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CEBIT 2005: World Exclusive - Koolance's New ATI X8-series GPU Waterblock

by Ryszard Sommefeldt on 14 March 2005, 00:00

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Koolance's New ATI X8-series GPU Waterblock

World Exclusive - Koolance's New ATI X8-series waterblock

I popped by Koolance's shared stand in Halle 24 yesterday, where they're exhibiting with Lian Li, and I managed to snag the world's first sample of their brand new ATI X8-series waterblock. Outwardly it doesn't look too exciting, but when you open it up you can see what all the fuss is about. First off, a couple of shots of the outside.

Block bottom
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You can see the entry and exit barbs for the water channel on the left, despite my less than stellar flash photography here on a table in the CeBit Press Center. The two retaining nuts are on the right that clamps both halves together around the graphics card. Along the bottom edge you can see the beginnings of the block for the GPU (impressively machined copper) and the memory cooling block (blue anodised aluminium).

Block top
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Turning it over you can see the GPU cooling block in more detail, with the machined water channels defined by pyramid points machined from the base copper billet. A clear top to the block lets you see the internals and you can see in the inlet and exit pipe points. You can also see the blue bar that cools the DRAMs on the GPU side of the board.

GPU cool
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Opening it up and looking underneath, you can see everything in more detail, inluding the inlet and outlet tubing for the waterblocks and how the water flows between GPU and memory coolers.

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On the opposite side you can see Koolance's new innovation for this new series of GPU coolers. Dubbed HydraPak, it's a pierce and puncture resistant (care advised) container for the other side of the waterchannel. The material doesn't conduct any electricty whatsoever and cools the back side of the board with direct contact. On a flip-chip design like the X8-series, you can transfer heat away from the bottom of the GPU and to the PCB. Especially with X850 XT, that's a fearsome amount of heat to get rid of and while the X850 XT's cooler does a good job in getting direct heat away from the GPU, there's still plenty radiated from the rear, as I commented on its launch, here.

So the HydraPak is tasked with getting rid of that, into the water and then you exchange the heat as normal with a radiator somewhere else in your water loop. Koolance showed me their latest Exos, which is available as a standalone out-of-case solution and also integrated into a Lian Li chassis (what I think is a V1000 but I'm not 100% sure), which is why they're exhibiting together, the two companies working with each other to offer a chassis and water cooled solution for various retail and OEM channels.

Speaking to someone about HydraPak after I secured the sample, after meeting with Koolance, showed that the 100 micron thick material is a favourite in other industries for similar applications, but care needs to be taken when evaluating Koolance's claims about being completely puncture proof. While that's likely to be the case when used carefully with your graphics card, we'll investigate it fully when I review the product in full in the near future.

Koolance are just finalising a similar block construction for NVIDIA's GeForce 6 hardware and we'll have a sample of that too just after CeBit, as the design comes hot off the production line at Koolance's factory.

The entirely new Exos package has new waterblocks in similar vein to that shown here, for the CPU and core logic. I'll have a look at the entire package as soon as I can. It's good to see someone do something brand new in the water cooling industry, and checking out other stands at CeBit shows somewhat of a renaissance for water in terms of silently cooling a PC. Look out for more on Koolance's new hardware in the near future.