Gigabyte 3D Galaxy Heatsink
The heatsink of the 3D Galaxy cooling system is a 125x197x64mm aluminum box with the text “Gigabyte technology” on its top and with a built-in 120mm fan.
The 9-blade fan on two ball bearings supports rotational speeds from 1200 to 2600rpm (there is a special speed controller enclosed with the 3D Galaxy). The noise from the fan thus varies from 19 to 39dBA. The fan is to exhaust the warm air away from the heatsink, so the back side of the heatsink doesn’t have any casing:
The heatsink fan connects with an ordinary 3-pin plug to a special control unit I will discuss shortly.
At the bottom of the heatsink there are input and output fittings (about 8mm and 12mm in the internal and external diameter, respectively).
Now the most interesting thing: Gigabyte suggests that the heatsink with the fan is screwed up to the system case’s rear panel with the same two screws that the power supply is fastened with. It looks something like this:
The 3D Galaxy kit includes a special bracket for fastening the heatsink in this position (the bracket is attached to the heatsink top with three screws). I think this is a clever solution. The heatsink doesn’t block access to the mainboard’s I/O connectors (the perspective in the snapshot above is a bit confusing, but believe me, it’s really so). It is very easy to fasten the heatsink. And the most important thing is that the heatsink is cooled with the air from the system fan. The latter point is arguable since the temperature inside the case is always higher than on the outside, but on the other hand, it is the processor that generates the most heat in a computer (unless you own a SLI configuration of two overclocked GeForce 6800 Ultra), and the water-block is going to take all the heat from the processor if the 3D Galaxy is deployed. So anyway, this way of fastening the heatsink is quite convenient. And where do you have the heatsink of your current liquid-cooling system? :)
I should note that in my system case (In-Win S508) the diameter of the system fans is 80mm which is insufficient for giving air to a 120mm fan. Gigabyte took care about such situations, too. Soon you will be able to purchase a system case from Gigabyte’s 3D Aurora series, specially optimized for the 3D Galaxy and equipped with two 120mm fans. Besides that, there are other system cases with 120mm fans at their rear panels. For example, the ASUS Ascot case has even two such fans there (the second one is at the bottom of the case and takes air in, though). As far as I know, such cases are popular among the overclockers due to their appealing price/performance ratio and high functionality.