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[CPC] We explore the technology behind Sapphire's brilliant Vapor-X graphics cooler.

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
We explore the technology behind Sapphire's brilliant Vapor-X graphics cooler.
Source: http://www.custompc.co.uk/features/6...explained.html


The Sapphire Atomic HD 3870 graphics card uses an innovative cooler in order to keep a massively overclocked Radeon HD 3870 GPU cool, while only taking up a single slot in your case. Standard Radeon HD 3870 cards need a dual-slot cooler. Based on a vapour chamber, the Vapor-X cooler is a fascinating bit of kit.

The Vapor-X cooler is based around the fact that as you increase the temperature of water, it evaporates more rapidly, turning from a liquid into a gas. During this state transition, the water releases its latent heat into the surrounding atmosphere, thereby cooling the object from which the water is evaporating. This is why sweating cools your skin so effectively.

Heatpipes already use this ‘evaporative cooling’ phenomenon, but while heatpipes require coolant to be forced in one direction along a set path, vapour chambers allow the heat to be transferred in all directions. You could think of them as a large-diameter, flat heatpipe, with the liquid moving through the layers of the chamber, rather than travelling along a restrictive pipe.

A vapour chamber is composed of three distinct layers: the transportation wick, the vaporisation wick and the condensation wick (see the explanatory pictures by clicking on the picture above). A wick is a material that can draw in a liquid by capillary action (think of a sponge absorbing water), but other than that, the names of the layers are pretty self-explanatory. Pure water is heated while in the transportation wick, and as it turns to gas, it moves into the condensation wick. Away from the heat source, the water condenses back into a liquid and travels back to the transportation wick by way of capillary action, ready for the process to begin again.

The air pressure is lowered in a vapour chamber, as a lower air temperature lowers the boiling point of the water, making the transfer of heat more efficient.

So how good is a vapour chamber? We compared the fully overclocked (825MHz GPU) Atomic card with a standard Radeon HD 3870 with the same overclock. The GPU temperature was recorded using the Overdrive tool of the ATI Catalyst display driver, and the GPU was kept at 99 per cent load by the 3D renderer of ATI Tray Tools. Applying this test, the Atomic’s GPU temperature slowly levelled out at 73˚C, while the standard card's GPU quickly hit 93˚C before crashing. Put simply, the Vapor-X vapour chamber cooler is brilliant.



The HD 3850 ULTIMATE.
    
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post #2 of 11
Wow looks great
post #3 of 11
What do you mean 3850? Article says 3870. Did I miss something?

I bet this will be expensive... Would be nice to see such technology available by itself so other GPUs can get this benefit.
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post #4 of 11
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by stargate125645 View Post
What do you mean 3850? Article says 3870. Did I miss something?

I bet this will be expensive... Would be nice to see such technology available by itself so other GPUs can get this benefit.
Yeah, i included the 3850 model picture running on the same system.
    
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post #5 of 11
Neat
Calypso
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post #6 of 11
Hasnt this concept been around for a long time? Don't the HR-03s do the same thing, only with an obviously larger heatsink?
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post #7 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by GigaByte324 View Post
Yeah, i included the 3850 model picture running on the same system.
Nice, thorough work!
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post #8 of 11
IMO this is the first ATI card that looks great.
    
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post #9 of 11
This Article is from March 7, where were the authors when the Limited Edition Saphire Atomic with this Vapor-X technology, was firstreleased in early January! (It has been reviewed and posted here), I think that they are very hard to find now (remember the bundled HDMI cable, BlacKBox, and cool Al Attache case), and Saphire replaced them with the not-so extemely OCd Toxic with Vapor-X also Posted Here

Quote:
We explore the technology behind Sapphire's brilliant Vapor-X graphics cooler.
Uh, Must not have explored the Technology too much &/or they did not proofread before publishing the article:

Quote:
The air pressure is lowered in a vapour chamber, as a lower air temperature lowers the boiling point of the water, making the transfer of heat more efficient.


Oh and lowering the Pressure doesn't make the transfer more efficient
(H2O has the same Enthalpy of Vaporization (Heat of Vaporization during State Change) at any pressure.

(Unless you want to get really techy and consider Fugasity, Entropy and Gibb's Free Energy Law -which really shouldn't be mixed in with general state-change equations for non-Ideal "gases" in a "semi-closed" environment;
and even then the value is merely adjusted to compensate for deviation from the SI STP Pressure standard of 100KPa and is still a "constant")
The lowering of the pressure merely allows this state change to occur at a lower temperature, ie. before your IC's fry at the normal Bp of water 100oC, 373K

Pv=nRT is your friend.
Cheers
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post #10 of 11
So basically.... its like a really, really intense lava lamp?
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