More and more custom cooling solutions are starting to appear for Nvidia's GeForce GTX 285 videocards, with one of the more intriguing options belonging to MSI. The company has taken traditional heatpipe designs, fattened them up, and slapped them on its N285GTX SuperPipe OC graphics card.
"Today, MSI is pleased to announce the N285GTX SuperPipe graphics card, which not only brings to bear the powerful NVIDIA GPU - GeForce GTX 285, but, via the revolutionary ‘SuperPipe’ and Twin Frozr thermal design, offers a high performance and thermal efficiency graphics card," MSI wrote in a press release.
The aptly named SuperPipes consiste of 8mm thick heatpipes, which are up to 60 percent thicker than traditional heatpipes. According to MSI, the wider design leads to 90 percent better cooling performance. The N285GTX has been outfitted with five heatpipes in all, two of which are SuperPipes, on an all-metal heatsink with dual fans.
At first glance, the Thermaltake SpinQ looks like nothing so much as a stack of bike gears with a fan mounted in the center. And that’s basically what it is—50 circular aluminum fins mounted around an 80mm fan connected to a copper exchanger. The cooler measures 4.8” wide by 3.54” deep by 5.98” high—about the same height and width as the Zalman CNPS9700LED, but a bit deeper. The SpinQ is, essentially, the high-rise counterpart to the horizontal sprawl of its stablemate, the Thermaltake DuOrb.
Unlike the DuOrb, with its two fans and jarring red-and-blue LED color scheme, the SpinQ keeps to one color, a soothing blue, and a single fan. And instead of the DuOrb’s retention system, which is sturdy but requires you to remove your motherboard, the SpinQ uses the same plastic mounting system as Intel’s stock coolers, so provided you don’t already have a retention plate from your previous cooler installed, all you have to do is snap the SpinQ onto the motherboard, tighten it, and go. Thermaltake definitely wins points for the SpinQ’s ease of installation.
Microsoft probably isn't the first company to come to mind when you think of cooling products, but the mega-software maker is looking to change that with the announcement of its new Notebook Cooling Base.
The notebook stand sports a slim design measuring just 1.16-inches thick and comes with a cable management clip to store the cable when not in use. The cooler is USB powered and includes a built-in fan for active cooling duties. Microsoft says the base is "contoured to rest on the both desks and users' laps, providing a comfortable typing angle."
The Notebook Cooling Base will be available starting in July in both white and black, with an MSRP of $30.
Diamonds might be a girl's best friend, but Sparkle's Diamonds Sputtering technology looks to cozy up to videocards in an attempt to offer better heat dissipation.
The company today announced the new technology, which it says consists of outfitting the cooling fins on videocards with a Diamond-like Carbon (DLC) membrane. According to Sparkle and its R&D team, DLC offers high heat conduction capable of dissipating heat much more effectively than copper alone.
"The diamonds do heat dissipation four times faster than copper, it relies on the phonons which is produced by the crystal lattice vibration, to bring heat to lower temperature places," Sparkle wrote in its press release. "Diamond-like Carbon can achieve both functions at the same time, that is, transferring heat to lower temperature places with both graphite metal bond and diamond insulation bond (the covalent bond)."
It gets even more technical and goes on to discuss the process of Plasma Enhanced CVD (PECVD) to plate the DLC membrane on videocards, but the end result is a 5C temperature reduction on a 9500GT, according to Sparkle. But don't hold your breath for diamond-cooled videocards any time soon. Sparkle admits the technology carries a "high" cost and is still mulling over bringing DLC to market.
Maker’s Mark is of course the name of a fine Kentucky bourbon whiskey, but the phrase also applies to the stamp that skilled artisans apply to their creations. When you’ve finished building your custom PC, we’d encourage you to stamp it with your own maker’s mark; after all, the one-of-a-kind creation you’ll have wrought will have nothing in common with the mass-produced rigs that mainstream manufacturers churn out by the millions.
That’s one of the most exciting aspects of our hobby. Automobile buffs can tune and customize their factory-built cars and trucks, but computer geeks like us get to build something new and unique almost entirely from whole cloth. And it’s so easy that you have to wonder why anyone would buy a preassembled PC in the first place.
Thanks to the relatively open architecture that IBM stumbled into oh so many years ago (and has likely regretted ever since), we can rebuild and retune our creations again and again, boosting their performance and postponing their obsolescence. We do hit a wall every now and again. Intel’s new Core i7 CPU is a good example. Because the new processor features an onboard memory controller—a first for Intel, although AMD’s procs have had the technology for years—the company had to design a new socket architecture to accommodate the additional pins. That blocks the upgrade path for anyone using an LGA775 motherboard.
Intel has AMD on the run in the CPU front, but AMD is poking Nvidia in the behind in the graphics processor market. The result: ever more powerful, ever less expensive videocards. The two companies have shipped so many new parts that we expect things will stabilize over the next quarter or so, so now’s the time to find a great deal whether you’re building a new rig or retrofitting an old one. And if you’ve never experienced the joy and pride of building your own PC, click through to read our in-depth, hands-on guide.
Cooler Master’s V8 CPU cooler offsets a somewhat time-consuming installation process with near-record-setting performance for an air cooler. The sleek aluminum cooler’s 12cm fan sits between two heatsinks on the device, sparing fingers from the accidental nip of its 800rpm-to-1,800rpm variable fan.
Straight out of the “not as awesome as it sounds” file, Intel is looking to cool your laptop with the exact same technology that a jet engine does. The issue of burning legs (that’s right, burning legs) has been an issue on the mind of Intel for some time now, and they’re looking to soothe that with their latest breakthrough.
Intel has been focusing on the increasing issue of hot thighs with something called Laminar Flow. Laminar Flow occurs when a fluid or gas/air flows in parallel layers, allowing a non-turbulent way to misdirect hot air away from the surface of a jet engine (or laptop). As demonstrated, this technology allows efficient cooling of temperatures upwards of 1,000 °C.
A demo of this technology was given at this week’s Intel developer forum in Taiwan by Mooly Eden, Intel’s head of Mobile Platforms Group. “We are licensing it to our customers so they can keep making thinner and thinner laptops,” said Eden.
We love to have tons of cool electronics hooked up to the big living room TV -- who doesn’t? But, if you’re like us, your significant other is less keen on seeing all that awesome black plastic and shiny metal, and you probably did the same thing we did: Went out and bought an overpriced, crappy piece of mass-produced furniture that has doors. Doors! And what do those doors do? They create hot pockets of electronics-killing heat that will shorten the life of our precious gear. All to keep the wife happy.
Fear not, heat haters. We put the Maximum PC brain trust to work in assembling a quick, quiet, and easy cooling solution for, well, just about any cabinet you’re willing to cut a hole in. We tested our solution with two of the hottest pieces of hardware we could find: an Xbox 360 and an AppleTV. With both boxed turned on, and with the door closed, the internal temperature of the cabinet quickly hit 130F. But after we mounted our heat-triggered fan, we saw the internal temperatures hovering a scant degree or two above room temperature. Want to find out how we did it? Hit the jump!
SSD’s are hot, but how do you mount your new 2.5-inch solid state drive in a 3.5-inch bay without it looking ghettolicious?
The answer: Use a VelociRaptor’s extruded aluminum shell with Intel’s wicked fast SSD. The result is one a combination even better than peanut butter and chocolate if we may so say our selves.
Does it make sense to do this with a live VelociRaptor? Probably not, but we just happened to have a dead unit and rather than toss it in the garbage, we shucked out the dead drive by removing the four Torqx screws and mounted the Intel X25-M in its place. You can actually do this with a live VelociRaptor but you’ll immediately void the warranty on the drive. Does an SSD need all that aluminum to keep it cool? The answer is no, but it sure looks cool, right?
Given its small size, we didn’t expect maximum cooling performance from Arctic Cooling’s Alpine 7 Pro. And while the Alpine 7 Pro doesn’t set any performance records, in some situations it does match the capabilities of our cooler of choice, Thermaltake’s DuOrb. Given the sheer size difference between this 9x9x3cm cooler and the, well, monstrous DuOrb, the Alpine 7’s performance was a pleasant surprise.