even water cooling.
While quieter cooling solutions have become more popular, only passive cooling can deliver the absolute silence that low-noise enthusiasts really seek. Cooling a chip without fans isn’t easy, though. Today’s denser chips and higher clock speeds present challenging thermal profiles, and in the graphics card world, passive cooling has largely been limited to low-end products.
Not content to let only budget cards bask in glorious silence, Gigabyte has brought passive cooling to ATI’s mid-range Radeon X800 XL. The GV-RX80L256V combines silent cooling with the X800 XL’s already impressive pixel-pushing power, and it comes equipped with HDTV output and VIVO for good measure. Priced at just over $300, the GV-RX80L256V could be the ultimate Radeon X800 XL, but can passive cooling handle a mid-range graphics chip running at 400MHz? Read on to find out.
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