Originally Posted by 2Tired2Tango
And now we have to use external coolers on them???
External coolers? What?
Anyways aftermarket cooling is an option, you can buy cards with better than reference coolers as is. Someone on the extreme end of overclocking cards would possibly like an air cooled option versus water. People want options and theyve been given to them by companies that cater such products
As far as the Radeon 4500 series goes, a 4550 isn't going to beat anything in gaming these days. The low power model in passively cooled form serves the needs of silent and home theater pc's but you wont find it playing any of the games I play. The Radeon 5770/6770 that requires "external" power as you call it would pwn it and I still wouldn't find it useful.
The cooler in the article is for a class of cards competing with the 6950/6970 Radeon's that require 2 6 pin or 1 6 and 1 8 pin power connector and over 250 watts of power per card. Those Radeons at load have noisy fans. They do generate less heat than nvidia but it seems everyone has forgotten when the reverse was true.
250 dollars with nvidia's would buy you an overclocked GTX 560 Ti and smart shopping and tree killing says 150 bucks will buy you a GTX 460 that is still a contender. You bring in a low power card with no chance of competing at things these cards are supposed to do? That I don't get. Putting nVidia aside and looking only at AMD this article could have covered an aftermarket AMD water block or something for a 6970 and your points still wouldn't resonate with me.
The best solution for watching smooth hd video and saving money on power is one argument but you cant bring the same cards into 6850 to 6970 territory why would you bring it up into a review for a 570/580 cooler?