Date: July 26th, 2004
Article by: Nathan Glentworth (Owner, Head Editor & Hardware Reviewer)
Product was donated by: HIS
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PRODUCT PICTORIAL & WALKTHROUGH
Let's take a walk around this prime example of a enthusiast x800 pro.
There isn't a better starting point than the IceQ II's MAMMOTH VPU/memory cooler.
Although is it very attractive, it does have the function to match the form. For starters, the massive aluminum VPU heatsink is attached to large thick copper plate which also directly cools the top memory modules. One of the concerns I had with the original IceQ was the fact that the memory heatsinks were hindered by the cooler. It just makes sense to make it all one unit.
HIS also built some handy airflow management technology called iTurbo into the fan mechanism. What iTurbo does is utilize a sensor that detects the card's load and VPU temperature and adjust the fan speed accordingly. What those speed and temperature ranges are is a closely guarded Hightech secret. Relentless questions, whining and stomping around the room yielded nothing but a "We can't disclose that information." response from Hightech.
What I can say is that this cooler is amazingly quiet for its size. The 70mm fan spins very slowly when compared to other VPU coolers I have seen in the past. At idle, the card is practically silent. When a benchmark or a game is started, it only increases very slightly.
But although it controls its own fan speed, I would rather have the option of controlling it independently through a small switch like the original IceQ.
What is the real key to keeping the VPU cool is the direct exterior exhaust. With the included PCI grill in place, you can gladly rid your videocard's heat contribution to your internal case temperatures and exhaust it efficiently out the back of your computer. With this card installed, expect an internal case temperature drop of around 1-2c.