Leadtek has implemented a new cooling design onto its PX7600 GT - this is a big improvement on the tiny heatsink/fan combination that was used on NVIDIA's reference design, and all early GeForce 7600 GT cards. The reference fan was loud at times - we found this a little strange when we looked at GeForce 7950 GX2, because that card uses a pair of fans the same size, but still manages to keep quiet under heavy gaming load. Obviously the heatsinks are considerably larger on GeForce 7950 GX2, but it proves the point that the fan wasn't the problem - it was the size of the heatsink.
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The design, which is exclusive to Leadtek's cards, uses a variable speed 60mm fan. The heatsink is much larger than the reference cooler and the main cooling area is made from a much thicker piece of copper, while the shroud is made from aluminium. This combination of characteristics give the cooler a feel of quality.
This is in stark contrast to the cooler on the reference card that didn't look like it was up to the job. That is probably a little harsh, because it was capable of cooling G73, it just wasn't very quiet in the process. We're pleased to say that Leadtek's new cooling solution is pretty quiet, even after several hours of gaming.
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Along with the custom cooling solution, Leadtek has redesigned the PCB layout too. There are differences in the positioning and number of capacitors on the top of the PCB. At the same time, Leadtek has rotated the DRAM chips by 90 degrees. All of the reference-design GeForce 7600 GT's use Samsung 1.4ns memory, while Leadtek has opted to switch to Infineon's 1.4ns part.
There are differences on the back of the PCB, too. Leadtek has also used different mounting holes on the card. Diagonally across the card, the holes are 60mm apart - these mounting holes are on the reference PCB design, but they are not used by the reference cooler. Instead, there are four more holes that are roughly 75mm apart on the reference card - Leadtek has only included two of these holes, so it maybe worth checking before considering a third party cooling solution on this card. The good thing here is that Leadtek has used a decent clamping mechanism on the back, meaning that the load is spread across more of the PCB, allowing for better contact between the GPU and heatsink.