One of the things I have gotten very upset about lately is the lack of respect that many of the GPU board makers have for their customers. In most of the last and current generation of video boards, AMD shows a solution with what I describe as a wind tunnel. This is where the fan pulls cool air into the card and over the heatsink from the card at the far end from the PCI bracket, exhausting the hot air through a tunnel that expels the air through the PCI bracket next to the one taken by the video card connectors.

Since AMD thinks that is the way to do it, you might think that most would follow suit unless they had a very specific, and very efficient way of removing heat from the video card.

But no, many of the card makers are deciding instead to put a larger fan and heatsink on their cards, which tends to look quite formidable to the neophyte, but does little to extract the heat – because the hot air has nowhere to go, and merely swirls around in the case.

TechConnect has another one of these cards, from HIS, which is a good midrange card, undoubtedly hampered by a poor heatsink and fan design.

Hightech Information System aka HIS has kept the vacation days to a minimum these past holidays and worked on a new custom card to add to its collection. Known as the HD 5770 Fan, HIS’ latest creation is a Radeon HD 5770 that has a blue PCB and stock clocks – 850 MHz for the GPU, 4800 MHz for the 1GB of GDDR5 VRAM, but comes equipped with a fresh dual-slot cooler boasting two copper heatpipes (if we’re not mistaken).

The fresh Radeon also features DirectX 11, ATI Eyefinity and ATI Stream support, a 128-bit memory interface, is CrossFireX read, and provides DVI, HDMI and DisplayPort outputs (reference models have dual-DVI). The HD 5770 Fan will be available with and without a game bundle (Dirt 2) and should cost around 140 to 150 Euro. And now the echo…

Though some will be  excited by the apparent shield, appearing to be part of a tunnel, there is no tunnel and unless the customer supplies their own vented PCI bracket, the air just swirls in the case.

The reason for some of these cards is money. The larger heatsink and fan can be translated into dollars, though it does not translate to cooling. This is one case where some well placed acrylic is better than a lot of poorly placed copper.


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Benjamin Franklin

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