Although it's already been discussed in detail late last month, the Nvidia GeForce GTX 480 and GTX 470 aren't yet on store shelves. They'll be trickling into retailers next week, but regardless of which OEM you choose to buy from, they'll all be the same card designed by Nvidia. This kind of homogeneity is only for the early rounds of the cards, however, as vendors are showing their hands of what they plan to do differently once they get their say in manufacturing.
One area that's clearly targeted by vendors is to get the high-heat nature of the new Fermi cards under control. While Nvidia's said publicly that its newest GPU is "designed to run hot," enthusiasts won't likely be taking chances if they don't have to.
EVGA has already gone public with its plans for a water-cooled Hydro Copper water block in a new graphics card series tagged as "FTW." Reports from forums peg pricing for the GTX 470 version at $500 and the GTX 480 at $650. No word on release date yet.
For those wishing to keep things arid, Palit is also planning on upgrading the cooling solution with a dual-fan set up. Aside from confirming that they are a custom design, Palit didn't have any further details to share yet.
I also think the stock cooling solutions should be included on cards that come with waterblocks. $350 and $500 buy the cards with stock cooling solutions. 3rd-party waterblocks typically cost between $100 and $150. How is these cards a value to the consumer when they don't include the stock cooling? They added a $150 part and $150 to the price tag to cover the cost of that part. Where's the benefit and value? You say the value is that it's pre-installed? Big deal. Anyone using a LCS already possesses the skill required to install waterblocks properly and could probably break down a stock card, clean it, and install the waterblock in 15 minutes.