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HEATSINKS AND COOLING
The RD580 northbridge chip around which the CrossFire Xpress chipset
is built has a TDP of just 8W (according to The
Tech Report), so it shouldn't take much to cool it effectively.
A smallish aluminum heatsink with just seven widely spaced fins for the
...and a tiny low profile heatsink for the southbridge.
ASUS has also slapped a heatsink on the VRMs that supply power to the CPU socket.
This is more an overclocking feature than a necessity, since it helps keep the
voltages stable under high temperatures and heavy loads. For a low-noise system
that uses low-heat components, it should help compensate
for the cooling that is lost around the CPU socket when a cross-blowing CPU
heatsink is used or when airflow is reduced to the minimum.
The VRMs get a heatsink of their very own.
There's some tall heatsinks around the CPU socket,
but they should be far enough away that they don't cause much interference.
There is enough clearance around the CPU socket that most large heatsinks should
fit without a problem. The heatsinks for the northbridge and the VRMs are far
enough away that just about any heatsink should fit. Installation may be another
matter; the heatsinks may not interfere directly but they can still restrict access
around the bottom.
A metal backplate provides ample support for heavy heatsinks.
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