The 8800 GT has received numerous accolades for its great balance of price and performance in a single slot. We've also seen in recent reviews that even in a well-ventilated system, the GPU can get quite hot under load, easily peaking above 80C in high-stress testing. Today we review an aftermarket cooler solution for the 8800 GT that promises to reduce that heat.


Thermalright is a company known for high-quality PC cooling products. Their CPU coolers are often the best tested at AnandTech, as is the case now with the Ultra 120 eXtreme, which is at the top of the heap. They can also be behemoths, and the HR-03 GT is no different, tipping the scales at a healthy 410 grams without a fan, underscoring the "go big or go home" philosophy. Let's take a quick look at the specs and installation procedure.  Performance will then be compared to the stock nVidia cooler and to the Sparkle 8800GT, which is another fanless solution.

The HR-03 GT Kit


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  • rudolphna - Monday, March 03, 2008 - link"> Reply
  • adam92682 - Monday, March 03, 2008 - link

    can this be used for the 8800 gts as well? Reply
  • KikassAssassin - Monday, March 03, 2008 - link

    Thermalright makes a few different versions of this cooler that are compatible with different cards. You can get a compatibility list from Thermalright's website:">

    It looks like the HR-03 GT will work with the G92 GTS, but the G80 GTS would use the HR-03 Plus.
  • cubeless - Monday, March 03, 2008 - link

    it's the first time i've had to change the hsf on a brand new card... over 25c difference with a zalman...

    at least the big, noisy hsf on my x1800 kept the gpu cool whilst sounding like a hovercraft...

    the hsf on the 8800gt is a big, noisy, expensive looking piece of junk... it's got to be a conspiracy to sell aftermarket coolers...
  • Jodiuh - Monday, March 03, 2008 - link

    2 of my GT's in SLI made very little noise under Crysis. The fans never spun up past default. Perhaps the room was hot, case airflow lacking, or a bum card/bios? Reply
  • crimson117 - Monday, March 03, 2008 - link

    That's a good point. I mean, not a conspiracy, but perhaps that's a way nVidia kept the prices down on the 8800 GT - by providing a cheapo stock cooler design. Adding a higher quality one in bulk could add $20 or more to the MSRP. Reply
  • Zefram0911 - Monday, March 03, 2008 - link

    No sound readings? Reply
  • crimson117 - Monday, March 03, 2008 - link

    The sound reading for the fanless one is 0 DBA.

    The sound reading with the fan turned on is very close to the fan's own DBA reading, and depends on which fan you choose for yourself.
  • gonks - Monday, March 03, 2008 - link

    Would a 120mm fan fit in this beast? Reply
  • nowayout99 - Monday, March 03, 2008 - link

    It can if you use Thermalright's 120mm fan clips. (the package only includes the 92mm ones). Reply

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