Gamers Nexus Chief Editor Steve Burke spent a week or so in Taipei, Taiwan for the Computex 2017 trade show, and while he was here he also managed to get around and visit a few of the companies based on the island. One stop that he made was to pay a visit to the EVGA HQ where Vince ‘K|ngp|n’ Lucido and his co-worker Illya ‘TiN’ Tsemenko were busy prepping the latest GTX 1080 Ti Kingpin Edition graphics card.
Steve kicks off by asking the guys where they actually start with when they’re developing a card like the 1080 Ti KP Edition, noting that the development time in this case has been around 2 months. Vince addresses why the new card has gold plating, mentioning how despite adding a certain aesthetic value to the card, the gold plating in fact helps with heat dissipation. It's connected to all layers within the PCB for that reason. According to Ilya, by using gold in this way it’s possible to reduce PCB temps by around 5 degrees. He also mentions improvements to the heatsink specifically in relation to the thermal pipe arrangement which further reduces temps.
In fact the GTX 1080 Ti Kingpin Edition is also the first Kingpin Edition card to use EVGA’s proprietary iCX cooler technology which debuted on the EVGA 1080 FTW series. With Pascal architecture GPUs being very sensitive to thermal fluctuations, every effort has been made to keeps temperatures as low as possible to help the system maintain maximum GPU frequencies.
The video from Gamers Nexus is a very interesting look into the design approach that Vince and Illya take when developing a new KP Edition card and in this case the particular challenges that Nvidia’s Pascal GPUs present. Well worth a watch. You can find the video here on the Gamers Nexus YouTube channel. You may also want to check out this other video from Steve which is an in-depth look at the new Edition card where he strips the card down to the PCB to examine the VRM components and Cooling in more details. Enjoy!