Vapor-X Cooling Technology Eyefinity Multi-Display Technology


SAPPHIRE Vapor-X Technology

At the heart of quiet efficient cooling for performance graphics

SAPPHIRE Technology was the first company to implement cooling for PC graphics cards based on Vapor Chamber Technology and has now implemented it in several successful product series.

Vapor Chamber Technology was previously used in Aerospace Industry and High-End Server applications to provide more efficient yet compact cooling. SAPPHIRE’s Vapor-X cooler was introduced in 2007 with its HD 3870 ATOMIC Edition graphics card and then rolled out to the global market with the successful HD 3870 and HD 4870 TOXIC Editions and the Vapor-X series.

Vapor-X cooling has been used on the stunning SAPPHIRE HD 4890 ATOMIC Edition – the first graphics card on the market to deliver a 1GHz engine speed, as well as the new HD 4890 TOXIC Edition and Vapor-X models for the global market.

And following the storming introduction of the SAPPHIRE HD 5000 series, the company has now introduced three new models on HD 5870, HD5770 and HD 5750 with its world-leading Vapor-X cooler technology* delivering even greater performance, whilst working at lower operating temperatures and significantly more quietly.


About Vapor-X

Vapor-X heat transfer model
Vapor Chamber Technology is based on the same principles as heatpipe technology. A liquid coolant is vaporised at a hot surface, the resulting vapor is condensed at a cold surface then the liquid is returned to the hot surface. The recirculation process is controlled by a wick system.

SAPPHIRE Vapor-X flattens the whole system into a slim chamber - which in the graphics application is mounted in contact with the surface of the graphics chip.

Actually, the coolant is water – but because the chamber is evacuated to a very low pressure, the vaporisation process occurs at a much lower temperature than normal boiling point. The complex wick arrangement inside the module controls the flow of water and water vapour so that the system can be used in any orientation.

How does Vapor Chamber Technology work?

  1. Heat source heats Vaporization Wicks.
  2. Working fluid, pure water, is easily vaporized due to the extreme low pressure (<104 Tor or less)
  3. Water vapor moves easily through the vacuum until.
  4. It meets the Condensing Wick - adjacent to the cooled surface - and turns back to a liquid state.
  5. The liquid is then absorbed by the Transportation Wick by capilary action and moved back towards the Vaporization Wick.
  6. The recycled liquid is then reheated and re-vaporized by the Vaporization Wick and the process repeats.

So in the SAPPHIRE graphics application, the heat source is the graphics chip. The Vapor-X module is mounted in contact with the surface of the chip. The Vapor-X module is much more efficient than a copper heatsink at carrying away the heat because the whole area effectively transfers heat at the same rate.

The cool surface is maintained by a heatsink and air flow across it – the exact design of which depends on the power of the graphics chip and associated memory components.

HD 3870 TOXIC - first high performance graphics solution in a single slot

In the original HD 3870 ATOMIC and TOXIC editions with Vapor-X, a slim heatsink and low noise fan enabled SAPPHIRE to deliver the first high performance, low noise product line to fit into a single PC expansion slot.

 

Hybrid Vapor-X and heatsink cooling on HD 4870 TOXIC

The later generation HD 4870 and HD 4890 GPU families and their associated DDR5 memory offer even higher levels of performance – but as a result dissipate more power, and generate more heat than the earlier models. So the later ATOMIC and TOXIC series of high performance overclocked products incorporate a hybrid cooling system combining Vapor-X at the core to remove heat efficiently from the graphics processor together with heatpipes and finned heatsinks. These are cooled by a fan to carry away the heat from the vapor chamber, memories and other components and give more headroom for higher levels of performance.

SAPPHIRE Vapor-X and hybrid cooling systems are very efficient, so they can use low air flow rates – and therefore low speed, low noise fans. In the high performance products such as the TOXIC series, fan speed is controlled by a profile in the BIOS so that fan speed is very low under light load, but increases with demand on the graphics processor.




Low noise is generally sought after in modern PC systems, so SAPPHIRE has already introduced a special family of graphics products using Vapor-X technology, known as the Vapor-X Series. This family is aimed at the discerning user who wants low noise and high reliability, but does not want to pay the premium for the specialist faster memory and overclocking capability of the ATOMIC and TOXIC models targeted at the enthusiast user..

The Vapor-X Series also incorporates several SAPPHIRE developments that contribute to better efficiency and high reliability, such as the use of solid electrolyte capacitors and the (patent pending) SAPPHIRE Black Diamond choke. The high-polymer aluminium capacitors used have characteristics superior to regular aluminium capacitors for longer product life. The choke is an important component of the power regulation on a graphics card, and the SAPPHIRE Black Diamond choke with integral heatsink runs 10% cooler and with 25% more power efficiency than a normal choke.

The Vapor-X HD 4000 product line is popular in the channel as well as with users and has won over 80 editor awards in the global media.

The success continues on Sapphire HD 5000 Series

And following the storming introduction of the SAPPHIRE HD 5000 series, the company has now introduced three new models on HD 5870, HD5770 and HD 5750 with its world-leading Vapor-X cooler technology* delivering even greater performance, whilst working at lower operating temperatures and significantly more quietly. On the new Vapor-X HD 5870, SAPPHIRE’s World leading Vapor-X technology not only allows the card to run as much as 15 degrees C cooler** and 10dB quieter** than the standard model, it provides additional headroom for performance tuning (overclocking).

Note** Internal SAPPHIRE data



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