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Cooling options for Dual Radeon HD 6970's

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a b U Graphics card
August 11, 2012 2:11:38 AM

I have 2 XFX Radeon HD 6970's in CrossfireX and they get hot. Low 90s under stress test, mid 80s for gaming. I am looking for a cheap way to bring those temps down some. I've considered replacing the stock heatsink and fan with a couple different options.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

The cons for these are I void the Lifetime Warranty on XFX cards, they are a minimum $110 investment and they are all 3 slot coolers. The advantage is better cooling, though they will have my cards right on top of each other without the current space between them.

My other though was a couple of PCI slot coolers like these,

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

The advantage is price on these and ease of installation.
a c 205 U Graphics card
August 11, 2012 3:52:45 AM

Maybe your case isn't providing the necessary air flow. I have 2 x GTX 570 SC cards in my HAF 912 and never have a heat issue. I have a 200mm intake, 120mm exhaust(rear), plus a 140mm intake blowing on the cards from the side panel. Is your cable management needing clean up? Lots of cables strewn around helter skelter in the case can impeded air flow. An vented top on your case helps immensly also.
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a b U Graphics card
August 11, 2012 4:04:13 AM

My cable management is excellent. No cables are in the way whatsoever.

I have a Antec Elevenhundred, and 9 fans. I have a 200mm exhasut up top, dual 120MM as exhaust on my watercooling radiator setup as a push/pull in the rear, 1 120mm as a backside exhaust behind my motherboard cutout, 2 120mm fans as intake on my video cards (side) and 2 120mm fans as intake on the front.

So PCI slot cooling is out? Also the link ilysaml posted is for GTX 200 series cards.
a b U Graphics card
August 11, 2012 12:42:39 PM

It's a little more then a I planned to spend. Is it worth it?
a c 143 U Graphics card
August 11, 2012 12:53:54 PM

The PCIE fans aren't gonna add any value or improve the cooling performance, so you have to go for an aftermarket cooler for each card. Gelid is great and very effective, much cheaper but I don't like it's looking.
August 11, 2012 1:01:33 PM

Are you using MSI Afterburner to control your fan speeds. If not your missing out on some cooling there cause fan stock speeds are low which will give you high heat.
a c 205 U Graphics card
August 11, 2012 5:03:51 PM

stant1rm said:
My cable management is excellent. No cables are in the way whatsoever.

I have a Antec Elevenhundred, and 9 fans. I have a 200mm exhasut up top, dual 120MM as exhaust on my watercooling radiator setup as a push/pull in the rear, 1 120mm as a backside exhaust behind my motherboard cutout, 2 120mm fans as intake on my video cards (side) and 2 120mm fans as intake on the front.

So PCI slot cooling is out? Also the link ilysaml posted is for GTX 200 series cards.

All those fans and air movement and they still hit the low 90s when stressed? Wow. My 570s never even reach 80 during fullscreen/1920x1080 runs of Furmark 1.10.1
a c 164 U Graphics card
August 11, 2012 6:18:06 PM

The arctic coolers are very very good, but if your budget will not reach, the GELID is also far better than stock.
I'm not sure the Zalman will fit, I had to slightly modify the VRM heatsink to fit it to my 6950, it's also huge; Fine for my single card and otherwise empty case, not so sure about an CF setup, though.
One trick I've used in the past on my 1950XT was to stick (literally) a case fan over the normal one. It's not going to win any awards for style but cut the noise and temperatures nicely.
a b U Graphics card
August 11, 2012 11:59:46 PM

Quote:
All those fans and air movement and they still hit the low 90s when stressed? Wow. My 570s never even reach 80 during fullscreen/1920x1080 runs of Furmark 1.10.1


Yeah, it's a little worrisome.

Quote:
The arctic coolers are very very good, but if your budget will not reach, the GELID is also far better than stock.
I'm not sure the Zalman will fit, I had to slightly modify the VRM heatsink to fit it to my 6950, it's also huge; Fine for my single card and otherwise empty case, not so sure about an CF setup, though.
One trick I've used in the past on my 1950XT was to stick (literally) a case fan over the normal one. It's not going to win any awards for style but cut the noise and temperatures nicely.


So getting a PCI slot cooler would have the same effect then right? And look a little neater.

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a c 164 U Graphics card
August 12, 2012 12:11:23 PM
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The basic problem is that the reference cooler is just not that good, even with the fan turned up it struggles to keep the card cool and at the same time is noisy.
The trick I used placed a fairly strong fan right over the cooler intake, so no leaks, which you'll get using PCI slot fans and, truth to be told, I'm not sure how much effect it'll have on a 6970-I did it on a far older card. That said, it's cheap and does n't void the warranty, and the worst that can happen is you'll end up with perhaps $20 worth of unwanted fans on your hands.
If the cards are a year or so old, I'd seriously consider replacement coolers though, they can make a huge difference, not just temperatures but noise as well.
a b U Graphics card
August 13, 2012 12:20:33 AM

Best answer selected by stant1rm.
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