Leadtek is one of only two companies so far that seems to be innovating with the stock 7800GTX design. Though all manufacturers have been leaving the PCB as-is, ASUS threw in a dual-slot cooler based off Artic Cooling's Silencer series, and now Leadktek has done something similar. Except, for Leadtek, the cooler is actually the same reference design used on NVIDIA Quadro workstation cards.
Obviously, the design of a cooler is about more than just heat. If you can keep the GPU and memory cooler, you'll be able to reach higher clocks before instability creeps in. And this is exactly what the Leadtek demonstrates, coming clocked standard at 490/1350 (over the default 7800GTX speeds of 430/1200).
Sure enough, it handles this speed just fine, but we couldn't push it much past 500MHz for the core and the memory not at all. Compared to the original Leadtek card we reviewed in our 7800GTX roundup (see Issue 57) it's defi nitely an improvement.
Interestingly, and unlike the ASUS TOP design, the Leadktek cooler exausts air both inside and outside the case. Usually we'd expect this to have an impact on temps in a sealed case, but nevertheless, when we tested both cards inside a sealed case for a few hours while idle and under load, the Leadtek was consistently cooler by about six degrees. Clearly the heatpipes on the Leadtek are an advantage despite some hot air still being exausted into the case. Even better, the whole setup is quieter than the stock 7800GTX cooler, so it's a win on all counts.
Sticking it into an Athlon64 4400+ nForce4-SLI based system we put it through the paces with 3DMark05. As you'd expect, it returned a healthy 8435 3DMarks, showing off the benefi ts of a default overclocked setup.Overall, if you haven't so far jumped on the 7800GTX bandwagon, the Leadtek Winfast 7800GTX TDH Extreme has everything you need, and then some.