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I have a MSI R6950 2GB (reference GPU) and need to come up with a better and quieter way to cool this thing off for gaming.

I read where people say it gets loud when it ramps up but honestly thought people exaggerated a little till I hear it for myself. It was so freaking loud that the first time it happened, it startled me a little and my cats freaked completely out. I now honestly understand why people say its like turning on a vacuum cleaner next to, you while gaming.

Anyway...last night I flashed my BIOS to the 6970 specs so now I really want to get this cooler thing taken care of.

I plan to continue using MSI Afterburner, to kick it up a little higher. Right now its running at 880/1375 but was thinking on something like 900/1400 or a little higher. I read that any higher than 900/1400 will require a little increasing voltage, so that means more heat being generated.

So before I continue, I next want to acquire better cooling to include for the VRM. I read discussions/debates that doing this will put more stress on VRM and possible shorten life span...so I can't have that. If nothing else, (without debating it) this will give me better piece of mind, as taking my GPU up higher above my planned 900/1400.

So I need to come up with a good solution.

I read that the Thermalright's Shaman is compatible with 6950 but since they no longer make them, you can't really find one anymore in the USA or even used on eb*y, etc.
The Shaman seems like a pretty nice option but I they are just not to be found. It's a shame....I really liked what I saw on this one plus it can be nicely paired with Thermalright’s VRM cooler. Maybe there is a reason Thermalright discontinued their Shaman model design that I'm not aware of.

I was looking at the THERMALRIGHT TR-VRM-R4 DESIGNED FOR ATI 5870/5850 VGA (about $34). I watched a video where a guy shows you how he trimmed out the center section (cooling bridge) just enough to allow you to mount it onto a 6950. I rralize it means you loose some cooling function without the bridge but its still better than no VRM cooler at all.

I could then run a fan attached to it ---instead of running it passively... and think the added fan will easily make up for the cooling loss, created but removing the center bridge.

I though I could use that to cool my VRM's and then fit it under a ARCTIC Accelero Xtreme+ II VGA Cooler - nVidia & AMD, 3 Quiet 92mm PWM Fans?
Newegg sells them for about $60 when not on sale. The Gelid AMD HD7970 VGA Cooler ICY Vision-A (GC-VGA02-02) is also an option at around the same price.

It would be nice to find a cooler that has a coating over the brass surface. I read that the contact point is sort of susceptible to corrosion and a thin coating (like nickle) helps keep the corrosion from occurring.

I have an Antec Three Hundred Illusion case so I can add a side panel fan as well right next to discrete GPU. Although I have some room in there ...not a lot to spare.
As it is I'll have to cut out some drive bay area, if I want a big 3 fan aftermarket cooler in there.

Any other ideas on a reasonable budget, before I start spending money? Any other suggestions that you guys are actually using, that don't involve water cooling?