I have to start out, right off the bat, by saying that this
review was intended to go out the door some time ago. Unfortunately, my
full-time job had me spend almost a month in Europe, and I have been sidetracked
since coming home. I would like to extend an apology to both Mike Chambers, as
well as the folks at 2CoolTek.
Secondly, one thing you may have noticed is that my stock
VisionTek GeForce3 could hit 250/560 without using the Thermaltake
cooling solution. This was an unfortunate (well, not for me
J ) circumstance, as one could
honestly say, “If you could hit that before, what’s the point of adding
additional cooling?” I would say this in response. Yes, I could achieve that
setting but it was definitely less than stable. On occasion, I would experience
lockups and general instability in using the standard cooling solution. The
Thermaltake BLORB allowed me to achieve an awesome level of performance without
sacrificing stability. After all, what good is overclocking the chip if it fails
a certain percentage of the time?
Thirdly, I would also like to point out that I can actually
hit a higher core frequency in OpenGL, but not in Direct3D. Earlier, I had
benchmarked Quake3 as high as 270 MHz., but decided to drop the numbers from the
chart, as it’s nearly useless if it doesn’t work stable across both API’s.
Nonetheless, I could not approach hitting this figure using the stock HSF…period.
Unfortunately, it seems that there’s enough difference between the 2 3D
pipelines which cause Direct3D to lockup, and not OpenGL.
Before I conclude, I would also like to point out that
these solutions are not designed for just the GeForce3. In fact, I’ve already
seen a number of inquiries by the ATI fans, with regards to cooling solutions
for their Radeon 8500’s when they ship. I don’t know if 2CoolTek is
planning to sell packages for the 8500, but I would definitely give them a ring,
and ask them. In either event, I would highly recommend those folks to
look into Thermaltake products.
So, let’s wrap this up…
- If you’re looking to achieve better
performance from your GeForce3, I can wholeheartedly recommend the Thermaltake
BLORB as an alternative to your current cooling solution. The graphs do not
lie. There most definitely is a difference between solutions, to the tune of
7-8 degrees when you crank the core/mem. As I said before, there are no
guarantees; however, you stand a much better chance of success in using this