Whats a good VGA cooler?

By vegasgmc ยท 18 replies
Aug 10, 2004
  1. Im thinking about the Arctic Cooling VGA Silencer. I put Arctic Silver under the stock heatsink but its still toasty.
  2. BrownPaper

    BrownPaper TS Rookie Posts: 407

    I am using the Zalman ZM80D-HP (dual heatpipe cooler). It comes with ramsinks and looks cool with the blue anondized aluminum. I bought the Zalman fan option with it too.

    The Zalman is fairly complicated to install. I think installing a VGA waterblock is simpler than installing the Zalman.

    The VGA Silencer may be cheaper than the Zalman depending where you live. I heard that the VGA Silencer is better for OC'ing than the Zalman (I do not know if this is true or not). The store I went to did not have the VGA Silencer so I picked up the more expensive Zalman instead.

    It has been really hot where I live (around 100 F). With no AC, the Zalman appears to be doing the job so far.
  3. $oulo

    $oulo TS Rookie Posts: 74

    I was actually wondering about that myself as well..... You got any links to these products? I was thinking about just getting the Thermaltake Giant III or something like that? Is that any good for OC'ing?
  4. Bug

    Bug TS Rookie Posts: 79

    I was looking at that one too. It comes with ram sinks as well, plus two fans. One for the CPU and one to provide ventalation to the RAM sinks. Most of the vid card coolers seem to forget about the RAM (Esp. the passive cooling types). I'll probably get the GiantIII.
  5. Raiders

    Raiders TS Rookie Posts: 69

    I run a Giant II on my FX-5200, i coudnt ask for better GPU cooling,, Mem is the issue like bug said,,but with 5 case fans and large fin Sinks on the Mem,(from Mad Dog), things are nice and cool.
    Giant III is the way to go,,heat pipe technolagy and its "Active" to boot.
    BTW my FX-5200 running at 375/480 with my cooler.
    if the sinks are warm to the touch this is good' but if the sinks are "toasty" active cooling is the way to go. IMO
  6. vegasgmc

    vegasgmc TechSpot Chancellor Topic Starter Posts: 1,377

    I got the VGA Silencer on Ebay for $16. The Giant III looked nice but I didnt want to spend $30. I'll post a review when I get it installed.
  7. vegasgmc

    vegasgmc TechSpot Chancellor Topic Starter Posts: 1,377

    Installed the VGA Silencer today and what a difference!!!! I thought I had a problem with my system because it kept locking up or rebooting when ever I gamed but it was just the video card overheating. With the Silencer on the card barely gets warm and I havent had any problems gaming. Also system and CPU temps are 8-10* cooler. Even with the fan set on high speed I cant hear it. Now it time for some overclocking.
  8. $oulo

    $oulo TS Rookie Posts: 74

    I have a 9800pro my concerns with the Giant III was the memory will it cool the memory as well? If so I just may buy it or wait and buy a whole new vid card anyway :p
  9. vegasgmc

    vegasgmc TechSpot Chancellor Topic Starter Posts: 1,377

    My one complaint about this cooler is there isnt enough room for my RAM heatsinks on the top of the card. But mine are pretty tall. Im going to look for shorter ones.
  10. Bug

    Bug TS Rookie Posts: 79

    the giant III has ram sinks and provides ventilation through a fan on the top.

  11. $oulo

    $oulo TS Rookie Posts: 74

    Thanks :grinthumb
    So do you think I it's worth it bug? I mean it looks pretty hefty and all with 2 fans and what not. But will it do the job I want it to? I basically want to overclock my card, with stock so far I got this 378/401 core 337.5/351 mem I may be able to get it higher but haven't tried as of yet becuase I figure it's doing the job I want it and why risk it more you know what I mean? But would this GIANT III provide even better cooling so I can overclock more without worrying?
  12. Bug

    Bug TS Rookie Posts: 79

    To be completely honest, adding a larger heatsink may or may not increase the amount of OCing you can do. The only way that a bigger, or better HS and fan will help if the card is overheating and causing it to not OC anymore. I know for a fact that most high end radeons were provided with a HS and fan that was kinda weak... As you increase the cards frequency, the limitation may be voltage to the card. Increasing the Video card voltage is when the tempurature of the card will start to increase dramatically. If the card is overheating due to OCing, the Giant III will assist in keeping it cooler and allow further overclocking, but only if the heat is the issue. You may need to go into the BIOS and up the voltage (Uping the voltage too much can fry your card!!! Only increase it a couple of points and try to OC a bit... You don't need to increase the voltage a large amount in order to OC more...)
    If you are interested, I recommend picking up a thermal sensor for your system as well. That will assist you in determining if the card is getting too hot and you can watch the temp on other parts of the system as well. Below is a link of some that I am looking at for my system:

    Hope that helps. Keep me informed as what you do. I'm curious to see where this goes.

  13. $oulo

    $oulo TS Rookie Posts: 74

    Well basically I got an ATi Brand 9800pro 128mb card it's stock and with atitool and radlinker I overclock it too 378/405(core)
    and ???/351 (mem I forgot the original value:confused: ) so it's pretty decent, I just wanted to know if getting the GIANT III I can OC alot more than that? I don't wanna waste 40$ when or if I can just wait to upgrade you know, I mean its still kicking *** but I am just curious to see how fast it can go! And by up the voltage you mean the voltage as in v1.5 to something like v1.6 or do you mean the clock speed that starts at 66 and can go as high as 75 I think? Here's my current specs

    MOBO: Asus K8NE Deluxe
    Processor: Athlon 64 3400+ 1mb L2 Cache (Thermaltake Venus 12)
    Memory: Kingston 3400+ 400mhz 1gig
    Video Card: ATi Radeon 9800pro 128
    HDD: 80 gb Western Digital Caviar 7200rpm 8mb cache
    PSU: Thermaltake 420w Silent Pure Power with 3 fans (active PFC)
    Sound: Sound Blaster Audigy 1 (gonna get the ZS 2 soon with speakers :p eheheh
    CASE: Thermaltake w/e (case don't really matter though it's thermaltake so it's adequate cooling\fans throughout the case)

    EDIT- Actually I was just reading something, and now I am wondering if I should just go with some Copper OCZ heatsinks for a few bucks and then get a new fan? Just don't know which fan would be good? Noise doesn't bother me much I can always just turn up the volume :grinthumb
  14. Bug

    Bug TS Rookie Posts: 79

    That is a sweet system. Upping the voltage from 1.5 to like 1.6-1.7 is what is necessary to get more out of the memory and GPU. But again, I want to caution that this is where overheating and frying of the card can happen so only do a little at a time. If you decide to up the voltage, get an aftermarket HS and fan (even if not the Giant III)! Secondly, there were a few 9800pros with the 9800xt core. You might pull the HS and fan just to see if it has the core. Designated with a "R360" If this is the case, you should be able to do what they call a softmod to a 9800xt which allows the core to clock at 400 Mhz... Not sure how to do this, but someone can probably walk you through it... Anyways, if you plan on OCing the card, I would still recommend the Giant III. It will also increase the value of the card if you decide to sell it or trade it to a friend when you do upgrade.

  15. $oulo

    $oulo TS Rookie Posts: 74

    Thanks for compliment ;)

    I know about the soft mod but I wanna get the cooling thing down pact before I softmod it as I am pretty sure it's gonna need some extra cooling anyway.

    And what exactly is the option in the bios for where you can up the speed from 66-75 or w/e? Should I up them both gradually until it starts crashing and then lower it a little at time? I will probably order the Giant III by fri hopefully =)
  16. Bug

    Bug TS Rookie Posts: 79

    I don't recommend increasing the AGP frequence from 66 to 75 as I've never adjusted this one and can't tell you what would happen. Perhaps someone else can describe this one...

    (Do not perform the following without having some form of temp sensing device, or a non-stock HS and fan.
    For increasing the voltage, here is what I recommend doing...
    Overclock the card to the max it is stable at. You stated before "378/405." Now, increase the voltage by the smallest increment allowed by your bios. Could be .1 v or it could be .5 v. And then overclock your card and test. You should (in theory) be able to overclock higher than last time, stablely. Find the next level that you can OC and then increase the voltage a bit more. Continue until you get the voltage to 1.65-1.7. 1.7+ is not recommended. At some point, you will no longer be able to OC and have the card be stable. I would back the frequency down, but keep the voltage the same. Test the card in this state for a few days and if you have no issues, you have found the best OC for your card. Let me know if something doesn't make sense and I'll try to provide more information.

  17. $oulo

    $oulo TS Rookie Posts: 74

    HAHAH Whoops maybe I should lower it back to 66 then? HAHAHA I have it at 68 right now. Maybe that will actually fix the minor problem I am having now;) :grinthumb I think my voltage is wierd it only goes from 1.5v to 1.6v to 1.7v I will look to see if I can manually adjust it but if not I won't mess with voltage until I get the GAINT III. Bug man you have been extremely helpful on this entire situation I want to thank you and will be posting more on this if you don't mind answering more questions hehehe:p Thanks again bud!:grinthumb
  18. Bug

    Bug TS Rookie Posts: 79

    You bet, I love this stuff! I'm curious to see what we can get out of that card.

    I have been tinkering with this stuff for only a few months. I've gotten my Leadtek fx 5800 from 400/800 to 515/915. My benchmarks and framerates really improve. My temp is normally at 37-40 degrees at idle, but when overclocked it can reach 68 degrees.

    The link below will show you the card and the stock cooling it came with.


    Well, it looks pretty cool, but the metal casing really holds in the heat instead of getting it out. So running my card at 68 degrees would cause the system to crash or get really jumpy... Not good. When I pulled the casing off, I first noticed that the back ram sinks only had a sticky thermal contact to the back plate. I didn't like this, so I dremeled some holes to put copper ram sinks that contacted the RAM directly and the back plate. Secondly, the copper HS that is on the GPU isn't really being held on by much, so I removed the holding posts, and put drill holes to hold it firmly to the video PCB. The fans were connected to 5v too keep it quiet, so I changed those to run on the 12v. And finally, I added what I call a wind tunnel to my system. I took plexiglass and made a box (my friends called it the aquarium). On one end is an 80 mm fan to blow cool air from the front of the case directly across the vid card. I added a slot blower to exhaust the hot air through the back of the case. My card, when OCed is now steady at 45-50 degrees. The really awesome part about this set up, is that there is no heat in my system caused by the vid card as it is ported directly out of the system. :) I'll post some pics when I get the chance.

  19. $oulo

    $oulo TS Rookie Posts: 74

    Oh hell yea that sounds awesome man! I would love to see pics of that ! DAMN BUG! You really know your stuff on this issue!:grinthumb
Topic Status:
Not open for further replies.

Similar Topics

Add your comment to this article

You need to be a member to leave a comment. Join thousands of tech enthusiasts and participate.
TechSpot Account You may also...