So today I decided to mock up a cooler that would totally work.
Now obviously the reason we tend to get rather annoyed at graphics cooling it because it's noisy. And if it isn't noisy our cards run hot.
Whilst MSI kick ass making coolers I was a bit surprised to see that their Lightning cooler was loud at full load. Well, when I say loud I mean about ten times quieter than a stock cooler but you can still hear it over your fans. The aim then with GPUs should surely be reigning them back and trying to get them to system fan noise levels?
Now as we all know Nvidia seemed to buck their trend for crap coolers when they released the 460. This made the 460 quiet, desirable and cool as a cucumber which led to massive overclocks. Yet, with the 5 series they seem to want to go back to blower cooling. And whilst (as Tom pointed out) the 5 series may be as 'quiet?' as the 285 GTX it is still going to be annoyingly loud.
So, blowers are out. And, the reason they're out is because of this.
That is a stock cooler from a 470GTX. And we can all see the major problem there. The heatsink HAS to end before the fan as the blower fans are full depth and do not drive air downward they send it sideways. Meaning you have to lose a ton of real estate on the heatsink itself to accomodate the stupid fan. And I am sure Nvidia were fully aware of this with the 470 as the fan is small. When I say small I mean tiny, not even 2 inches across. Stupid.
Now. It seems card manus seem to have missed an incredibly blatant point with graphics cards. With new cases you get a lot of width. And, it seems that a hald brained designer realised that you could use this space in the air to accomodate a fan. I say that because I have an 8800 Ultra which has a fan that extends up on a curve so that it can be larger. Here is a shot of the 8800 Ultra with the sizes of the sink.
OK now maybe you can begin to understand where I am going with this yes? 115mm in total height. However, as we all know too well you could EASILY
make that 120 or even 140mm and your case would still close perfectly. So why in the balls are we still being 'treated' to 92mm fans on our GPU coolers? I don't get it AT ALL. Now before any one brings up depth issues and dual-triple slot cooling let me raise a point. This is the Scythe Kaze Jyu slim.
Look at the right side pic. It's about as deep as a slice of bread. Yet, this incredibly clever fan does not give anything up on CFM due to its design. So why in the hell can't GPU manus design a 120/140mm fan and put it in the cooler?
Arctic make the triple cooler for GPUs. It costs around £50. It looks like this.
Now. Arctic make 120mm fans in white and black that cost £4.50 each. I know because I used to have a full set of them for my Alienware. Thus, why are they determined to use three 92mm fans that will obviously make more noise than two 120/140mm fans and cool worse?
So, to sum this all up I have mocked up a cooler that will show exactly how this could be done. There's no point at all in me explaining how it would need to work because it's absolutely crushingly simple. You take the 8800U cooler, use some bloody brain matter and extend the heatsink sideways covering all. Then you create a plastic shroud housing two 120/140mm fans like this.
Job bloody done.