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Old 04-29-08, 09:53 AM   #6
FastRedPonyCar
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Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Montgomery, AL
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Default Re: New 8800Ultra cooler, new oc's, new benchmarks

Well, there's realy not a whole lot to review.

Install was very straight forward and simple, instructions could have been better but it was all fairly self explanitory. Remove all screws, clean gpu, ram chips and the other little things where thermal padding is used. I used a paper towel and rubbing alchol for the bulk of it and then went back with a qtip dipped in rubbing alcohol to get the rest.

Stick on little heatsinks to the voltage regulators, stick the thermal pads to the ram chips and whatever the other small nvidia chip on the card is. Then just flip the cooler on it's back so the metal plate is facing you and then lower the card down so the screw holes in the card line up with the holes in the cooler, screw in the screws, make sure they're tight, plug in the fan power plug and overclock to oblivion.

As I mentioned, my ultra is clocked from MSI to 660 core and 1150 ram.

The stock 8800 cooler is just totally inadequate to cool a card running that hot. I mean.. the card and it's heatsink would be HOT to the touch just at idle and during the summer when my room's ambient temp is in the high 70's, it just can't deal with that much heat and the core will be easily in the mid to high 80*C range and the high 60's at idle.

I ended up having to install a 120mm blow hole at the top, removing my soundcard to allow the fan's air to blow straight onto the card and pull the side panel off. This was to allow the card to run at STOCK speeds.

Even then, I would occasionally have it overheat and lock up.

I have been eyeing the Zalman setup for quite a while but honestly, never got around to it. I lost enthusiasm with gaming due to the card's unstable nature and got more into my music recording so better cooling for the card dropped off my radar.

I was visiting a hardware review site and saw an ad for the the accelero and checked it out. I had a little $$ on hand so I read more reviews and decided to jump on it and see what happens.

Long story short, the blow hole fan is unplugged, the side panel is back on and the card is ripping along at 705mhz core and 1225 memory.

It's only around a 7% increase in core speed but my 3d mark score went up around 1500 points. Doesn't mean much as far as "real world" performance goes but my crysis FPS went up an average of 3fps. I played for about an hour last night and it's consistantly in the low 30's the majority of the time. The harbor assault mission still delivers a beatdown on the frame rate but in that hour of playing, not once did it drop below 22 fps. That was only in the most heated and busy scenes (such as the scene where jester or whatever his name is is sniping guys from the harbor loading crane while I make my way into that ship).

It's also totally inaudible. I know it's hard to believe but compared to the stock cooler's fan running at an "always on" 100% via riva tuner, this thing is quiet as a mouse...and that's with the same 100% speed all the time setting.

It did get a hair cramped there at the very back end of the cooler where the SATA sockets were but I didn't have to dremel any of the plastic shroud away to get it to sit snugly.

It also appears that there's still enough room for two PCI cards if needed so you guys running pci sound cards shouldn't have anything to worry about as far as running out of room. The top of the cooler lines up with the second PCIE slot so although it won't allow me to do SLI though the triple pci-e boards should allow a pair of them to be used.

Anyways, overclocking wise, I beleive I'm at the card's threshold. There are a few guys running H2o cooling that are right around that 700 core speed and are hitting the card's limit rather than a thermal barrier. The core/ram are still all quite cool but I belive volt or bios modding would be required to get more speed from teh card and even then, I've heard they're diminishing returns. A few 8800 gurus basically have told me that 700 is where the card just hits a brick wall so just leave it as it is.

So I guess in summary, $50 for a quick and easy way to basically get the card running safely at it's performance limits while being totally silent and stable is about all I could ask for. Totally worth it.
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Core I7 D0 revision 920 @ 3.75 ghz - ASUS P6T Deluxe - 12 Gigs Mushkin DDR3 1600 - Corsair HX 620 PSU - Noctua NH-U9B cooler - Coolermaster WaveMaster Case

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MSI 16F2-012
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