Asus EN9600GT Silent Edition Graphics Card

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Like many modern nVidia cards, there are four spring-loaded screws on the back holding the cooler in place. The PCB is roughly 21.9cm in length. The center heatpipe visible above juts out past the edge of the card by approximately 2cm.

The base of the heatsink is very typical modern GPU heatpipe coolers. The heatpipes are soldered to a very thin copper base.

The black half of the heatsink is solid on the underside, so air cannot pass through it vertically. Two of the heatpipes are flattened and soldered to the underside of the fins.

Before passing judgment on such an unusual design, we wanted to know exactly what their motivation and inspiration came from. The official press release had several interesting passages detailed below.

V-Cool Heatsink Description (from the product press release)
Quote Our Comment
"The V-Cool Heatsink’s super racing car engine design stands as a testament to the unique and high-precision craftsmanship from ASUS; and combines a stylish outlook with powerful cooling performance" Creating a heatsink that looks like a race car engine is nothing short of an engineering marvel. However, while it certainly looks interesting, we have to scoff at it being described as "stylish."
"Phasing in the V-Engine concept* (*A V-Engine means that the pistons are aligned so that they appear to be in a ‘V’ when viewed along the axis of the crankshaft. The V configuration reduces the overall engine length and weight compared to an equivalent straight engine.), the ideally arranged V-fins dissipate heat evenly with a minimum of space required" We have to give them points purely for committing so strongly to the engine analogy, but none of it seems to have any relevance to heatsinks.
"...while the high-density zipper array fin module utilizes the Intercooler technology** (** Intercooler Technology means that air flows over the outside of the intercooler's fins, which in turn cool the air inside the intercooler) to maximize the surface area exposed to the air to help heat dissipation. By making the fins at the back form a "zipper array" air passes not just over the fins, but through them. They're assuming there's enough airflow inside to keep it from just lingering.

Overall, we were more confused after reading the press release than before. As far as we can tell the black portion makes little direct contact with any of the heatpipes or the copper base. We have many unanswered questions:

      • Why does the V-Engline even exist?
      • Why use two separate sets of material?
      • Why are the fins not all the same thickness?
      • And most importantly, why are all the fins pointing in different directions?!

With such a convoluted form, it seems to us that the V-Engine's only function is to keep the entire assembly from falling apart and to look "stylish." Never mind; the proof will be in the cooling.

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