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GIGABYTE Z87X-OC Force Motherboard Digital PWM and Cooling Deep Dive - International Rectifier IR3550 and Test System Setup

GIGABYTE Z87X-OC Force Motherboard Digital PWM and Cooling Deep Dive
We investigate the GIGABYTE Z87X-OC Force's digital PWM and cooling setup. We discovered some interesting results with a thermal imaging camera. (TPE:2376)
| Editorials in Motherboards | Posted: Aug 8, 2013 1:19 am

International Rectifier IR3550

 

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Each IR3550 chip has 30 pins along the side.

 

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The PowIRStage specifications page shows a peak efficiency rating of 95% at 1.2V and an IOUT max of 60 amps.

 

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What the IR3550 allows GIGABYTE to do is replace the traditional 4-chip MOSFET design with a single IR3550 that's very efficient.

 

 

Test System Setup

 

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I grabbed a few parts sitting around the office and pieced a system together. In the coming days we're moving the SSD test platform over to 4th generation Core processors and Z87X chipsets.

 

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Originally, I started this project to test the new PWM cooler, but the article took a turn while testing.

 

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I think you'll agree with our findings. I do want to note a few things before we get started, though. We used an Intel retail heat sink and cooler for the CPU simply because it allowed us to use the thermal imaging camera. All of my other heat sinks are Noctua designs and very large.

 

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In some of the images you may see black tap covering components. Any highly reflective surface makes the thermal imager report a false reading. The tape is thin and used to cover up anything that shines like the CMOS battery or the silver area on the heat sink.

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