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What's the best way to cool your graphics card?

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Blarte 10th April 2013, 11:59 Quote
I had a problem with my 690GTX when I water cooled it, the clocks just refused to go over 700 on one GPU and 350 on the other, I returned it to air and wrote to Gigabyte and they RMA'd the card and very kindly replaced it with a new one. In the mean time, I bought another ... Asus Card which I have not stripped down and water cooled.
Its not that loud and isn't very hot considering the likes of the old 8800GTX and 295GTX .. in conclusion, Gigabyte are Ace for RMA, however I think I'll retain on stock (and I also have a spare 690 now .. which would be wasted on my z68 gene board and especially since I have switched to a 1080p screen)
Spreadie 10th April 2013, 11:59 Quote
My reference GTX 670 was hitting 75-80 degrees (absolute, not delta) while fitted with the stock cooler. Once I had added it to my loop, the temp dropped to 43 degrees after an hour of Furmark.

:)
true_gamer 10th April 2013, 12:09 Quote
Great results from the waterblock!

The problem with any aftermarket cooler like Arctic Accelero Twin Turbo 690 cooler. Is the fact that all heat is transferred in and around the case, which if your case hasn't got good enough airflow, then you end up heating everything up. Not a good thing! :)
This is where most reference coolers, exhaust the hot air out of the case, and leaves the inside case no warmer.

I've always preferred waterblocks, and my results in my videos, shows how good they are at maintaining maximum overclocks, and still run cool n quite. :)

My Crysis 3 video shows Quad SLI GTX 670 with 1293MHz core/7000Mhz memory and 5GHz 3930K, all on a single loop, cooled with a 360 Rad, and the GPU temps didn't peak over 40C!

My point I'm making is - I couldn't run 3 GTX 580's and a 5GHz CPU overclock on a single loop with a 360 and 240 rad. So this generation, has made it possible to cool all that on a single 360 rad. :)
woody_294 10th April 2013, 12:15 Quote
I still have a 4870 cooled by a T-Rad2 and VRM cooler, and I'm worried about upgrading and having a whiny little fan annoying me or having to spend money on aftermarket cooling, I'm certainly not going to spend the money required for watercooling and the T-Rad2 isn't going to fit anything new :(
Mankz 10th April 2013, 12:30 Quote
The T-Rad2 was an awesome bit of kit, I used to have one on my 4850..
Kacela 10th April 2013, 12:42 Quote
With the price of Bitcoin at £165 / $167.5 as I write this, I'm tempted to try a 4-GPU system with watercooling just the video cards with this... but with the ASIC miners about to go mainstream (butterflylabs), I doubt I'll recoup the costs before GPU mining is made obsolete.
Kacela 10th April 2013, 12:43 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kacela
With the price of Bitcoin at £165 / $247.5 as I write this, I'm tempted to try a 4-GPU system with watercooling just the video cards with this... but with the ASIC miners about to go mainstream (butterflylabs), I doubt I'll recoup the costs before GPU mining is made obsolete.
Shirty 10th April 2013, 12:51 Quote
I took the alternative approach with my last build, I stuck an EK block on my GTX580 and plugged it into a Zalman Reserator 1 V2 (which sold on eBay last night for £110 more than I bought if for ).

Silence, and temps peaked at a delta-T of 45°C.

Not the most portable of solutions, but then neither was the P182 it was sat in.
Yslen 10th April 2013, 13:18 Quote
Nice article. I had no idea waterblocks were quite that effective... having a GPU that runs cooler than your own body temperature is pretty damn awesome.
Matticus 10th April 2013, 13:27 Quote
Nice. Would be good to see a comparison of CPU temps, as true_gamer pointed out, coolers like the accelero dump heat back into the case so improving your GPU temps could come at a significant cost to your CPU and other system temps.

If you wanted to go nuts you could do the full spectrum of stock, upgraded air and WC across the whole system but that would be frigging nightmare and half the results would be pretty pointless. I am not sure many people are leaving their CPU stock and WC'ing their GPU.
SchizoFrog 10th April 2013, 13:47 Quote
Nice article but it does leave a rather gaping hole of a question. Unless you are likely to rip off the stock cooler in the first place, who buys a stock card? Most GPUs now come with various alternative and very good custom coolers such as the MSI Twin Frozr or the ASUS DirectCU II, sometimes these custom cooled cards are also cheaper than stock cooler versions (currently on Scan - 650Ti Boost).
So this leaves a much bigger comparison question of just how good are these coolers that come as part of the initial price and are not an extra add-on against water cooling and stock air coolers, especially when value is taken in to account. Do they perform almost as good as the Arctic Accelero Twin Turbo 690 cooler without costing an extra £80?
Asouter 10th April 2013, 14:04 Quote
Just a quick question on the watercooling loop, in a typical system you'd probably have the cpu in the same loop if running just one card.

I've seen some loops include RAM too.

Was the test done with just the graphics card in a single loop as it might not give a real world picture of cooling this card.
SchizoFrog 10th April 2013, 14:11 Quote
Asouter, I am fairly certain that it was just the GPU on the loop with the quad radiator. They can never give total real world comparisons as they can't allow for people's room temps, varying CPU's and other things that might be included on the same loop, the size and quality of radiators, etc... There are just too many variables. It would also be an unfair comparison with the air cooler as that doesn't have to deal with the RAM and the CPU.
megamale 10th April 2013, 14:17 Quote
Not sure if I find the comparison that helpful. It's unlikely we would use a quad radiator for just one GPU. Such a loop will be certainly shared with other hot components (CPU, Chipset, etc...), and frankly not an easy size of radiator to fit in most cases.

I would have been more interested in having the comparison with perhaps a single or double radiator for comparison and, as mentioned above, some non-reference cards.
Parge 10th April 2013, 15:26 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shirty
I took the alternative approach with my last build, I stuck an EK block on my GTX580 and plugged it into a Zalman Reserator 1 V2 (which sold on eBay last night for £110 more than I bought if for ).

Silence, and temps peaked at a delta-T of 45°C.

Not the most portable of solutions, but then neither was the P182 it was sat in.

Good work dude, I nearly bought that off you, but its good to see you made a little bit of cash of it instead.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yslen
Nice article. I had no idea waterblocks were quite that effective... having a GPU that runs cooler than your own body temperature is pretty damn awesome.

Yeah, when I first went from air-water I was genuinely amazed. No going back now!
Quote:
Originally Posted by SchizoFrog
Nice article but it does leave a rather gaping hole of a question. Unless you are likely to rip off the stock cooler in the first place, who buys a stock card? Most GPUs now come with various alternative and very good custom coolers such as the MSI Twin Frozr or the ASUS DirectCU II, sometimes these custom cooled cards are also cheaper than stock cooler versions (currently on Scan - 650Ti Boost).
So this leaves a much bigger comparison question of just how good are these coolers that come as part of the initial price and are not an extra add-on against water cooling and stock air coolers, especially when value is taken in to account. Do they perform almost as good as the Arctic Accelero Twin Turbo 690 cooler without costing an extra £80?

Yeah, but in fairness, most custom cooled cards start about £30 more expensive than the stock cards, you've pulled out an example, but its certainly not typical. A lot of people opt for the stock option anyway, since stock coolers are so good nowadays that you don't sacrifice the same kind of OCing headroom/noise that you used to. All my friends that are more casual gamers always go for the stock options, as they are usually the cheapest.
Quote:
Originally Posted by megamale
Not sure if I find the comparison that helpful. It's unlikely we would use a quad radiator for just one GPU. Such a loop will be certainly shared with other hot components (CPU, Chipset, etc...), and frankly not an easy size of radiator to fit in most cases.

I would have been more interested in having the comparison with perhaps a single or double radiator for comparison and, as mentioned above, some non-reference cards.

Really? I use 2x240/60s in my loop with just one GPU. My previous loop was a 360, and the one before that was 2x240s again (though that did have 2x480s!).

I absolutely LOVE how cool my GPU stays, and with a loop like that, you can really take advantage of one of the best things about watercooling - blissful silence. ;)
damien c 10th April 2013, 15:47 Quote
With my old GTX 280's they ran at stock with around a 85c temp when gaming on the stock air cooler, but as soon as I watercooled them the temps dropped down to 45c when gaming and that was using a 360/35mm rad to cool both cards and the motherboard, which was a Gigabyte EX58 Extreme.

My current GTX 680's are using the stock coolers but my next cards will be watercooled to reduce the slight bit of noise I would hear from them, but mainly so that they can run cooler and be overclocked which is something I am not doing, with my GTX 680's since it won't help them.
SchizoFrog 10th April 2013, 16:26 Quote
@ Parge - Maybe I am forcing my point but Having gone back to check (nVidia only at this point) apart from the one example where it was cheaper the custom cooled products vary in price from as little as £2 more expensive to the most expensive gap of £20 which was for the GTX660Ti, certainly not the £30+. When these cards offer often far superior cooling and also a significant reduction in noise it is these cards that cause the most interest, especially in an article such as this. We aren't talking about those who just go for the cheapest option, we are talking about those wishing to identify the benefits a differences between custom air coolers and water cooled systems against that of a stock cooled card. So the issue of is the Arctic Accelero Twin Turbo 690 that much better than the already fitted cooling options from ASUS, etc...?

(Edit - Bad example I know as the 690 doesn't have a DirectCU II option for example. Think of a separate after market custom air cooler compared to that already fitted by a manufacturer instead)
schmidtbag 10th April 2013, 16:40 Quote
The results of this don't really surprise me. Unlike CPU coolers, where they're massive and often have PLENTY of breathing room, GPUs don't. For a while I felt GPUs should've been socketed in the same manner as CPUs, and should allow replaceable RAM. Suppose one of those GPU sockets takes up the size of 3 PCI-e slots (which in turn could have a fan going across them), you would be able to have the power distribution and cooling ability to get the performance of 2 (maybe even 3) high-end video cards that would otherwise take up 4 slots. And the nice thing is on a full size ATX board , there will still be room to put in 2 more PCI-e video cards.

These sockets don't have to work the same way as a CPU socket - they could basically just be PCI-e 16x slots rearranged in a square grid, flat against the mobo.
Griffter 10th April 2013, 17:55 Quote
im sorry, i wont let an expert mess even with my gtx680... insulation tape you must cut yourself and stick on sounds like mickey mouse operations to me. few years time we will laugh at what was allowed to be sold as cutting edge.
true_gamer 10th April 2013, 18:05 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by schmidtbag
The results of this don't really surprise me. Unlike CPU coolers, where they're massive and often have PLENTY of breathing room, GPUs don't. For a while I felt GPUs should've been socketed in the same manner as CPUs, and should allow replaceable RAM. Suppose one of those GPU sockets takes up the size of 3 PCI-e slots (which in turn could have a fan going across them), you would be able to have the power distribution and cooling ability to get the performance of 2 (maybe even 3) high-end video cards that would otherwise take up 4 slots. And the nice thing is on a full size ATX board , there will still be room to put in 2 more PCI-e video cards.

These sockets don't have to work the same way as a CPU socket - they could basically just be PCI-e 16x slots rearranged in a square grid, flat against the mobo.

But the biggest flaw of that, is Latency. That's why Intel intergrated the north bridge into their CPU's.

So unless they can stack everything on the GPU Die, (Which will create massives of heat) So we won't be seeing anything like that in the near future. :)
schmidtbag 10th April 2013, 18:28 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by true_gamer
But the biggest flaw of that, is Latency. That's why Intel intergrated the north bridge into their CPU's.

So unless they can stack everything on the GPU Die, (Which will create massives of heat) So we won't be seeing anything like that in the near future. :)

I was thinking that if memory were to be replaceable that the socket would work similarly to video cards now but parallel to the motherboard.
PlayLoud 10th April 2013, 19:26 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by SchizoFrog
Nice article but it does leave a rather gaping hole of a question. Unless you are likely to rip off the stock cooler in the first place, who buys a stock card? Most GPUs now come with various alternative and very good custom coolers such as the MSI Twin Frozr or the ASUS DirectCU II, sometimes these custom cooled cards are also cheaper than stock cooler versions (currently on Scan - 650Ti Boost).
Sometimes the card is loud anyway. I have a MSI GTX 560ti Hawk (Twin Frozr), and I have to undervolt and underclock the card when I play SWTOR (which taxes my card to 100% on planets with a lot of grass, more than any other game).Even undervolted and underclocked, the temps can get up to about 83C, and that's with the fan spinning loud. Less taxing parts of the game will let the fan spin at a low speed, but not at stock voltages/clocks.
ya93sin 10th April 2013, 19:39 Quote
The next PC I build next summer will surely be watercooled I think, these temperature differences will be just too much to ignore, plus I won't have to worry as much about dusty fans in difficult places to clean (only radiator fans :D ).
Gradius 11th April 2013, 00:44 Quote
What a beautiful waterblock!
Shirty 11th April 2013, 00:47 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by PlayLoud
Sometimes the card is loud anyway. I have a MSI GTX 560ti Hawk (Twin Frozr), and I have to undervolt and underclock the card when I play SWTOR (which taxes my card to 100% on planets with a lot of grass, more than any other game).Even undervolted and underclocked, the temps can get up to about 83C, and that's with the fan spinning loud. Less taxing parts of the game will let the fan spin at a low speed, but not at stock voltages/clocks.

I'd be replacing the TIM if I was getting temps like that, doesn't feel right.
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