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The Card Cooler Review

By: Brian Gray - January 30, 2000

The Introduction

In the quest for performance, many users turn to overclocking as a source of added framerate. Others include overclocking as a given. I am the latter. I overclock at first boot to see just how much my hardware can take. I may back it down a bit to maintain stability, but I do not see the point in robbing myself of the added frames.

The Card Cooler

If you overclock you need to cool. Heat is the enemy of maximum performance. Through the years, I have experimented with heatsinks, thermal tape, peltier devices and big fans to acheive the highest levels of performance my hardware can manage. The results of these tests pointed to a simple philosophy. Simple is better.

The Product

About as simple as it gets, I kick myself for not thinking of it first. Two high-quality Sunon ball-bearing fans (It's all ball-bearings these days - Fletch) are screwed on to two metal strips that fit to the top and fourth card slot mounts.

The Penguins
The Card Cooler

Sunon Ball Bearing Fans
Sunon Fans

The CardCooler has recently added the ball-bearing fan as an option. Performance is approximately the same, but the ball-bearing fans add reliablity. For four bucks more, I say get the ball-bearing model.

The Installation

Shut down the PC. UnPlug the power-supply (How many of us actually do that?). Loosen a couple of nuts. Put it where it fits (Penguins out). Tighten a couple of nuts. Plug in the fans to available power leads. Close up your case and boot up.

The Card Cooler

I also recommend removing any slot blanks between the video card and next PCI card. The CardCooler pumps air through at 56cf/m. This creates a high pressure point below the video card. Opening the slot to the exterior of the case gives the high pressure an out. You will feel a warm gentle exhaust.

The Results

My Annihilator PRO is not a great overclocker. I have a temperature probe sitting on the back of my GeForce to keep track of how hard I am "dogging" the system.

Normal operating temperature on top of my GeForce at the 140MHz core clock in 2D mode is 90° F when the CardCooler is operating. I unplugged the fans and closed the case. Within FOUR minutes, It was 108° F on the back of the card. 3D mode locked almost instantly.

Plugging the cooler back in quickly dropped the temperature back to 90° F (about five minutes). What this exemplifies most about the CardCooler is just how much air circulation it creates within your case. The normal operating hotspots are eliminated as a side-effect of super-cooling the AGP video card.

The Recommendation

Buy IT!
Buy one Now!

It doesn't take up PCI slots, it helps cool your entire PC ,and you can not make one yourself for the low price $20.00 for the standard model and $24.00 for the ball-bearing model.

The Giveaway

The kind folks at CardCooler were kind enough to give us two ball-bearing CardCoolers to give away.

The Card Cooler

The Winners:

  • Ryan Brinkman
    Vancouver, B.C. Canada

  • Damian Nastri
    Tampa, FL USA
Thanks for all the entries and congratulations to the lucky winners.

Last Updated on January 30, 2000

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