Card Layout and Photos
So as I mentioned before, XF did change up their look this time around and I’m not especially a big fan of the new look. XFX in the past has had some of the best looking cards but I do feel like they have regressed, but even last years design that can still be found on some of the RX580’s isn’t too bad with an all blacked out look and the removable fans. To improve the cooling for the GTS though they made a few changes. First, the removable fans aren’t here, they went with a larger 100mm fan over the 90mm fan of the hard swap fan design. I hate to not have them because I think that was a cool feature but I do understand when cooling in the biggest priority. The rest of the fan shroud has octagon shapes around the fans with what look like steps, not what I would like but it really isn’t until I get to the fake carbon fiber finish that I really wasn’t digging things. Now aesthetics is a preference but I suspect that this new look isn’t going to be popular. People seem to favor a clean look or flashy with RGB lighting but this design doesn’t go either direction. Personally, I will keep campaigning for the metal design used with the 7000 series cards to come back but with a black finish. The top strip could come in different colors and RGB lighting would look amazing with them. Please XFX!!
Moving on though, let's talk about the cooling setup. The GTS is running four heatpipes on top of the GPU and pulling heat out over the whole length of the card. All four heatpipes come out the top of the card. For the most part, the heatsink seems to fill in all of the space around the PCB and under the fans but I did notice that down at the end the heatsink stops at the PCB but the shroud and endplate both extended out past that for almost an inch of unused space.
Speaking of that endplate, this is going to be another area that people are going to love or hate. Most cards don’t angle in on the top and bottom of the end of the card like this. Part of me likes it because it is an actual metal part that is coming up and protecting the end of the card and hiding the heatsink. But I don’t care much for the shape, a flat but shorter version would have been a better use of the space.
The heatpipe up top and the backplate both have been deliberately moved away from the power connection. Unlike the Sapphire RX580 where they went with an 8 and a 6 pin, XFX has used just a single 8 pin and it gives me hope that this card might not pull as much juice as well.
For connections, XFX went with the completely standard three DisplayPorts, one HDMI, and one DVI. For ventilation, there is a little room with the stripe above the DisplayPort connections cut in the plate as well as the XFX logo vent. We can see from there that the card isn’t as tall as the Sapphire 580 was as well, but there is still a decent gap between the top of the PCI slots and the top of the fan shroud.
The backplate on the 580 GTS is a big of a monster actually. They used a thick aluminum and the backplate actually extends out over the end of the card as I already mentioned. It also folds and covers part of the top of the card as well giving most of the card a metal shield over it. It is finished in a flat black with glossy black designs on it as well. There are also holes all over the backplate to help the card breath.