One clothed, one without...
The whole world can change in a day. Today, while everyone else is busy showing off their GeForce 9800 GX2s built with stock cooling and a sticker on the top, EVGA goes one better with an Innovatek watercooling block showing off the insides of the GX2! Yes, we’re all about the bare silicon here! Well, between that and the “paint the girl in the bikini” at the MSI booth in the evenings...
The EVGA/Innovatek block is CNC milled aluminium and will be offered as an alternative (with price premium) to the standard GeForce 9800 GX2. It’ll be a part of a new, entirely watercooled, Black Pearl motherboard based on the reference Nvidia nForce 790i Ultra SLI design. Since the chipset is ultra enthusiast, EVGA hopes it’ll help those overclockers with the very deep pockets necessary to buy the 790i in the first place, achieve even higher overclocks and performance.
Inside, the two PCBs are hooked to either side of the block and there’s now a huge gap where the fan would have been. Another thing we noticed is that the power connectors now light up too, and an 8-pin and
6-pin are required – we were told two 6-pins is a no-no.
Considering the cost of a pair of GeForce 9800 GX2s and an nForce 790i Ultra SLI motherboard anyway, and it’s potential heat output – for once we can see this might actually be a viable alternative: if you’re spending that much anyway why not go the whole hog. We didn’t find out if the watercooling kit was ESA compatible, although we expect so given the entire integration being pushed here and EVGA’s close relationship to both Nvidia and Innovatek.
The "finished result" lends us to mixed feelings - the block looks awesome and should cool far better than the reference design, however it now makes the card look exceptionally ugly. It will have a PCI plate, but it won't come with any other covering.
Another cool innovation from EVGA was its “UV Plus” – a CNC milled aluminium block with a mini USB jack on one side and DVI in the other – that’s it. EVGA showed off a notebook running four displays, three of which were from the UV Plus boxes. While the 100 units made were all handmade by EVGA HQ so the final retail samples will likely change, the company was very keen to show that it’s not all about rebranding Nvidia products.
To be honest, we have to think this is a little winner – it’s incredibly simple, compact and it looks absolutely fantastic, even in its very raw, unpolished state. While many notebooks already come with an external display connector already, for ultra portables or as a backup this could be perfect. Tell us what you think in the forums