CONSIDERING THE COST of Nvidia’s new flagship graphics cards, there’s no wonder that its partners are already looking at ways of reducing the manufacturing costs. Inno3D is the first one to release details of a modified GTX470 PCB and it comes in green rather than black, which is the colour of the first retail cards, although this doesn’t appear to be cost-down version, quite the opposite.
The interesting thing here is that this also means that Nvidia must be allowing its partners to design their own cards around the new GPUs, a move we didn’t expect this early on. Normally it takes a few months, best case, until partners are allowed to start tinkering with their own board designs and in some cases it just never happens.
The changes are fairly minor at the moment as far as the card itself is concerned, but Inno3D has at least made some changes to the power regulation circuitry as we spotted a couple of missing components when we compared the pictures posted on VR-Zone to those of the review sample boards. This makes this card something of a contradiction, as the missing components are suggesting that this is a cost-down model, but the new cooler is stating the exact opposite.
Inno3D has come up with a different heatsink, although the rest of the cooler appear to be pretty much the stock gear found on all GTX470 cards. The heatsink looks like a slightly smaller version of what is fitted to the GTX480 cards, although with a few modifications. For starters the four heatpipes are interfacing directly with the GPU and the heatsink itself appears to be a light-weight aluminium fin design rather than a solid slab of metal.
We’ll leave you to draw your own conclusions here, but considering that this is a comparatively small Nvidia partner, it looks like we might be seeing a lot more custom cards sooner rather than later. Considering how many of the reviews complained about the noise of the new cards, this might not be a bad thing.S|A
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