Best cooler for 9800pro

Discussion in 'Overclocking, Benching & Modding' started by kuzujanakis, May 1, 2003.

  1. Silverfox

    Silverfox New Member

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    Kuzujanakis, well OcSystems finally removed their false ad depicting the cooling kit would fit the 9800 pro. Took em long enough! They should be liable for all the shipping costs incurred by any consumer that was mis-represented by this advertisement. :mad:
     
  2. HardWired

    HardWired New Member

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    Sorry to hear that kuzujanakis....but because of my stated opinion of ocsystem.com, their decision not to reimburse you the return shipping cost doesn't surprise me in the least bit.

    All they would have to do is submit a CallTag through UPS by which a driver shows up at your door and picks it up free of charge to you. It would probaly cost them $6 bucks total to make a very unsatisfied customer feel at least "taken care of". But instead they'd rather save the $6 bucks and let you create some of the most negative advertising their $6 bucks can buy.

    It is a sweet looking cooler and by all accounts it does a great job at cooling the 9700 Pro, but unfortunately, from all my searching on the Web, ocysytem.com is the only reseller that I can find that even sells it.

    You could probaly put it up for sale as the 9700 Pro (only) cooler that it is and not lose as much as it would cost sending it back. Plus make a 9700 Pro owner happy to not have to deal with ocsystem.com to obtain one.

    ____________________________________________

    As for your continuing search for alternative cooling, check out this site. It a new GPU cooler by Vantec and it's advertised as fitting the 9800 Pro.

    Link

    And this is a real online reseller you can feel comfortable doing business with. Check out their reseller rating.

    Link

    And, on the topic about resellerrating.com, I will say I think Crash's opinion simply comes from being uninformed (sorry Crash...no offense intended :) ). It is not just an average open opinion site. It is the #1 site, bar none, to get the best most honest opinions of consumer experiences with online resellers. Read this page by the owner/president of the site (especially the last paragraph) and hopefully you'll have the same understanding that I and thousands of others do regarding resellerrating.com.

    Link

    Good luck, and let us know if you decide to try out that new Vantec cooler....
     
  3. dipstick

    dipstick New Member

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    Stupid question, but why do you wanna change the heatsink on the 9800P? It does an excellent job of cooling the chip. I would leave it as is;)


    Btw, our names end with the same last 6 letters...'anakis. (If that is your name:D )
     
  4. kuzujanakis

    kuzujanakis New Member

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    kakarot,

    Hmm, why would I put a different cooler on it? Logically, there is no reason. But why would I want to be logical? I want maximum performance! If I can squeeze just that much more, I will. It is a hobby for me.

    As far as the name goes, what is yours? Kuzujanakis is indeed my name.

    HardWired,

    That cooler does indeed look good, but I was really hoping for this one to work. Mainly because it covered both the chip and the memory. I have also see that people with a 9700 are having good success with it.
     
  5. HardWired

    HardWired New Member

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    Well after first posting about it, I'd suggest to keep looking, or follow the guidelines from the mod site I've linked to below. That Vantec cooler got a bad write up by a guy who said it actually made his card hotter. I was a little suspect of it because of it's specs. Even though it's copper, it only weighs 77 grams and not much air movement (5.9 cfm) off the fan either.

    That 1U HSF I used to mod my 9700 Pro (you can get it here for $20 shipped), while small, weighs in at a whopping 220 grams (almost a half a pound!) with 60 fins, and the fan moves 24.4 cfm, which is more than four times the air moved by the new Vantec cooler. Also, the cooler I used throws off so much extra air it actually sends some over the ram just by virtue of it's close proximity to the ram. At least the ram on the core side. The ram on the back side is facing up when installed in a tower case, so the heat is naturally rising up and away from it anyway.

    You see, the problem with just adding a after market cooler is the shim. If the shim is in anyway even slightly higher than the VPU core, a normal heatsink will not make proper contact. And adding an excessive amount of TIM (thermal interface material) will actually act more like a thermal insulator rather than a thermal conductor...which is what TIM is meant for.

    Kind of like the stock ATI HSF. That's why they put such an ungodly amount of TIM in between. For the life of me I don't know why they designed it that way. THe only reason I can think of is to intentionally cause excessive heat so any excessive overclocking will result in a lock-up due to heat, thus requiring the overclocker to "turn it down" a bit. That will keep the consumer from overclocking it by any great amount, and it will also keep ATI from having to replace a lot of cards (RMA) because the VPU core is fried. You really either need to remove the shim, or buy/design a heatsink that will fit down inside the shim to make proper contact with the VPU core (see the photos in the link below).

    So if you just want to "buy and try", the Vantec may be the way to go. Or, if you don't want to remove the shim, and if you have or can borrow a dremel and spend around $25 for the HSF, some 4-40 screws and a 4-40 tap, the mod found at this link will absolutely cool your card better than anything I've seen out there.

    I mean really, if Vantec went to the trouble to make a replacement cooler like that, you'd think they would've beefed it up to make it actually cool better that the stock ATI hsf... but sadly it sounds like it doesn't. Unfortunately, like a lot of things in life these days, it's more about looks than performance.

    While I agree, the pictures here of my 9700 Pro mod might not "look" as cool as the Thermaltake or the new Vantec, I'll guarantee you it certainly does perform and cool the card/VPU a helluva lot better that either of them.

    I'm going to do this to my new 9800 Pro soon too, I just want to wait until the first 30 days are up so if the card craps out before then, I won't have a problem exchanging it in it's stock form.
     
  6. HardWired

    HardWired New Member

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    Actually kakarot, the stock ATI heatsink fan assembly does not do an excellent job of cooling. If you hold you're finger on the PCB on the back of the card directly behind the VPU (you'll see a bunch of transistors laid out in a square shape with bare PCB in the middle, that's where you want to touch/check), you'll find that in about 3-5 seconds you'll want to pull your finger away because of the heat about to burn it. That means it's reaching well over 120 degrees, which is not the definition of "excellent cooling". If you follow the link to the mod in my post above, you can touch the PCB in the same spot after the mod and the PCB is completely cool to the touch for any length of time and at any manageable overclock.

    And as you probably already know....there are two reasons for proper cooling. 1.) to add longevity to the hardware by keeping it properly cooled, and 2.) to overclock the piss out of it ;)
     
  7. dipstick

    dipstick New Member

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    Well, that HSF you pointed to will definitely do a much better job as it is only natural. I'm not saying it's wrong or that it won't cool better, it's just that I have not seen the need to change it like I did with my 9700. I'm running this card at 450 core and the heatsink only gets warm to the touch. The backside, like you said, is another story though, but still a far cry from my 9700 even at stock speeds. But I do understand that not all cards are the same and some do run hotter than others. If I couldn't push my card as far as I could, I'd be changing the hsf too...trust me ;)


    @kuzujanakis, my name is akoumanakis....pretty darn close and definitely greek:D
     
  8. Silverfox

    Silverfox New Member

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    Hardwired, you never posted, if you can recall, what your clock speeds were when you had the TT cooler on your 9700pro, and then afterwards with your current mod on the 9700 pro. And by the way, let the folks know where you purchased all the material for the current mod your using and planning on duplicating on the new 9800 pro. ;)
     
  9. HardWired

    HardWired New Member

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    Actually silverfox, I did post a link regarding the hardware for the mod. If you look at the different links at the mod site:

    Link

    You'll find all the answers. Although I did post previously that you can find the 1U HSF here:

    Link

    And that I found the 4-40 screws, washers, and 4-40 thread tap at my local Home Depot.

    Again, I haven't done it yet to my 9800, but after looking closely at the layout, I'm certain it will work on a 9800 as well as the 9700, and plan to do so in the next couple of weeks.

    As for the Thermaltake, I never installed it fully because after I put some AS2 on the core and laid the front plate down on it, that's when I realized that is wasn't even making contact with the core because of the shim, and at the time I wasn't willing to take a dremel to it, nor pry the shim off.

    As for o'cing numbers with stock and after the mod, I wish I could remember but I did not write them down. I can tell you they imporved but by how much a can't be certain. I've been timkering with this new 9800 so much lately that I've forgotten the 9700's numbers.

    But these 9800's are a dream for o'cing. The core is stock 378MHz and I've had it at 450 before it starts to overheat and throw off artifacts after 3-5 minutes. And the mem. (again on the 9800, not 9700) is stock at 340MHz and I've had it up to 378 with no artifacting. So with some proper cooling, I'm looking for a stable and consistent 450-475 core and 375 - 400 mem.
     
  10. Silverfox

    Silverfox New Member

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    Hardwired, have you seen this cooler by Vantec yet, and does it look like it would work without the shim? They also say it will fit the 9700 and 9800 cards. I have not seen any independent reviews on this product. ;)
     
  11. HardWired

    HardWired New Member

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    I haven't seen it in person, just the pictures. But it's made to definitely fit both the 9700 and 9800. The problem is that it's so light (not much total mass) and the fan is so slow it doesn't move much air, and it's really not much better functionally than the stock cooler. It looks way cooler, but doesn't cool way cooler.

    If you do order and try it out, it would definitely be advisable to remove the shim for proper contact with the VPU core. There are a few post from people on the Net who have claimed that the shim sat even with the core, and if you're lucky enough, in that case you won't have to remove the shim. But ATI didn't design it for the shim to sit even with the core (but rather above it) so in 99. whatever %, the core sits below the shim. Only in a very few cases of misplacement during manufacturing did the core actually end up even with the shim.

    The easiest way to tell is to put a thin layer (that's all you ever want to use) of thermal compound on the VPU and lay the heatsink down on it as if installing it. If you pick it back up and there's no thermal compound on the heatsink, it obviously never made contact with the VPU core. People will want to put a thick layer of thermal compound in between to make up for the fact that the heatsink and core don't actually mate because of the shim, but that's the worst thing you can do.

    Whether it's a VPU or CPU, just the most paper thin layer of thermal compound is what's recommended for proper installation.

    Read this page at Arctic Silver: Link

    They even mention "0.003 to 0.005 thick....equal to the thickness of about 1 sheet of standard weight paper". So when you blob it on to try and make up for the gap between the hs and the core because of the shim, you're actually causing more problems. When thin, thermal grease acts as a heat transfer material, but when applied quite thick it becomes more of an insulating material rather than a transfer material.

    So really, if the core sits down below the shim as ATI designed, a regular heatsink (even ATI's stock cooler) will not make proper contact with the core. That's why ATI blobs/globs that cream colored thermal crud all over the core when mating with the stock HSF. And that absolutely goes against all that is proper about mating a heatsink with a processor core, but the reason I think they did it is because they know how powerful their new VPU's are and that people will O'C them. With ATI's setup, what will happen with o'cing is that the heat will rise quickly to a point that it will cause the card to freeze up at which point two things happen. The core is never pushed so extremely that is fries and needs to be RMA'ed at a major cost to ATI, and it promotes the user to turn the MHz down. With a proper mating of the hsf like a real world system builder would do, people would still o'c it, but because of the now proper mating of the core and hsf, it will be pushed to much higher MHz's, thus causing a quicker and more permanent death to the core/card.

    So it's my theory that ATI made the decision to build them the way they did to keep the RMA and card replacements down. Case in point...rarely do you see someone say they fried their stock cooled Radeon. It's always the modded Radeon that seems to fry because with proper cooling, people can and will push them to the utmost limits. But with ATI's cooling, it'll only go so far before heating up enough to freeze without major damage. Again, prompting the user to "turn it down", without causing irreparable damage to it.

    Does that make sense?? And have I already written about this in previous posts?? I could keep typing until the cows come home :)

    It makes sense to me, but I don't know if I'm conveying it properly.
     
    Last edited: May 21, 2003
  12. Silverfox

    Silverfox New Member

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    Very good points, and very understandable in layman terms. I`ll probably just stick with what I`ve got for now, and be happy! Thanks for the reply! http://service.futuremark.com/compare?2k3=779950 It seems like were all trying to hard to improve what we already have! Folks like us are not ever satified!;)
     
  13. kuzujanakis

    kuzujanakis New Member

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    Don't confuse "greed" with "passion"... For most of us, or at least most of the type that would post in a forum about video cards, this is a hobby. The enjoyment getting to the result is just as strong as the result itself.
     
  14. Silverfox

    Silverfox New Member

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    Kuzujakanis, well put, and believe me, I do know the greed factor lies with the vendors pushing all the add-ons, and THEY know the passion lies with the folks like us, always seeking enhancements of whatever we have, whether its a hobby or not! Capitalism and human nature will always be a factor for business practices!;)
     
  15. HardwareHeaven

    HardwareHeaven Administrator Staff Member

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    very well said indeed.
     

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