Now we're onto the card itself and I must say what a great looking product we have. There is nothing worse than a cheap looking and even cheaper quality silent heatsink - the Radeon X1650XT from HIS lifted the bar and it's good to see that Inno3D are seeing the value in high quality silent cooling. With a cooler made by Arctic Cooling though, you wouldn't expect any less as we have seen many good things from them in the past.
Using AC's Accelero S1M cooler that takes up a total of two slots, there is four copper pipes running through the front side of the card from bottom to top, which then pass the heat onto the aluminum fins, which help dissipate it from the surface. The general feel and look of the heatsink is excellent and the decision from Inno3D to use something slightly more expensive from Arctic Cooling as opposed to a cheaper company was definitely the correct decision.
If you look closer and see between the heatsink and card, you can see that it's only designed for the core. Inno3D has taken the extra step to make sure that the memory chips are also cooled by separate little BGA RAM sinks. Many companies previous put great efforts into cooling the GPU but seemed to forget about the onboard RAM and it's excellent to see that Inno3D has not forgotten about this area.
Sitting at the higher end of the scale performance wise, the card of course needs separate power via a PCI Express 6-pin connector. The cooler design makes it a bit fidgety to unplug though the chances are once it goes on, there isn't going to be much need to take it off unless you win the lottery and find it's time to upgrade to something better.
Turning the card over we can see a sticker that gives us the card model number along with four screws that hold the mighty heatsink in place. At the top of the card we see the all important SLI connector. While the heatsink does sit higher than usual, there were no problems at all using an SLI adapter.
Moving to the I/O side of things, we have a very nice and professional looking black and gold setup which looks great but we're not sure if this will do anything for us in terms of improved picture quality but as we said, it looks quite stylish. We have our standard Dual DVI connectors and TV Out port but as far as we can see, the DVI ports are not HDCP capable which means you won't be able to use this graphics card for playback of HD DVD or Blu-ray movies.
Clocks are up from the standard 450MHz / 1320MHz DDR setup seen on most stock GeForce 7900GS cards. Inno3D have really taken advantage of the AC cooler with a core clock speed of 550MHz and a blazing fast 256MB GDDR-3 memory clock speed of 1500MHz DDR. Considering that the card is silently cooled, it's fantastic to see the huge speed increase offered out of the box.
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