You don't want to be the one everybody points and laughs at for using a reference cooler on a high end graphics card, do you? Maybe that's a little melodramatic; realistically, reference coolers aren't all that bad. But if you dream of a cooler running GPU and faster clocks, third-party cooling solutions are the way to go.
HIS Digital announced today that it's gone and slapped its IceQ cooler on AMD
's Radeon HD 6970 graphics card. According to HIS, you can expect up to 23C lower temps over the reference cooler AMD recommends. The IceQ boasts a 'Black Hole Impeller' design that draws cool air from both sides of the fan, and four heatpipes to help whisk heat away from the GPU. In addition to running cooler, HIS says the cooling solution runs quieter, too.
HIS is offering two versions of the 6970 using the IceQ cooler, a standard version (HIS 6970 IceQ) with 880MHz core and 5500MHz memory clockspeeds, and a ramped up version (HIS 6970 IceQ TURBO) clocked slightly faster with a 900MHz core and 5600MHz memory.
The 6970 is AMD's fastest single-GPU graphics card available.