The only problem [Nvidia has] is that at some point your eyes don't get any better - Bob Colwell, former chief architect, Intel
COOLING SPECIALIST Zalman looks to be prepping a line of AMD Radeon HD graphics boards.
Zalman has built up a decent reputation for its low-noise cooling products but it is looking to go further and become an AMD graphics board partner. Marketing materials show Zalman launching a line of AMD Radeon HD6770, HD6850 and HD6870 graphics boards.
Zalman's graphics boards appear to be pretty standard fare with the firm's mid-range 1GB Radeon HD6770 sporting a 850MHz core clock. The Zalman HD6850 and HD6870 both have 1GB of on-board memory with core clock speeds at 775MHz and 900MHz, respectively.
Given Zalman's reputation for intricate and attractive low-noise cooling products it was a surprise that the pictures show mundane, run-of-the-mill coolers on all of the graphics cards. That said, as the cards have their heatsink shrouds over them, Zalman could have made merry with copper heatpipes, trying to mitigate the workload put on the cooling fans as much as possible.
Zalman's pricing is nothing particularly special, with the firm pricing its HD6870-H at $190, the HD6850-H at $168 and the HD6770 at $124, if initial reports prove to be accurate.
Unless Zalman integrates an interesting cooler on its graphics boards, it's hard to see how it will compete against high-volume AMD graphics board partners such as Asus, Gigabyte and MSI. But if it does do some interesting things with graphics board cooling, they might be the ones in a bit of trouble. µ
Sign up for INQbot – a weekly roundup of the best from the INQ