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Date: February 11th, 2003
Article by: Burt Carver (Hardware Reviewer & Newsposter)
Product was donated by: Tweakmonster.com

Feeling certain that the wonderful solvents in Goof Off were going to melt the layers of my video card into oblivion, I placed my best Mad Scientist grin on and scrubbed away. Within minutes, the USSG was cleaned off, and I had achieved a mild buzz. Guess it just goes to show that you CAN have your cake and eat it too!



Here is the freshly scrubbed card.


Without further ado, onto the RamSinks!


The RamSinks arrived individually wrapped in plastic baggies. The RamSinks are composed of a copper alloy and plated with chrome. They are extremely heavy for their size, and have a nice finish. The bottom area that contacts the RAM was generally smooth, with some small machining striations and minor pitting of the finish. As these Ramsinks have no retention mechanism and have to be held on by thermal epoxy, I do NOT recommend lapping the base, and the slight pitting present will give the epoxy a better grip on the bottom.


The epoxy I used was Arctic Alumina.


 



This is a bottom view of one of the Ramsinks.



Here is a side view. Considering how small they are, there is tremendous attention to detail.


The installation went off without a hitch, with the exception of some temperamental epoxy. The final product:



Now onto the benchmarks!


With the ramsinks, I was presented with a unique challenge. The stock speed of the Geforce3 RAM (458 Mhz) is not exactly earth shattering. Even with a decent overclock the speed does not hold a candle to the current speed demons out there. With that in mind I wasn't expecting miracles. I obtained temperatures using an infrared thermometer (funky toy by the way… my feet got down to 20.5 C during this review) in 'loaded' and 'idle' conditions. The load condition consisted of running the Nature demo in 3dMark2001 SE at 1600 x 1200 for approximately 5 minutes. Two readings were obtained, one from the visible top edge of the ram and the other was obtained from the tip of the heatsink. Below are the stock and overclocked settings for the graphics card. Not bad for a lowly GF3.


Stock:



Overclock:



Yeah baby… that's Dead Sexy.


I am not going to kick the crap out of my video card… but nearly 100 mhz out of the memory has to be good for a couple of 3DMark points.



What do the pretty bars tell us? The ramsinks are doing the job. Two things to consider here: the ram is cooler across the board, and the even heat gradient across the ramsinks show that the heat is moving quickly away from the chip and being transferred into the air. The stock cooler, by comparison, has a severe gradient as you move away from the chip. The heat is not traveling through the conductor as well as in the ramsinks.

 

Conclusion


This product impressed me. I would recommend it to anyone who is looking either to eke 5 more mhz out of their video ram or someone who wants to know that the killer known as heat will not claim another victim. The only real knock on the product isn't really a negative about the product, but more about the installation. Due to the nature of RAM, there is no retaining mechanism for cooling apparatus. As a result, this product is not for the faint of heart. If you feel uncomfortable taking a video card out of a slot, pass on this one. Most people who would be interested in this product probably do feel comfortable around modding, because this verges on a mod depending on your equipment.



 

Copyright Burt Carver and TweakNews.net

 


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