We really hope the Inno3D GeForce GTX 480 iChill Black series cards will reach retail, we feel that there definitely is a market for it. Not a big market, but still this is an attractive product if priced right. Liquid cooled GTX 480 cards show a lot, seriously a lot of potential when it comes to performance. Add to that overclocking. There's a lot of headroom left once you take heat out of the equation giving the GTX 480 far more leverage.
We like the GTX 480 iChill Black series cards for what they are. They will offer very snazzy performance alright. Next to that, liquid cooling just looks aesthetically very pleasing. But true, one can agree/disagree on the reflective cooling block though as that is a lot of bling to take in alright.
When left at baseline clock frequencies the GTX 480 from Inno3D will already perform a little better than reference, it's not a massive step, but we do see a slightly increased core/shader and memory clock frequency that brings a bit more bite to the product. Combined with the latest 257.15 beta driver that results in 5 to 10% additional performance over the reference review and respective drivers already.
The downsides to a product like this is obviously that you already need to have or purchase a LCS (Liquid Cooling System) loop on which you can add this graphics card. Many enthusiast users out there will likely have this already, but if you don't ... money wise things can get steep real fast. A good Liquid Cooling system can easily cost you 200 USD alone. On the topic of money, I have no final MSRP available on this iChill Black Series product as of yet, but considering the block alone costs roughly 160 USD in etail, this product will not be cheap. But that's the call you make of course.
Whatever your choice is, make sure you have a proper LCS system, they last for many many years and the combo of a water-cooled CPU and GPU for example will lift your PC up several notches and I have not even discussed the cool aesthetics looks here. It really is fun stuff to do and have.
With that said I like to close this article. The block used is not the best in the market, but it is more than sifficient. The Inno3D GeForce GTX 480 iChill Black series kit definitely managed to impress me. You'll have one very fast card in your PC, that now actually runs nicely chilled down at really decent temperatures. The ovecrlock potential is superb. The TDP of course will remain trivial at a rated 250W for this card. Regardless of pricing, we feel that a product of this caliber deserves a spot in the market and as such we do hope to see some e-tail availability real soon.
It is good to see AIB partners seek new methods in cooling, and as extreme as liquid cooling might seem it really is the right solution for a card that runs as hot as the GeForce GTX 480 does.
Inno3D GeForce GTX 770 iChill HerculeZ X3 Ultra review In this article we review the beast, the GTX 770 HerculeZ X3 Ultra from Inno3D is locked and loaded with the mighty HerculeZ X3 cooler, that's three slots wide but keeping the GPU under 55 Degrees C and completely silent. Pure awesomeness. That's not all though, it is factory overclocked for you at a very high level but even so can be tweaked quite a bit further.
Inno3D GeForce GTX 660 Ti iChill review In this review we'll look at the GeForce GTX 660 Ti from Inno3D, it's their all new GeForce GTX 660 Ti iCHILL version and to date is one of the most impressive graphics cards in the 660 Ti range we have tested.
Inno3D GeForce GTX 580 OC review We review the Inno3D GeForce GTX 580OC. Despite a very high price tag the product seems to become a nice success. As such directly at launch several models based of this SKU where already announced, e.g. the regular clocked models, factory higher clocked models, liquid cooled models. This OC edition, in particular this is a reference GeForce GTX 580 that has been clocked faster to 820 MHz on the core where it also welcomes a nice bump on the overall memory frequency.