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Which aftermarket cooler would you guys recommend for an X1900XT?

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
August 24, 2007 8:26:08 AM

Hey guys,
I've had an X1900XT card for almost a year now, and it's still serving me very well, but I'm at my wit's end with the fan noise and the heat. The fan no longer adjusts automatically in relation to the heat for some reason, and if I want to play any game, I always have to turn up the fan to 100% and THAT is LOUD.
I know the X1900XT/X cards run hot, but even at 100% it can go up to 80-85C, so I can never lower the fan speed to reduce the noise.
I've been considering some alternatives, Arctic Cooling Accelero X2, and the Zalman VGA coolers, but I've seen many reviews that just don't recommend them over the stock cooler. For one thing, the Zalmans dump all the heat into the case and don't have a back exhaust, they don't run as fast as the stock cooler hence they don't cool it as well as that does, but they are silent. The AC Accelero also has the same problems, as it directs the hot air to the motherboard, also doesn't really cool as well as you'd expect, but it is silent (BTW my motherboard runs at about 50C@load so I don't think it would be good to let it go any higher).
I've considered watercooling, but it's too expensive (a bit short on cash at the moment), and I'm not sure that I have a case that is made with watercooling in mind (NZXT Lexa midtower).
Regardless, I'd like to hear your recommendations (aftermarket HSFs, water-cooling... doesn't matter, I'd still like to hear what you have to say), or ideas, especially if you've been through the same dilemma.
BTW, it is a Sapphire card if it matters at all. My friend has the same card from MSI and according to him, his fan doesn't make as much noise, and the card doesn't run as hot (mine is idling right now@62C AFTER having underclocked it to 500/600 and lowered the vcore to 1.3 in a room temp of 24.8C with the fan running at 32%).
Sorry for the long post, and thanks in advance.
August 24, 2007 5:55:28 PM

Alright dude, a few things first off make sure that you have decent airflow in your case because that is huge. Second, is the intake on the oem cooler free of dust? Cause that clogs it up.

Lastly and most importantly what are you using as far as software for it? Are you using Catalyst control center? If so, STOP! It sucks. What you need to do is get just the driver and the WDM file from AMD rather than the full suite. Then you need to get ray adams ati tray tools. IT IS the SHIZZY.

What you can do with that is create your own profile with it and tweek the clock speeds; however, you can also create fan speed profiles which is money. You can do dynamic so at diff temps it will hit different level or you can just set it at a default gaming level. Now if you really want to be hardcore about it you can re seat the cooler with Arctic Silver 5 (not too much mind you) and do all these things and it should drop temps.

The problem with after market coolers is that the AERO or whatever that was huge last year sucks because it recirculates the hot air from the r580 which as you know is hot as hell back into the case. That is terrible for your other components, especially if you are overclocking. Regardless you are always going to have a little noise issue because that fan can be a pain at higher temps. The only real solution is giong to liquid cooling on that thing. If you are doing air I would use my suggestion personally cause thats what I do and I have been thinking about aftermarket cooling for some time and have completely ruled it out.

Good luck
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August 25, 2007 3:00:20 PM

Thank you for your input, guys.
I've decided to get the Zalman VF900 as some people reported it to be working well with X1900XT/Xs, others not so well.
So since I have no other option I'll just try it out for myself. If it works well and doesn't raise my system temps more than 2-3 degrees, then great, if not, I'll just try cleaning up the stock cooler like strangeststranger and I'll just stick to that and hope it cools better after that.
My case has 4 fans, 2 120mm intake fans with filters on, one on the side and one in the front, one 80mm exhaust fan on the top, and one 120mm exhaust fan in the back (plus the 80mm fan of the PSU if that counts). They're not the strongest performers, but so far they've got the job done while still being quiet. I have some spare Thermaltake case fans lying around that I could replace the stock case fans with if needed, but I hope I won't need to use them.
BTW gahleon, I'm using ATItool even though I have CCC installed.
And as for your suggestion to go liquid cooling, I would've gone that route if I could afford it at the moment, but unfortunately I can't. And besides, I will probably have to get a new card in a year or so, so not worth putting too much money on it right now.
Anyway, I appreciate your help guys, thanks a lot.
August 25, 2007 3:28:21 PM

My x1900xt 512mb used to get really hot too, until I added a Thermaltake Tiderwater. It used to get up to 90c, now no more then 65c. It works really well. It is about $60.
September 5, 2007 1:56:42 PM

Hey there.
Just in case anyone was interested, I ended up getting the VF900-Cu for my X1900XT.
I'm idling right now at 47C with the fan running at 70% (down from 62C with the stock cooler), and load does not exceed 80C (ran Scan for Artifcats in ATItool 0.26 for 30 mins) at a room temp of 22C and fan speed at 100%.
System temps only went up a couple of degrees, but I also opened up one of the bottom PCI slot covers to let some of the hot air escape. I had 2 slots open before and it (the card) never went past 77C load, with one slot open it goes up to 79-80C. System temps were within the 45-52 range.
At 100% (2700 rpm) fan speed, the fan is audible but by no means loud, at 70% it is almost dead silent. Big big improvement from the aweful shrieking noise of the stock cooler, this doesn't even produce half the noise the stock cooler did and yet it cools even better (temps used to reach 85C with stock cooler.. now no more than 80).
The stock cooler however was really dusty and dirty, so that could have been part of the reason it wasn't doing its job very well.
In any case, I have absolutely no regrets, the only downside is that now I can hear my system fans... j/k :)  .