Thermalright T-Radē GTX VGA Cooler
Author: Zahn Funk
Editor: Shawn Knight
Date: 10-01-2009
Provided by: Thermalright

In a departure from their plain brown boxes of old, Thermalright packages the T-Radē GTX in a full color box complete with product picture and specifications, suitable for retail display. Inside we find the cooler held tightly by surrounding soft foam to prevent any damage from shipping and handling. Included are installation instructions with diagrams, parts inventory sheet with pictures, an assortment of various-sized component heatsinks and mounting hardware and Thermalright logo sticker.

The T-Radē GTX is nearly identical to the original T-Radē. Dimensions of the heatsink are very similar, both are 228mm long and roughly 25mm thick, however the GTX is 140mm tall whereas the original is only 104mm. The weight, sans fan(s), is 360g due to its nickel-plated copper base and six heatpipes. The fins are aluminum as well as the fan bracket, which is pre-drilled for either dual 92mm fans or a single 120mm fan. This is the first Thermalright heatsink I've ever received with fans included, two 92x25mm units that spin at a low 1500rpm and are rated for only 22dBA of noise.

With the included fans mounted the overall cooler thickness is just 50mm, which when installed will be slightly more than the standard double-slot factory cooler but less than a full three slots. In comparison the HR-03 takes up five slots when mounted to the front of the card. A dual 16x PCIe slot motherboard will typically leave two slots open between the cards, however many boards with three or even four PCIe slots are spaced with only a single slot in between. If using the T-Radē on one of these you will likely have to place the cards utilizing every-other 16x PCIe slot.

The nickel-plated copper base is connected to the fin array only through the six heatpipes, although the top of the base rests flush up against the bottom of the fins. I wonder if some additional heat transfer couldn't be accomplished by soldering the fins to the top of the base. The finish on the base is very rough and still bears the grooves from machining. As you can see there is almost no reflection cast at all. Some additional performance may be obtainable by polishing the base to a smoother surface.

Next let's take a look at installation.

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