Ugh... guess I get to play devil's advocate on this one.
1. Gigantic and amazing cooling solution to cool the sucker down.
2. Extremely high power usage.
3. High heat output = higher cooling costs in the room.
4. Exposed HSF = heat back in the case = hotter components.
As well done as the article is, I'm getting sick of reading articles trying to justify the amount of heat that this thing produces. At one time not too many years ago, this
was considered an absolutely ludicrous cooling solution for a video card. Now we have THIS!!!
I'm all in the name of advancing technology, but this card is just pushing the limit too far. Exposed heat pipes that get so hot that they can burn you??? More power usage than a HD 5970??? The list goes on...
I sound like I'm trying to justify my HD 5870. I know. But why does Nvidia believe that this sort of extreme heat and power usage is acceptable for retail usage? And why do so many people continually stand behind it saying it's an amazing product? Don't get me wrong, the performance is quite good from a single-chip solution, but at what cost? The 8800 GTX wasn't that bad, and lets face it, that thing was a pretty hot (temp) card. The 6800 series was quite awesome too, but it required a smaller 2 slot cooling solution in its most powerful form, and it got up into the 70c range temperature wise. It didn't get into the 90s.
These articles are hilarious. How can you justify those temperatures? According to them, the 5870 gets up to within 5C of the GTX 480... Look at the difference in cooling solutions! The GTX 480 has 4 exposed heatpipes. The HD 5870 has 1/2 the upper slot for exhaust. Why are the temperatures of each of these cards being compared? If you put the GTX 480's cooling solution on the HD 5870, the 5870 would probably hit full load in the 60's or low 70's max. Likewise, if you put the HD 5870's cooling solution on the GTX 480, you'd have a card with a fan that never shuts up because it's constantly spinning up to cool the card down.
Once again, I fail to see reasoning behind this article. Heat is still heat, and the GTX 480 creates a lot of it. No amount of testing or writing is going to change that. Only a revision of the architecture will.