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Could we do a better GPU air cooler? - Page 2

post #11 of 87
http://www.asus.com/us/Graphics_Cards/ROG_POSEIDONGTX780P3GD5/

Something like this?



Three-slot graphics cards do exist, but the problem is the massive heatsink causes the PCB to bend downwards.. (already a problem with larger two-slot cards)
post #12 of 87
I really like that card, I just wish I could buy the damn cooler and backplate on their own. Also, why not just go full water cooling?
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post #13 of 87
If you have a case that refreshes the air inside the case quick enough, you're not dumping heat into the case (in a way where it negatively impacts other components)


This is why an FT02 is such a good case for non-reference videocards, positive pressure and enough air is being pushed through the case constantly to negate the fact that hot air is coming out of the sides of a videocard (rather than the back).


The only real solution to stop dumping air into a case would be to shroud the videocard in such a way with a fan at the beginning of the shroud pushing air into the shroud. But that would essentially be a reference/blower style cooler, not to mention it'd take some space in front of the card.
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post #14 of 87
But a high quality "noctua-esque" universal blower would still be an improvement over the turbojet currently in a lot of cards.

The ATX specification does heavily limit our options here.
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post #15 of 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by doyll View Post

** Or maybe make cooler higher and require case to have venting above the slots (not a big demand). Cooler could be 150-160mm tall x 50mm wide and full length of PCB so say 200mm front to back? Fans could be 60mm and funnel into 55-58mm to fit so multiple graphics cards could be used.

Which way would the fans be oriented?
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post #16 of 87
In a word, not by much. On air, there's unfortunately limited room for improvement. In short, 3 slot designs already exist. They do a decent job of cooling, although they dump air into the case. Very simply put, I don't think you can make a cooler that does not dump air back into the case and make it better than existing axial coolers from a performance after adjusting for noise standpoint, at least not without taking a ton of PCI slots.

Let me give an example, the MSI r9 290X Lightning cooler. It is arguably the best air cooler every produced for GPUs.

Axial type cooler, thick fin density of around ~17 fpi, and cools relatively well.

Front image


Note the width and fin density


Shot of the different layers


Cooler


Shot from the bottom


Shot from the PCI bracket


Foreplate


PCB



In a case (3 slots as you can see)



Backplate to prevent warping


With a waterblock. Note the 3 PWM fan controls (black, white, and blue). There's also 3 2 pin voltage checkpoints.




By cools relatively well. The 290X is a pretty hot card. This cooler was able to sustain overclocks of up to 1250-1300 MHz at times, and water cooling only got perhaps ~50 MHz more, assuming good silicon lottery luck.

The only drawback I see is that it dumps the hot air back into the case, which warms everything up by a few degrees. To be honest, I'm not sure that's even a huge drawback. I'd rather have my GPU cooler and everything else a bit warmer, than a hotter GPU and everything else cooler, because GPUs are the hottest single component right now. The issue is that a blower-type of cooler might not even with triple slot outperform this. Blowers tend to have too little airflow for this, even if they do have the advantage of exhausting the hot air out of the case.

Areas for improvement
I said there was not much room for improvement. Well, there are a few things I would like to see:
  • A secondary bracer on the top for even more protection against PCB warping (although this card already has a backplate and foreplate).
  • Better VRM cooling. I'd like to see a heatpipe go directly from the VRM to the heatsink. Granted the design is so overkill that the VRMs won't run too hot, but it'd be nice to have.
  • Higher static pressure fans. This is huge and could have a huge leap over current cards. The middle fan also does not do much. Instead of those 3 fans, I'd like to see 2 120x25mm case fans directly over the heatsinks. My ideal would be a high speed 4250 rpm PWM Gentle Typhoon over each heatsink or the Delta AFC1212D. This might make it a 4 slot GPU though.
  • Even higher fin densities (as much as 30 fpi, up from the current 17 fpi) to take advantage of the fans above.
  • For each of the fins, I would like to see them soldered onto the actually heatpipes. The Noctua D15 and Cryorig R1 series already do this.
  • Maybe a fan on top to direct air to the top of the GPU?
  • Could also make the cooler a bit taller, as to maximize cooling surface area
  • Would also like to see 60A chokes paired with the DirectFET. I think MSI"s SFF chokes are rated for 45A. Probably a non-issue.

The end result would be a cooler good enough that water cooling would not give a much higher overclock, if at all, along with very cool VRMs. Only drawback about my proposals is that it would need even more bracing to prevent warping (which I had addressed) and that it would doom it for smaller cases.
Quote:
Originally Posted by doyll View Post

I'm not a gamer so have no need for more than one card anyway. But do gamers really need 2, 3 or 4 GPUs? 2 mabye, but 2 could be space so a 3x socket cooler could be used.

I have an older ASUS GTX580 DirectCU II 3x slot card that I custom shrouded with 2x TY-100 fans. It's whisper quiet. biggrin.gif

In a word, for 4k and high resolution setups, yes.

Scaling is pretty good for a 2nd card. 3rd card and 4th card are diminishing returns, but decent.


AMD cards in particular do well at higher resolutions with 3 and 4 card setups.
Edited by CrazyElf - 10/14/14 at 8:04pm
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post #17 of 87
When that current Mac Pro came out, I thought it would have been neat if there would be motherboards and graphics cards in a somewhat similar format as what Apple uses in that machine. You would build a PC where you connect everything through very short cables instead of PCI-E slots. You would arrange the board and graphics cards into a flat plane, then use tower coolers on every chip, meaning the GPU cooler would be similar to what's done for the CPU today.

Trying to do something similar with normal motherboards and graphics cards would kind of work if using long, shielded PCI-E extender cables, but it can't possibly fit into something the same size of an ATX case, and the idea seems annoying and ugly with the long cables and stuff.
post #18 of 87
I don't think we'll see significant improvements in blower type GPU coolers without switching to more exotic types of cooling like GE's piezoelectric system or SynJet.

Something like that combined with carbon nanotube heatsinks should make for some pretty interesting cooling solutions biggrin.gif
post #19 of 87
How about a carbon peizoelectric nanotube SynJet? biggrin.gif
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post #20 of 87
Thread Starter 
Photoshopped a Gainward Phantom into a 4x slot cooler with fans on end. Obviously it would all be shrouded to contain air from fans to rear of cse. For mounting strength there is no reason the other PCIe slots couldn't be used with dummies slid into them on a bracket to PCB and shroud.
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