While ABIT is failing miserably in several marketing respects, the company is producing some interesting features to up-sell its motherboards with. Take for example this heatpipe based northbridge cooling solution (no motherboards were announced that incorporate it) that ABIT is calling the "Quiet Outside Thermal Exhaust System."
The hot end of the system consists of a small AL6063 aluminum northbridge heatsink which has been modified to accept a 5mm diameter copper heatpipe and ~1mm thick copper base plate. Heat is transferred along the length of the heatpipe from the northbridge to an array of stacked copper fins, which take up a good portion of the I/O shielded area.
A metal grill on the opposite side helps to protect the copper fins from damage. By utilizing the existing exhaust airflow coming from the adjacent K8/LGA775 heatsink, ABIT say that the copper Q-OTES fins will be cooled. The system parasitically relies on the CPU heatsink generating airflow, but otherwise produces no noise of its own.
One major downside is that the Q-OTES takes up the majority of the I/O space, which will reduce the number of non-legacy ports that can be incorporated onto the motherboard (think: 2 NICs, 4 USB, 2 P/S2, 1 Firewire).
FULL STORY @ ABIT-USA (http://www.abit-usa.com/news/2005/20050425.php)