|GeForce Ultra = Ultra Hot ?|
Did you as us spend a lot of money on a top notch GeForce2 Ultra ? How far can you overclock it ? 265 / 501 was the limit for our Elsa Gladiac Ultra - not too impressive !
We teamed this ElsaGladiacUltra up with a Duron800 running at default speed in a AbitKT7A Raid motherboard /256Mb Ram / 2 IBM GXP Raid0. Bios was tuned for maximum performance. We also used a modded version of the card cooler with a revolution hacked 93mm Pabst fan.
We attached a thermometer to the backside of the GPU and measured the temperature on as shown below before we did the mod.
This temperature is taken after one run of 3DMark2000 - the ultra is not overclocked : 59.1'Celsius ! That's hot ! We didn't measure how hot the backside of the memory modules were since it was first when we ripped off the cooler of the GPU we decided too rip off the memory heatsinks too.
We ripped off the "heatsink" and measured the thickness of the "chewing gum" heatpad : 0.15mm ! In difference to the CreativeLabs 3DBlaster Ultra's heatsink (review here) this one had a heatpad that did cover the whole GPU. I find it extreme hard too call the Ultras heatsink anything else than a "aluminum profile with a fan attached". The heatsink is nothing else but a joke - 18 months ago we did this - as you see we later came with a udate in that article with nylon bolts glued to the pcb for fastening. And this article show you a Elsa Erazor X² with a Alpha PFH6035MFC Socket7/370 cooler on it ! I have to admit that attaching a PFH69035 Alpha cooler was "a bit over the top" since it occupied two or three pci slots depending on which fan we used.
Alpha does deliver a low rack mount cooler today which is a low version of the PAL 6036, PAL15U - with it's 60x60x10mm fan it will only occupy the first pci slot which you won't be using anyway with a AGP card - right ?
You don't need to do a single modification to install the copperembedded PAL15U on ultra cards based on Nvidias referance board/layout. All you need is ArcticSilver Thermal adhesive
Wanna see something catastrophic ??? -- the picture underneath is the memory heatsinks !
How the fu.. can this transfer any heat at all -- did I hear the word qualitycontrol -- or rather the lack of it Elsa ? You can see the heatsink-fins at the upper picture : each memory module is as wide as about three fins ! Not enough with that -- the heatsinks weren't even flat - and why are they painted underneath? Paint is not a good heatconductor !
When we tried too cool down the memory on the Elsa Erazor X² we found that it had no effect at all -- but that was with SDRAM which did run a lot cooler than the Ultras DDR modules. I made a bunch of small coolers with 100% flat polished surface for the Elsa Erazor X² test - I still had six left and decided to use four of them on the DDR modules.
We don't want a perfectly polished surface when we use ArcticSilver thermal adhesive - so we rubbed carefully the heatsinks and the copperembed of the Alpha PAL15U with 600grit emerypaper.
I can assure you that the results below have no relation to the date at the picture :)
Temperature non overclocked after one run of 3DMark2000 :
Temperature dropped 15' degrees celsius after the mod - that is a lot ! The GPU overclocked to 289MHz - caused the temperature to raise ~48'C - far under the temperature with the original "cooler" and at default speed!
We managed to overclock the memory to 501MHz before the mod - after the mod : 518MHz ! We took it up to 520MHz but had to back off since abnormalities occured. The GPU is stable at 289MHz compared to 265MHz before -and the gain is very noticeable ! Overclocked to 265/501 we got ~6620 in 3dMark2000 - after the mod we did get ~6690. The results did vary approximate +/- 5% when we did 4 tests in a row.
If you have handed out the money for a Ultra you should really consider to do the same as we have done and get the most out of your money ! If you feel that this mod is too much for you :you should at least remove the heatpad under the original "cooler" and the memory heatsinks and use som decent stuff instead !
Good Luck - take care when you use the ArcticSilver thermal adhesive - read the how to do over at their site !
I don't like to do this since I think it looks a bit stupid - but I see other sites do it all the time so here we go : our international sponsor and Norwegian sponsor :) got the AlphaPAL15U and small heatsinks that fit the modules perfectly :)