- Introduction, Packaging and Closer Look
- Test Bench and Testing Methodology
- 3DMark (2013) Benchmark
- 3DMark 11 Benchmark
- OpenGL Benchmark- Cinebench 11.5 and R15
- Unigene: Heaven 4.0 Benchmark
- Hitman Absolution
- Shadow of Mordor
- GTA V Benchmark
- GRID Autosport Benchmark
- GPU Computation Benchmark
- Folding at Home and LuxMark OpenCL Benchmark
- Online Purchase Links
- View All
Gainward Phantom GTX 970 is an interesting card- not an observation based on performance considering at the end of the day it’s a Nvidia GTX 970. But because of a different cooling design which not only works by pulling air through the heatsink and heatpipes array but also allows the user to remove the fans from its GPU shroud, giving an easy access to clean. Do you know any other brand who did this? I know I don’t!
The Gainward Phantom GTX 970 has about 9.71% overclock base clock and up to 10.52% bump in boost clock. The official length of the card is a bit shorter compared to its counterpart. But due to the design of its cooling system, Gainward Phantom GTX 970 is a triple slot design. To be fair, there were triple-slot non-reference GPUs before, but none can have its fans removed this way.
There’s nothing special about the package, except that it has a carry handle on the box. Instead of foam, the card is kept in a two-piece plastic tray.
The card has a large glossy plastic shroud towards the front, extending the length of the card. Both cooling fans are removable but are placed between the heat fins and the pipe array and the card. Because of the design despite requiring two PCIe slots, this makes the card extend towards the third slot. Gainward Phantom GTX 970 does not have a backplate over the PCB like many graphic cards we’ve seen throughout from other brands But due to the cooling shroud extension, it requires additional support from the other side as well. Unfortunately, the plastic shroud makes the card’s built quality ‘plasticky’, but it does keep the graphic card much lighter than its counterparts.
This heatfins array makes you think it’s a passive cooling design, and that’s pretty cool. The card takes power from dual 6-pin PCIe connector that’s slightly offset from the center. As you can see, there are side vents just above the fans.
The fans can be removed from the sides, by removing a small thumbscrew with a plastic cap. After that, you’ll need to slide it out. Once the shroud is dismantled, you’ll notice a rail-type mounting for the fans and 4-pin connector on the other end. Gainward uses two Power Logic PLA08015S12HH, a frameless 75mm fan.
Due to the design, the GPU heatsink is a C-Type heatsink. Much like Noctua NH-C14S CPU cooler. There are four nickel plated copper heatpipes spread throughout the heatsink and a small enough copper base to have contact with the Nvidia core.
There’s a metal passive sink for the MOSFETs could have been copper like the others. We’ve seen cards like Gigabyte who has a large copper plate covering over the GPU core and the MOSFETs too.