I have recently found out that alternative cooling solutions for graphics cards are not as popular as I expected them to be, according to the head of one large computer service center. It really struck me as very strange because most reference graphics card coolers are not efficient enough and if they are, they often generate too much noise. So why don’t users go for something more advanced that would guarantee better cooling at a more comfortable level of operational noise?
In fact, the answer to this question is pretty simple: most of them are afraid they will lose their graphics card warranty, because not every user can remove the reference cooling system without leaving any marks or ensuring integrity of all stickers. However, in case something happens with the hardware, removed VGA cooler seems like a very good reason to void the warranty and refuse the exchange or return. So, gamers have to put up with high noise and an additional heat source inside of their system case, and when the graphics card warranty expires, the card is no longer powerful enough to satisfy their gaming needs, so purchasing a new cooling system makes simply no sense any more.
However, there is a group of users called overclocking fans who tend to know at least a little more than most mainstream computer users and what is even more important, who know what they need it for. These are the users for whom we write our articles devoted to new graphics card cooling solutions in particular.
Today we would like to introduce to you two newcomers from XIGMATEK and AURAS with highly original and even a little bit funny names. So let’s get started!
XIGMATEK BATTLE-AXE VD964 (CAV-D9HH4-N01)
Package and Accessories
Well, heatpipe direct touch technology that we are very well familiar with already from our CPU cooler reviews has finally made it to the graphics card cooling solutions. The first one to bring it on in the VGA market is a cooler from a company we all know very well already – XIGMATEK.
The cooler comes in a small cardboard box with a few cut out windows in the front and the back:
The cooler has a pretty vivid name: BATTLE-AXE VD964, a real battle axe with two blades. As we found out later, there is a very good reason for this symbolic name.
The cooler accessories bundle is packed into a smaller box sitting at the top of the main package. It contains the following items:
- Aluminum heatsink for NVIO chip cooling on GeForce 8800 GTS and GTX/Ultra graphics cards;
- Two long and six small aluminum heatsinks for graphics card memory chips;
- A pack of SilMORE thermal compound (1g);
- A set of screws, bushes and washers;
- Two steel retention plates;
- A cable for fan power and rotation speed monitoring;
- Assembly and installation guide.
Now let’s take a closer look at the cooler.