The Vapor-X cooler
Low noise is generally sought after in modern PC systems, so a number of years ago Sapphire 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 faster memory and overclocking capability of the ATOMIC and TOXIC models targeted at the enthusiast user. Basically what you are getting with the Vapor-X series is a reference designed card with the custom Sapphire cooling solution..
At first glance the cooler on the Sapphire Vapor-X appears to be nothing more than an aluminum heat sink. Though if you look through the aluminum fins you can see the copper underneath that makes up the Vapor-X chamber. Before we look at the Vapor-X chamber, I want to talk a little bit about the fan. It was amazingly quiet throughout testing. Sapphire has the fan rated for only 25dBA during normal operation.
Vapor Chamber Technology is based on the same principles as heat pipe technology. A liquid coolant is vaporized at a hot surface, the resulting vapor is condensed at a cold surface and 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 â€?but because the chamber is evacuated to a very low pressure, the vaporization 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 vapor so that the system can be used in any orientation. Sapphire goes into a lot more detail about the Vapor-X technology on their website. The specific page can be found here.
Despite a simplistic look of the Sapphire Vapor-X 5750 cooler it works great! I will get to more specifics about how well it works later.