Gigabyte has officially launched its latest twist on an Nvidia GeForce GTX 980 graphics card, bundling a pre-installed liquid cooler in its latest Waterforce edition.
Gigabyte is positioning the GeForce GTX 980 Waterforce as the must-have version of Nvidia's design for enthusiasts. Its primary differentiating feature is the bundled all-in-one sealed-loop liquid cooling system, from which the model gets its name, which includes a full-coverage water block in contact with the GPU, VRAM and MOSFET, and without the usual on-card fan to cool disconnected components. Linked to a 120mm radiator via 45cm SFP tubing, the company claims the Waterforce design offers a 38.8 per cent drop in temperatures compared to Nvidia's reference air-cooled design.
To take advantage of this, Gigabyte is also offering what it calls 'GPU Gauntlet Sorting,' a terrifically dramatic name for what amounts to chip binning: it tests the quality and overclockability of each GPU it sells, and promises to put the best units in the Waterforce; non-Waterforce cards, meanwhile, make do with lesser GPUs that offer less overclocking headroom.
Finally, the company has offered a few more tweaks to let the card's design stand out from the crowd. Most interesting is the inclusion of dual-DVI outputs, which is in addition to the usual three DisplayPort and one HDMI outputs, while those who like a bit of bling may be pleased to see an LED-illuminated Gigabyte logo - but whether anyone will actually use the bundled microfibre gaming mouse pad included in the box remains to be seen.
More details on the Gigabyte GeForce GTX 980 Waterforce are available from the official product page
; UK pricing has been confirmed at around £440 depending on retailer.