Palit Revolution 700 Deluxe Review
In stock form ATI's Radeon 4870 X2 is a potent 3D performer capable of driving today's latest games at blistering frame rates thanks to its dual RV770 GPUs clocked at 750MHz and 2GB of 3.6GHz effective GDDR5 memory. But as impressive as the card is it does have its drawbacks.
As you can imagine, keeping two RV770 GPUs cool is a pretty daunting task, particularly under an extended 3D load. While the stock ATI cooler does its best to keep heat at bay, like the cooler ATI used on the Radeon 4870 reference design, the 4870 X2's stock cooler sacrifices a little bit of extra heat in order for the card to run as quietly as possible. As a result, the stock cooling found on ATI's 4870 X2 reference design can have a hard time dealing with heat, resulting in load temps of nearly 90 degrees Celsius. To add insult to injury, the stock 4870 X2 idles in the 60 degree Celsius range – that's as high as some GPUs get at load!
Now so far we haven't run into any stability issues as a result of this, nor have we seen artifacts or other visual anomalies over the course of our testing since the 4870
X2's arrival last August, but these kind of temps can be unsettling to some users who are used to less exotic cards that don't hit these high temps. Others may simply be uncomfortable running such a hot device inside their PC for an extended period of time (say the next 3 or 4 years). Next to dust, heat is after all a leading source of many component failures.
But what if one of ATI's board partners were to come up with a Radeon 4870 X2 card with enhanced cooling? For most of 2008 ATI had the 4870 X2 on lockdown, forcing all board partners to use the ATI reference design and cooling, but finally ATI has relented, with the first 4870 X2 cards to utilize a non-reference cooler shipping in mid-November.
With their Gainward Golden Sample roots, the engineers at Gainward/Palit were determined to concoct something special, and with the Revolution 700 Deluxe, that's exactly what they've done. The card is the world's first to utilize a three-slot cooling unit. Yes, you read that right, the Palit Revolution 700 Deluxe features a 3-slot cooler.
Why 3-slots? Palit says they needed a 3-slot solution in order to properly cool both RV770 chips without having to rely on a noisy cooler. While Palit's cooler does have dual fans, they run at very low RPMs -- usually less than 3000 RPMs at load -- thus they don't generate a lot of noise when pressed, even during extensive 3D gaming sessions.
Let's take a look closer look at Palit's Revolution 700 Deluxe.