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162 posts

Master Geek

# 69957 15-Oct-2010 14:48
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Hi all, have been running a crossfire HD4870 setup for the last couple of months and its been great.

I recently got a new screen so have been doing my gaming at a higher resolution of 1980x1080p, with all graphics cranked as high as they can go. Runs anything smooth as.

The setup was all good with my previous screen (smaller resolutions) and the lower ambient temp of winter etc proberbly helped a bit too.

But now the weather is warming up, and im running higher resolutions - the top card in my setup is starting to cause problems, i believe due to heat during heavy gaming.
Its got up to 92C according to HWmonitor and froze during gameplay. (can still ctrl + alt+ delete out of it)

Basically i was thinking of getting something along the lines of the arctic cooling accelero twin turbo VGA cooler to put on my top card (as the top card gets all the heat from the bottom card).
Anyone have experience with aftermarket graphics card coolers on a crossfire setup? Im keen to know of any clearence issues or what has worked for you..

I will try re seating the existing heatsink with new thermal paste when i get a chance and see if that helps...

Iv already got heaps of fans in my PC so adding more isnt really an option. Already sounds like some kind of small plane.

all in all the crossfire 4870 is a very powerful setup and untill yesterday had had 0 problems (no i dont want to get a 58xx), just need to get the cooling for them sorted!

EDIT: turning down my graphics is not an option!! Laughing

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162 posts

Master Geek

  # 393584 19-Oct-2010 13:28
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Did a couple of things with the PC over the weekend to try address the GPU heat issue..

I removed the heatsink from the top 4870, cleaned the heatsink and the top of the GPU chip with prepsol and reapplied prolimatech thermal paste.

Also added another case fan.
LOL im glad i can game with as much volume as i want because my PC is LOUD!
I have 5 case fans, 2 x 2000+rpm scythe fans mounted on a megahalems in push/pull and 2 x 4870's with fanspeed at 100%!

Temps of my top card have dropped from 92C max down to 75C max so a great improvement there.
Will proberbly apply new thermal paste to the lower card aswell when i get some time to hopefully further drop the temps.

Incase anyone cares i learnt that the VGA cooler i was looking at takes up 3 slots.
It could be compatabile with crossfire if you have enough PCiE slots- but you need a long crossfire bridge (i coudlent find one!)

8034 posts

Uber Geek


  # 393976 20-Oct-2010 13:41
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Yeah a couple of case fans is probably the cheapest way to solve this. You might be able to reorganize the existing fans a bit to improve overall airflow too.

I would have recommended buying a new DX11 card over spending a couple of hundy on aftermarket gpu cooling.


162 posts

Master Geek

  # 394041 20-Oct-2010 16:14
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I would have recommended buying a new DX11 card over spending a couple of hundy on aftermarket gpu cooling.

yea iv kinda resided myself to that idea now that my current setup isnt causing problems at the moment. Figured by the time i got the cooling sorted id be 1/4 of the way to a 5850 or similar anyway.

I think ill go 5870 crossfire down the track a little. thatd be NICE..although just a tad overkill

147 posts

Master Geek

  # 394565 21-Oct-2010 21:50
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ive seen people place fans right where the power chords are by cutting two slats out of the case and screwing a decent fan in there, though that is a tad Frankenstein

139 posts

Master Geek

  # 394758 22-Oct-2010 14:16
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Note: This cooler is only a heat sink, i.e. comes with no fans, as it's manufacturers are heat sink manufacturers/desighners and leave fans to the experts, and to us to decide what fans we want to put in it. Therefore this in not a very cheap cooling unit. But the idea is better than having built-in-fans which can be utter crap* not to mention become the determining factor of, and inharently shorten the products lifetime, if the fans are irreplaceable, which often they are. Even worse are the multi-built-in-fan coolers as the chance of having a fan fail is a multitude of that, of a single fan unit.

*(loud/quiet depending on preferences, quiet ones normally cost more and some people don't mind or can't hear the loud ones. And they can just be crap at moving air).

Also: I have never changed changed the heatsink on a VGA before but I can't imagine it would be too fun, and you would want to make sure you get something significantly better than what you already have. Many cooling solutions (VGA/CPU in general) can actually be worse than stock cooling, especially some of the cheaper ones.

See weblink below, there are also reviews+pics of it:
From memory I think this was one of the best (air) VGA coolers and it costs about $110. Availability isn't to great in New Zealand but they are apparently stocked at 2 shops so you should be able to get one. These coolers are really big, but they are far better than a lot of the cheaper stuff out there. This cooler scored the best/or at least up there (only counting air cooling) in proper controlled tests, using proper testing methodology. These coolers are long, wide, and thick. They weight a decent amount and are made out of decent materials. Due to it's size, surface area, number of heat pipes, this is an excellent cooler. It is thicker than the dual/twin fan arctic cooler VGA coolers I have seen in the shops which look like crap to be hounoust. The brand Prolimatech is known for making good heatsinks (so far they only really have 2 products, a cpu heatsink, and this gpu heatsink).

Due to the cooling performance of this heat sink, you can cool you're VGA with less air than other heat sinks, I.E: you're fans spin less (lower RPM), therefore make less noise, which is good. In fact due to this reason some people who want to run a passively cooled system will use this heatsink on GPU.

You said your'e problem is the top one over heating, well blowing air in from the side would avoid that as you would no longer be recycling heat.

I have a prolimatech CPU cooler and am very happy with it.

One of the things that really contribute to the greatness of this product is the ammount of graphics cards it supports. It even supports the newest ATI 5800 series of cards, and this product is not exactly new. Point is it supports alot more cards than standard coolers, and it even supported cards which had few supporters. I think this cooler was released before the 5800 series but their manufacturer made a new adapter/mounting_bracket for it to fit with the cards (which shows great product/customer support and business sense).

Another thing that's really good about this cooler is it's flexibility in setup options. You can set this cooler up in 2x (CF/SLI) mode, something which most but not all coolers can do. In single mode you can have fans underneath the card, or fans on the side. In 2x mode you can only have fans on the side as this cooler is so big that you will not be able to get fans in between the cooler and the next graphics card. Running the fans on the side apparently even increased cooling performance (i'm guessing as a result of blowing fresh,cold,outside air directly and immediately onto and through the HeatSink and Card).

You may even be able to use this cooler with newer, yet to be unreleased cards, with new mounting brackets. Regardless, due to the quality and performance of this product you will most likely be able to sell them for a decent amount of money if you can not use them(as long as other people can use them).

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