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Review: CoolIT OMNI A.L.C. meets NVIDIA GeForce GTX 480

by Parm Mann on 23 April 2010, 14:04

Tags: GeForce GTX 480, Omni ALC, NVIDIA (NASDAQ:NVDA), CoolIT

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Installing your own water-cooling kit has always been an unnerving prospect, and though CoolIT's OMNI A.L.C. is about as easy as they come, it isn't without drawbacks.

Key amongst those is the fact that you'll need to disassemble your graphics card's reference cooler, voiding your warranty in the process. And take our word for it, delicately opening up a £450 GeForce GTX 480 graphics card isn't a whole lot of fun.

Once you've past that hurdle, though, it's plain sailing from here on in. The OMNI A.L.C.'s interposer plate attaches directly to your GTX 480's bare PCB, and aligning the two isn't difficult if you use the screw-holes as a guide. A dozen screws then fasten the PCB to the plate, and that's it, you're done. As the meerkat would say, simples.

There's one obvious visual benefit, because NVIDIA's chunky GeForce GTX 480 transforms into a far sleeker solution. At just under 25mm thick, it'll ensure there's plenty of room for SLI configurations. You'll still be stuck with the dual-slot PCI bracket, though, as that's fixed to the PCB itself.

Tailored to fit. One interposer plate won't suit all, but we'd expect each variant to be perfectly sized for the card in question. The GTX 480 plate encompasses the card to a tee.

Remembering that your graphics card is attached to the other end, fix your fan/radiator/pump unit to your chassis. Working with a capacious Corsair Obsidian Series 800D, we've ample room to manoeuvre and attach the unit to one of three top-mounted fan slots. There's a small LED visible on the left of the unit, and it'll glow green to let you know the pump's up and running. We've yet to see red, touch wood.

The length of the OMNI A.L.C's tubing may change prior to final release, but our sample suggests there's enough to keep the graphics card and radiator well spaced.