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Self Contained Water Cooled Radeon X1900, Retail

CowboyNeal posted more than 8 years ago | from the not-just-for-case-modders-anymore dept.

129

Spinnerbait writes "Graphics cards are all the rage in the Enthusiast Computing community, where overclocking standard off-the-shelf components is commonplace. Recently innovative cooling solutions have been brought to Graphics cards in an effort to tame the thermals of their power hungry GPUs. It looks like some of the major vendors have taken it up a notch in this area, with this ATI-based Sapphire Graphics card that employs a self-contained water cooling system. Not only does the card have potential for serious overclocking but it should do so relatively quietly as well."

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More Power! (4, Interesting)

cosmotron (900510) | more than 8 years ago | (#14948165)

I wonder how much power this uses if you have your own water cooling for everything else, then a seperate system just for your video card?

A very ugly worst-case scenario... (0)

mosel-saar-ruwer (732341) | more than 8 years ago | (#14948424)


Remember that spate of stories we were getting about the new 1000W = 1KW power supply units [PSUs]?

Here are a few of them:

New 1 Kilowatt PSU - Too Much Power?
Monday, August 22, 2005
http://hardware.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=05/08/ 22/2157244 [slashdot.org]

Thirty Four PSUs Tested - Is Biggest Best?
Monday, September 26, 2005
http://hardware.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=05/09/ 26/1052233 [slashdot.org]

A Kilowatt of Power
Wednesday December 28, 2005
http://hardware.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=05/12/ 28/0353252 [slashdot.org]

Now consider, for example, the specs on the PC Power & Cooling Turbo-Cool® 1KW PSU:
Turbo-Cool® 1KW Power Supply Specifications
Current: 15A @ 115V
WARNING: PDF DOCUMENT
http://www.pcpowercooling.com/products/assets/TC1K W/specs.pdf [pcpowercooling.com]
Now suppose three things:
1) You're a l33t gamer, and you install a PC Power & Cooling Turbo-Cool® 1KW PSU, drawing 15 Amps @ 115V, and

2) You're a l33t gamer, and you install a Sapphire Graphics Water Cooled Radeon X1900, and

3) Your water-cooled Radeon springs a leak.

Okay, now do like Sponge Bob and Patrick in the box, and use your I-M-A-G-I-N-A-T-I-O-N, keeping in mind how Death was stalking Chad Donella's character in Final Destination I: [imdb.com]
INT. WAGGNER HOUSEHOLD. BATHROOM. NIGHT. Tod picks up a razor and puts it to his face to shave. The water begins to leak from the toilet and slowly makes its way to where Tod is standing. He puts the razor to his face and instantly cuts himself. In the mirror?s reflection, a black mist floats across. Tod spins around. Nothing there. The water edged closer. Tod puts the razor down and picks up scissors instead and begins to cut the hairs from his nose. He then picks up a plug, thinking it?s the electric razor but it turns out to be the radio. The water edges closer to Tod?s feet. He?s unaware but pulls the radio plug out in time. He moves away from the mirror but the leak follows him.

http://www.allstarz.org/~final/transcriptdoc.htm [allstarz.org]

PS: I assume the folks at "Sapphire Graphics" have never heard of this thing called The Association of Trial Lawyers of America...

Re:A very ugly worst-case scenario... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14948536)

Wtf are you babbling about? How many fucking watts is an electric oven? Don't know? Thousands. What the fuck do I boil on my stove? Water, idiot. I don't care how much wattage you have a 12V, the max a PC power supply puts out, it won't hurt you. And the 110V/220V feed (depending on where you live) is always there in a 50W or 1KW power supply. What about an electric trolling motor for a boat? OMFG!! How many watts is a car battery capable of that you leave outside in the rain? Sorry for the flame, but you're just fucking stupid. Jump into the bath with your toaster.

Re:A very ugly worst-case scenario... (2, Interesting)

moro_666 (414422) | more than 8 years ago | (#14948571)

you obviously have never touched the wires of the 'safe 12v' car electricity system when you're starting the engine, go try it out, i promise it will be fun. probably not lethal, but fun enough.

  but you're right about the ovens and cars, if they are built the right way, it won't really be dangerous to you, but then again, you don't beat the battery connections in the car or the wiring of the oven when you miss a frag do you ?

  the electric cow fences run at a moderatly low voltage, but the current strenth in it so large that if you touch it with bare hand, you'll remember it for the rest of your life (i remember it pretty well :s). if currents inside the computer continue the rise, we have to find methods to make the connections safer.

  i on the other hand am looking around for machines with mobile cpu's or even built ontop of the via or transmeta cpu's, because the eletricity bills are starting to get really large if you have a lot of boxes running and an alternative must be found. sure the via cpu can't do what amd or intel does, but 3 boxes of via will do better on my threaded stuff than 1 p4 box, and will consume less energy at the same time. for a quite and economical multiprocess server machine , a 4 way via or transmeta box would be much much better than a stupid p4 box which takes more energy and does less.

  ofcourse gamers will continue on the gigahertz race unless somebody totally redefines the 3d engines in the way that it can be run on many many economical cpu's instead of one that blows your fuses.

Re:A very ugly worst-case scenario... (1)

Tolookah (837210) | more than 8 years ago | (#14948973)

" the electric cow fences run at a moderatly low voltage, but the current strenth in it so large that if you touch it with bare hand, you'll remember it for the rest of your life (i remember it pretty well :s). if currents inside the computer continue the rise, we have to find methods to make the connections safer."

if the current was high, you'd be dead, its a high voltage line, with current limiting circuits to not kill things. yeah, you could do it the other way by having it a high current with limiting voltages, but well, 100mA will kill someone if applied right.

if high voltages killed people, shag carpets would be illegal due to the static buildup.

As for the rest of your post, some processors nowadays do step down their speeds when they aren't in use to save power. Also, a 1KW PSU will not always draw the max wattage, it depends on the load inside (like starting up a drive)

Re:A very ugly worst-case scenario... (1)

moro_666 (414422) | more than 8 years ago | (#14949340)

electric fences for the cows in the ussr didn't really have any protective measures, i can promise you that. ofcourse it wasn't deadly, my post wouldn't be here if that would be the case.

  and from the eager time of my youth, repairing of home electronics, i can also tell that this wasn't nowhere as 'harmless' as a regular shot from a 220v line. that fence hurt as hell and definetly leaved a blue trace for at least a month on my arm. maybe it really was high voltage mixed with weak current, but it certainly didn't feel like ac. and all the safety claims for the 12v computer lines here presume that the hardware&electronics work correctly, but if you've got a 1kw fuse and something goes wrong (and according to murphy it does), you should know that 100mA@12V isn't always the case.

  ps. as for the rest of your comment, the cpus suck at stepping down if they get peak loads over 5 second intervals for 1 second. it's a hopeless attempt to up/downscale a server cpu if the server is used in similar style to one that a http server would be used. peak there , peak here, stepping just wont cut it. ofcourse in laptops it works fine, i give you an A on this one.
  but on servers you need something that keeps itself down on the wattage drainage all the time and still manages to do the work. i think the person who administrates google network electricity bill would agree too ;)

Re:A very ugly worst-case scenario... (1)

Kingrames (858416) | more than 8 years ago | (#14949460)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electrocute [wikipedia.org]

100 V measured across the human heart can kill.

meaning if you stick two of your fingers across a car battery, you might be safe, but if you use both hands, you could die.

Not that you should try that.

Nevertheless, putting water, electricity, and flammable materials in the same space is very dangerous, and any lawyer can spin that into a multi-dodacadewhateverploillion monetary-unit-of-your-choice verdict. As the person you responded to pointed out.

The idea of a water-cooled piece of computer equipment is dangerous, and "Performance" should come second in any endeavor like that.

TAKE NOTE THAT
the article says it's "liquid-cooled"...

but the slashdot headline says "water."

this is how controversies are born, ladies and gentlemen...

Re:More Power! (1)

hador_nyc (903322) | more than 8 years ago | (#14948459)

I use a Zalman reservator1 for the watercooling in my system. My processor and videocard are cooled in the same water circuit, with pleanty of extra cooling capability to spare considering I have both chips (CPU and VC) heavily overclocked. All of this is cooled via the standard 5W pump; which is basically a fish tank pump. The truth is that I am using fewer total watts then before considering I have removed 3 case fans and the stock fans on the processor and video card. The whole PC is now much quieter considering only the PSU has a fan on it now.

Mind you this is not an advertisement for Zalman, I'm just trying to describe in detail what I actually own.

Re:More Power! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14948814)

the water cooler uses a small fan... move along

Your water cooling system needs to be better too. (1)

temojen (678985) | more than 8 years ago | (#14948869)

Check out this picture [hothardware.com] . It looks like it just dumps the heat inside your case... great...

Re:Your water cooling system needs to be better to (0, Redundant)

NeMon'ess (160583) | more than 8 years ago | (#14949073)

Look again. It dumps half the heat in the case, and blows the other half out. That's the sacrifice for a near-silent, 2-slot water cooled solution. If the cooler card took up 2 slots by itself I'm sure the fan could blow the air out the back. But then that's 3 slots total. The 120mm case fan(s) should handle this card just fine.

Re:Your water cooling system needs to be better to (1)

cbiltcliffe (186293) | more than 8 years ago | (#14949664)

Look again. It dumps half the heat in the case, and blows the other half out.
I don't even think it does that. That looks like a standard laptop CPU fan, which sucks air in at both sides, and sends it out in a disc from the blades, absent any directing plastic bits. It looks like a standard squirrelcage fan, which will blow all the air out the back of the slot. As a bonus, it gets some hot air out of your PC case, too.

But does it run... (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14948166)

Wait, no, it's from ATI, nevermind.

But does it run...The $1 jokes. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14948492)

Slashdot jokes have one thing in common with the hole drilled in the girl's locker room wall. It's all about a cheap thrill.

Re:But does it run...The $1 jokes. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14948607)

It's all about a cheap thrill

And your point is???

Water cooler? (1)

Kittie Rose (960365) | more than 8 years ago | (#14948169)

Man, I've always wanted a water cooler in my PC. Maybe now if I press "Tab", I really do get a Tab?

Re:Water cooler? (1)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 8 years ago | (#14948514)

Man, I've always wanted a water cooler in my PC.

The main problem is finding stores that carry those little tiny jugs of antifreeze.

What a shitty submission. (5, Insightful)

Spazntwich (208070) | more than 8 years ago | (#14948170)

The "article" is a shitty little blurb with a few pictures. Not a single performance number or any bit of useful information.

My first instinct? Check the link for the submitter's webpage. Oh, what a coincidence.

Look, I'm not one to normally complain about poor stories and worthless submissions, but this one takes the cake. It's the most obvious grab for clicks and advertisement revenue that's been posted on /. in a while.

For shame, CowboyNeal.

Re:What a shitty submission. (1)

apollosfire (954290) | more than 8 years ago | (#14948208)

Aha, but his site's been slashdotted!

Re:What a shitty submission. (1)

Chapium (550445) | more than 8 years ago | (#14948256)

Please...

Just because its his site doesn't make it any less news.

Re:What a shitty submission. (2, Insightful)

Spazntwich (208070) | more than 8 years ago | (#14948306)

I wouldn't complain if he waited until they ran benchmarks, tried overclocking it, or had some actual news to report.

You know, the kinds of details that usually make it into a news article. This is "Hey, look. It's a videocard with a waterblock on it. Betcha never seen one of them before!" and the fact that it's shameless self-promotion only makes it worse.

Re:What a shitty submission. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14948317)

Please, get a life will you? This is a very informative short pictorial. It shows this brand new and rather interesting product in good detail. Yes, no benchmarks or tests, so what? They said they're going to follow-up with a full article. What just because it's a post with a bunch of detailed pics, it's no good??

And of course the author is probably from the site... why not? It's still very much newsworthy in my opinion.

Get off your soapbox.

Re:What a shitty submission. (1)

tinkertim (918832) | more than 8 years ago | (#14948372)

ROFLMAO! Its on a shared web hosting server to boot it seems. Seems MySQL isn't available .. but the banners seem to load just fine .. hmmm.

(mental note to add no self slashdotting to AUP on my hosting sites).

List to do today :

1 - Shoot self in foot
2 - Self Slashdot
3 - Find new web host (looks like he got suspended? Just re-checked and getting a blank)
4 - Make static pages

The card itself is a great idea (Not a huge fan of ATI but I'll wait for the specs), idea itself sounds solid and kinda neat. Too bad a few million people now equate it with:

Service Unavailable

(sigh..) Buddy, ATI didn't need your help for that :)

mod parent down (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14948403)

This is a pathetic fucking FAD these days for stuck up little shits to post about how 'homg this isn't news for nerds!!!11 for shaaaamee!!!" get the pinecone out of your ass.

Re:What a shitty submission. (1)

Heembo (916647) | more than 8 years ago | (#14948659)

Isn't this called Slashertising or something like that? Shouldn't we charge a fee, boil him in oil, DRDoS his server, or tar and feather the boy?

Re:What a shitty submission. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14948734)

Hot Hardware's reviews tend to suck. I used to handle stories for a fairly high-traffic hardware site, and Hot Hardware's articles were almost always pretty crappy.

No clue (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14948804)

I love how some of you guys are all so pious and complain. Do you sit in front of your machines all day with nothing better to do than rip on slashdot posts?

I actually know the folks over at HotHardware and their content is typically pretty strong, and I know their host setup as well, dedicated front end servers and database servers.

Yep the slashdotting like that is pretty tough for any server to handle sometimes but at least they have a lot of good content on a dynamically generated site that easier to navigate than most out there.

Re:No clue (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14948932)

I just think their articles tend to suck. I'd rather /. pick other sources for stories.

Re:What a shitty submission. (1)

wetfeetl33t (935949) | more than 8 years ago | (#14948794)

Yeah, but the site is called HOThardware, and they're reviewing (if you want to call it that) a water COOLed graphics card.
Besides, all the fancy graphics hardware in the world can't prevent the Slashdot Effect!

Re:What a shitty submission. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14949168)

For shame, CowboyNeal.

What else?

nice teaser (2, Insightful)

gEvil (beta) (945888) | more than 8 years ago | (#14948171)

Since the article is really only a teaser, there isn't much to be said about it. However, assuming this thing works well, it's a nice direction to see the high-end GPU market head towards. Now if only I could afford one...

Thats all great but... (5, Insightful)

Monkeys!!! (831558) | more than 8 years ago | (#14948174)

Overclock all you want and you are still playing the same game as everyone else.

I'm not trolling, I'm just bitter that everyone is focused on pushing the graphical boundaries of games and leaving the game play for later. I remember a time when it was about hours of game play not frames per second.

*goes off to play Deus Ex*

Re:Thats all great but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14948221)

>I'm not trolling, I'm just bitter that everyone is focused on pushing the graphical boundaries
>of games and leaving the game play for later. I remember a time when it was about hours of
>game play not frames per second.

Make yourself a gift and go buy a Gamecube, Zelda Windwaker, Metroid Prime, Metroid Prime 2, Pikmin and Pikmin 2.

Re:Thats all great but... (1)

Aqws (932918) | more than 8 years ago | (#14948245)

Glad to see i'm not the only one who still plays that game!

Re:Thats all great but... (2, Insightful)

cgenman (325138) | more than 8 years ago | (#14948378)

Overclock all you want and you are still playing the same game as everyone else.

Rendering power is overrated when talking about game graphics. If you look at World of Warcraft [photobucket.com] , the game looks incredible. But it looks incredible on lower-end systems too... the art direction is just spot on across the board. Half-Life 2 [hardwired.hu] uses some neat graphical tricks, but in general the game looks amazing because the artists had a clear vision of what they were creating and ensured that every pixel that went on the screen supports that. Look at the detail in the tree leaves [halflife2.net] ... they're not super high-poly, they're just beautiful.

If your graphics card is good enough to run all of today's games, your graphics card is good enough. There really is no reason to spend 300 dollars every two years when spending 80 every two would be sufficient. If you want better looking games, look to lead artists, not to GPU engineers.

Re:And the really funny thing is... (1)

symbolic (11752) | more than 8 years ago | (#14948383)


Once you get past a certain number of frames per second, it doesn't freaking matter. It's not going to one bit more for the quality of the experience.

Re:Thats all great but... (1)

hador_nyc (903322) | more than 8 years ago | (#14948473)

Overclock all you want and you are still playing the same game as everyone else.
True, but I think most of us overclock for the sheer fun of it. I agree, though, these days there is hardly the use for it that there once was; if there ever was.

Re:Thats all great but... (1)

Feanturi (99866) | more than 8 years ago | (#14948543)

Ah, but getting 210,000 frames per hour is so much better than only getting 205,000 frames per hour!

Re:Thats all great but... (1)

JabberWokky (19442) | more than 8 years ago | (#14949092)

People associate overclocking with fancy cooling systems, but if this runs at normal operating paramaters hot enough to require a water cooling system, it's not exactly ideal for overclocking... it's already up toward the limit of heat dissipation at the default retail speed.

--
Evan

Who can see who (1)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 8 years ago | (#14949221)

Overclock all you want and you are still playing the same game as everyone else.

If I can see you but you can't see me, are we really playing the same game?

If I can turn and point faster than you can, are we still playing the same game?

That's the whole point behind the video card race, and why I went to console gaming. Becuase at least there, more people are indeed playing the same game (not as true now that some people play in HD and some not).

I'll Pass... (5, Interesting)

evilviper (135110) | more than 8 years ago | (#14948176)

I really don't want graphics cards with better cooling systems. I want them to RUN COOLER in the first place. Water-cooling a device just allows you to push the problem back a little further, before it really starts causing problems. Pretty soon you'll have to upgrade your power supply and home airconditioner to use a shinny new GPU.

Re:I'll Pass... (2, Insightful)

iamplupp (728943) | more than 8 years ago | (#14948411)

I agree. And all it takes is lowering the frequency by maybe 20% and you will be able to run it on much lower voltage and thus less power. And who needs that extra 20% anyway, really?

External PCI-X connector (3, Interesting)

Twillerror (536681) | more than 8 years ago | (#14948181)

I think it is about time to start thinking about the GPU as a device, like a cd-rom or harrdrive instead of a card.

They already require an external power supply in some cases, and with SLI are using a special type of connector.

I'd like to see a GPU that comes in the form of a 5.25 bay expansion, with a pci-x card that connects it via a cable to the mobo.

Then I think the industry could come up with a standard cable for all cards. Or not, given that nvidia or whoever could come up with just about anything. I could see a card that interfaces through the memory slots ( if your motherboard had enough realastate). A GPU directly connected to Hypertransport anyone?

Re:External PCI-X connector (2, Informative)

thebes (663586) | more than 8 years ago | (#14948229)

As cool as that would be, the frequencies, data rates and low latencies required for a video card would cause the cable to be prohibitively expensive in order for the error/corruption rate to be comparable to a plug in card.

Re:External PCI-X connector (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14949554)

Just to mention it:

http://matrox.com/graphics/extio/ [matrox.com]

So there is a small PCIe card that plugs into the computer and looks awfully like a PCIe to fiberoptic bridge. The other end is the box with a graphics chipset, multiple DVI ports, and some usb/audio connections. Now the thing to note is

1) This is likely going to have a 4 price tag
2) It's a Matrox video card that runs off a x1 PCIe connection.
3) Enthusiast video cards are likely going to want at least a x4 PCIe connection
4) Last time I looked at fiber interface modules, I got the impression that the raw parts are going to run in the $100's for something that can do x1 PCIe bandwidth (2.5 GBits/sec, full duplex), never mind something that would target a higher end video card.

External PCI-X connector-KISS (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14948405)

" I think it is about time to start thinking about the GPU as a device, like a cd-rom or harrdrive instead of a card."

Do you feel the same way about your processor?

"They already require an external power supply in some cases, and with SLI are using a special type of connector."

PCIe doesn't require an extra connector.

"I'd like to see a GPU that comes in the form of a 5.25 bay expansion, with a pci-x card that connects it via a cable to the mobo."

Violates the KISS principle.

"Then I think the industry could come up with a standard cable for all cards. Or not, given that nvidia or whoever could come up with just about anything. I could see a card that interfaces through the memory slots ( if your motherboard had enough realastate). A GPU directly connected to Hypertransport anyone?"

Nvidia already has on-board video.

The smartests thing is ASUS's putting the GPU on the OTHER side of the PCB, even if it violates the specs.

Re:External PCI-X connector (1)

rjmars97 (946970) | more than 8 years ago | (#14948462)

while you have an interesting idea, i don't think anything like that will be made in the near future for amyn reasons. first off, it would go against an industry form factor (PCI type expansion slots) that has been in place for a lomg time, and companies like nvidia and ATI would not want to risk making a venture outside such a long standing form.

another problem with changing the form for graphics units is comaptibility, as i for one do not have a free 5.25" bay in which to put something (i already have 3 5.25" hard drive bays and a DVD drive, as i ran out of 3.5" slots). this is also link to the fact the the current pci type clot is a long running standard. making a cable from an external device would be tricky, but would probally work if heavily shielded.

a video card interfacing through the memory bus? highly unlikely, as there are significant differences between the memory bus and a video bus. you would have to create a hybrid bus that could handle both data types, which would complicate things and just make everything slower. the GPU fetches a lot of data from the main memory, but placing the entire GPU on that memory bus is a bad idea.

currently, video cards are not at the point where such measures need to be taken, and i hope that time does not come. as i'm sure other people have said on here, i think there should be more work on making cards run cooler and use less power. everything has been a chase for performance without much concern for heat and power use. when it reaches the point where the cards are just getting too hot, i think they will making more of an effort for make the more efficent. the new geforce 7900 cards did this by performing better with LESS transistors than the previous generation [techreport.com] . i think once heat and power use become too much of a factor for the cards to sell, the companies will start to make them cooler and more efficent.

Re:External PCI-X connector (1)

brwski (622056) | more than 8 years ago | (#14948648)

Frankly, I'd like to see entirely modular computers. Implement it like legos: bricks stuck to each other. The interconnects would be awful, but if it could be done, and made hot-swappable, it would be way cool --- and would allow nearly eternal upgrades. Why replace the CPU each year when you can just slap a newer one on and have them all going? And so forth.

Re:External PCI-X connector (1)

rjmars97 (946970) | more than 8 years ago | (#14948762)

well CPU's are modular, you can put a new one in so long as its compatable. i have a socket 939 motherboard and have many upgrade options as my needs change. sure socket 939 will be phased out when a better format comes along, but by the time i run out of 939 options, i'll want something new to begin with. computers are very modular and upgradable, its just that new upgrade options are coming out so frequently. i still use my 166MHz thinkpad laptop everyday because it works great for what i use it for (web browsing and word processing do not need a powerful computer).

while i agree when things are modular it makes things easier, i think computers have done a good job so far of making things interchangable. today you can buy any kind of PCI card and not have major hardware issues (software is another thing), where as in the 80's and early 90's, everything was hardware specific. take a look at an old windows 95 era compaq or similar and try to see how many standard parts are in it... basically none.

currenty, things can be improved somewhat, but for the most part, i'm happy with the level of upgradeability offered. many companies realized that propriatary formats for hardware are a bad idea... if only software companies would realize the same thing.

Water? (2, Interesting)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 8 years ago | (#14948196)

It could be someting other then water, like antifreeze.. Woudl be able to use a peltier block and run it even colder then you can with water.

Or even sodium. So what if it breaks and the user dies ;)

Re:Water? (3, Informative)

Ginger Unicorn (952287) | more than 8 years ago | (#14948263)

antifreeze conducts heat worse that water does. its possible the extra chill would be wasted by the fact less heat was being absorbed from the chip.

Re:Water? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14949545)

Or even sodium.

Which is a worse coolant and solid at room temperature, nuthead.

Why water? (3, Interesting)

bogaboga (793279) | more than 8 years ago | (#14948216)

I have always wondered:

Does it have to be water to cool these GPUs? Is it water because of its relative hight Specific Heat Capacity, or because it's cheap and readily available?

I can see slashdotters increasing the capacity of the "tank" that stores water on these GPUs to make sure the GPU stays cool.

Re:Why water? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14948246)

It's because water is cheap and readily available. It's also non-toxic, an important consideration for overclocking types who accidentally trip over the hoses they use to run their machine 0.2% faster than stock. As for increasing the water capacity of the system, unless you're planning on increasing it to infinity it won't make any difference - at some point the water will start coming back hot unless you've got a method of cooling it in the loop. Hint: water cooling isn't magic, it's just heat transfer over long distances.

Re:Why water? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14948454)

0.2% faster eh? I know thats why I water cooled, for that extra 4mhz on my 2ghz proc. Oh, and the other 550mhz :P.

Re:Why water? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14948747)

If more water = larger tank then you get larger surface area.
Also, more water = longer time to reach a given temp. If the system isn't on 24/7 this could make a difference.

Some may not be overclocking but just wants their system to be more quite and less noisy.

Re:Why water? (1)

NittanyTuring (936113) | more than 8 years ago | (#14948825)

Like the above posters said, water is readily available and non-toxic, but the high specific heat capacity certainly does help. I think the only liquid with a higher specific heat capacity is ammonia.

Too embarassing (3, Insightful)

Expert Determination (950523) | more than 8 years ago | (#14948217)

Remember when that company introduced cryogenically cooled PCs? I got one at work. It was amazing - it ran at 1GHz and I had the fastest machine in the building. But a few months later it was no longer the fastest in the building but it was definitely the dumbest machine in the building - especially with the 5 minute wait for it to cool down before booting. I won't make the same mistake with water cooled graphics cards.

This post is too embarassing (1)

mobby_6kl (668092) | more than 8 years ago | (#14948371)

Watercooling doesn't require you to wait for anything to cool down.

Re:Too embarassing (1)

deft (253558) | more than 8 years ago | (#14948395)

So I take it those 5 minutes to boot weren't made up during the day with your screamingly fast computer?

Re:Too embarassing (1)

Expert Determination (950523) | more than 8 years ago | (#14949384)

So I take it those 5 minutes to boot weren't made up during the day with your screamingly fast computer?
In CPU time yes, in psychological time no. You can imagine how it is: you get to work and want to read your email. You have to sit there waiting fof the compressor to get going and watch the temperature on the gauge slowly drop. It's a fun novelty thing for the first week or two and after that it's annoying. On the other hand, suppose I trim 5 minutes off a 1 hour fluid simulation (which is what I was doing some of the time). Am I really going to appreciate those 5 minutes? And of course I only had that benefit for a couple of months.

Self contained and silent? (4, Interesting)

the real darkskye (723822) | more than 8 years ago | (#14948224)

Is it actually self-contained if you have to refill it?
Is it actually silent if it still has a fan?

I think what TF[A|S] actually ment was 'pre-fitted water-cooled ATI'

Re:Self contained and silent? (1)

TubeSteak (669689) | more than 8 years ago | (#14948446)

A fan doing 18/26dBA at 2000/2500RPM is effectively silent.

A pin drop is around 10db & a whisper is about 20db

As long as you don't sleep with the tower right next to your head, I doubt it'll be an issue.

Thank GOD (2, Funny)

zerocool^ (112121) | more than 8 years ago | (#14948244)


The last publicity pictures I saw of this card had a couple of "Models" showing it off. The blonde one looked like they had picked her up off of W124th and Lennox at about 4AM.

Shudder.

Re:Thank GOD (1)

MustardMan (52102) | more than 8 years ago | (#14948284)

Got a link? For, you know... educational purposes...

Re:Thank GOD (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14948622)

Here you go.
Needless to say X-Bit Labs rocks! They actually asked the boothbabes to pose with the hardware. Great idea, because that is the reason they are there anyway.

http://www.xbitlabs.com/articles/editorial/display /cebit2006-3_2.html [xbitlabs.com]

Silence or? (4, Informative)

Bender Unit 22 (216955) | more than 8 years ago | (#14948253)

When I looked at the pictures, my first thought was that it would not be more silent, since it still would have to move the same heat, while it might be good for overclocking. But I guess that there is a possibility of it running quietly since there are a bigger surface area for the air to move the heat than on a normal GPU cooling fan and heatsink.

I made my own PC watercooled about 1½ year ago with the purpose to make it more silent. My idea was to cool the CPU and GPU using both passive and active cooling.
I got a radiator from Innovatek.de for passive cooling inside and a small deep one for the inside for active cooling with a Papst fan.
Then I got a microcontroller that can run on its own, measure the water temperature and control fans, as well a a emergency shutdown if the water gets too hot or the pump fails.
The end result were fantastic, the PC runs almost silent when doing anything than playing games(which I don't do much anymore) but when playing games it still have the power. It manages to run mostly with passive cooling when not playing games. It is so silent that you have to look at the power LED to make sure that you have turned the PC on. When I do play games and the water starts heating up, the microcontroller starts the watercooling fan and adjusts the speed to keep the temperature down.
On mistake that I did make was that I went into it with my usual approach of reading tons of reviews on the internet to find the best cooling CPU/GPU heads and generally getting parts from different vendors that I determined would make the best solution. Exept from the internal radiator that was deeper than any other I could find, I can now see that it didn't matter which parts I used when I was not going to do overclocking.
It is better to stick with parts from one vendor so you don't have problems getting them to fit or work together. Like different sizes of tubes etc. Also the microcontroller from one vendor could not monitor the pump for another.

Budget alternatives? (1)

TastelessGarbage (598415) | more than 8 years ago | (#14948264)

Anyone care to recommend a $100 non-AGP graphics card? I'm looking to upgrade from integrated graphics on a new system, and don't have the coin for a high-end choice. I'm not expecting to get 7800-level performance; just wondering what might offer good bang for the buck.

Re:Budget alternatives? (1)

cgenman (325138) | more than 8 years ago | (#14948332)

By non-AGP do you mean PCI or PCI-E?

Re:Budget alternatives? (1)

TastelessGarbage (598415) | more than 8 years ago | (#14948491)

Either PCI or PCI-E is ok.

Re:Budget alternatives? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14948359)

Newegg, XFX 6800 XTreme.

Yeah, you have half the normal pipelines of a regular 6800, but you did say "bang for the buck" and at right around $100 for dual digital out + 256MB PCIE, I think this qualifies. Yes, you CAN put these in SLI.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/CustRatingReview.asp ?DEPA=0&Type=&Item=N82E16814150130&Pagesize=100 [newegg.com]

-theGreater.

Re:Budget alternatives? (1)

Khyber (864651) | more than 8 years ago | (#14948362)

GeForceFX 6200 256 meg 8x AGP CompUSA = 129 (I got a $20 rebate so just right at your price range, if they still offer he rebate. Not a bad card IMHO, even in my 4X AGP slot.)

Budget alternatives?-Videocard DB. (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14948433)

A handy database [gpureview.com] for those shopping for a videocard.

Re:Budget alternatives? (1)

-kertrats- (718219) | more than 8 years ago | (#14949003)

I got an ATI Radeon X1300+ for $150, it's PCI-e and it works great.

Re:Budget alternatives? (1)

smartsaga (804661) | more than 8 years ago | (#14949004)

6800XT (an XFX 6800 Xtreme) at newegg.com for $135.

I just got it last week. Kicks ass with all my games at 1440x900 all settings maxed out and 4X anti-aliasing.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82 E16814150130 [newegg.com]

Have a good one.

7900GTX watercooled retail card. (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14948267)

The EVGA GeForce 7900GTX CO 512MB Black Pearl [webhallen.com] is water-cooled, but not self-contained.

Where's the bling? (5, Funny)

Glacial Wanderer (962045) | more than 8 years ago | (#14948274)

This card looks very boring. My quad fan card with state of the art stealth cooling fins and racing stripes looks way better. If they added some gold and diamond dust to the water to increases this cards bling I would consider buying it.

Re:Where's the bling? (1)

eebra82 (907996) | more than 8 years ago | (#14948316)

I hope I don't offend you by saying that the majority of all people buy graphics cards based on performance, features and possibly game packs. I understand that you probably have a see-through case, but the people who actually give a squat about such things is outnumbered and almost insignificant. I think the majority who buy this card expect great performance and not too much noise. Look at the size of this thing. It's not really taking up much space, so it could be a decent HTPC component!

On the other hand, I think it's rather sad to see new cooling solutions added to graphics cards. I don't want peltiers, huge fans, big blocks of copper or whatever the engineers come to think of. I want the source of this problem to tackle it. Take the approach of Intel, to increase performance per cycle instead and make such chip mainstream and then let the rich gamers have their noise makers. :) I remember the times when a CPU was a fanless construction, and prior to that, even no heatsinks. Where's the technology going and how long do we have to wait before the Bush administration admits that the global warming effect is in fact caused by overheated computer components?

Re:Where's the bling? (1)

Helios1182 (629010) | more than 8 years ago | (#14948387)

I pretty sure he was joking.

Re:Where's the bling? (1)

leenks (906881) | more than 8 years ago | (#14948727)

You mean slashdotters have evolved the ability to make JOKES?!

Re:Where's the bling? (1)

DigitalHammer (581235) | more than 8 years ago | (#14948605)

Don't forget that Type R sticker. :)

A little more info (4, Informative)

Daath (225404) | more than 8 years ago | (#14948278)

On Sapphire Technologies [sapphiretech.com] there is a little more info, but not much.

Water cooler huh? (0, Redundant)

linguizic (806996) | more than 8 years ago | (#14948292)

Maybe now I can play Doom 3 with the graphics settings all the way up!

Most obvious question: (1, Informative)

WillerZ (814133) | more than 8 years ago | (#14948319)

What keeps the graphics RAM chips cool? Usually air is blown down onto the processor whence it goes across the RAM chip coolers.

In the photos, the RAM chips still have cooling fins, and they're still aligned radially around the core; however, since there is no airflow there they're surely going to overheat...

Re:Most obvious question: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14948348)

Memory cooling fins are a total scam. They're not meaningful in any way.

Re:Most obvious question: (1)

jftitan (736933) | more than 8 years ago | (#14948531)

My best guess, would be to say, Memory wont need the cooling devices that CPU/GPUs require. As for this situation, Because the GPU doesn't have a fan to blow the hot air towards the memory, the memory themselves won't be in trouble. Most cooling fans, usually blow air towards the heat sinks, then that air gets blown to the sides where the memory resides. When all that hot air to blown towards to memory chips, then they would be in the need for the cooling element.

  Since watercooling takes the heat directly away from the GPU to a radiator, then no actual heat is transfered towards the surrounding elements (chips, transitors, or queso, and sourcream & onion)

Re:Most obvious question: (1)

NeMon'ess (160583) | more than 8 years ago | (#14949181)

Surely you're right and every time the company tests their prototypes crashes are a huge problem because they didn't think of this.

Re:Most obvious question: (1)

Lord Crc (151920) | more than 8 years ago | (#14949648)

In the photos, the RAM chips still have cooling fins, and they're still aligned radially around the core; however, since there is no airflow there they're surely going to overheat...

All I can say is that my watercooled 7800GT has the same sort of cooling fins on the RAM, low air circulation inside the case, and so far no troubles. Remember that since the GPU is not heating up the air inside the case, the air is a lot cooler.

Main problem I can see with this card is that many case designs would have the PSU sucking the hot air this card blows out right back into the case.

Spazn, get a life! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14948355)

Please, get a life will you? This is a very informative short pictorial. It shows this brand new and rather interesting product in good detail. Yes, no benchmarks or tests, so what? They said they're going to follow-up with a full article. What just because it's a post with a bunch of detailed pics, it's no good??

And of course the author is probably from the site... why not? It's still very much newsworthy in my opinion.

They grow up so fast (1)

Joebert (946227) | more than 8 years ago | (#14948391)

One day, graphics cards will be able to do soo much on their own, they won't even want me to play the game with them anymore.

They grow up soo fast. =P

Pitty ATI do not support Acer laptops (1)

mOOzilla (962027) | more than 8 years ago | (#14948422)

Why do ATI give Mobile chipsets the finger? Acer is one OEM that is not supported in their mobility, why can NV provide Unified driver sets and ATI cannot, is it too technical for ATI? ATI as usual, let down their end users by drivers in favour of OEM's. Money from OEM's, Finger to the end user. My next laptop is a dual core AMD but most likely they will be ATI mobility chipsets and as such if it is Acer im screwed out of the box.

Re:Pitty ATI do not support Acer laptops (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14948666)

ATI need to refocus their design... (1)

mOOzilla (962027) | more than 8 years ago | (#14948442)

...onto more efficient chips rather than just bolting on cooling to the problem. That goes for the entire processor industry too.

Seems an odd design? (4, Interesting)

SmallFurryCreature (593017) | more than 8 years ago | (#14948506)

I always thought the problem with cooling a PC was in getting the heat OUT of the PC case. Air can be a good cooler but the problem is that it is so hard to direct the cold air in and the hot air out. Escpecially in a PC case wich is usually cramped and filled with great big walls wich block the airflow.

CUE watercooling wich takes the heat via the water outside of the case where you can have a slow unobstructed fan get rid of the heat.

Almost every design I seen always gets the hot water out of the case to be cooled down by large unobstructed fans.

Yet this setup seems to pump the water from the hot graphics card to a spare PCI slot in your PC where the fan will be blowing the heat away right inside your computer.

If you unlucky right back onto your gpu.

To be efficient the cooler would have to be outside your case, with the water cables coming out of the back of the gpu and the cooler not having a PCI mounting but something that is easily attached to your case.

It is not the first time I seen this mistake, people put the nicest fans inside their case but never spend any time considering that all that does is blow the hot air around if you do not somehow setup a flow to carry it out. Oh and another to get cool air back in.

Re:Seems an odd design? (3, Informative)

Theobon (691491) | more than 8 years ago | (#14949025)

That is how this works. It also has the advantage that it doesn't have the radiator outside the case. The radiator sits in a spare pci slot cooling down the water and blowing the hot air right out the case. The biggest problem I have had with cooling video cards is that cases were not designed to move air through the video card and thus the fan just blows air into either the powersupply or another card and then sucking it in agian. It creates hots spots in the case to the point that I can have a 20C temperature gradiant in the case. This fixes that by moving the heat directly outside the case. I don't know where it is getting the fresh air from though. My guess is it is from inside the case which is dissapointing as that will be hotter than outside air but it will still be better than my current settup.
This isn't designed to replace full water cooling rigs which would be better but it does bring water cooling benifits to those that don't feel safe building there own.

Hot Hardware... (1)

Simon Brooke (45012) | more than 8 years ago | (#14948602)

Is this some sort of lame pun [hothardware.com] ?

another use (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14948733)

Tight spaces that don't allow enough airflow is a definate use. There's a Shuttle box with an SLI setup that I love the specs on, I became a serious Shuttle fan after building one recently. The downside is all the reviews love it but point out overheading issues if you use one of the video card slots even if it's in a single card configuration. One of these cards could solve the problem.

1 card, 3 slots... (1)

rtechie (244489) | more than 8 years ago | (#14949054)

That was my first reaction. This thing eats up a lot of room in a case, more than an SLI rig I would think (which strikes me as the competitor). Are you better off with this or with 2 X1600s in CrossFire?

Transparent fans (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14949064)

I've read on Silentpc.com that transparent plastic makes more noise than opaque plastic. Graphics card makers should use opaque plastic and large fans to keep the noise down.

Won't overclock for diddly. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14949194)

Well, you MAY get the GPU up some, but who cares when your memory has NO HEATSINK AT ALL!
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