XFX is showing off a new cooler design for its graphics card - and coincidentally it's quite similar to the dual-fan design that Sapphire debuted for its new 6970, dual-BIOS, stock-clocked card.
That's right. This is another twin fan design, which has been a staple of high-end, dual-GPU cards for the past few years, but is seemingly becoming more common for single-chip cards now.
XFX claims that while there are other imitators out there, its dual-fan setup is quieter than all of them. There isn't much to substantiate this claim at the moment, except a fancy-looking promo image:
While XFX might claim that its card is quieter than everybody else's, 45dB isn't that quiet. Some of the 'silent' CPU coolers out there are sub-20dB, which is truly becoming hard for a human ear to pick up.
In terms of what's underneath the two fans, XFX has three direct contact heatpipes. These are the kind seen on quite a few CPU cooler designs where the heatpipes themselves make up the majority of the core that contacts the chip. They've proven to be quite a cost-effective method of delivering good performance. Made of highly conductive copper, XFX's new design should prove effective as long as the fans can move enough air to cool the fins.
XFX hasn't stopped there, though: it has also used what it terms a "Special XFX Exhaust Bracket", which boils down to a PCI card mounting bracket. with a grille in it. It does, howeve,r feature an XFX logo, in case you'd forgotten who made your graphics card.
While they claim this increases exhausted air by a third and lowers temperature down by an extra 2 degrees, one has to wonder how much this could be improved by simply taking out the XFX logo altogether. Presumably reducing air turbulence further would also quieten the thing down more...?