Friday, November 1st 2019

XFX Revises RX 5700 XT THICC II Cooler, Offers Replacements to Current Owners

An XFX spokesperson, commenting on a Reddit post linking to our comprehensive review of the XFX Radeon RX 5700 XT THICC III Ultra graphics card from Thursday, stated that they have revised the coolers of its sibling, the THICC II (which we also reviewed). Besides the number of fans (3 vs. 2), what sets the THICC III and the original THICC II apart is a slightly longer aluminium fin-stack heatsink on the THICC III, and more importantly, a copper secondary base-plate instead of aluminium alloy one, on the THICC III. This secondary base plate pulls heat from the eight GDDR6 memory chips. What's more, with the THICC III, XFX also removed a metal foil between the secondary base-plate and the main heatsink.

In our testing, we found this simple design change dropped memory temperatures by 8°C compared to the original THICC II. Higher air-flow from the triple-fan setup may have also contributed, although we believe the base-plate changes, specifically removal of the metal foil, contributed the most. The XFX spokesperson announced that the company is implementing the same base-plate design on the THICC II, and that revised cards are "already on the shelves." The spokesperson also announced that anyone with an older revision of the card can seek a free replacement to the newer revision by contacting XFX. We are awaiting information from them on how to tell the older revision apart from the newer one without having to disassemble the card, and will update this article.
Source: Reddit
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24 Comments on XFX Revises RX 5700 XT THICC II Cooler, Offers Replacements to Current Owners

#1
eidairaman1
The Exiled Airman
The backplate adds to the thermal buildup since gddr6 is fcbga. They just need to make a skeletal style bp or just a spine. Remove all the plastic crap and the problems should go away.

@XFXSupport what you say about this?
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#2
DeathtoGnomes
Are the cooler changes the result of poor reviews or was this in the works prior to them. 8 degrees is huge when it comes to fan noise.
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#3
UltraThicc
This is what will happen if manufactures decide to cheap out on some crucial components, sad trend of the modern pc market.

At least XFX admits the mistake and offers replacements.

Kudos for them.
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#4
fancucker
Not to mention the epidemic of driver issues, an all round horrible experience from both the AIB and chip manufacturer. You'd be best served picking up a 2060S/2070/2070S, avoiding headaches, enjoying RTX (despite the critcisms) and excellent developer support. Buying this to placate a sense of AMD-charity is wrong. Hackintosh I would understand.
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#5
Dave65
fancucker
Not to mention the epidemic of driver issues, an all round horrible experience from both the AIB and chip manufacturer. You'd be best served picking up a 2060S/2070/2070S, avoiding headaches, enjoying RTX (despite the critcisms) and excellent developer support. Buying this to placate a sense of AMD-charity is wrong. Hackintosh I would understand.
I got a reference 5700 xt, had driver problems on launch but was fixed soon after. Card and drivers have been great!
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#6
cucker tarlson
fancucker
Not to mention the epidemic of driver issues, an all round horrible experience from both the AIB and chip manufacturer. You'd be best served picking up a 2060S/2070/2070S, avoiding headaches, enjoying RTX (despite the critcisms) and excellent developer support. Buying this to placate a sense of AMD-charity is wrong. Hackintosh I would understand.
nice try.

I guess some will be fooled but this really reeks of your style.The red background says it all. :laugh:
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#7
medi01
fancucker
[green FUD]
Are you doing it for free, author of 6 posts?
Posted on Reply
#8
cucker tarlson
medi01
Are you doing it for free, author of 6 posts?
you tell us.
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#9
Th3pwn3r
fancucker
Not to mention the epidemic of driver issues, an all round horrible experience from both the AIB and chip manufacturer. You'd be best served picking up a 2060S/2070/2070S, avoiding headaches, enjoying RTX (despite the critcisms) and excellent developer support. Buying this to placate a sense of AMD-charity is wrong. Hackintosh I would understand.
Solid trolling. But 2060S with RTX....edit that please.
Posted on Reply
#10
Chrispy_
Utterly pointless waste of effort and time. Even if someone has bought a THICC and wants this upgrade, it's little more than a band-aid that fails to address the real reason that the THICC is a POS.

Steve@GamersNexus tried to fix this terrible cooler by doing a whole bunch of different things to it and measured each attempt.



BY FAR, the biggest reason that the THICC II sucks is because all of that dumb plastic blocks the airflow. The issue was never the GDDR6 plate nor the number of fans. Don't get me wrong, adding another fan to force more air through the minimal gaps in the side of the stupid plastic decoration is obviously going to help cooling (at the cost of more noise) and a copper baseplate is marginally better than alu for the GDDR6 but that material change makes no difference if the cooling fins connected to that baseplate have their airflow stifled by 'McDonalds plastic'.

If you have lumbered yourself with a THICC II despite all the scathing reviews, and you wish to make it better, just remove as much stupid plastic decoration as you can, and take off the backplate whilst you're at it!
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#11
AsRock
TPU addict
Chrispy_
Utterly pointless waste of effort and time. Even if someone has bought a THICC and wants this upgrade, it's little more than a band-aid that fails to address the real reason that the THICC is a POS.

Steve@GamersNexus tried to fix this terrible cooler by doing a whole bunch of different things to it and measured each attempt.



BY FAR, the biggest reason that the THICC II sucks is because all of that dumb plastic blocks the airflow. The issue was never the GDDR6 plate nor the number of fans. Don't get me wrong, adding another fan to force more air through the minimal gaps in the side of the stupid plastic decoration is obviously going to help cooling (at the cost of more noise) and a copper baseplate is marginally better than alu for the GDDR6 but that material change makes no difference if the cooling fins connected to that baseplate have their airflow stifled by 'McDonalds plastic'.

If you have lumbered yourself with a THICC II despite all the scathing reviews, and you wish to make it better, just remove as much stupid plastic decoration as you can, and take off the backplate whilst you're at it!
Yup it's a real shame, not everyone is tech savvy and for me it's just case of dropping them a msg that iam going to remove it. iguess it sucks for those who live places that your not permitted to remove any thing. Then again XFX might over look it.
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#12
Plano_Tech
Chrispy_
Utterly pointless waste of effort and time. Even if someone has bought a THICC and wants this upgrade, it's little more than a band-aid that fails to address the real reason that the THICC is a POS.

Steve@GamersNexus tried to fix this terrible cooler by doing a whole bunch of different things to it and measured each attempt.



BY FAR, the biggest reason that the THICC II sucks is because all of that dumb plastic blocks the airflow. The issue was never the GDDR6 plate nor the number of fans. Don't get me wrong, adding another fan to force more air through the minimal gaps in the side of the stupid plastic decoration is obviously going to help cooling (at the cost of more noise) and a copper baseplate is marginally better than alu for the GDDR6 but that material change makes no difference if the cooling fins connected to that baseplate have their airflow stifled by 'McDonalds plastic'.

If you have lumbered yourself with a THICC II despite all the scathing reviews, and you wish to make it better, just remove as much stupid plastic decoration as you can, and take off the backplate whilst you're at it!
To be fair, i think GN was the only "Scathing" review. There were a number good reviews for it, TechPowerUp included, and a few mediocre reviews that did mention added fan noise on the Ultra.

I have one of the THICC II Ultras , and the higher RPMs are noticeable but not that bad TBH. I've also tried standard THICC II BIOS from the XFX website and it lowers the fan RPMs by around 300rpm and GPU power by 20w, its actually pretty quiet. So I think the bigger issue might be the overclock on the Ultra version, I believe Steve mentioned it in his video that he thinks the overlock is overwhelming the cooling solution, especially with his custom 40 dBA fan curves.
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#13
yakk
Fixing that metal plate material, quite a large design flaw IMO, and offering to replace the previous model with this better one is a good thing. Can't imagine they sold too many of the thicc 2 mind you, if they had the thicc 3 would probably not have not been made.
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#14
Chrispy_
Plano_Tech
To be fair, i think GN was the only "Scathing" review. There were a number good reviews for it, TechPowerUp included, and a few mediocre reviews that did mention added fan noise on the Ultra.
I think everyone (even XFX themselves) are under no illusion that the THICC II cooler is a disappointment and needs to be addressed for its issues. Any comparison to OTHER third-party coolers paints it in a bad light, even before you take the huge size into account, with all of the potential compatibility issues that accompany it.

The first page of Google results for reviews of the THICC II, seem to be mixed - but there are a lot of negative reviews, not just GamersNexus.


PCWorld: 4/5 - "louder than other custom options", "requires some necessary tinkering", and "Very high power consumption"

Guru3D: "We have to talk acoustics, you've seen the numbers for both perf and silent modes" and "this noise level is just not okay"

GamersNexus: "Do Not Buy", "plagued with firmware and hardware issues alike", "one-upping those deficiencies with a lapse in judgment for heatsink design"

Techpowerup: Gives it an Editor's choice, but then goes on to say "compared to other custom designs we've reviewed, they [noise levels] are a little bit high. While the "quiet" BIOS does offer slightly better noise levels, I would have wished for a bigger difference between BIOSes.

Vortez.net: They give it an "approved" award because it performs 'decently' and looks good, but note that the bulk could easily be a problem and power consumpion was higher than anticipated. Approved is the lowest grade of award Vortez give out, and they give out awards like candy, it would seem.

Amazon user reviews: Many of the verified purchasers have changed their reviews to 1-star, commenting on overheating and cheap materials!

theFPSreview: "better than the reference card", which is a fair point, but also their only 5700XT comparison, so obviously a huge open cooler is going to perform better than a compact single radial blower fan. No surprises there.

overclockersclub: "Great stock performance" but "Questionable heatsink contact". No award or recommendation given.

LANOC.org: "fan shroud is also a source of a lot of the cards issues" and "The shroud also plays a role in limiting airflow at the top and bottom. All of this leads to cooling performance that I think could have been better, especially with this being a flagship card."

PCPer: Again, compared to a reference blower only. They gave it a gold award despite it running 91C @ 43.8 dBA which is terrible, and also accepting that it "consumed more power than any card tested to date". WTF makes that deserving of a gold award?!
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#15
ZoneDymo
Good XFX, now go even further and actually try to make the best cards you can, bring back the alpha dog etc naming scheme.
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#16
Plano_Tech
Chrispy_
I think everyone (even XFX themselves) are under no illusion that the THICC II cooler is a disappointment and needs to be addressed for its issues. Any comparison to OTHER third-party coolers paints it in a bad light, even before you take the huge size into account, with all of the potential compatibility issues that accompany it.

The first page of Google results for reviews of the THICC II, seem to be mixed - but there are a lot of negative reviews, not just GamersNexus.


PCWorld: 4/5 - "louder than other custom options", "requires some necessary tinkering", and "Very high power consumption"

Guru3D: "We have to talk acoustics, you've seen the numbers for both perf and silent modes" and "this noise level is just not okay"

GamersNexus: "Do Not Buy", "plagued with firmware and hardware issues alike", "one-upping those deficiencies with a lapse in judgment for heatsink design"

Techpowerup: Gives it an Editor's choice, but then goes on to say "compared to other custom designs we've reviewed, they [noise levels] are a little bit high. While the "quiet" BIOS does offer slightly better noise levels, I would have wished for a bigger difference between BIOSes.

Vortez.net: They give it an "approved" award because it performs 'decently' and looks good, but note that the bulk could easily be a problem and power consumpion was higher than anticipated. Approved is the lowest grade of award Vortez give out, and they give out awards like candy, it would seem.

Amazon user reviews: Many of the verified purchasers have changed their reviews to 1-star, commenting on overheating and cheap materials!

theFPSreview: "better than the reference card", which is a fair point, but also their only 5700XT comparison, so obviously a huge open cooler is going to perform better than a compact single radial blower fan. No surprises there.

overclockersclub: "Great stock performance" but "Questionable heatsink contact". No award or recommendation given.

LANOC.org: "fan shroud is also a source of a lot of the cards issues" and "The shroud also plays a role in limiting airflow at the top and bottom. All of this leads to cooling performance that I think could have been better, especially with this being a flagship card."

PCPer: Again, compared to a reference blower only. They gave it a gold award despite it running 91C @ 43.8 dBA which is terrible, and also accepting that it "consumed more power than any card tested to date". WTF makes that deserving of a gold award?!
Again, I wouldn't call any of those other reviews "Scathing", maybe mediocre . I'm probably just defensive because I own one and has served me well so far, and I don't have any other 5700 to compare it to. Not being as good as other models is different than being bad or junk IMO, just seems like alot of very strong contenders for cooler designs. I read all those reviews and do have some notes on a few.

PCWorld: Their final conclusion was still positive.

"Nevertheless, it’s highly recommended, even though you might need to tinker under the hood in true hot rod-like fashion to get the card running at peak potential. It’s slightly flawed but mighty fine."

Guru3D: I think that one quote may not have been updated in his article, he mentions several other places the noise be just ok or so-so. On his initial review the BIOS update didn't apply properly.

** This article has been updated on September 11th - as it seems the BIOS updates we received did not kick in properly. After multiple clean driver installations and power-downs the final fan ramp up values came alive, making this product perform a lot better on its acoustics front.

".cooling & noise levels
The THICC II Ultra is an impressive graphics card, however, as you have noticed, the acoustics are reasonable. you can opt a silent BIOS which you can download at XFX, bringing down the DBa value towards a good 39 DBa at the cost of maybe 2% performance. The performance BIOS is a tad louder but can be rated as a moderate to okay accoustic level."

"From a hardware point of view and aesthetics, the card ticks most if not all of the right boxes. Acoustics are a little so-so though. "



overclockersclub: They did Receive a Silver award. Listed both Great stock performance, and Quiet Fans under "Pros".
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#17
er557
Oh, so this could not have been fixed by a bios update, apparently, such as did evga with it's several SC cards and some vrm thermal issues. I dont know if this is good that they admit it, or bad due to the trouble they put users through and bad design.
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#18
gamefoo21
er557
Oh, so this could not have been fixed by a bios update, apparently, such as did evga with it's several SC cards and some vrm thermal issues. I dont know if this is good that they admit it, or bad due to the trouble they put users through and bad design.
Those bios fixes usually involved gimping of clockspeeds. So you end up with a slower card than originally and possibly louder because of boosted fan speeds/lower thermal targets.
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#19
W1zzard
From my review:
All our testing in this review was done after updating both BIOSes to a new version XFX provided to fix high fan noise. I uploaded them to our database (Performance, Quiet).
The original BIOS had too high fan speed set, and XFX was quick to fix it, maybe reviewers should check in with companies "is this right?", and not just push out reviews as quickly as they can, hoping for clicks. Performance numbers in my review are with that BIOS, not seeing anything that they dialed down the clocks
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#20
eidairaman1
The Exiled Airman
er557
Oh, so this could not have been fixed by a bios update, apparently, such as did evga with it's several SC cards and some vrm thermal issues. I dont know if this is good that they admit it, or bad due to the trouble they put users through and bad design.
The fan curves can be fixed, if xfx removed all plastic and even the backplate, heck even made the backplate a spine/skeleton it would lower temps further like in GamersNexus video.
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#21
TheCow
Hey this is Isaiah here from OCC. I am the one who wrote the THIC II review. I left a long post on the article. But for those you didn't dig into the review. After the review went live, someone contacted me with the GN video. In short, I didn't have the same thermal problems as Steve, but I am glad that XFX is replacing the base plate for anyone who wants it. I initially gave it a GOLD award, but I reconsidered after seeing what GN got when buying a Retail card. Mine was a Review Sample. I cannot comment on why GN got such a bad egg, but I have no problems with the one I received.

Edit: Make sure to have the newest vBIOS, it was night and day for me (also noted in the comment section).
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#22
cucker tarlson
whistleblowers create conspiracy theories about boxes in the background,meanwhile a card with absolutely PoS cooler gets recommendations from all major tech sites cause it's Navi.

IMO amd aib cards are a crapshoot,except for sapphire and powercolor.They do things for amd exclusively and they do not change what works well on previous gens.XFX seems to be chasing new designs and rad names instead of trusted solutions.MSI favors nvidia,clear as day,and it's a shame cause their trio cards have been the best for pascal and turing.Asus offers decent options for amd,but oveercharges like crazy.

This is mostly cause amd's reference design is absolutely useless.msrp buys you a card that has great perf/price but you gotta be crazy to buy it.that's why entry level aibs are pretty weak too and better ones cost a premium that puts them in the vicinity of 2070S FE.
Look at 2070FE,msrp buys you a pretty decent cooler on the FE card,better than most navi entry level aibs.the gaming trio only cost $15 over msrp.
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#23
gamefoo21
cucker tarlson
whistleblowers create conspiracy theories about boxes in the background,meanwhile a card with absolutely PoS cooler gets recommendations from all major tech sites cause it's Navi.

IMO amd aib cards are a crapshoot,except for sapphire and powercolor.They do things for amd exclusively and they do not change what works well on previous gens.XFX seems to be chasing new designs and rad names instead of trusted solutions.MSI favors nvidia,clear as day,and it's a shame cause their trio cards have been the best for pascal and turing.Asus offers decent options for amd,but oveercharges like crazy.

This is mostly cause amd's reference design is absolutely useless.msrp buys you a card that has great perf/price but you gotta be crazy to buy it.that's why entry level aibs are pretty weak too and better ones cost a premium that puts them in the vicinity of 2070S FE.
Look at 2070FE,msrp buys you a pretty decent cooler on the FE card,better than most navi entry level aibs.the gaming trio only cost $15 over msrp.
Huh?

The Built By AT.. AMD card has the best or equal to the best board for 5700XT cards. The PCBs are better than NV reference. The failing is the blower cooler that sucks.

Actually NV reference designs were pretty crappy until just recently. Now they are ok, but there's still better designs available at every point from the vendors.

Reference designs in summary...

AMD: great boards but often weak coolers
NV: usually good coolers but weak boards
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#24
UltraThicc
NV reference cooler is loud and inefficient because fan blades on the cooler are backward swept.
backward swept fan blades lose a lot of static pressure, old EVGA GTX10xx series coolers also have this problem.
Nonetheless, it is still better than cheap and pathetic blower style cooler.
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