Cutting edge systems today might as well be called the Twin Furnaces.
On one end, you have the CPU, and you know that’s hot.
What has received less attention is what is on the other end: the video card and its GPU.
Upcoming GPUs will actually chew up considerably more wattage than the CPU.
A fairly big reason for the high-end GeForce FX series being stillborn was the decideded lack of enthusiasm for its very bulky, very loud air cooling system.
Well, the cause of that isn’t going to get any better. The Dustbuster dissipated about 75 watts. Not-too-future generations of nVidia processors are supposed to get up to 120W.
Since ATI hasn’t announced a strategic alliance with Frosty the Snowman, you can expect much the same from them.
With this hot reality staring video card makers in the face, one of them, Gainward, announced that they will come out with a CoolFX. What makes the CoolFX cool? Video card watercooling.
While Gainward’s price for this is pretty astronomical for just a video card, it’s an early indicator of what’s to come.
Many DIYers have water-cooling setups that include video components in the loop, but in the not-so-distant future, this is going to have to become at least an option in ready-made water solutions.
Of course, most overclockers have decided cases of hydrophobia. They don’t want to hear about water.
On the other hand, many overclockers have developed allergies to noise, too.
If they want to stay in the game, a lot of people are going to have to figure out which they fear less: noise or water.
If you have a CPU approaching or exceeding 100 watts on one end, a GPU doing the same thing less than six inches away, and a heat-sensitive north bridge inbetween pumping out some wattage too while singing, “Stuck in the middle with you,” you’re going to have to choose between a wind tunnel or a water tunnel.
Cutting-edge will morph into a choice between fear of shrieking-edge and fear of leaking-edge.
Who says overclocking isn’t character-building? 🙂