EVGA GTX 970 SC Layout and Design
Graphics Card Layout
The EVGA GTX 970 SC graphics card features a flat black color scheme with two 92mm fans with 11 blades each. The higher blade count on the fans allows the fans to operate at a lower speed while pushing more air across the aluminum radiator fins.
In its stock configuration, the GTX 970 SC does not come with a back plate. EVGA chose to use a custom-sized PCB for the card (larger than the typical GTX 970 PCB), giving more room for power components and other features. Four of the eight memory chips are located along the outside of the area directly behind the GPU with no active or passive cooling provided for those DDR5 memory modules.
EVGA does offer an optional backplate to provide protection to the back of the PCB. The backplate is black aluminum with the card's name emblazoned across the left side of the plate. There are cutouts to accommodate all the components and chips on the PCB. Additionally, EVGA included strips of thermal tape over the rear mounted DDR5 memory modules to help passively cool those chips.
Graphics Card Design
Removing the cooler reveals the front of the PCB. The GPU VRM circuitry is located to the left of the GPU. The right right of the PCB is covered by a black colored plate to protect the PCB surface as well as to provide passive cooling for the 2-phase DDR5 memory VRM circuitry located in its lower right quadrant. The four DDR5 memory modules are located along the outside of the GPU. The fan header for the ACX 2.0 cooler's integrated fans is located to the right of the two on-board six pin power connectors.
The GPU assembly is surrounded by a metal ring to prevent the coolers copper mating surface from crushing the sensitive GPU core. The DDR5 memory modules to the top and bottom of the GPU are fully exposed, while those to the left of the GPU are partially covered by the card's cover plate.
The GPU's 4-phase power circuitry is located to the left of the GPU core. The twelve associated VRM modules are oriented in a line of two, oriented ot match up with the cooling path provided on the cooler. These VRMs do get hot and require some modicum of cooling to keep the GPU stable and running optimally.
ACX 2.0 Cooler
The front of the ACX 2.0 cooler is comprised of a black color plastic plate protecting the coolers aluminum radiator and integrated fans. The EVGA corporate logo and the graphics chipset are clearly marked in the center top and bottom of the faceplate.
From the backside of the ACX 2.0 cooler, you are able to better appreciate the construction of the cooler. The cooler is comprised of three large, nickel-plated copper heat pipes distributed evenly across the aluminum radiator to optimize heat dissipation across the radiator fins. The GPU core is cooled by all three of the heat pipes embedded in an aluminum block and sanded to a perfectly flat surface. The GPU's VRM circuitry is cooled by a raised aluminum section of the radiator with thermal tape sitting in between the heat sink surface and the VRMs. The coolers fans are powered by a small power cable along the top of the cooler.