by Anton Shilov
05/19/2005 | 03:56 PM
Sapphire Technology introduced Blizzard, its new series of graphics cards that use innovative cooling solution based on the so-called liquid-metal technology. The manufacturer promises that Blizzard add-in boards will feature lowest possible temperatures and the quietest operation, which may eventually transform into the highest overclocking potential at the hands of computer enthusiasts.
NanoCoolers, the inventor of liquid-metal cooling technology, and Sapphire claim that liquid-metal is 65 times more thermally conductive compared to water, which results in 10є Celsius lower temperature of Sapphire’s RADEON X850 XT Platinum Edition graphics card compared to a similar product cooled by Arctic Cooling cooler amid being 25% more silent than ATI’s standard dual-slot cooler.
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Sapphire’s Blizzard RADEON X850 XT Platinum Edition for PCI Express will be equipped with 256MB of GDDR3 and will operate at 540MHz/1180MHz for core/memory. The board will come equipped with 2 DVI-I ports. Pricing is yet unknown, but the graphics cards already exist in prototypes, according to Anna Filatova, who reports from E3, where Sapphire’s Blizzard products were introduced.
The liquid-metal cooling technology is based on liquid metal cooling loops that contain a patented fluid called liquid-metal. Since the metal is electrically conductive, an electromagnetic pump is used to propel the liquid within a loop rather quickly. The liquid-metal loops act as typical heat-pipes: they rapidly and efficiently transfer heat from a heat-source to a radiator which is cooled-down either actively or passively.
NanoCoolers insist that the fluid it uses is non-toxic, non-flammable and environmentally safe. The company says boiling point of the substance is over 2000°C in a low vapor pressure environment (for the most substances, except water, the rule is that the boiling point gets lower as the pressure gets lower), which is very high: for instance, iron becomes a liquid when it is heat a temperature of 1535°C at normal atmospheric pressure. NanoCoolers does not disclose a type of the fluid it uses.
The designer of the fluid-metal claims that electromagnetic pump also functions independent of orientation. Since the liquid-metal cooling loops are fully-filled and sealed systems, they likewise function independent of orientation, which is a very important feature in mobile applications. Still, NanoCoolers does not provide any details about the possibilities of an electromagnetic pump to damage certain other components, for instance, data on a hard disk drive.
Sapphire is known for innovative coolers used on its graphics cards. Earlier it utilised passive coolers for Zalman to cool-down its "Ultimate"-seres of graphics cards.