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GPU coolers that actually work in 90° Rotation (FT02, RV02)?

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 
Spent a while researching what GPU cooler to get. I was almost settled on Thermalright T-Rad2 with VRM-R4, but found out that such GPU coolers are simply no good in cases where the mobo is 90° rotated (like Silverstone FT02, RV02).

This article from Expreview explains it best: http://en.expreview.com/2010/11/15/90%C2%B0-rotationhow-to-install-heatpipe-cooler/11843.html/5

And here's a negative report from Hardforum about the FT02:
"I have a 5970 with Accelero Xtreme and my load temps steadily climb all the way up to 100C where it then throttles to 540mhz. This is with 2 AP's installed and all fans on max. My previous case (P182) had poor cooling but somehow it never got that high, maybe 80C max."
http://hardforum.com/showpost.php?p=1036416177&postcount=1948

Another thread describing the same problem: http://www.overclock.net/computer-cases/793076-silverston-cases-negatively-affecting-gpu-cooling.html

So this essentially makes coolers like the Accelero Xtreme, VF3000A, Gelid Icy Vision, Shaman, MK-13 useless for cases like FT02/RV02.

Only other cooler that I could think of that may work in this configuration is the Thermalright Spitfire, Arctic Cooler S1 rev 2, S2, Twin Turbo Pro. Any other suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
Edited by majinwu - 12/28/10 at 3:13pm
post #2 of 19
The post doesn't make any sense, there is no way that heat just "gets trapped" there, with positive air pressure (which is what the silverstone FT02 is built around) it will push air up through the system, and hot air out every vent hole.

I have Tri-SLI 470's in my FT02, the top one hits 84c under 100% load with voltage at 1.084 (one closes to CPU), middle ~ 74, bottom ~ 70 and Fermi are known to run super hot. Any cooler would work well, though just stock cooling will be fine, or if you want to get elaborate you can drop a water cooling setup in (which IMO defeats the purpose of the 90 degree design)

A 90 degree design would do the opposite of trapping heat, as the bottom fans will again, push the heat out through the top. Hope this helps a bit!
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post #3 of 19
Thread Starter 
The problem is with the heatpipes going "upside-down U", or "groove pipes" as Silverstone calls them: http://www.silverstonetek.com/qa/qa_contents.php?pno=FT02&area=usa

Quick snippet:
There are two main types of heat pipes used in popular aftermarket coolers, they are groove and powder. Groove heat pipes are very susceptible to gravity while powder heat pipes are less so. To achieve best performance in either heat pipe technology, they need to be placed horizontally or have the heat source side located below the other end of the heat pipe. We recommend choosing and installing components with heat pipes carefully by taking into consideration of the following examples:

The illustration here shows a VGA cooler that will not work well in the FT02 because the heat source side (touching the GPU) ends up being located higher than the other end.
133-4.jpg

Basically, heatpipes in GPU coolers aren't very well made and are designed to perform horizontally (parallel to the floor). If vertical, the heatpipes don't distribute heat properly because they're working against gravity. You can read more on the technical reasons here: http://www.thermacore.com/frequently-asked-questions/default.aspx#73

There are plenty of users who have confirmed this first hand in FT02 and RV02 cases.
Edited by majinwu - 12/28/10 at 1:46pm
post #4 of 19
Awesome stuff +rep It makes perfect sense when you think about it
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post #5 of 19
Thread Starter 
From what I found so far, Arctic Cooling Accelero S1 rev 2 ($25 @SVC, comes with ram sinks) along with Thermalright VRM-R4 ($25 @SVC) together provides sufficient cooling. The S1 is intended for passive cooling anyways, and you could easily "hack on" a 120mm/140mm fan to cool it silently and effectively. Plus in the FT02, the R4's heatsink would be facing parallel with the bottom fans, so they will get cooled very nicely...

But if you have a Silver Arrow/Noctua NH-D14, you may need to move the fans away from the side closest to the RAM, so you'd use the "pull-pull" configuration. The R4 would be pretty much take up the space over your RAM.

If you don't want to resort to a hack, you can get the Arctic Cooling Twin Turbo Pro instead (I would still get the R4 regardless)

attachment.php?attachmentid=184072&d=1271965724

UHZ4V.jpg
Edited by majinwu - 12/28/10 at 7:51pm
post #6 of 19
I own a FT02 and I have been researching this same issue. I purchased an Accelero S1 Rev 2 off newegg but have not installed it on my 6870 yet. This is because I found a used Thermalright HR-03 here on OCN for sale at a good price. I still waiting for the HR-03 to be delivered. If I'm feeling up to it I might compare both of them for you. I have a feeling the HR-03 is going to perform better because it is a 6 heatpipe design instead of 4 like the S1 Rev 2.

Finding the HR-03 is tricky though. I think they have stopped production of this model. Most websites that sell it are sold out of it and have been for quite a while.

The trait that I looked for that made me pick the HR-03 and S1 Rev 2 is that the heatpipes are more or less perpendicular to the PCIe slot. This means that they will be horizontal and not vertical when turned 90 degrees and installed in the RV02/FT02.

On the S1 Rev 2 the bottom 2 the heatpipes appear to still have to fight gravity when mounted in the RV02/FT02. However, the top 2 heatpipes get assisted by gravity so maybe it will balance out. The HR-03 seems to have less elevation change between the heatpipes.

One thing I also noticed recently is that the MSI Twin Frozer heatsink (available on lots of their cards) appears to have heatpipes mounted in a optimal way for 90 degree mounting. The bottom pipe will have to fight gravity quite a bit and the 2nd to bottom pipe will fight gravity a little but the other 3 are level or assisted by gravity.

Thanks for making a post about this. I have been researching this and looking at a lot of coolers on my own for the past month or so.
Edited by Epitope - 12/28/10 at 2:53pm
    
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post #7 of 19
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Epitope;11808772 
I own a FT02 and I have been researching this same issue. I purchased an Accelero S1 Rev 2 off newegg but have not installed it on my 6870 yet. This is because I found a used Thermalright HR-03 here on OCN for sale at a good price. I still waiting for the HR-03 to be delivered. If I'm feeling up to it I might compare both of them for you. I have a feeling the HR-03 is going to perform better because it is a 6 heatpipe design instead of 4 like the S1 Rev 2.

A comparison between these two would be great! Really appreciate it! Rep
What do you plan to do about the Vram & Vreg? Going with R4 also, or sticking with the small heatsinks?
post #8 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by majinwu;11808874 
A comparison between these two would be great! Really appreciate it! Rep
What do you plan to do about the Vram & Vreg? Going with R4 also, or sticking with the small heatsinks?

I have been hoping that thermalright will come out with a vreg cooler specific for the 6870 soon. They have built coolers for the previous generation of ati cards so I assume they will eventually come out with ones for the 6000 series.

In the meantime I might just stick some aluminum fins like what comes with the S1 Rev 2 to hold me over. I'm pretty skilled with a dremel so I don't have any worries about grinding some fins to make them fit under a cooler.

To be honest I really desire a heatpipe cooler for the VRM similar to the thermalright R4. Perhaps one of their existing models will fit? I'm not sure.
    
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post #9 of 19
Thread Starter 
Epitope, you have the 2 coolers so please do test them, but I think this would help set some expectations:

Accelero S1 weighs 268 grams, and measures 138L x 215W x 33H (mm). http://www.tweaknews.net/reviews/arctic_cooling_accelero_s1_rev2_vga_cooler/index2.php

Thermalright HR-3 (I'm assuming you got the Pro?) weighs 410 grams and measures 133L x 156W x 38H mm (heatsink only) http://www.thermalright.com/new_a_page/product_page/vga/hr03plus/product_vga_cooler_hr03plus.htm

That's a LOT of weight the HR-3 is putting on your card. HR-3 may have more overall surface area because the fins are packed dense, but that also makes it harder for fans to blow through it. The S1 may actually cool equally well as the HR-3 because S1 fins are wider spaced for better air flow... without the worry of the GPU getting warped. And the S1 may actually even require one less slot than the HR-3

UPDATE: Not sure how reliable this source is, but seems like S1 is better than HR-3 in every way. On a side note, seems like you can attache the S1 with TWO 120mm fans: http://www.abchw.com/node/19

UPDATE 2: After getting an S1 of my own, I can say to simply avoid it. Maybe I had a lemon, but it really performed worse than stock cooler for me
Edited by majinwu - 1/24/11 at 7:19pm
post #10 of 19
Thread Starter 
Kind of maddening how I'm always finding conflicting reports. My previous post had a very negative report with the Accelero Xtreme for 5970, but now I have a pretty positive report with the Accelero Xtreme 5870: http://www.overclock.net/10325748-post42.html

Maybe the GPU heatpipe problem has to do with poor or broken heatpipes, because they have no wick.
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