Who would have thought back in the days of the Riva 128 or the good old TNT that memory would eventually become a limiting factor in 3D graphics performance? Back then we concentrated on overclocking the graphics processor and didn't pay that much attention to memory. Advances in memory technology which include the dual data rate (DDR) memory first used on the GeForce 256, we found that additional levels of performance could be realized by increasing the memory speed beyond its rated frequency. With faster DDR memory appearing on the the GeForce2 and GeForce2 Ultra, factory installed memory heatsinks became a common feature which has continued with the majority of GeForce3 based graphics cards. While they are effective in dispersing heat, they are often necessary in order to avoid overheating problems.
Yet many enthusiasts continue to modify their graphics cards with bigger and better heatsinks in order to squeeze out every ounce of performance. A few solutions include attatching modified processor heatsinks to the graphics memory modules and even combining that with the addition of special PCI cooling fans. Here are a few points that one should be on the lookout for when considering a cooling solution for graphics memory:
Above average cooling properties
Not blocking access to PCI slots
Quick and easy installation
Quality manufacturing and components
An inexpensive product that fits these categories is Tweakmonster's Copper RAMsinks.
100% Copper RAMsinks
The Tweakmonster (Ross) has been around for about a year selling his all-copper RAMsinks and business has been brisk as of late. His first product was a copper spacer for AMD processors and shortly thereafter he expanded to include memory heatsinks which were eagerly awaited by overclocking fans. Ross quickly evolved his original design into two different models. One for the thinner single data rate (SDR) memory found on GeForce2 MX based graphics cards and a second design for the wider DDR memory on the GeForce2 GTS. Ross has also come up with revision 3.0 which consist of tin-plated copper RAMsinks.
Let's take a closer look at the copper RAMsinks.
Quite elegant wouldn't you say? It takes a bit of work to get them looking so clean and we'll be covering all the steps in due time.
Each RAMsink arrives in its own protective bag which is a safeguard against any potential damage that could occur during shipping. But like all copper products, they will tarnish.
After a few passes using 600 grit sandpaper and careful wiping with copper cleaner (I used 3M's Copper and Brass Tarni-Shied), you can get the RAMsinks looking their best.