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Mega 9-way VGA Cooler Roundup

By: Chris Ramseyer | Video Card Coolers in Cases, Cooling & PSU | Posted: Apr 2, 2008 4:00 am

Test Results


Performance results have been broken up into four categories based on the graphics card the coolers were tested with.



First up is the GeForce 8800GTX. Here we see that every Cooler performed much better than the stock NVIDIA Cooler. In this category, the ZEROtherm running at its highest fan speed setting performed the best, but this level of performance came at the cost of a very noisy (62 Db) computing environment.


For real world daily computing the Arctic Cooling Accelero Xtreme 8800 and ZEROtherm on medium fan speed really stood out from the rest. Surprisingly, the AC 8800 with three 80mm fans was silent even with the case side off. The ZEROtherm on medium was a little louder than the rest but once the case side was installed it then became inaudible. On the low setting, all traces of acoustics noise were removed and the hard drive became louder. This was with my built-in, God given high precision testing equipment.



We ran across one Cooler that was built specifically for ATI's Radeon 2900 series. The Arctic Cooling Accelero Xtreme 2900 won't have a long shelf life now that the 3K series is out, but if you have one of these cards you already know that when the gaming action gets intense you want an aftermarket solution. The AC 2900 doesn't spin up like the stock cooler when the card starts to get loaded, and it will allow you more flexibility when overclocking as well.



Two of our aftermarket coolers were designed specifically for G92 based NVIDIA GeForce cards. For those of us that are not fanatical about computer components, that means the GeForce 8800GT and GeForce 8800GTS 512.


By a twist of fate, both the Auras Fridge and Thermalright HR-03 GT are sold without fans, and are the two coolers we used Nexus Basic Series fans with. I am really into these fans right now; they move a fair amount of air (27 CFM for the 92mm and 38.8 CFM for the 120mm) and are completely silent 12 inches from the target.


For you G92 users, the Thermalright outperformed the Auras Fridge by a decent margin and did so with the smaller 92mm fan. Both coolers performed very well and were completely silent when the stock cooler has a tendency to ramp up the fan speed making it noticeable.



The GIGABYTE V-Power performed better than ATI's Radeon X1950 XT stock cooler by a decent amount while running with the fan at medium setting.


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