Gigabyte's latest silent cooling solution is called
"Silent Cell", it introduces some new features in order to keep the new 55nm
NVIDIA G94 GPU cool without requiring any active cooling. To be clear, the
heatsink does require airflow moving over its surface for the best results.
Generally speaking, internal case air flow is sufficient... if you
use watercooling be sure to have at least one 120mm
case fan blowing in the direction of the Gigabyte GV-N96TSL-1GI videocard or the passive heatsink
will get mighty hot, mighty quick.
The aluminum cooling fins on
the GV-N96TSL-1GI's Silent Cell heatsink are kept as thin as possible to
maximize convective airflow within the widely spaced fins, and help keep the
total videocard weight down.
The interesting thing about this thermal
solution is the vent at the back of the videocard. While it will end up being
one heck of a dust filter (hint - clean it regularly!), the vent allows hot air
to easily escape the PC case. As it passes over
the thin aluminum fins of the videocard heatsink, that airflow removes some
of this latent heat energy too.
It's akin to like putting a hot apple pie
on a windowsill to cool. Air is naturally
drawn out through the open window, and as it moves past the
hot desert it quietly moves cools it.
Altogether Gigabyte claims that these improvements to the passive Silent
Cell heatsink should make it 18C cooler than the reference heatsink nVidia equips stock 9600GT videocards with.