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
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.
that's Dead Sexy.
I am not going to kick the crap out of my video card
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.
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.