Sapphire cools graphics card with liquid metal

— 3:50 AM on May 20, 2005

Sapphire is experimenting with liquid metal cooling for its new Blizzard Radeon X850 XT Platinum Edition. The cooling technology actually comes from a company called NanoCoolers, which offers an explanation here

The liquid metal has significant advantages over other single phase liquid solutions. The thermal and physical properties of the material give it the ability to cool extremely high heat fluxes. With its very low vapor pressure, the boiling point of the material is in excess of 2000°C. This provides the capability to cool extremely high power densities without the liquid-metal changing phase, removing power density as the limiting factor in cooling performance. The liquid metal is non-flammable, non-toxic and environmentally friendly. As a metal, the liquid is both highly thermally conductive and highly electrically conductive. The thermal conductivity makes it ideal for heat removal and dissipation. The electrical conductivity enables the use of electromagnetic pumps to propel the liquid.
An electromagnetic pump with no moving parts is perhaps the most intriguing part of the liquid metal cooling design. Because the pump doesn't make any noise, it should be possible to make liquid metal cooling systems for graphics cards, or even other system components, that are completely silent.

Despite liquid metal cooling's potential for silence, it appears that Sapphire's first implementation will employ an actively-cooled radiator. Still, Sapphire claims that its card will run 25% quieter than cards equipped with ATI's stock cooler, and 10 degrees cooler than those with a cooling solution from Arctic Cooling.

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