I am in the process of building a decent BTX gaming machine. I am planning on using a Radeon 4850, but am also considering a 4870. However, with BTXs design, I do not believe the stock 4870 heatsinks will fit or flow properly. So I was thinking about a 4870 with a Zalman VF900 cooler and some copper heatsinks for the RAM:
I would like some opinions/experiences as to whether this would be adequate cooling for the 4870. Airflow through the case is very good as it is BTX. Front intake will be a 120mm and/or 92mm, and rear exhaust will probably be dual 80mm. I dont want the card to run hot, I would in fact like the possibility of some overclocking as well.
Problem is, there is no slot on that side of the card (remember Im using BTX not ATX). So even if I did get a 4870, I would have to either find a single slot bracket, or dremel the dual slot bracket.
Also, some 4870s have the fan in the back of the HS, which would put it right next to thermal module to get virtually no airflow. For those with the fans in the middle of the HS, some air would try to escape out towards the front of the case which is not proper airflow for BTX.
Yes I guess that could be a problem on some motherboards. On one of my systems it would work but on the other it wouldn't. One has a PCIe X1 as the top slot so it would work on that one but the other has the X16 as the top slot so it wouldn't. You can buy single slot brackets like this for the video card:
Awesome thanks very much I was wondering where to get one of those.
Anyway to my original question heres what I know. On Newegg, one person wrote a review using the Zalman VF900 on a 4870 and said he was very happy. However, no mention of temps or how hard the card was being pushed. Another reviewer used it with a 4870 but said temps were high, though still within acceptable operating range. Personally Id like temps at least equal to stock. I think it may be worth a try, but for now will probably just get a 4850.