Previous generations of Geforce reference designs featured relatively noisy coolers, thus making non-reference cards with custom cooling a lot more appealing. Things have changed for the better, as the reference GTX 780 cooler is pretty good, as it doesn’t compromise on noise over performance, at least not until you overclock GPU. An overclocked GPU generates more heat and the reference cooler starts to get louder while trying to keep temperatures below 80 Celsius, which is by the way desired threshold set in the GPU Boost 2.0 algorithm.
In order to keep noise in check while cooling factory overclocked GTX 780 card with a 104MHz factory overclock for the GPU Gainward slapped the new Phantom cooler on top of its card.
Gainward decided to use the baseplate to strengthen the PCB and provide better cooling for the memory chips and MOSFET.
A combination of 6-pin and 8-pin power connectors is necessary to keep the show going. The card uses an OnSemi NCP4208 voltage controller and the TDP for the reference card is 250W. The VRM features an eight phase PWM design for the core and two phases PWM design for the memory. Gainward also offers a workaround on the voltage limits.
The card has 3GB of GDDR5 memory, courtesy of Samsung (model K4G20325FD-FC03 specified to run at 6000MHz GDDR5 effective). All the memory modules at the front of the PCB are tucked away underneath the reinforcement plate. Sadly, the rear of the PCB features no backplate, which is not important for the performance but would make overall design much more visually appealing.
As far as video outs go, what we have here is the classic Gainward Quattro-port design, i.e. two dual link DVIs, HDMI (1.4a compatible) and DisplayPort out. Note that all four video outs can be used simultaneously. Nvidia included an HDMI sound device within the GPU, so there is no need to connect the card to your SPDIF out to get audio and video via HDMI.
The GTX 780 Phantom GLH is ready for multi-GPU action. In addition to standard dual-SLI, it can also be used in triple- and quad-SLI setups, as it features two SLI connectors. However the width (2.5-slots) of the GTX 780 Phantom GLH card may be its disadvantage.