As a general rule of thumb when it comes to graphics cards you get more noise the faster the GPU is, as more speed means more heat. But noise isn’t a good thing, especially not in a home PC and it is a problem with many computers. Stock graphics card coolers tend to be quite cheap as the board manufacturers want to keep their cost down and the end users are the ones that end up suffering.
Sure, there are several third party coolers you can get these days from companies such as Zalman and Arctic Cooling. Some board manufacturers even pre-fit these to their high-end cards. Asus has gone down a different route with the EN7800GT Top Silent and designed its own heatpipe solution to produce a passively cooled 7800GT.
At first this sounds slightly mad, considering that nVidia has produced some rather large air coolers for these cards. But Asus has built on its experienced from previous cards – using its patented SilentCool technology – such as the Extreme N6600GT Silencer/HTD and the Extreme AX800 Silencer/2DTV. However, a 7800GT runs a lot hotter than a 6600GT or an X800, but Asus has solved this by using a bigger heatsink and a larger heatpipe with more fins.
Rather than going down the Zalman route – a design that a lot of other manufacturers have copied with varying results – and run the heatpipes from the GPU to the back of the graphics card, Asus has a much more interesting solution. Although it looks as if the heatpipe is located just above the card at first, this is not the case. What Asus has done is to create a solution that allows you move the heatpipe 45 degrees.