Heat is one of the biggest obstacles that man has to combat in his never-ending quest for faster computer hardware. Overclocking processors to run faster requires extreme cooling techniques, which is why professional overclockers at competitions turn to liquid nitrogen that has an intense cooling effect with temperatures of about -200 degrees Celsius.
Graphics processing units (GPUs) are no different. The latest GeForce GTX 200 series of cards from NVIDIA are blazing fast, but they are also equally hot. NVIDIA's fastest single GPU, the GeForce GTX 285, is easily capable of reaching temperatures in excess of 80 degrees Celsius at its core when placed under a heavy load.
And while 80 degrees Celsius might still be considered safe by NVIDIA's standards (105 degrees Celsius is NVIDIA's maximum threshold), heat, in general, is not good for a system's well-being. We have mentioned about the inadequacy of NVIDIA's reference cooler ad nauseam but to date, they have yet to improve upon the reference cooler that they've been sticking on all their GeForce GTX 200 class of cards.
Fortunately, NVIDIA's partners have taken things into their own hands. Palit started the ball rolling with their GeForce GTX 260 Sonic 216 SP. Soon other vendors started following suit with their own designs and others with cooling solutions from third party cooler specialists. Galaxy has taken the latter route and has turned to cooling experts Arctic Cooling in a bid to keep its top GeForce GTX 285 chilled.
This is the Galaxy GeForce GTX 285 OC with AC Edition (which we will henceforth refer to is as Galaxy GTX 285 AC for brevity sake). As its name suggests, it comes factory-overclocked and sports Arctic Cooling's massive triple-fan Accelero Xtreme GTX 280 VGA cooler. We'll be taking a closer look at this graphics card's capability in the following pages.