I recently bought the card at Fry's and it's terribly noisy. Plan A is to acquire the Arctic Cooling Accelero S1 Rev. 2, and cool it with either a Nexus 120mm or a Scythe Kazemaru 140mm / 800 RPM fan. (I own both, their former roles obsoleted by my Thermaltake Element G case.)
SPCR once tested the heatsink, with favorable results.
Is there a less invasive (and/or less costly) alternative? If the shroud around the stock heatsink were removed, could a 120/140mm fan placed directly over the heatsink cool it effectively? Or, is there a way to funnel air from a large fan through that small air intake (I'm guesstimating 2 inches diameter)?
Here's a good image of the card for visual reference.
The only problem with aftermarket GPU coolers is that because most don't have a shroud the VRM's get really hot, so picking up some VRM heatsinks will be easier. Combine that with a fan over the heatsink and you'll be set. Although I don't think that you'll be in need of the cooling that the accelero provides with an 9800gt EE card, but it will be a lot quieter which is your goal anyway.
I went with the Accelero heatsink/Scythe fan combo. Seems to be working out okay. Got a trial d/l of Everest - it says GPU temp is at 42C idle. Wish I had thought to find a way to measure GPU temp *before* all that hardware hassle.
FWIW, mobo temp = 32C, CPU cores 34C and 28C, respectively. That's with the Thermaltake case fans' speed at lowest setting.
Is this the one with the green pcb then if so I have it and it doesn't take much to cool it. You can still buy extra ramsinks from zalman which are the best to cool the power vrm. Single slot coolers are terrible usually when it comes to noise.