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Jetart JASCD1 VGA Cooler Kit


Product
VGA Cooler
Date
30th September 2004
Manufacured By
Supplied By
Price
Author

 

Installing:::...

Removing your old cooler is probably about the most technical part of the whole process, though even this is pretty straightforward with most cards. I decided to use an X800 Pro, partly because it wasn't listed as compatible and I wanted to see if it actually was, and partly because I know it generates a reasonable amount of heat. A 9800 would have been my first choice but I didn't have one to hand.

With the old cooler removed it's a simple case of spreading a thin layer of the supplied thermal grease over the core. Don't apply too much, you don't want it squishing out all over the place when you apply the sink.

Ready To Fit

 

Fitting the new cooler was an absolute breeze. The push pins snap nicely into place and being spring loaded apply suitable pressure.

Fitted

 

The pins are the splayed type which aren't as secure as the ones with locking pins but then again they're easier to use.

The Retaining Pins

Next a fired up a session of 3DMark running at 1600x1200 with everything switched on to heat things up a little. I', running open case in a fairly low-ish ambient temperature so don't be too surprised by the less than volcanic temperatures.

Based on the first set of temperatures I figured the cooler was a complete waste of time or something was wrong so I took it off again to check how well the back was making contact with the core. Guess what....it wasn't!

No Contact

 

I'd used a steel rule and a credit card across the shim and could definitely feel it move over the core so clearly this method doesn't always work accurately, either that or the cooler base was as concave a a satellite dish, which it clearly wasn't. ATi have so little faith in the shim and core being level that they actually lower the contact surface on their cooler slightly to be safe. This means that just about all aftermarket coolers run the risk of not quite making contact, and though the air gap is so small it will usually conduct away enough heat to not do any damage, it does kind of defeat the point of fitting a new cooler.

Don't succumb to the temptation of using a super-thick layer of thermal paste or using a couple of square phase change tabs on top of each other, it won't work well if it works at all.

The Stock Cooler's Base

In the scale of things relatively few graphics cards use shims, even ATi cards, but certainly the Radeon 9500,9700 and 9800 do too, do and possibly others I've forgotten.

So I was faced with no option but to lever off the shim. This should only be done provided you understand and accept the risk that you could instantly kill your graphics card and that the warranty will immediately become void. Forget about freezing it or heating it first too, I've yet to notice that making the process any easier. Also press down slightly on the VPU as you lift the shim to save straining anything.

Why ATi still use a steel shim rather than a foam one or some Athlon-like foam rubber support pads beats me but they must have a reason, probably something to with stacking or shipping them?

Shims Removed

 

Before I get to the results, here's how the fan looked doing its stuff. Here you can see the red and yellow LEDs that sit behind the clear blades. The red looks a little burnt out here but it does look much more red in the flesh, not that you'll see it easily once the card is sat in an AGP slot.

Psychologically blue and yellow might have been better, red tends to give the illusion of heat.

The Fan In Action

 

 

 
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