I wonder how this works? It could be a very formal affair - for instance, Gigabyte marketing is sitting at a round table and someone stands up and says, "We need to make ourselves stand out from the competition". Then someone proceeds to say, "What about we create a line of graphics cards with Zalman high performance coolers?" This is the most logical thing we could think of but you know, it could go down differently. The marketing team from Gigabyte and Zalman bump into each other at a local Taiwan bar and while drinking shots and stumbling around, someone shouts out, "You guys make a good product" and a member from the Zalman side stares over to a member of Gigabyte and says, "We do, don't we?" - a few weeks later and some boring paper work aside, Gigabyte start pumping out graphics cards with funky Zalman coolers.
Maybe we stretched the latter a little too much? But who cares? Gigabyte have been making a great line up of graphics cards for a long time now but it was time to mix it up a bit. The combination that HIS had with Arctic Cooling really seemed to help them differentiate themselves from the market. And even if it does cost the user more, knowing you have better quality after market cooling (without the need to sacrifice your warranty) is always a good thing.
We're looking at two graphics cards today that both utilize the Zalman cooler, both are mid-range cards and both come from different sides - one red and one green. They come in the form of the GeForce 7900GS which has easily become a favorite due to the huge overclock on offer and competitive pricing. The other comes in the shape of the Radeon X1950PRO which sits behind the green team as far as popularity goes.