Palit GeForce GTX 1070 Dual review

Discussion in 'General' started by Stéphane Lenclud, July 29, 2016.

  1. Stéphane Lenclud
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    Here is a review of Palit GeForce GTX 1070 Dual.

    After getting myself a 4K TV I thought I'll try and get a GPU that does 4K too.
    Since the NVidia GeForce GTX 10 series are getting a lot of praise I thought I'll give it a try and put aside my trusty low power NVidia GeForce GTX 750ti .
    As I'm somewhat limited by my HTPC enclosure I needed a graphics card with regular height and not too long either.
    Since the main PCI-E slot on that Asus Z97-WS is really close from my CPU heat sink I was also not sure I could even fit a card with a back plate.
    When shopping for graphics card I also always consider the possibility of fitting custom fans and heat sink too.
    An HTPC machine must remain silent and relatively cool when watching movies, clearly, but also, to some extent, when gaming.
    Then I noticed that Palit GeForce GTX 1070 Dual with the following differentiating attributes:
    1. Shortest of all GTX 1070.
    2. Regular height.
    3. No protruding back plate.
    4. Semi passive cooling, 0db feature.
    5. Fans looked like they could be dismounted easily.
    6. Fans socket seemed accessible without removing heat sink.
    7. Cheapest GTX 1070 around.
    So I thought that card could be just what I was looking for and went ahead with my purchase.
    As it turns out it was also the cheapest of GTX 1070 at the time of purchase at €439 on the 24th of July 2016 from CaseKing.
    It's worth noting that the price went up since, the day after it was €10 more. Delivery was really fast thanks to CaseKing.
    Though to be honest I would expect that card to sell for little more than €300 this winter.

    Here it is fresh out to the box:

    20160727_181100.jpg

    Details of the card's bottom side, showing that heat sink inner plate and fan socket:

    20160727_181228.jpg

    Detail of the backside showing heat sink and fan mount screws:



    20160727_181235.jpg

    Mounted in Lian-Li PC-C60:
    20160727_184758.jpg

    Detail of the heat-sink after fan mount removal:
    20160729_211127.jpg

    Most importantly for me the fan socket is not obstructed by the heat sink so I can use a couple of Be Quiet 12cm fans instead of the stock once which are way too loud especially when they reach full speed.

    Here is the card mounted with custom fans:
    20160729_214400.jpg

    Games like Rise of the Tomb Raider won't let you set a cap on FPS so no matter what I'd do it would drive that card to 80C.
    Thankfully Palit ThunderMaster utility let's you set power and temperature target as well as a cap on your FPS.

    upload_2016-7-30_23-5-42.png upload_2016-7-31_0-7-8.png

    With temperature target of 60C in Full HD with stereoscopic 3D at very high graphics settings I would get lags due to the GPU throttling down to keep below 60C.
    That was an aggressive target but I had to try it out. I find it brilliant that it managed to never rise above 59C, that temperature target system is doing a really good job.
    So I went back and set a more realistic target of 70C. That fixed my lag issues while keeping the system within acceptable temperature.
    That test was performed with the custom fans mentioned above.

    Even though the card's product page advertised 0db tech the fans would never stop spinning. You could only lower them to 30% which is 1000 RPM.
    Now that's not cool as my custom Be Quiet fans are slightly audible at 1000 RPM and I wished I could send them into idle when not needed.
    I've contacted Palit support hopping they modified their BIOS to allow lowering the fan speed further.
    Palit's support has been most helpful. They recognized an early batch of GTX 1070 Dual shipped without 0db feature and quickly provided a new firmware to fix it.
    I've attached the package Palit provided to flash that new BIOS version. Make sure you perform a cold boot after flashing the firmware as a simple reboot did not work for me.
    The new BIOS now allows you to specify 0% fan duty in custom fans curve from ThunderMaster.
    However it does not quite stop the fans, the lowest I could get was around 400RPM. It seems to depend on the GPU temperature while not being controlled by the fan curve.
    Nevertheless that's good enough for me since my custom fans are virtually inaudible at this kind of speed.

    Here is a rough summary of the specs of the stock fans versus the Be Quiet fans I used:
    • Stock from 400 to 3000 RPM.
    • Be Quiet! from 400 to 1500 RPM (maxed at 50%).

    Now about those Pascal GTX 1070/1080: I'm not so impressed with it. You won't be able to run triple AAA titles like Tomb Raider at 4K without overheating your system.
    So I'm now pretty sure they are totally over hyped. However they sure will deliver awesome FHD gaming.

    Pros:
    • Compact physical dimensions (height, length width).
    • Fan mount easily removable.
    • Fan socket easily accessibly without removing heat sink.
    • Can easily mount custom fans.
    • Fan management on newer BIOS allows for larger fans.
    • Palit ThunderMaster has no clutter and all essential options: custom fan curve, temperature target, power target, FPS cap.
    • Great support from Palit.
    Cons:
    • Fans would not stop when idle. After contacting Palit support they improved things a great deal.
    • Advertised feature not delivered, see first bullet point.
    • Stock fans too loud once you pass 70C.
    • Fans are very loud once you hit 80C to the point where you can't hear yourself gaming anymore.
    • Triple A 4K gaming is not there yet, come back in a couple of years or go SLI I guess.
    • Watch your temperatures and use ThunderMaster to keep things under control.
    • Wait a bit and enjoy the summer, price should come down at some point.
     

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    Last edited: June 26, 2017
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  3. Joutungwu

    Joutungwu Portal Pro

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    That's a nice review. (y)

    Apart from this, i guess the airflow could be optimised. The two case fans at the cpu side are in intake mode, the CPU fan is in pull mode and the cover case fan is in outtake mode. That's totallly correct so far and i would do the same here.
    Is there a dust filter at the cover fan? Only intake fans should have dust filters. Outtake fans don't need them, because instead of catching dust, they blow it away. All intake fans should have dust filters. Outtake fans only get performance reduction from dust filters.
    The case fan at the PSU side is in outake mode, where it should better be intake mode, because only then it supports the Palit GTX 1070 by providing cool air from the outside in the direction of the graphics card instead of working against the GPU fans as it is now. If you correct that, you will get overpressure inside the case, which is also good to keep the dust out.
    For example, Silverstone recommends the overpressure airflow concept for their HTPC cases. I read about it, when building an HTPC with Silverstone GD05B and i assume this concept matches to your HTPC case, too. Silverstone also recommends graphics cards that "have a fan blowing exhaust air to the rear slot", which matches better to the overpressure airflow concept at all. Have a look at page 20 of this manual where the differences of graphics card coolers are well explained by the pictures. The problem with that rear exhausting GPU coolers is a taller length dimension of the card, which, as you said, is not preferable in HTPC cases.
     
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  4. Stéphane Lenclud
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    Intake fans:
    2x 140mm on the right.

    Exhaust fans:
    1x 140mm on the top above the CPU.
    1x 140mm on the left next to the hard drives.
    1x ~120mm PSU fan.

    GPU fans:
    1x 120mm blowing toward the GPU (back)
    1x 120mm blowing away from the GPU toward the left exhausts (front)
    Palit themselves are using such configuration on their JetStream series.

    CPU fans:
    2x 120mm blowing upward into the exhaust.

    Dust filters are only present on both intake fans.
     
  5. Stéphane Lenclud
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    Interesting suggestion though it's actually working with one of the GPU fans. The case has been totally dust free for years so I don't think I have much of an underpressure problem.
    I'd be concerned having only the top fan as exhaust as, let's face it, the PSU fan is not exhausting much.
    The hot spot in the case is definitely the area with hard drives and PCI extension cards and this fan is providing much needed exhaust I believe.
    An extra exhaust fan or grid on this side of the cover would have been nice I guess, then that fan could be used as intake.
     
    Last edited: August 3, 2016
  6. Joutungwu

    Joutungwu Portal Pro

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    No, they don't. Have a look at this Palit Video. Go to position 0:30 min to see the airflow.
    I guess, you misunderstood that. One fan rotates clockwise and the other fan rotates anti-clockwise. Therefore the clockwise rotating fan has inverted blades. So, both fans blow the air in the direction of the cooler. The advantage of this alternating rotation is to minimize the shear force of the air between the gap of the dual fans. This makes the fans more efficient and maybe reduces noises. I can't see all of your GPU fan modification, but i guess you just put two common anti-clockwise 120 mm case fans together and inverted one of them?
    To copy the Jetstream design, you'd need a clockwise rotating fan, which is rather exotic, i assume. But this wouldn't make any sense, since common case fans have a frame, so that the (small) radial amount of the axial fans is guided axially anyway. No direct shear force between the framed fans, so i'd recommend to copy the original dual fan design of the card. Just revert the fan, which actually blows the air away.

    With dust filters at all intake positions, underpressure is also no problem.

    I would give it a try. You have a big 140 mm exhaust fan at the top, the PCI covers have some holes and the GPU helps blowing the hot air out of the case partly. As i said, your GPU cooler should better be rear exhausting only, according to the manual of Silverstone GD05B. The manual of your Lian Li doesn't tell much about that.

    The PSU as an exhaust position for the whole system is rather old-fashioned. In modern systems the cooling of the PSU is separated from the rest. The Lian-Li PC-C60 as well as the Silverstone GD05B are both designed for modern PSU airflow separation. The PSU should suck cold air from the side and exhaust it to the rear, separated from the rest. You saw this big 140 mm grid made for the 120-140 mm PSU fan at the PSU position?
     
    Last edited: August 4, 2016
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  7. Stéphane Lenclud
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    I stand corrected. Palit's Jetstreams spin in opposite directions but they have inverted blades so they both push air toward the heat sink.

    Correct, so that it plays it's part in pushing air towards the front left exhaust.

    That's old school me :)

    I won't bother for now, mostly because I spend already way too much time inside my case :) I much appreciate the feedback though.
    I would definitely consider trying a configuration with the hard drive fan as intake and both GPU fan blowing toward the card and the top exhaust.
    Palit's honeycomb PCI bracket is also offering really good exhaust compared to other design it seems.
    Not sure I should bother reverting the PSU though, I like old school :)
    I'll try compile some temperature stats with the current configuration that I could easily compare with the new configuration if I ever get around doing it.

    Meanwhile Palit's support responded quickly to my request about fixing the fan management.
    They provided a new BIOS firmware that while not bringing my custom fans to rest, enabled me to lower the RPM to inaudible levels which is all I was hoping for.
    I'll update the first post on that topic.
     
    Last edited: August 5, 2016
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  8. Joutungwu

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    Silverstone calls the overpressure concept "positive air pressure design for excellent cooling/quietness and dust-prevention". In the manuals of the later Grandia models the concept is well explained by a shematic drawing and a table. For example, have a look at page 27 of this manual.
    Assimilating that table for Lian-Li PC-C60:
    • Right side fan, rear: CPU and components around CPU socket
    • Right side fan, front: Optical disc drives and CPU
    • Left side fan: Hard drives and graphics card
    • Top fan: Assist in exhausting air
    Right now i saw the recommended airflow picture from Lian Li for your case and it shows indeed your current configuration without the top fan. But i think it's inconsistent about the PSU orientation, or it means that it doesn't matter, if the PSU is separated or integrated in the overall airflow of the system. In any case, the shown exhaust arrows of the PSU fan position (left side, rear) are wrong, because ATX PSUs always have intake fans at the "bottom" side. Quite confusing and obviously a mistake. :confused:

    If you choose to try out the Silverstone concept, i recommend airflow separation of the PSU or it will break the concept of "positive air pressure". Beside that, you would have to invert the left side case fan and the GPU fan. If you change these three things, you won't have fans working directly against opposite fans anymore. Maybe this will reduce overall temperatures.
    I would like to know, which airflow concept wins: Silverstone or Lian Li. :cool::)
     
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  9. Stéphane Lenclud
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    I guess I could try that next time I feel the need to mess around inside that case.
    Though I'll need to benchmark my temperatures with the current setup first so that I can compare them against the new one.
    It could be a while until I get around doing it...
     
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  10. Stéphane Lenclud
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    In December 2017 I acquired a Palit GeForce GTX 1080 DUAL OC for €529 on Alternate.de. It seems it has a similar board layout and I was able to apply the same modifications. However it would probably greatly benefit from an after market heat-sink. Palit did again a good job at providing a minimalist product which can be easily customised for a competitive price. It worth noting that at time of writing price went up to €579 and the product won't be available for another 3 weeks. I reckon that's due to high demands from bitcoins miners.

    Update 12-02-2018: Now selling for €749.
     
    Last edited: February 13, 2018
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