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March 1st, 2010 in .Blogs .Gaming .Inspired .Trends
Suds McSoapdish
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Copper’s been growing in relevance for the PC mod and tweak scene, much like aluminum transformed itself into precious metal status for car fanatics. The two realms have much in common – tinkering with existing hardware to get more performance out of them, both for actual usage reasons and for that venerable classic motivator – one-upmanship.

But it’s been around for millennia

That’s right, copper’s not exactly the most advanced IT, but it sure gets the heat off your back when trying to suss every last ounce of juice out of that prize PC. As every hobbyist must one day discover to their chagrin, heat destroys performance – cool is king.

While the basic alloys used in most thermal solutions for PCs suffice for normal operations, the hardcore mantra calls for something better, and copper averages a significant percentage quicker dissipation than most other metals out there.

For example, CUcore from ASUS solves a lot of heat woes by simply sticking a hefty chunk of copper in the middle of the heat sink, which in its own right happens to look like a huge tuning fork. Funky. This 5.8oz piece of copper serves to concentrate heat directly from the GPU, in this case the EAH5770, and then evenly disperse it across the custom heat sink. The results are at least 11% cooler than stock, which is impressive. The improved tolerances and bigger headroom for overclocking provide users greater peace of mind.

Piping cool

ASUS EAH5830 graphics card

ASUS EAH5830 graphics card

It’s the small touches that sometimes make the biggest difference, and another thermal offering from ASUS demonstrates that well. DirectCU is CUcore’s sibling in the ASUS graphics card roster (also using “CU” for copper). This one takes excellently heat-conductive copper pipes, sticks them right on the GPU itself, then hammers them flat. Well actually they’re hammered flat before being placed on that pricey GPU, but you get the picture.

So not only do you have the benefits of copper heat dissipation, you benefit from extra surface area with which to cool the GPU, since the pipes are flat and come in greater contact with that sizzling chip. DirectCU can be found on cards like the EAH5830, but both it and CUcore are being integrated into most ASUS graphics cards, so keep an eye out on boxes for their logos.

Just thought we’d share – for a lot of people, there’s really no need to go all out and get water cooling jerry rigged out of discarded A/C parts. Elegant but simple solutions such as these often get the job done equally well.

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