Easy Homebrew 8800GT Cooling for Less Than $10 (or Free!)

I'm an owner of an nVidia 8800GT 512MB video card, an eVGA reference design model to be exact, and performance wise it's great. I'm able to play all my games at my 20" widescreen LCD's native resolution, usually with anti-aliasing and high quality settings. My one quirk with the card is that sometimes it gets quite hot. I know this because the whine of the temperature controlled fan increases high enough that I can pick it out of the background with ease. My hate of high pitch fan noise set me forth on a quest to find a way to quiet down the card. With my other video card, an 8800GTS 640MB, I never really had any noise issues. In comparing both cards, the 8800GT and the GTS, you can easily pick out the differences in the coolers. The 8800GT cooler is a mere single slot design, with a thin heatsink and smaller fan, whereas the 8800GTS cooler is a dual slot design, with a taller heatsink with more surface area and a bigger blower (not to mention it exhausts hot air directly out the case).

In looking at cooling alternatives of the 8800GT, I looked to the 8800GTS for inspiration. The 8800GTS cooler is better than the 8800GT because it has a bigger heatsink with more mass and surface area and a bigger blower, able to move a higher volume of air while producing the same amount of motor noise.

There are lots of heatsink/fan options for the 8800GT, many from the usual suspects including Thermalright, Thermaltake and Zalman. The options all looked great and would probably provide a huge difference in thermal dissipation performance compared to the stock heatsink. Price wise though, coupled with the cost the 8800GT 512MB video card itself, puts the total cash dished out in 8800GTS 512MB video card territory.

In our quest for an effective cooling system, we'll limit ourselves to easy-to-do and cheap solutions. For the enthusiast with lots of spare parts hanging around, they may even be free. I'll outline the solutions that I will test, and describe them as well as a quick how-to. Testing results will be displayed after all of the descriptions.




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i attached a 80mm fan ontop

i attached a 80mm fan ontop on my shrowd and only got a 8 degree drop in idle

Thanks for this article, I

Thanks for this article, I found this and did it after my stock fan died (except I cut out the original shroud instead of using cardboard with a dremel)It runs cooler than it did brand new!

I took off the shroud and

I took off the shroud and placed the stock cpu fan that came with my Q6600 blowing directly on the heatsink itself; With OC 680core 1700 shader 975mem i idle at 54C with ambient 42C load is 65C (rivatuner values)

I've changed it like you

I've changed it like you described it and it works great. on load I get 70-72'C!! instead of 85-88'C thanks!

I found a similar solution,

I found a similar solution, without actually modifying the card at all. I just taped a 92mm case fan to the backside of the card blowing down on it. Dropped my load temps by 10deg. I find it a little disturbing that cooling the backside of the PCB made that much difference.

You can see the pictures of

You can see the pictures of how I did here http://i4memory.com/f22/zalman-vf1000-4789/#post101276

Okay I did some COD4 gamin

Okay I did some COD4 gamin and I was supprised to see that the temps are what I thought relatively low GPU 0 was at 53 and GPU 1 was at 47 after about 30 minutes of gameplay, sound good to You? It does to Me I know that much I decided to run a Lil' steel fan that I have on the cards to see what if and while gaming it came down to 49 GPU 0 and 46 GPU 1 I think the top 1 runs a lil warmer cause of the creative X-Fi card being directly under it, with a setup like mine You will lose a pci slot I have: Asus Extreme Striker Q6600 GO stepping 4GB Corsiar Dominator PC2-8500 1066 MHz running at 800 MHz 2 8800 GT running SLi mode

I have 2 8800 GT setup in

I have 2 8800 GT setup in SLi mode, My friend came across this post when we were looking for cooling aftermarket cooling solutions for Grfx cards. Well to make along story short I spun off this Dudes idea but added a lil sumtin to it, I used to 80 mm fans, I took pictures for reference. I got home from Wholesale Computer supply at approx. 5:30 PM and I have just now completed the procedure to where it works flawlessly. I did however do something else a lil different with the fan setup. Like I said I used 2 80 mm fans but went a lil further and decided that I would leave the stock fan inside because when I got to looking at the way the blades were setup they are just designed to push the air strait trough the heat sink fins so I figured that I would set the fan over top of it pushing air onto it and the other fan directing heat out or if You would rather use the term exaust well do. My temps are phenominal and there is a huge difference, My buddy was thinking it might be a lil' bit of an air conflict at first but I decided to give it a try and Im glad I did but I owe My buddy alot of thanks cause He helped Me out the whole way through even though we are states apart We was using Yahoo Mssngr and Video Cam. My cards came OC'ed stock from BFG core 625 and shader 1566. My Pc was always shutting down on Me during gameplay on My COD4 server so last night I finally figured I had enough and I was gonna do something about it and tonight I did just that, I personally reccomend any1 trying this to take Your time bro and dont be stupid like Me and run drill bits through Your fingers and forget to make the holes big enough cause 1 u start cutton on the shroud it looses integrity and flexes and there were a few times I had to take the dang things back out and remove the shrouds and do some more cuttin'. I also reccomend that if You got a air compressor and a die grinder to use it instead of a dremmel, much faster ;) Temps are 43 C at idle now I will come back and report what they are in game. Hope this helps somebody decide if they wanna do this or not Later On Dudes!

He removed the fan inside

He removed the fan inside the videocard to minimize the fan noise, so leaving it there and adding a fan on the outside will just make it noisier.

i have XFX 8800gt alpha dog

i have XFX 8800gt alpha dog 512mb xxx edition gfx card.. i use a table fan with my case open because of various reasons: It cools 1.motherboard (NB/SB) 2.CPU 3.RAM 4.GPU-Here is the Problem 4.:the Shroud on my XFX 8800gt doesnt let Table fan's air into the heatsink and so it renders my tabletop cooling soln. useless.. SO, HOW TO REMOVE SHROUD ON XFX 8800GT ALPHA DOG XXX?

Awesome guide mate. I've had

Awesome guide mate. I've had real trouble with this issue, being on a budget and all. I'll test out this one today and let you know how it works out for me. Thanks again!

بالتأكيد That was

بالتأكيد That was great! And thankyou for your hard work, I too think that was too much thermal paste ^__^ , in the link, you'll see what we meant. http://xs224.xs.to/xs224/08061/instrct_tim426.jpg it's of a cpu but you get the idea... oh, you need to press down and twist a little on the heatsink to spread it well and move out any air.

Although that can cool your

Although that can cool your GT better, for about $20, my passive S1 runs 39 - 55. I also agree that too much thermal paste was used!

Your picture on page 3 shows

Your picture on page 3 shows you're using too much thermal compound on the GPU. It should be applied much thinner, the edge of a razor blade is a good tool for doing this. Mark

You could also use a 120mm

You could also use a 120mm fan to get an even better cooling.

The thing with a 120mm fan

The thing with a 120mm fan is that half of it would be blowing past the PCB of the video card because it's so large. With that you would have to create some shroud or housing that directs the airflow, so else I dont think there would be enough flow over the heatsink. You can do it, it's just a bit more work. It would make it quieter and probably provide a few degrees more cooling.

Good article. Might be a

Good article. Might be a bit rough for some people. Although they could print a sticker out for the cardboard if they wanted! For me it is a great idea because I have a spare fan to hand and I will be giving it a go first thing. Happy to know that if it doesn't work I have lost nothing and gained the experience of taking a 8800gt heatsink off. Not bad for free.

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