Word from NGOHQ today has it that ATI have chosen to stop adding their stock coolers to shipments of graphics cards before AIB partners get a hold of them. ATI will however still ship the stock coolers if the AIB partner receiving the shipment requests them.
This should mean we'll start to see plenty of unique (and hopefully very effective) cooling solutions implemented on ATIs cards in future from the various partners.
ATi has just made a very cool decision regarding their AIB partners. They have chosen to stop adding their stock coolers to some of their regular shipments to AIB's. They will still provide them if AIB's choose to use them, but default shipments will not contain coolers. This could very well be a win-win scenario for everyone. ATi will possibly be able to sell the cards at a lower price to AIB's, and maybe even make a little profit. This will in turn encourage ATi's partners to get more creative with their cooling systems with this added freedom. And that will give consumers more choices, better cooling and added headroom for overclocking. It is unknown whether this will influence prices in a negative way.