Thermalright HR-03 GT VGA Cooler
Author: Zahn Funk
Editor: Shawn Knight
Date: 01-07-2008
Provided by: Thermalright

Following the instructions, I laid out the memory and mosfet heatsinks in their respective positions. Although the stock cooler had no thermal pad on the one mosfet in the lower left of the grouping, I elected to place one there as the diagram indicated. The single chip is much smaller than the heatsink however and the base does not sit well on it. The rest of the chips fit fine so I went ahead and peeled the backing off the thermal tape and stuck those on the chips. The two top-most memory chips require a low-profile sink as the heatpipes come very close to the board here. I did have one sink left over that was not used.

The rest of the installation hardware is pretty self explanatory if you've ever installed an aftermarket cooler before. The bracket that fits on the back of the card is protected by plastic where it could come into contact with anything metal, and rubber grommets go at each of the four corners where screws come through the stock holes from the front of the card. Thumb screws are used to tighten the heatsink in place.

When installed in a front-hanging configuration, the HR-03 does stick out a significant amount from the card. The addition of a fan only makes this worse. As mentioned previously, the closeness of the CPU heatsink dictated that I would not be able to install the cooler with the fins wrapped around the back of the card. It might possibly fit if I squeezed it in but would necessitate using without a fan. Obviously hanging the cooler off the front precludes using any sort of SLI or Crossfire configuration, unless using a motherboard with four slots between cards. As it is, nearly all the slots are covered by the HR-03 and fan. This isn't a big deal for me because I upgraded from 2 x 8600GTS in SLI to this single 8800GT and don't plan on adding a second any time soon. But this could pose a problem for anyone who is planning to run a dual-card configuration if you also happen to have a large CPU heatsink that gets in the way.

Continue on to testing and conclusion.

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