Lets face it, water cooling your PC can be expensive. One of the most wallet-shredding bits is when you get to the graphics card. Full cover copper blocks for some of the larger graphics cards can cost over £100, but I recently had an idea that I thought I'd throw out to you guys to see what you think.
Instead of buying an air cooled card or a hideously expensive pre-water cooled example, what if you could buy just
Let me explain my madness.
Firstly, whoever makes it doesn't need to fit a cooler, hopefully meaning it costs less. Reference coolers have never been too clever but one would assume they add a fair bit to the overall cost of the product, not to mention all the extra packaging etc.
You also don't have the laborious task of removing it and dealing with those hundreds of microscopic screws, and invariably the last one that no amount of force will budge. You can just fit your block or aftermarket cooler straight away.
Secondly it means you can can choose your own cooling. This applies not just to water cooling enthusiasts who will be able to choose their own water block, but also to those who just want a decent air cooler like Arctic Cooling's Accelero Xtreme
Arctic Cooling's Accelero Xtreme cooler is available for many high end graphics cards but features much better cooling than the reference cooler.
Of course, companies would have to come up with another way of advertising because there'd be no cooler with stickers or luminous bits of plastic to draw attention. You'd also have no way of testing your card before it gets plumbed in too, although you could probably check that it outputs a display and that your system posts for a few seconds with the water block installed but not connected to your cooling loop.
More importantly RMA's would be a tricky thing to work out as there would be the inevitable noobs that break things by assuming the card would work on its own...
Would this appeal to anyone? Would you buy an OEM style, cooler-less graphics card if it was cheaper? Or do you prefer to have a cooler fitted even if the first thing you'll do is rip it off and get it under water? Let us know in the forums.