There's not much incentive to run multiple graphics cards these days, at least in a gaming PC—AMD and Nvidia are more focused on single-GPU performance, and so are game developers. That means you may have a spare PCI Express slot sitting there looking all lonely and sad. Maybe not for long. Asetek found a clever purpose for an extra PCIe port, as a housing for an all-in-one liquid cooler.
Called the "Rad Card GPU Cooler," Asetek is accurately pitching it as the industry's first slot-in PCIe radiator card. This differs from traditional AIO coolers, which call for the user to mount the radiator on one of the edges of a case, where cooling fans would normally go.
The Rad Card eschews traditional placement in favor of a PCIe slot to make liquid cooling feasible in space constrained cases. Granted, this is of little value if you have big case that can accommodate a traditional AIO cooler, and even many mid-towers support up to at least a 240mm radiator. But that's not always the case.
"Space concerns are a real issue for PC manufacturers," Asetek says, "leaving GPU air cooling as the only option, until now. Asetek took this challenge head-on, innovating a new approach to radiator technology that reimagines the shape and location of the radiator. The Asetek Rad Card GPU Cooler fits into your motherboard’s PCIe slot, just like any other add-in card."
Therein lies the other caveat—it appears this is only intended for OEM system builders for the moment. Asetek says it was approached by Alienware to design an AIO GPU cooler that could fit into a tight space, and the resulting Rad Card will make its debut in the refreshed Aurora desktop.
That's where Asetek says it will be "first-available," which insinuates the Rad Card will also find its way to other OEM systems later on. There's no mention of any plans to offer this as a standalone product, though I hope Asetek goes in that direction. Perhaps a peripheral manufacturer will pick it up.
Ideally, I'd like to see a version of this built for cooling the CPU. I can envision using something like this in a small form factor case, provided it's not too big of a disruption to airflow.