Swiftech introduced the MCW80 watercooling block for NVIDIA's GeForce GTX 480 and GeForce GTX 470 graphics cards. Both blocks cost just under $100.
The performance advantage of the MCW80 GPU cooler over full-cover water-block solutions is well known among enthusiast users: improved thermal conductivity thanks to Swiftech's Diamond Pin Matrix, and less heat dumped into the liquid cooling loop coming from memory, I/O and power mosfets since they remain air cooled. Thus, when coupled with the GTX-400 heatsinks, the combination provides a powerful cooling solution that is generally more economical than the average full-cover water-block while offering superior performance where it really counts: at the GPU level!
Another important factor in choosing this type of hybrid cooling solution is that when new graphics cards models are introduced, the Water-block itself can usually be re-used. Numerous users have testified in forums to have been keeping their MCW60 upwards of 5 years, and re-used them with several generations of graphics cards!
The GTX-400 series of heatsinks are custom Aluminum extrusions, and they are precision CNC machined to allow optimum TIM joints with the hottest components such as the voltage regulator modules, where high performance thermal grease is to be used. Less heat intensive components such as memory receive pre-applied thermal pads, as shown below.
In order to provide additional cooling in extreme overclocking/overvolting conditions, the heatsinks feature pre-drilled holes allowing the installation of an optional 80mm fans as shown below. Use of a low profile 80x15mm fan is recommended to maintain the 2-slot spacing necessary for SLI installations.
Finally, to guarantee a safe and stable assembly, a GPU stiffening frame (partl #GTX400) is included that replaces the frame built into the stock cooling solution. This bracket is important to maintain the PCB flat in the immediate area surrounding the GPU. The bracket also serves as an anchor to install the MCW80 waterblock.