Thermalright HR-03 GT: Heavyweight GPU Coolingby Matt Campbell on March 3, 2008 2:00 AM EST
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We tested the HR-03GT in an EVGA 780i-based gaming machine with extremely good airflow. Therefore, results here are effectively a best-case scenario. Temperatures are typically measured through NVIDIA Monitor; however, as it was being finicky, temps were also verified in RivaTuner and spot checks were performed with an infrared thermometer. We measured idle temperatures at the Windows desktop. Crysis was used to place a full load on the GPU, as we've seen in the past that this title really stresses video card(s). We've also included fanless results, for those brave souls that are willing to try it with adequate case ventilation, and compared it to the Sparkle 8800GT fanless card.
Several of these results are quite surprising. First, a result of 38C under full load is fantastic, and surpasses even Thermalright's claims on their webpage (45C under load). A spot check of the RAM sinks on the card had them maxing at about 43-44C. The other startling results are the fanless temperature readings. Under full load, the HR-03 GT fanless is 15C cooler than the stock NVIDIA cooler!
Results compared to the Sparkle fanless solution are also impressive. The Thermalright uses a much larger heatsink than the Sparkle, but it obviously pays off. The fanless HR-03 is a whooping 36C cooler at idle than the Sparkle and 40C cooler than the Sparkle under load. This makes the Thermalright a potentially useful fanless solution.
Again, please note our test system had excellent ventilation and represents a best-case scenario, but even so this is quite impressive. Without a fan mounted on the HR-03 GT, RAM sink temperatures climbed to about 57C maximum.