VGA Cooler Test – Joe
SUMMARY: An effective alternative for cooling nVidia’s Geforce 6600GT GPU.
The good guys at Stasis Thermal were nice enough to send a sample of their IceStorm GPU Heatsink – this is a replacement for the stock heatsink on nVidia’s Geforce 6600GT.
- Size: 4.5″ x 2.5″ x 1.0″
- Weight: 5 ounces/~150 grams)
- Copper Base, aluminum fins
- Fan: 60 mm, 4000 rpm @ 27 db
- IceStorm (NV43AGP)
- Thermal grease (white paste)
- Rear plastic mounting bracket
- 2 ½” 4-40 machine screws
- 2 Steel washers, 2 Rubber Grommets
- 1 Case Decal
- User’s Guide and Installation Manual
The heatsink is very nicely made – the base is a lapped copper plate that is epoxied onto the aluminum fin assembly with Arctic Silver thermal epoxy:
Parts that ship with the heatsink:
The Arctic Silver is a $5 extra.
The stock heatsink is smaller:
The copper base has been added by Stasis Thermal¹ and is epoxied on:
Comparing the two, the IceStorm’s fins are taller and its footprint is larger:
The base on the stock heatsink is not as well finished as the IceStorm’s. Note that the IceStrom is designed to make direct contact with the lower RAM chips.
Stock heatsinks that do not have the copper base will perform worse than what is shown here; in addition, the typical push-pins used to mount some GPU heatsinks are a joke; as sufficient force and flat mounting are a must for top performance, a priori the stock solutions on most videocards fall short.
I tested both the stock heatsink, which has been modified by Stasis Thermal (the copper plate has been bonded to the heatsink using Arctic Silver thermal epoxy and lapped), and the IceStorm on the die tester. The stock heatsink is clearly a better performer due to the copper base by at least 2-3ºC.
Both were tested at 40 watts with 15 pounds of mounting force; this is more pressure for the stock heatsink, as the push-pins do not exert that level of force.
In addition, results shown for the stock heatsink should take into consideration that the base was lapped – this could decrease die temps by 2-3ºC. Also note that I used 15 pounds of mounting force for both – the stock heatsink uses simple pushpins, which do not exert this level of force.
Considering the above factors, IceStorm’s performance advantage over a stock heatsink installation could be at least 5ºC more than the results shown above.
The IceStorm is an effective alternative for cooling nVidia’s Geforce 6600GT GPU. List price: $49.99 plus shipping.
¹This is similar to the XFX mod as seen HERE.