Nvidia decided for GTX 780 Ti to use practically the same cooler used previously on the GTX Titan and GTX 780, and this was a logical choice. We already had a chance to get acquainted with Nvidia's reference GTX Titan/780 cooler and we found it being adequate for cooling the massive GK110 chip. The cooler was designed to provide superior cooling performance, but generate less noise than previous Nvidia reference coolers. We can confirm that this is also true of the GTX 780 Ti graphics card, the reference cooler is very good indeed. The GK110-425-B1 chip used on the GTX 780 Ti is in its core the same as chip used for the GTX 780 but it comes with more shaders and a slightly higher GPU clock; 2880 cores and 875MHz Base clocks compared to the GK110 chip on the GTX 780 which features 2304 cores and 863MHz Base clock.
Because GTX 780 Ti is more powerful than the GTX 780 and it uses the exact same cooler, we were wondering what Nvidia did to keep the new card quiet. In previous reviews we noticed that the GTX 780 Ti tended to hit 83 degrees Celsius after a bit of gaming, and very rarely it can hit 85 degrees Celsius. The GTX 780 maxed out at 80 degrees Celsius. Nvidia simply changed the max temperature target, trading silence for better cooling. The new Boost 2.0 algorithm will reduce the GPU Boost clocks on the GTX 780 and on the GTX 780 Ti too if the GPU temperature goes over 80 and 83 degrees Celsius respectively.
According to EVGA, the Active Cooling Xtreme (ACX) cooler should provide 15 percent lower GPU and memory temperatures on average. We can confirm that the EVGA ACX cooler is superior to the reference design as it keeps the GPU temperatures below 74 degrees, which is 9 to 12 percent better than the reference unit. If the ACX cooler wasn’t as good, GPU Boost 2.0 would kick in and throttle the card once it gets too hot. The ACX cooler ensures your card maintains the maximum boost clock possible for as long as possible.
The card is completely silent in idle where we measured 32 degrees Celsius. The ACX cooler is very quiet, even under load. It’s not inaudible, of course, but it won’t be any distraction, as you will can hear only some airflow.
The fan management is excellent and two 88mm fans won’t surprise you with sudden RPM changes. The fan gradually accelerates when we start a game and slowly decelerates when we’re done gaming.