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Radeon 3870s with good cooling?

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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January 26, 2008 9:13:34 AM

Since my two Triplex 3870s had fans locked at 23% and RivaTuner couldnt adjust them as i had two in crossfire, im looking for a pair of 3870s that come with a working cooling system as Riva doesnt work on any crossfire setup and flashing the bios is beyond me and risky!

So far i have found these, PowerColor 3870 XT (http://www.overclockers.co.uk/showproduct.php?prodid=GX-079-PC&groupid=701&catid=56&subcat=416). Which from reading the reviews have fans constantly running at 100%, the noise from these wont bother me too much and the one problem ive found that people have had with them is the memory getting too hot, but in my XClio case with the 36cm side fan i doubt that will be a bad problem!

Anyone got any other suggestions of cards that they know wont need adjusting to keep cool?

Thanks
January 26, 2008 9:37:48 AM

The Gigabyte cards use the fairly silent Zalman fan for cooling. You can also get stick on heatsink kits for the ram for a few buck. Looks like the Power Color card already has an extra heatsink for some other hot components.
January 26, 2008 9:47:22 AM

Oh, any idea where i could get them in england? The powercolor is the only card ive found currently that has a confirmed working cooling system! If i can get some cooling parts for the RAM too that would make it perfect.

Im also starting to swing a little towards an 8800 GTS/X as they seem to get better FPS in crysis at the res and quality ill use!
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January 26, 2008 10:10:23 AM

They have some over at E-buyer, but they have a different version of the GDDR4 model that is more expensive. The only Zalman they seem to have is the GDDR3 model.
http://www.ebuyer.com/search/?strSearch=&bolShowAll=tru...

Pretty much the same results as Overclockers.
http://www.overclockers.co.uk/search_results.php

After further research, it appears the Zalman option only comes on the GDDR3 model, at least for now.

Supposedly the GDDR4 model is faster, but I do not know by how much.
January 26, 2008 10:15:42 AM

Even though ive got an X38 mobo, im really leaning more towards an 8800GTX, providing it fits in my case. Reading reviews of 3870s every single one ive found contains in it somewhere a problem with the cooling. With one card this is easy to solve with Riva Tuner, but with two in crossfire RT wont work and a bios flash is the most commonly suggested solution. As i dont want to risk doing that, getting a single 8800GTX seems like the easiest option for me as Riva will work on it and at my monitors max res (1680x1050) it will be as good as a crossfire setup.
January 26, 2008 11:06:34 AM

Problem with most of the VGA card manufacturers is they are doing a poor job assembeling the cooler on the card with a thick layer of thermalgrease and unpolished coolingblocks. I reassembeled my HD3870's.. I added four plastic rings under the screws because it was a bit to loose IMO. Polished the point of contact of the cooler like a mirror and aplied a thin layer of artic silver. This is the result: 55C idle and 80C under load.... Fan is silent when idle and cranks up a bit when under load. The HD3870 has a pretty good cooling solution if correctly installed...

January 26, 2008 12:00:46 PM

Oh, nice schep. What make of card were they? Mine didnt crank up at all under load! Stayed at 23% constantly.
January 26, 2008 12:45:22 PM

Sapphire HD3870 with the ATI reference cooling solution!
January 26, 2008 1:36:09 PM

Yes, that is card I'm running in a crossfire config. I don't use ATI tool since I have no use for it ATM. I used when I was running the 2900XT and remember the experience wasn't that great. For now I don't need ATI tool since the cards are running like I want to... Quit when they need to and cranking up when playing games keeping it at the desired temps. I think this card is a good buy, especially if you do the modification I did. Will take an hour of your life :) 
January 26, 2008 3:39:43 PM

Oh ok, so the Sapphire cards have a working fan scale, unlike my old Triplex ones which were locked at 23%. Good to know as the PowerColors were locked at 100% so were noisy! Now i know that the Sapphires have a working scale ill consider them instead of a 8800GTX!
January 26, 2008 3:42:27 PM

i got my Powercolor HD3870 PCS running into my XPC with 51-55 Celsius at idle...its serving me well at the moment at 800mhz. i think the Zerotherm solution has a sensor built to adjust automatically the fan speed
January 26, 2008 3:53:39 PM

On overclockers one reviewer said it was locked at 100%...odd. As the RMA wasnt completed today monday is the most likely time for it to be done, which is apparently when the 3870X2 becomes available, might just get one of those!
January 26, 2008 5:02:49 PM

My diamond 3870 idles at 41 or so and max load goes up to 70 sometimes(crysis) and 60-65 in cod4.
January 27, 2008 2:12:42 PM

Thanks stephen, ill check around for PowerColor, Diamond and Sapphire as all have been confirmed to have working cooling systems!
January 28, 2008 4:00:00 AM

additional note: room temperature here in philippines ranges from 27-30 celsius when i use my XPC in the morning. So far all temperatures are in range of what I expect in a tropical country. 48celsius for cpu idle, board is 49celsius idle. small case...
my cpu is my bottleneck... upgrade needed this year. I hope our inputs are of help to you.

http://www.silentpcreview.com/article229-page3.html
January 28, 2008 1:32:09 PM

Very helpful thanks. My RMA was refunded this morning so ive now got to decide on either a BFG 8800GTX or a Radeon 3870X2. As both are the same length size is the only limiting factor really because the X2 is easily the better card.
!