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How Cool Are Thermalright's Graphics Card Coolers?

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August 27, 2007 12:57:08 PM

http://www.tomshardware.com/2007/08/27/how_cool_are_thermalrights_graphics_card_coolers/index.html

Thermalright has a track record of delivering some of the best coolers money can buy. Has the firm hit another home run with its HR-03 Plus and V2?
August 27, 2007 2:05:33 PM

I would have liked to see some temps for the memory. The stock heat sink helps cool the memory as well. What are the temps without air moving air over the heatsinks? I am a cooling nut. Although I don't have the money to afford water cooling yet, I do buy the best that air cooling can provide.

I'm not sure how much heat the memory produces, but I would like to see some numbers on that as well.
August 27, 2007 3:06:59 PM

Maybe I'll do an article just on memory cooling. But traditionally, putting heatsinks on memory is more show than go, it accomplishes very little.

Still you're right, it's worth a look into the fast GDDR3 stuff to see if this is still the case.
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August 27, 2007 3:55:10 PM

Does the HR-03 Plus fit the 8800GTS?
August 27, 2007 4:33:03 PM

A question. When using a fan with the HR03 plus what speed is it running at? The reason I ask is anyone can see a huge temperature drop with the stock cooler and higher fan speeds.

And one nit to pick. The graphs in Fahrenheit? Even in the text of the article you use metric.

edit to add: never mind, now the graphs are in celsius.
August 27, 2007 5:00:47 PM

xweb said:
Does the HR-03 Plus fit the 8800GTS?


It should fit all 8800s.
August 27, 2007 5:08:02 PM

No1sFanboy said:
A question. When using a fan with the HR03 plus what speed is it running at? The reason I ask is anyone can see a huge temperature drop with the stock cooler and higher fan speeds.


I'll get you the RPMs later today. It was relatively low RPM and very quiet though.

P.S. I have no idea why it was Farenheit, the article was submitted in Celsius. I asked the web team to fix it and they did an admirable job responding quickly though.
August 27, 2007 5:22:23 PM

Yes it does fit all the 8800's.

The only thing that concerned me about that article were the temps with the stock cooler, they seemed pretty hot. I idle between 58 and 63. My load temps rarely go over 83 on a hot day w/o A/C.

Read other articles about the hr-03 plus before buying it though since alot of people say the sticky sinks don't stick and they get alot better performance than THG.
August 27, 2007 5:24:18 PM

Are they getting better idle performance or load performance?

I use Atitool's stress tester for load numbers, and I haven't found a game that will make the GPU as hot as Atitool. So that might explain our higher temps a bit.
August 27, 2007 7:18:04 PM

Another thing i wondered is whether or not you noticed and difference in case or CPU temps since the hot air was no longer going out the back of the case
August 27, 2007 7:46:33 PM

The CPU was cooled by a CoolIT eliminator (a TEC/water cooler hybrid) so it wouldn't have been effected like an air cooler.

Didn't check case temps though, although this case has alot of airflow.
August 27, 2007 8:43:36 PM

Looks like the HR03 plus would work perfectly as a passive cooler for a 8800GTS card inside a HTPC. Will have to check it out.

It's just a shame that it's size is so huge, SLI would be difficult on a gaming rig, if even possible.

It seems GPU coolers and their designs keep getting better (some would say crazier) but GPU cards only keep getting hotter and more power hungry. With that hindsight looking forward, it would be great if ATI and NVIDIA made the move to 45nm/32nm fab technology and followed the lead of Intel to produce "performance per watt" components. Maybe then the next DX11-12 cards can be single-slot devices again, running in the range of 15-35 watts and not require such monstrous heatsinks and PSU requirements.
August 27, 2007 9:10:09 PM

cleeve said:
I'll get you the RPMs later today. It was relatively low RPM and very quiet though.

P.S. I have no idea why it was Farenheit, the article was submitted in Celsius. I asked the web team to fix it and they did an admirable job responding quickly though.



You don't need to recheck the speed, knowing it is not full speed on that setup answers my question. To put it into perspective here is some quick data i just gathered to show the enormous impact of fan speed on this card.

I just ran my Asus 8800gtx in my Antec900 at stock speed using ATI's scan for artifacts just like you're test.

My ambient is 21c.

10 min. fan on auto- 77c.(it remained at 77 for about the last 4 min.)
During that time the fan went from 60% (1440 rpm) to 65% (1624 rpm).

At the 10th minute I manually turned the fan up to 90% (2500rpm).

By the 13th minute my temps were down to and holding at 66c.

To summarize a simple bump in fan speed can drop the temps 11c at load. Worth noting, at 90% the fan goes from unnoticed under my other fans to becoming the loudest fan in the case. Still not terrible and far quieter than my old 850xt in my older machine.
August 27, 2007 9:25:04 PM

Totally agree with you there. I find most stock coolers can deliver really good performance if you push up fan speed. Unfortunately, it sometimes makes them so loud that it's not a viable thing to do.

On a side note, I don't think the HR-03 would get in the way of an SLI setup if it's installed in the "wrap-around-the-card" configuration.
August 27, 2007 9:29:38 PM

What about an overclocking comparison between stock and the HR - 03 PLUS? The stock heat sink on my 8800gts seems quiet enough and I would obviously expect it to cool the card adequately at stock speeds. So for me at least, the only reason to get an aftermarket heat sink would be to get extra performance out of the card. Great review though... very thorough
August 27, 2007 9:51:37 PM

I used Rivatuner and set the fan to 100 and i notice no difference. 60C @ idle and 80C @ load with ATITool. What am I doing wrong? Why won't my fan run faster?
August 27, 2007 10:10:36 PM

cleeve said:
Are they getting better idle performance or load performance?

I use Atitool's stress tester for load numbers, and I haven't found a game that will make the GPU as hot as Atitool. So that might explain our higher temps a bit.



Doesn't explain idle temps.
August 28, 2007 1:19:26 AM

Arctic Cooling and Zalman are also making 8800 coolers?
Isn't it a little more than 9 months too late?
August 28, 2007 1:58:36 AM

I fixed my problem. I ditched Rivatuner and went with ntune. Rivatuner was already giving inaccurate readings for fan speed and cpu speed and usage. I set the fan speed at 90% and now I am getting the same readings as THG did with the thermalright.

Next step = OVERCLOCKING!!!
a b U Graphics card
August 28, 2007 9:44:55 AM

We also see that the V2 surpasses the Zalman VF900-Cu's performance by a hair in this particular case setup. This is interesting because the VF900-Cu performed a bit worse than the Turbo2 and V1 Ultra in our previous roundup. said:
We also see that the V2 surpasses the Zalman VF900-Cu's performance by a hair in this particular case setup. This is interesting because the VF900-Cu performed a bit worse than the Turbo2 and V1 Ultra in our previous roundup.

I don't understand what point is being made here. Can someone explain this maybe? I don't get what is so interesting.
August 28, 2007 2:49:02 PM

It's interesting because the VF900-Cu performed notably worse than the Turbo2 in our last roundup, on a different card and in a different case setup.

In this particular test however, the VF900-Cu performed better than the Turbo2.



a b U Graphics card
August 29, 2007 5:25:06 AM

Yea but it says that the V2 beats the zalman in this test, and thats interesting coz the turbo2 and v1 ultra beat it last time. I would have thought that would be obvious since the V2 is better. It doesnt mention anything about the zalman beating the turbo2 in the part I quoted.
August 29, 2007 3:26:23 PM

T8RR8R said:
Doesn't explain idle temps.


Well that's why I asked "Are they getting better idle performance or load performance?"... isn't it? :D 
August 29, 2007 3:30:17 PM

randomizer said:
Yea but it says that the V2 beats the zalman in this test, and thats interesting coz the turbo2 and v1 ultra beat it last time. I would have thought that would be obvious since the V2 is better. It doesnt mention anything about the zalman beating the turbo2 in the part I quoted.


Because the V2 only beat it by a hair, even though the Zalman did poorly by a larger margin in the last roundup, losing ot the V1 Ultra.

You have to read the article and use all the information. I know you only quoted a small piece, but that's the point - you can't just quote a sentence and expect it to make sense out of context.
August 30, 2007 2:37:54 AM

If noise is the issue, why not use those ultra silent fans like Noctua, SilenX or Scythe SFlex? I think that was the main point of them to not include a fan, so you choose one yourself based on your preference, noisy high flow fan or a quiet solution.

And I notice that this wasn't mentioned, isn't the HR-03 HUGE? I mean it takes up to 3 slot spaces, and 5 when a fan is attached. If you plan to do SLI, I don't think you'll have any PCI slots free for other stuff like a sound card for instance.

Speaking of Thermalright, any chance on a review on their IFX-14 CPU cooler?
a b U Graphics card
August 30, 2007 4:46:12 AM

ROFL, the fan on my HR0-3 is set at 100% The fan alone cost me 25 dollars.My computer actually sounds like a hurricane It's so dam loud. Very good cooler, never peeks past 70. Idles in the 50's. Didn't have a problem with the ram coolers like they did. Although I agree you should pick up some thermal adhesive. Not hard to put on, and Even with the wrap-around setup SLI may be near impossible.
a b U Graphics card
August 30, 2007 5:42:14 AM

cleeve said:
Because the V2 only beat it by a hair, even though the Zalman did poorly by a larger margin in the last roundup, losing ot the V1 Ultra.

You have to read the article and use all the information. I know you only quoted a small piece, but that's the point - you can't just quote a sentence and expect it to make sense out of context.

Well it isn't really a major issue or anything, and I think it's better to just say "screw it, who cares?" and be done with it. I wonder how the V2 and HR-03 compares to the arctic cooling S1/S2.
November 7, 2007 6:13:13 PM

Would the V2 passively cool an ATI Radeon X850? I am going to be moving a PC to a common area right next to the living room and want to quiet it down. Right now it sounds like a jet.

I am also looking at replacing the CPU cooler and case fan to quiet it down as well. The GPU fan is currently the loudest.
December 16, 2007 4:32:34 PM


how is Zalman1000 in comparision?
December 17, 2007 1:02:09 AM

sorry ...
I'll start a new thread next time. The THG Thermalright reviewer had an intrest in this too.
pm me the "rule" I broke.
!