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On the Case of the Quiet PC - Graphics Card Cooling
Written by Graham Garside   
Tuesday, 01 February 2005 07:16
Article Index
On the Case of the Quiet PC
Video Choices
Quiet Chipset Cooling
Hard Drives
CPU Coolers
Graphics Card Cooling
Cooling Fans
Power Supplies
System Cases
All Pages
Graphics Card Cooling

Suffering the same problem as chipset cooling, graphics cards are often provided with cheap small high rpm fans. Listed in the graphics card section are several models which either make do with passive cooling or very quiet stock coolers.

If you wish to go down the route of passive cooling then Zalman have the best option here with the ZM80C-HP and ZM80D-HP. These are passively cooled heatsinks that use either single or dual heatpipes to transfer heat from the core to a large heatsink situated on the back of the card (ZM80C-HP single, ZM80D-HP dual).

By offering a much larger surface area than any standard cooler they are able to keep even the most modern card cool when provided with suitable case airflow. And this may be where their weakness lies. Though the card it's self will no longer make noise, it is still reliant on airflow and thus will need a good amount of air moving through the case while at the same time adding the the case ambient temperature. So though they may be silent the best solution for keeping noise down probably comes from using a quiet fan on the card, which is an available option for these cards.

Zalman VGA Coolers

The next option also provides a much larger surface area than a standard gpu cooler. Artic cooling provide a large range of graphics card coolers for all ATI and Nvidia models. These use a large heatsink with a ducted fan exhausting the air directly out of the rear of the case. These are the coolers used on all the recommended quiet graphics cards and as such also come highly recommended here. You do loose a pci slot, but it is recommended that you keep the pci slot directly next to the graphics card free any way so as to not block airflow, and unlike other dual slot affairs the next pci slot after that is still usable thanks to the ducted exhaust system.

Artic Cooling VGA Coolers

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