Thermalright is known for making some excellent CPU and VGA coolers, so of course we are always interested in seeing what new products they bring to the market. This time around we look at two of their VGA coolers: the HR-03 PLUS and the V2.
Both of these coolers reflect the simple-yet-effective Thermalright style of late: That is to say, they utilize a lot of heat pipes that travel into a lot of large cooling fins. This simple, common-sense cooling method has served Thermalright well, and produced some of the best air coolers money can buy: the Ultra-120 CPU cooler and original HR-03 VGA coolers, to name a few.
Let's have a closer look at the new HR-03 PLUS and V2, and see if they live up to the prestigious pedigree of their siblings.
The Thermalright HR-03 Plus
While we haven't formally reviewed the HR-03 PLUS, we have reviewed its immediate predecessor, the HR-03. While the basic HR-03 will work with a number of different video cards, the HR-03 PLUS is designed to work only with the GeForce 8800 family of cards.
Although the HR-03 PLUS has been available for a little while now, there are still no competing products that are used for GeForce 8800 cards. We understand that Zalman and Arctic Cooling plan to release some high-end air coolers for the GeForce 8800, but as far as we know, none is yet available. That leaves 8800 users who want high performance cooling to go with water, or with the HR-03 PLUS.
At first glance, you would think there is very little difference between the HR-03 and the PLUS version, but when the products are placed side-by-side the differences quickly become apparent; the HR-03 PLUS is a much beefier part, with six heat pipes vs. the base-model HR-03's four heat pipes. In addition, the HR-03 PLUS has a much larger cooling block to accommodate the extra heat pipes, which helps when covering the massive GeForce 8800 GPU.