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The GeForce GTX 480 we’re testing has a reference core clock rate of 700 MHz. We’ll see how far we can take it at stock voltages when these aftermarket coolers are employed:
The reference cooler can handle 850 MHz, but DeepCool’s V6000 can only handle 840 MHz. Why? Because almost all of the VRM heatsinks fell off under load, and cool VRMs make for better overclocking ability. Despite its lower core temperature, the V6000 suffers here.
Once again, we’ll mention that DeepCool acknowledges the thermal tape problem suffered by our test sample and claims that the mass production model is fixed. If this is the case, the DeepCool V6000 will very likely achieve better results than the reference cooler. Unfortunately, without a solution in-hand at press time, we cannot corroborate DeepCool's claims.
Both the Zalman and Arctic Cooling models reach identical levels here, which is no surprise since the core temperatures they achieve are so close.
The overclock doesn’t change much as far as noise or temperatures are concerned when it comes to the aftermarket coolers, but the reference cooler certainly does get louder when pushed.