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Old September 6, 2007, 03:28 AM
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acolite acolite is offline
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Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Langley, BC
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Cool Thermalright HR-03 Plus GPU Cooler

Hello all, today I'll be reviewing the Thermalright Hr-03 Plus cooler for the 8800GTX series video cards.

I decided to pick one up at ncix yesterday since I started to overclock my GPU.

Hit temps of 80 C is a little scary IMO. :P

Product Info:



Thermalright HR-03 Plus

Features:

  • A maximum of 6 heatpipes for maximum amount of heat transfer to work with any of 92mm or smaller fans for best configuration to suit your needs
  • Proprietary two-heat sinks-soldered-to-form-as-one design to maximize cooling capacity
  • 6 heatpipes soldered immensely close to heat sink fins to increase heat transfer efficiency
  • Two ways of mounting the cooler on video card for best space and configuration management in ATX and BTX form factor cases
  • Light weight and easy no-tool installation
  • SLI compatible for serious gaming enthusiasts
  • Cosmetically contoured design for that vanity look
Tech Specs:

Dimension:
L133 x W156 x H38 mm (heat sink only)
Weight:
410g (heat sink only)

VGA Card Compatibilites:

Compatible with Nvidia GeForce 8800GTX& 8800GTS and 8800 ultra videocards.

Installation:

Stating with the packaging.

It's nothing more than just a brown box with Thermalright written on it.

Inside you get:

12 RAM Chip Heat sinks
4 PWM Chip Heat sinks
1 HSI Heat sink
1 Backplate
1 Backplate Pad
1 Heat sink (duh)
1 Mounting Bracket
4 Black Rubber Washers
4 Mounting Screws
2 Fan Clip Mounts
4 Mounting Screw Caps
1 Instruction Manual
1 Tube of Thermal Paste

The instruction manual included is pretty basic, if you have trouble following it, Thermalright has a much more detailed instruction set on their website. Also, there is no fan included with the heat sink, it requires a 92mm fan, although you can attach others with zip ties if you'd like. :)

First step, remove the stock heat sink, this is done by unscrewing 11 screws from the bottom of the video card and two at the back end of the video card. Once that is done, you have to remove the heat sink. I was able to do this be wiggling it back and forth until it finally popped off. After that, you go onto removing the thermal paste from the GPU and the ramSINKS, I used some rubbing alcohol and paper towel. End result:







Once that was done, the next step is to install each individual ramSINK. This part was the most frustrating as the adhesive used on the ramSINKs was poor and they kept falling off.

After struggling with that, the next step was to apply thermal paste to the GPU and Heatsink, the mount it and secure it using the mounting bracket included.

Finally, with that done, the last step is to add the fan. I used a Scythe KAZE-JYU 100MM FAN 2000RPM 30.86dba 58CFM. I decided to mount the fan to pull air in for more of an effective cooling approach. Thermalright recommends a 92mm fan for optimal performance, although it could be used as a passive cooler, still with the 8800 cards running as warm as they do, it's not worth it. :P

Finally Finished Result:





You can also mount it another way, essentially backwards, so the heatsink wraps around to the other side of the video card.

End result is somewhat a tight fit:



Testing:

Using RivaTuner and atitools, I tested the card. Here are some results:


Stock with stock cooler:

8800GTX @ 576/1800MHz

Idle: 60 C
Load: 78 C


Overclocked
with stock cooler:

8800GTX @ 646/2016MHz

Idle: 63 C
Load: 84 C


Stock with HR-03 Plus:

8800GTX @ 576/1800MHz

Idle: 50 C
Load: 59 C


Overclocked
with HR-03 Plus:

8800GTX @ 646/2016MHz

Idle: 52 C
Load: 62 C

NOTE: FAN was running only at 70% of Max Speed under these tests Approx: 1400 RPMs.

Conclusion:

Rating: 4.5/5

Pros:

-Great effective cooling (improves cooling by up to 25%)
-light weight aluminum.
-easily to follow instructions

Cons:

-RamSINKs have poor adhesive
-Price 53.00ish CAD
-No fan included (can be looked as bad or good)

In the end I must say the results were impressive, the temperatures drop by a lot more than I had expected. Going from nearly 80 C to 60 C under load is very impressive. Idle temps improved a fair bit as well by almost 10 C. Overall I'd recommend this cooler for anyone who wants to push their 8800 cards without having to dish out money for new one, plus there is the thing that this is one of the few 8800 coolers out there to begin with.

Hope this was helpful to everyone, this is my first review so I realize it may not be as in-depth as other out there.










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