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Worst Best

Literally moments after installing the Gainward 6800 GT, if became apparent that the stock Gainward cooling solution was going to cause me pain

While it's dual-fan shroud works very well at cooling the card, the whine from the twin 60mm fans is utterly hideous.  They had to go.  Below is a quick runthrough of the removal of the stock heatsinks and replacement with a temporary cooling solution.

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The stock Gainward fan shroud in place.  The shroud is an impressive-looking red metal frame which attaches to the card and the dual-backplate.

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Side view of fan shroud and stock GPU heatsink.  Note the small 2-pin power connector for the stock fans.

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Shroud removed showing stock GPU and RAM heatsinks.  Note also that Gainward use their own design for the VRM heatsink, at the right of the picture.

While the card is dismantled, it seems crazy not to replace the stock TIM used for some Arctic Silver.

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Stock GPU and RAM heatsinks removed prior to cleaning off TIM.  Note the RAM heatsink uses heatpads, rather than TIM.

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All cleaned and ready for new TIM and reassembly.  Note the VRM heatsink has not yet been removed, but was removed and cleaned shortly after this photo was taken.

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Stock heatsinks replaced having applied Arctic Silver TIM.  Cooling is provided by the Vantec Fancard below.

This provides a far quieter cooling solution, and the Fancard actually provides some good airflow giving cooling on par with the stock cooler.

However, this was always just a temporary solution.  I then moved to an NV Silencer 5, which have the benefit of being powered by the same 2-pin power connector, and can be controlled by the Gainward utilities just like the stock cooling.

However, while the NV Silencer is quiet, I craved more peace and control over it, which is why I subsequently switched to the wonderful Zalman VF700-Cu.