Thermalright HR-11 Backside Cooler Review

by Michael "SKYMTL" Hoenig     |     September 24, 2007

Thermalright HR-11 Backside Cooler Review

Manufacturer Product Page: Thermalright VGA Backside Cooler HR-11
Product Number: HR-11
Price: Approx. 25.00
Availability: Now

Thermalright is a name that will send enthusiasts scrambling for their credit cards whenever one of their new coolers is released because they have consistently produced some of the most unique and highest-performing coolers in the marketplace today. Products like the Ultra-120 and HR-03 have proven to be pinnacles of engineering while even their chipset coolers have earned Thermalright nearly legendary status. All of their products have had their fair share of buzz surrounding them but in this review we will take a look at a product that has slipped silently into the market: the HR-11 backside cooler.

We have seen our fair share of interesting and odd concepts here at Hardwarecanucks but the Thermalright HR-11 really caught us by surprise. At first, the idea of cooling the underside of a graphics card seemed absolutely preposterous…until I burned two of my fingers on my 8800GTS in my haste to pull it out of the test system. Whether any of us likes it or not, there is not one heatsink or water block on the market which will completely conduct all of the heat away from a GPU core. That heat has nowhere to go but into the PCB where it will build up on the various metallic and plastic components, making them extremely hot. According to Thermalright, most of this excess heat collects directly under the GPU core which not only heats up the components on the PCB but also contributes to increase the heat of the core itself.

Into this equation of heat, hellfire and burnt appendages comes Thermalright’s HR-11 backside cooler. The reasoning behind it seems simple enough: build a cooler which will disperse some of that excess heat and will thus cool down the GPU. That is all fine and dandy in principle, but the burning (no pun intended) question is: does it work?