“ Zerotherm / GPU cooler for the nvidia 8800 gt series of graphic cards. „
I bought myself an 8800GT 512MB some time ago now, and regularly suffered from the graphics drivers failing whilst in game, and I couldn't find a solution. I tried all sorts to no avail, but then as summer (or what we pass off as a summer here in good old England) approached the problems got even worse, and I discovered why. My 8800GT was over heating, and badly. For example, running Call of Duty 4 on low settings, the gpu would reach temperatures of 74C, and on higher settings it would reach 90C before the images would start to artifact (which basically means the graphics break, badly). I even raised the fan speed of the card to its maximum woth very little effect.
I decided that I could not do without games for too long so looked into various after market coolers to spend my hard earned birthday money on. I opted for the Zerotherm Hurricane 8800 VGA cooler, and have not looked back.
It can be installed in 3 different configurations. You can leave it as shown in the image, you can remove the plastic guard (which I believe actually reduces performance, but looks better) or you can remove the fan all together for a silent approach. This is not very good though unless you already have plenty of air movement inside the case, to remove the warm air from the hurricane's fins. My guess though, is that you wouldn't be looking at buying anything like this if you already have sufficient air movement to keep everything cool...
When you open the box you find the main unit itself, a fan controller, and some sticky heat sinks to place on the ram chips on your graphics card. You also get instructions which walk you through the job nicely.
It is easy enough to remove the casing from your graphics card, a few screws are holding it down, and it lifts off with ease once these are removed. You will need some cleaner to remove the sticky stuff that is left from the old heat sinks, and it is important that you use the right stuff. You dont want to risk damaging the chips on your graphics card! You will also need some thermal paste (I can't remember if this comes with it or not, so check before purchase. I already had some at home and used that) to place on the cards processor itself.
Once you have followed the instructions and stuck everything in place, re-install the card, connect the power up, and the fan controller (this is optional as it is placed in series in the power cable) and turn your machine back on.
The first thing I noticed, is that even with the hurricane's fan set to 100%, it is noticeably quieter than the stock fan is at full speed, which you will appreciate straight away. I looked at the temperatures achieved and soon appreciated them too. The idle temperature had dropped from around 55 to around 37-40C (depending on room temperature), and under extreme load, the temperature never goes above 48C (formerly 90C+)
The fan controller is a simple dial, to turn the speed up or down. At low speed it is hardly noticable, but it is noisy at full speed, so it might be worth only having it at full speed for gaming, when the sound effects will cover it anyway.
The main draw backs are the size of the thing (it covers the adjacent 2 slots on the motherboard) and the fan controller is inside the case. Granted, you can pull the cable through a hole in the back, but that can be a little messy.
That being said, I am more than happy with it. It is very effective, and affordable too at only £22.99 inc vat. Highly recommended to anyone with heat issues with their 8800 GPU.