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Old 18th Apr 2014, 09:07   #1
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Alphacool to 3D-scan GPUs to make waterblocks for non-reference cards

You can send yours in and receive a free waterblock for your troubles. This is all kinds of awesome!

http://www.bit-tech.net/news/hardwar...ke-waterbloc/1
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Old 18th Apr 2014, 11:49   #2
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Great idea, would have loved this service with my card, just a pity it's 6xx series GeForce. Would be good to see a review of the temps.
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Old 18th Apr 2014, 12:55   #3
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It's cool and offers choice where there was none. Which is great. But chances are it'll be expensive due to the small job lot production runs of the non generic elements.
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Old 18th Apr 2014, 15:23   #4
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Definitely an interesting idea, but I'm sure the service will be pricey.

Makes me wonder how much an advanced 3D scanner was necessary. For example, I wonder if you could get the same results using a regular photo scanner. The way this works is you measure distance of the components based on how blurry they are, and maybe use brightness too as an aiding factor. This obviously isn't going to be as accurate, but you don't need 100% precision for a heatsink. You just need to make sure it's tightly and fully pressed against the GPU die and that it doesn't hit any of the other components. Also, from a user perspective, this approach is more difficult and requires more manual intervention. Personally, I'd rather spend $50 on a photo scanner than a multi-hundred (possibly multi-thousand) dollar 3D scanner that scans a device that is largely 2-dimensional.
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Old 18th Apr 2014, 17:55   #5
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Why do customers have to send their cards in, why can't Alphacool just get hold of the cards for themselves and save people the hassle?
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Old 18th Apr 2014, 17:58   #6
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Maybe not too pricey, It looks like they have a stock heatsink they can slap in a mill with little setup.
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Old 18th Apr 2014, 18:21   #7
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I think the reason for sending the cards in and the laser scanner is to get various part samples across numerous batches. This would allow them to measure the variances in the cards production and ensure the blocks they produce would work correctly across all cards.
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Old 18th Apr 2014, 18:40   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SMIFFYDUDE View Post
Why do customers have to send their cards in, why can't Alphacool just get hold of the cards for themselves and save people the hassle?
There won't be any costs afaik - if the card isn't in their database and they deem your model worthy of adding to it, then it's free and you get a block for your trouble - very little hassle in that tbh so long as they return your card in a reasonable time.

It's also highly impractical to get hold of every non-reference card for every generation - literally dozens - no block manufacturer has managed it yet and asking for cards to scan isn't new either - EK has done it in the past, albeit maybe not with 3D scanning. This way both Alphacool and the end user benefit - the end user with a free block for their card if it hasn't been scanned already, and Alphacool gets to build its database of cards so it can cater for as many models as possible.
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Old 19th Apr 2014, 01:22   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by schmidtbag
I wonder if you could get the same results using a regular photo scanner. The way this works is you measure distance of the components based on how blurry they are, and maybe use brightness too as an aiding factor.
If it was reliable to produce an accurate 3D scan from a 2D photograph using nothing but DOF... everyone would be doing it. If you're going to add it lots of processing and dynamic light sources for shadow mapping then you're just building an inaccurate 3D scanner using less than optimal techniques.

3D scanning has been pretty much sorted now. Hacked solutions are no longer required.
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Old 19th Apr 2014, 01:48   #10
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I like it! - The design is pretty slick too! Think this will be in my next build...
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Old 19th Apr 2014, 10:00   #11
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This is a great idea. If you can choose any card you want, the premium of using this service would be well worth the extra paid.
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Old 19th Apr 2014, 18:25   #12
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I like it! - The design is pretty slick too! Think this will be in my next build...
Awesome - knew we could rely on you
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Old 19th Apr 2014, 19:11   #13
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Seems cool and all, but most non-reference cards (Asus DCU ii, EVGA, MSI Lighning, KFA2/Galaxy hof, and Gigabyte) get waterblocks by one of the brands, especially EK waterblocks who do all of them in full cover.
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Old 19th Apr 2014, 20:22   #14
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At last we can now WC Quadro-Firepro cards, so a good option.
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Old 20th Apr 2014, 18:18   #15
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Awesome - knew we could rely on you
Of course! - Just wish the next gen hardware would hurry up so I can start a build log.
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Old 20th Apr 2014, 18:49   #16
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This is a good idea - I've been meaning to buy a GTX 780 for a water-cooled build but reference PCB's seem to be few and far between.
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Old 27th Apr 2014, 23:34   #17
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Not sure I would be comfortable with only 2 cards in my system. And I do my best to keep them in there and watercooled and not moved until the next 9 month upgrade cycle.

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