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Plz, advice on VGA 6600gt cooling

post #1 of 6
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i have an AGPx8 ASUS N6600gt 128mb (500/900 stock speed)

using the heatshink/fan that cam along with my card i get:

idle temps: 33/44 (ambient/GPU temps, measured by the card's sensor)

i used rthdribl_1_2 to test load temps (10 minutes running) at different speed setups and here are the results. (uc = under-clocked, oc = well you know..)

250/0450 (uc) 41/61oC at 5min - 41/61oC at 10min (stable, no artifacts)
375/0675 (uc) 44/69oC at 5min - 44/69oC at 10min (stable, no artifacts)
500/0900 (...) 45/75oC at 5min - 45/76oC at 10min (stable, no artifacts)
550/1000 (oc) 47/79oC at 5min - 48/81oC at 10min (stable, no artifacts)
550/1100 (oc) 49/82oC at 5min - 49/83oC at 10min (stable, no artifacts)
600/1100 (oc) 47/82oC at 3min ------- (freeze at 3min, artifacts)

best oc setup that was stable and with no artifacts was the following:

579/1100 (oc) 50/84oC at 5min - same at 11min (stable, no artifacts)

now my questions: 1. at 600/1100 i got artifacts after 30secs, at 591/1100 i got artifacts after 1 min, at 579/1100 no artifacts. The temps are somewhat the same, so i guess the artifacts are not only temp caused, right ?

2. I made the oc happen with coolbits and using the nvidia driver, the nvidia driver would let me oc my card even up to 629/1160, but putting it under heavy load i got artifacts and freezes. Does using Riva-tuner have any advantages in my case ? (meaning in the case of ocing an AGP 6600gt)

3. as i state above, the best-stable oc result i got was 579/1100, but the load temps of 50/84oC are high in my opinion and in the long run, i believe that they will cause instabillity, thus i need a good vga cooler, am i right ?

4. even when my card is running at 49/82oC the air exiting the heatsink (i know because my case is open) is not hot, it is a little bit hotter than when it runs at idle (33/44), but not considerable more hot. In my opinion, this tells me that there is some degree of incompetence of the heatsink to properly "suck" the heat from the GPU, right ? This might be due to not good HS-GPU contact, not good-or maybe-not at all thermal paste between HS-GPU, not big enough HS, e.t.c. what do you think is the most propable cause ?

5. The HS-fan of my GPU is located under the card (they face the bottom of the case), does this mean that, even when low-weight, litlle-by little the HS-fan is drawn by its weight away from thr GPU and the contact between them is getting worse ? If i install a VGA cooler of approx.300gr, do you think that this would be an issue ? Do your VGA HS-fan face the top or the bottom of your case ?

6. Finaly, how is an 16% increase in GPU freq. compared to a 26% increase in RAM freq. ? i have the idea that GPU core freq is much more important than RAM speed when it comes to gaming performance, am i right ? Even if this is true, going from 900Mhz ram speed to 1100mhz, means that i will get higher temps, do you think that the increase in gaming performance would be considerable ?

Thanks for your time...
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post #2 of 6
1) I don't think artifacts are only caused by heat (although heat is the number one factor). I think you should also look into supplying the card with proper amperage and voltage. Thus the need for a better power supply. If I'm not mistaken the 6600GT needs something like 350W to run properly at stock speeds... consider the fact that you're strongly overclocking it and get something with at least 400W. So look into a power supply having a good/solid 12Volts rail (or dual 12Volts rails) with something like 35A.

2) I don't think that there's a difference if you overclock it with CoolBits or Rivatuner. Just stick to one program though.

3) Yes, 84C is a rather high load temp. Although GPUs can take much more heat than CPUs you should try to keep it below 80C. Look into an aftermarket cooler. the Zalman VF700-Cu is excellent and is compatible with your card.

4) Correct. If your sensor registers 84C and you still don't feel the heatsink is hot than it's not dissipating heat as good as it should. A good heatsink (with a good contact surface) should normally be relatively hot at this temperature. Get some Arctic Silver 5 and use it if you can, it's one of the best thermal compounds out there (make sure you don't put any on the GPU contact points because the AS5 is an electrical conductor).

5) Normally a VGA's HSF faces the bottom of the case. I don't think it'll be drawn down by its weight if it's < 300gr and it's properly installed.
The Zalman VF700-Cu weighs 270gr.

6) GPU clock has an effect on FPS.
I think you have a nice overclock there. However the only way to know if the overclock is worth it is to constantly benchmark with 3DMark05 or 3DMark06 and compare scores after each overclock.
Higher does not always mean better as throttling will kick in when temps are too high and it will reduce your performance.
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post #3 of 6
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by z_one
1) I don't think artifacts are only caused by heat (although heat is the number one factor). I think you should also look into supplying the card with proper amperage and voltage. Thus the need for a better power supply. If I'm not mistaken the 6600GT needs something like 350W to run properly at stock speeds... consider the fact that you're strongly overclocking it and get something with at least 400W. So look into a power supply having a good/solid 12Volts rail (or dual 12Volts rails) with something like 35A.
Thanks for the really complete answer and your expertise on the matter

about the PSU: my PSU is really old, i know, it gives an ouput of just 12A on the 12V rail!!!, i know that this is quite crappy, but it seems to run ok, it gives a constant 11,73v at +12 rail (measured through MBM5) when my system is not-oced, but with CPU and GPU under heavy load.
that's about 2% lower than 12v, but i believe it is acceptable.

the +3,3 +5 rails are very stable and running at 3,23 5,03.
There is no fluctuation at the rails when my system is idle or under heavy load, so i believe that my PSU is doing fine. I'll test at oced settings and see what happens with the PSU.

Lately i've spent about 700$ on upgrading my system and i am a little bit low on cash. Additionaly, my plans are to buy a new HDD, a new LCD/TFT monitor and then a new PSU... I hope the MBM5 reading are accurate enough and my PSU is really performing nice. (BIOS reading match the MBM5 ones)

Only problem is that it has just one fan, which doesnot seem to run fast enough to effectively remove the heat out of my case, that's why i keep my case open. Additionaly, my room temp is a little bit high and that might also be the cause of strange CPU idle relatively high temps.

when my cooler's fan is at lowest speed the cpu idle temp is at 40oC.
when it is at highest speed, the cpu idle temp is at 36-37oC.

at highest fan speed, under heavy load (running prime95 torture test for 1 hour and with the option that says "max heat, power consumption, e.t.c.) the heavy load temp is at 40oC average, just a 3oC increase from idle temp and after 1 hour went to 42oC.

That, in my opinion, means that the high room temp is the cause of the relatively high idle temps, but not high heavy-load temps... what do you think ?

my cooler (the Gigabyte g-pwr cooler pro) is a good one in my opinion, for someone like me who doesnot intend to do extreme OCing. Going from 200x11 to 210x11,5 is not extreme in my opinion, right ?

additionaly, it was the best cooler i could buy, that did not require mounting holes. My MB does not have mounting holes.

It has been mounted very firmly and i believe has a good contact with the cpu. I am not so sure about the quality of the thermal paste that came along with the cooler (it is branded gigabyte, so it must be a re-brand of some low quality paste, as if it was an AS5, then i believe they would say it...).

I am also not sure about how well i applied it, i followed the instructions given in a thread here at oc.net, but it was the first time i applied thermal paste and maybe the layer was too thin in some spots.

I am afraid that unmounting the cooler, cleaning the HS and CPU surfaces and applying AS5, won't have a major improvement and won't justify the trouble and risk of the cooler not mounting that good the 2nd time. Consider that my relatively high room temp may not allow major improvements in idle temps. What do you think ?

If i operate my PC like this: Having a 40oC idle temp (at lowest fan speed) and 42 heavy load temp (at highest fan speed) would bring me any problems ? i don't think that kind of heat can have a negative impact on my CPUs performance and lifetime... what do you think ? I know that OCing might send these temps rocket high, so i'll try it and get back with more info on the temps...

P.S. i believe that if i manage to get 210x11,5 stable running without increasing the core voltage or increasing it as little as possible is better, right ?

P.S.2. i have 2x PC3200 DDR400 Kingston value ram dimms. i bought the one first and managed to set it at 2-3-2-11 timings, while the 2nd can only run at 2,5-3-3-11 timings. Both are the same model, but the 2-2-2-11 one is using Nanya chips, while the other Kingston chips. (FSB=200mhz)

The Kingston chips one cannot go beyond 2,5-3-3, even if i raise the voltage from 2,6 to 2,7. I know that this is not a significant voltage increase, but i cannot set it higher through BIOS. the available settings are 2,5-2,6-2,7v.

Can i use another way of set it at 2,8 or maybe 2,9 ? do you think it will allow me to set better timings ?

[i need the better timings, 'cause i heard that they matter a lot when playing a 3d game and that's when i need my PC to be oced, during game play, at all other times my system's not_oced capabilities cover my needs.]

sorry for the many questions....
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post #4 of 6
First of all I must say I'm astonished by your load temps.
You live in Greece and I know temps are high there.
I mean even with a professional water cooling system the difference between your idle and load temps would be bigger than 2C ! So there's something fishy here. Although the cooler seems nice (copper with 4 heatpipes) I have doubts that the temp sensor is not working well.
You can use a DDR Booster to increase RAM voltage with up to 3.9V (although I wouldn't recommend exceeding 2.8V for your RAM).
Indeed tighter timings help improve performance especially on AMD based systems. On Intel systems you should seek a higher FSB even if it's done at the expense of relatively loose RAM timings.
It's always better (in terms of heat output) to avoid increasing CPU voltage. It should be your last resort when everything else fails. The reason is that heat output increases very rapidly (following a square curve) when you increase voltages. Contrary to raising the FSB which only causes heat output to increase following a rather straight line relation equation.
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post #5 of 6
I don't use MBM for temp monitoring. I prefer to use SpeedFan. Your PSU is definitely too weak for a 6600GT. Have you already ordered a new unit, because if you haven't, I would reccomend the 450W SAGA series unit by Fortron Source (FSP Group). These units are extremely stable on their voltages, as my +12V is usually around 11.96. You probably should think about that Zalman cooler for your graphics card. I'm thinking of getting one so I can go past my current barrier of 400/496. AS5 is also a good idea, as that will lower your temps a couple degrees.
post #6 of 6
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by z_one
First of all I must say I'm astonished by your load temps.
You live in Greece and I know temps are high there.
I mean even with a professional water cooling system the difference between your idle and load temps would be bigger than 2C ! So there's something fishy here.
temps are not that high here in Greece during this period of the year, but my room has quite high temps...

well, the increase is not 2oC, as 40oC is idle with LOWEST fan speed, 37oC is with highest fan speed. 42oC heavy load with highest fan speed, 48oC with lowest...

anyway, thanks for the answer...
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