Gigabyte showcased their GTX 980 WATERFORCE 3-way SLI kit at an event in Mumbai. The device in question is, as the name suggests, a unit consisting of three NVIDIA GTX 980 GPUs that are attached individually attached to a closed-loop water-cooling setup. The coolant from each card is cooled via a radiator and these radiators are mounted to an external water-cooling box. The box features an OLED display that displays information about the cards, including temperature, RPM, etc. The device can be configured to maintain a user-defined temperature across all cards and also allows the user to individually tweak settings for each card if necessary.
Words will not do justice to this setup, so here’s a nice video detailing the contents and packaging:
Mr.Mayank Sharma, the country manager for GIGABYTE’s GPU division in India, is quick to point out that they are not targeting DIY PC builders with this kit, but are focussing more on the people that want a powerful, yet hassle-free platform for their gaming and overclocking needs. The WATERFORCE unit claims to offer a 42.6% reduction in operating temperature and a,13.1dB drop in noise levels when compared to a traditional, air-cooled 3-way SLI setup.
He further goes on to say that the WATERFORCE unit was created to deal with the problem of overheating, noise and thermal management that plagues users of SLI setups. While he could not disclose any official prices at the event, he added that prices will be available via their official distributors, INGRAM.
Also launched at the event was GIGABYTE’s G.One series NVIDIA GTX970 GPU. The card features GIGABYTE’s so called WINDFORCE technology that’s supposedly been designed to improve airflow owing to a unique fin design.
More information can be found in the full transcript of our interview with Mr.Mayank Sharma below:
Digit: Who are you and what do you do?
Mayank Sharma: My name is Mayank Sharma and I'm the Country Head for the graphics cards business in India. Currently I'm based out of Delhi, and keep on roaming across the country.
D: Gigabyte has only recently started selling their GPUs in India. What can you tell us of your plans for our country?
MS: Gigabyte has been there in the country for the last two months and have focussed on tier 1 cities. We have a distributor (INGRAM) who has stockage partners in each of these cities and these partners have retailers and system builders, and this is how we reached. We will strengthen our partnership in those cities, get excellent consumer experience, and then move on from there.
D: How will Gigabyte be dealing with RMA issues?
MS: For RMA, quality and service approval in which we invest heavily, and we understand that especially in India, after sales service is in a lot of demand. Because people think however good your product is, if it is not serviced well, it is wrong story. So we invest in best quality of components and after sale support for which we have tied up with Excel Frontline. So Gigabyte is not new in India, the motherboard gets good credentials as far as service is concerned, which is the same partner and has after sales service centres across the country. And this is how we are going to give support to the end customer. It comes with a 3 year warranty for all the graphics cards.
D: What can you tell us about today’s launches?
MS: The launch is focussed basically on WATERFORCE. We need to understand why WATERFORCE is required. Because the enthusiast class segment have a pain area. What happens is under air cooling mode, when you SLI three cards, it generates a lot of heat and noise, and performance can degrade. And then you want to go for closed loop water cooling system, in that case the limited space becomes a challenge.
There are many customers who know how to assemble the rig, where they buy from different vendors, and if something goes wrong they have catch hold of all of them, which is a mess. We understood these issues and came up with the ultimate gaming machine, which is WATERFORCE, three GTX 980 cards in SLI mode, along with a water box and radiator, which keeps cooling the cards and is aesthetically good looking and proper, not messy. And this is a quiet cooling technology with an official warranty. So you have to go to only one vendor and that is what Gigabyte launched today.
D: So the warranty covers the unit as a whole?
MS: The warranty is across the country and covers all the components inside.
D: Please tell us something about the NVIDIA GTX 970 that you launched today.
MS: What we have also showcased is 970 G.One gaming, which is a value for money product. It performs at the highest level and is reasonably priced. This device is unique in terms of the features it has. It has WINDFORCE, which is a technology developed by Gigabyte, it has super overclocking feature and flex display where you are allowed to take any I/O port for display output. WINDFORCE has a unique fan blade design, where the air circulation increases by 23% and that air goes inside. We have a heatsink, shaped like a triangular fin, where the wind blowing goes in both the directions, and covers every part of the GPU and becomes cool.
D: Any word on the pricing structure for these products?
MS: Customers can get pricing from the distributors. Online selling not yet planned and thinking on how to handle the e-tail business.
D: What sort of products does Gigabyte’s GPU division intend to launch in India? Only enthusiast grade ones?
MS: We have complete range of products of GeForce from top to bottom not only for the enthusiasts.
D: Any closing thoughts?
MS: We see an enormous opportunity in India, because it has the most amount of young population and gaming is becoming a rage in India, today parents are understanding, gaming can become a career and become professionals. Gaming is going exponential in India, and we want to serve this community, with best quality products and good quality after sales service.