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Sapphire and the New Liquid Metal Cooling

We have already mentioned the new graphics cards from Sapphire equipped with the new liquid metal cooling solution aka Blizzard in our news (see this news story for details). I would like to share a little bit more details about it with you here.

So, this is the card, the monster with liquid gallium alloy inside its heatpipes:



Sapphire RADEON X850XT Blizzard engineering sample

As you can see, the card is equipped with two fans. Their rotation speed is controlled by ATI’s thermal diodes and depending on the VPU temperature they can rotate slower or faster. However, according to Sapphire, they provided their engineering solution with these fans for redundancy purposes only. The boards that will go in mass production will most likely have only one fan and ideally they are planning to see this design completely fanless. Also, as you can see, there is a 12V connector for the fans, which should go away on mass products: it will be replaced with the 5V plug that will go into one of the onboard 5V connectors.

Although the card looks quite massive and features dual-clot design, it is feels very light. Besides, it may shrink into a single-slot solution once the fans are removed from the card.

The first samples of this wonder card, which should provide impressive results (8-12oC lower chip temperatures), are expected in early Q3, and the actual retail products will start selling in August 2005 already.

I believe that overclocking fans can’t wait to get their hands on this baby. And in fact, I absolutely share their impatience. The guys at Sapphire shared some of their recent achievements with me: they managed to make their RADEON X850XT run at 650MHz chip frequency without any tricky voltage modifications. That is already quite impressive.

As far as the anticipated price point is concerned, I can say that the cooler itself should cost about $40-$60. Add here the price of the RADEON X850 series graphics card by that time and you will get the answer to this important question.

Well, it looks like water cooling solutions have now acquired a pretty promising competitor: relatively inexpensive, easy to mount, potentially noiseless and highly efficient, this is the first impression the new liquid metal cooling from NanoCoolers makes.

Besides this exciting graphics card, Sapphire was also showcasing some… boxes. :) You do know that Sapphire is partnering closely with ATI, and they will be offering not only graphics cards but also mainboards with MVPU support for both: Intel and AMD platform. The board on RADEON Xpress 200P chipset was actually shown life (not working though) with the RADEON Blizzard graphics card we have just discussed. It will be based on silver-white PCB and will have specifications close to the following:

The working samples of both Intel and AMD mainboards on ATI chipsets supporting MVPU technology will be available at Computex, so I hope I will be able to tell you more about them by then.

Besides, I thought you might find it interesting but Sapphire is going to expand its product range by going into the multimedia market. Pretty soon we will see Sapphire mp3 players, USB drives and many other nice accessories. I believe more news are to come during Computex as well.

 
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